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The ancient marketplace of Mirs Bay – Kat O

Kat O Old Photo

 

Kat O

 

Introduction

Kat O is a relatively large island in Double Haven, in the northeast New Territories of Hong Kong. With its many bays, it is a natural haven and an ideal anchorage for fishermen. Kat O means auspicious bay. It was originally the name of one of the island's bays and later became the name of the island.

Kat O is a traditional fishing village with a rich culture and history. The island has sufficient tourist facilities, and hiking and sightseeing routes, which offer the beautiful scenery of Double Haven and Mirs Bay.

 

 
Tuff

Geology

Kat O is composed mainly of tuff, formed during the age of the dinosaurs (the Jurassic period). Tuff is volcanic rock formed from the consolidation of thick volcanic ash. Due to the high vegetation coverage of the island, there is no obvious rock outcrops, except the coastline. A small area of red breccia is visible on the northwest tip of the island. Its features are basically the same as those on Ap Chau. Breccia is a kind of sedimentary rock formed from the cementation of angular gravels of different sizes during a long geological process, after which weathering resulted in crumbled rocks piling up after being transported a short distance. It is a rare rock type in Hong Kong.

Community

Kat O was once a thriving fishing village with 10 settlements, 43 clans and 37 surnames, and a history of nearly 300 years. Because of its concentrated population and good location in the centre of Mirs Bay and Double Haven, it enjoyed relatively convenient access to the villages in Shenzhen Yantian and northeastern New Territories. Therefore, Kat O was an important market town in the past. During the Second World War, as many as 6,000 people lived on the island. According to the census in 1956, there were more than 4,000 residents in Kat O. Later, the fishing industry declined, and many villagers emigrated overseas to improve their lives. Other villagers moved to the urban area for work opportunities or their children's education. There are only 10 households left.

Attractions and Routes

The Tin Hau Temple is the most important cultural relic on the island. It is hundreds of years old. The architectural design, structure and decoration of the temple are very representative; it is a good place to learn about traditional Chinese

Take a rather demanding 20-minute walk up the hill to Ko Tei Teng from the pier, where you will have a panoramic view of the entire island. Another option is a two-hour return walk to Mun Tsai Wan to visit the remains of a pearl farm and a 200-year-old well in Sai O. Under the Signature Project of the District Board, new hiking trails are under construction. After completion, visitors will be able to access Wong Fong Shan (umbrella of the king), which is one of the six treasures of Double Haven.

As to raise public awareness of geo-conservation, the Kat O villagers, non-government organization and the government established the Kat O Geoheritage Centre. The centre was rehabilitated from village school; through exhibits of rock specimens, representative fossils and Kat O cultural relices, visitors can learn about geology, as well as culture and history of Kat O.

Kat O Nature Trail

The 800m long Kat O Nature Trail highlights mainly the history of a fishing village, as well as its culture and natural landscapes. The trail is generally level, though part of it is a stone path which goes to the peak, and with interpretation panels. Visitors can experience the traditional culture in the fishing village and appreciate the natural scenery along the trail.

   PDF [PDF] Leaflet download:Kat O

 

View point
 

community

Tin Hau Temple

Geoheritage centre

Map

Map

Video

How to get there

Take the ferry operating between Ma Liu Shui to Kat O and Ap Chau on Saturdays, Sundays and Public holidays or join a local tour.

To take the ferry, visitors can travel by MTR East Rail and get off at the University Station, Exit B, then walk for about 15 minutes to Ma Liu Shui Landing No.3 for the ferry service to Kat O and Ap Chau. The normal boat traveling time is about 2 hours. Visitors are advised to take the *ferry schedule into consideration in planning the trip.

Service days: Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
Fare: $90 return ticket / $50 for single trip from Kat O to Ma Liu Shui only
Booking & enquiries: 2555 9269 (Best Sonic Industrial Limited)
(subject to operator’s announcement)

*Ferry Schedule
Route of ferry Departure Arrival
Depart from Ma Liu Shui to Kat O 8:30 am  
1st stop at Kat O   10:00 am
  Depart from Kat O 10:15 am  
2nd stop at Ap Chau   10:30 am
  Depart from Ap Chau 12:00 nn  
3rd stop at Kat O   12:15 pm
 Depart from Kat O 15:30 pm  
Back to Ma Liu Shui   17:00 pm

 

 

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