Ap Chau, or "duck island", is a small island in the northeastern New Territories between Sha Tau Kok and Kat O. It is the smallest inhabited island in Hong Kong at only 0.04 square km. Its name comes from its duck shape and is famous for its red breccia rock and sea arch formation.
Getting here has been made easier with one daily ferry on the weekend departing from Ma Liu Shui in Shatin. It is specially timed so you can visit both Ap Chau and Kat O together, with a 90 minute stop here before you board the boat to Kat O.
As the ferry pulls into the pier, you will see the sea arch at the northern tip of the island. Formed by erosion, the arch is 2m high by 10m wide.
Fishing families from Kat O and Tap Mun first moved here in the 1920s. At its peak, more than a thousand residents called this place home. But the settlement emptied out in the 1970s as the fishing industry declined and residents moved to the urban areas or to the UK. By the late 1980s, only about 100 people were left.
It is a scenic 2-hour journey by boat from Ma Liu Shui.
Stepping onto the island, you will find pristine public toilets that are barely used. The island looks quite empty except a few loud and aggressive dogs.
The breccia is a reddish-brown sedimentary rock that is unique to this and a few other islands in the area only.
The Fishermen's Children Primary School was established in 1953 and once served over 100 students. The school closed in 1988. Note the banyan tree next door is believed to be over a century old.
A short hiking path leads up to a viewpoint at the southern end of the island, offering a good view of the settlement and nearby islands.
At noon, the boat departed for the 10 minute journey to Kat O, giving a different view of the small island.