If you’re itching to escape the hoards, only a short boat ride will land you smack bang in the middle of Hakka culture at Yim Tin Tsai “Ghost Island”.
Yim Tin Tsai was originally populated in the 1740s by a family from Guangdong, who’s descendants developed salt farms; which explains the island’s name translation – small salt field. Once home to 500 to 1,200 people, Yim Tin Tsai is now a desolate and intriguing destination and being only 24sqkm, its ideal for a day trip.
There’s loads to see from salt pans, Yim Tin Tsai Heritage Exhibition Centre where you can see a collection of artefacts, ceramics and homeware; the Italian Romanesque Joseph’s Chapel, and the abandoned Hakka homes who are mostly still owned by the descendants of the original owners. You can still see belongings, furnishings and utensils that belonged to the original owners…eerie. This was all made possible thanks to descendants of the original villagers who returned to Yim Tin Tsai and started a movement to revive the island.
When you’re done, Yim Tin Tsai has three restaurants where you can try authentic Hakka fare serving everything from old Hakka food, to wood-fired roasted chicken.
Take a small ferry from Sai Kung’s waterfront promenade which takes around you 15 minutes to get there.
The kaito round-trip costs HK$50.