Kei Ling Ha

Hong Kong's coasts never fail to captivate. Our lovely seascape can be enjoyed from all parts of the SAR. Hong Kong boasts an extensive coastline of 800 km, and the indented eastern shores is particularly alluring with its sheltered bays. The vista changes as the coast extends, bringing great visual delights. Here, you will find a wide range of wetland life forms thriving in different habitats. To sample this colourful display of flora and fauna, visit Three Fathoms Cove in Sai Kung, a gem at the eastern corner of Hong Kong.

Coastal Mangrove Belt

Coastal Mangrove BeltStart your ecotour at Kei Ling Ha Lo Wai, from where mangrove belt extends along the coast. Follow this green belt for a fascinating exploration of mangrove habitats.

Greeting you is Aegiceras corniculatum with red petioles and oval leaves with a small notch at the tip. You may find salt crystals on the leaves. It is in fact a survival trick to adapt to the brackish water environment. Kandelia obovata, on the other hand, is characterized by hanging green droppers which appear around March and April each spring. This unusual viviparous reproductive method helps the species adapt to the challenging mudflat habitat. These long and slender droppers are actually developed seeds. They would break away from the mother tree and take root in the soft soil. Exploiting their inherent rich nutrient reserve, they can grow roots and secure a firm footing in rapidly to brave the tides.

Beautiful Images of Mangroves

Beautiful Images of Mangroves Moving on, there are still more mangrove species to explore. Take the trail beside the mangrove beds and look out for Blind-your-eye (Excoecaria agallocha). This species has acute leaves that are folded half- way up on both sides. Further along lies a small stone bridge where two uncommon mangrove species grow. Many-petalled Mangrove (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza) will dazzle you with its bright red petioles, sepals and subtly red stems, while Lumnitzera (Lumnitzera racemosa) features rounded leaves with a small notch at the tip, and lush green petioles.

Vibrancy of Mudflat

Vibrancy of Mudflat Under the bridge, a stream washes down leaf litter and minerals from the uplands before it takes a winding path to sea. At the lower stream, shore birds and a host of other animals gather to feed on the mudflat. In this lively habitat, the diversity of wildlife is simply dazzling.

To find out what life is like in this bustling community, take a walk into the mudflat from the stone bridge at low tide. The first to catch your eyes are probably the mudskippers which bounce and leap like little acrobats. Nearby are crabs of all shapes and sizes, busily burrowing in the mud. On the opposite bank there may be a few egrets. Wading across the mud for food with their long beaks, these magnificent white birds are graceful as ever. Just when you are captivated by their beauty, they might whiz up the sky unexpectedly, and slowly make their way to the Sai Keng shore.

Crabs Everywhere

Crabs Everywhere The wide mudflat at Sai Keng is home to Soldier Crabs (Mictyris longicarpus). Brightly coloured in contrasting blue and grey, this cute little crab moves swiftly on the mud surface like a rolling marble. You can see their marks and trails all over the beach. If you are patient, wait them out by the sand. You will spot them poking their heads out of the muddy holes once in a while. Another interesting thing about Soldier Crabs is that they crawl forward instead of sideways. At this point, your visit to Kei Ling Ha comes to an end. I am sure you will find this visit to one of Hong Kong's wild coasts a fulfilling experience.