Green tourism to get boost with renovated piers

Local | Amy Nip 14 Aug 2017

About 10 public piers will be renovated to facilitate both local commuting and tourism, said Secretary for Development Michael Wong Wai-lun.

The piers had been chosen from some 100 public piers in Hong Kong based on demand, usage and distance to attractions.

One of them is Kau Sai Village pier in Sai Kung, which has only one berth. The water is only one-meter deep at low tide, making it difficult for large ships to berth.

Authorities have seen potential in developing green tourism in Kau Sai Village, where the Hung Shing Temple nearby is a historical monument built before 1889 to worship Hung Shing, the deity protecting people in the sea.

A restoration project on the temple was completed in 2000 and won the Outstanding Project Award of the Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage that year.

Villagers told Undersecretary for Development Liu Chun-san that more than 1,000 people, including fishermen and their family members, visited the temple for the Hung Shing Festival every year on the 13th day of the second lunar month.

"We think there is potential to develop green tourism at Kau Sai Village. The village is located within the Sai Kung volcanic rock region, which is part of the Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark," Wong said.

"There are also green tours on the sea, which link the various attractions near Kau Sai Village such as Sharp Island, Jin Island and High Island."

Another pier to be renovated is at Lai Chi Wo near Sha Tau Kok. Lai Chi Wo is part of Hong Kong Geopark and Yan Chow Tong Marine Park. At its heart is a 300-year-old Hakka village, where visitors can experience Hakka culture and check out the farms. There is also a geoheritage center to explain the area's geology.

Most visitors hike to Lai Chi Wo, but it is a long walk from Wu Kau Tang. A ferry service to the village is available, but there is only one shallow berth at the pier, meaning many boats cannot use it.

The remaining eight piers are in Sham Chung, Lai Chi Chong and Tung Ping Chau public pier in Tai Po; High Island in Sai Kung; Pak Kok and Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island; Yi O pier near Tai O; and Shek Tsai Wan pier on Ma Wan.

The government has consulted district councillors but has no timetable for completion yet. It is in the process of tendering out technical research to consultancy firms.

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