HKFP Venture: Kat O, Hong Kong’s forgotten island – once its international gateway

©Hong Kong Free Press

Off the shore of Hong Kong’s north-easternmost corner lies Kat O, an island of fishing villages with a little-known history. Deserted under a decree during the Ming dynasty, it was re-inhabited by Hakka settlers in the 1660’s. Historically, the island served as an important resting stop for boats travelling between Hong Kong and the mainland.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Also known as ‘Crooked Island’, this quiet corner on the edge of Hong Kong offers an eclectic mix of abandoned buildings and stores peddling traditional eats.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Local stores offer traditional Chinese sweets and tea with ocean views.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Quirky revamped houses and dilapidated buildings from the 1950’s give the island its unique architecture.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Some buildings still bear signs of former life.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

An ancestral altar is all that remains of this empty home.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Kat O is accessible via Kaito Ferry Services from Ma Liu Shui Pier Landing No. 3, near The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The Ferry journey takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.