Ping Chau Island is one of Hong Kong's best kept secrets. Also referred to as Tung Ping Chau to avoid confusion with the more popular island of Peng Chau, this rocky and crescent-shaped island is located in Mirs Bay, closer to the mainland China border than to Hong Kong Island. In fact, it is the the easternmost outlying island of Hong Kong.
The island was once home to a thriving fishing and farm community of 3,000 people, but political turmoil during the Cultural Revolution cut off commerce with the mainland and most villagers moved away.
The island has a relatively flat area (600 metres long and 200 metres wide), which is believed to be the reason why it was named as such. Ping Chau means "flat island" in Chinese. Its inner concave side is host to a number of beaches and well known scuba dive sites featuring more than 60 types of coral and 35 species of algae in clear waters. This coastline is considered as one of Hong Kong's most rich and beautiful and being marketed today as an eco-tourism destination.
The opposite side is characterized by a fairly rocky shore and stronger wave action. This is also where the Ping Chau Rock Formation and numerous well-preserved fossils are found. Because of the island's unique geological makeup (it is the only sizable island in Hong Kong made up of sedimentary rock), it is one of the important sites of the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China.
Ferry service to far-flung Ping Chau runs only on weekends and public holidays via Ma Liu Shui. Tourists can MTR East Rail and get off at the University Station, then walk for about 15 minutes to Ma Liu Shui Pier where ferry service to Tung Ping Chau is available at these times: Saturday 9:00am and 3:30pm; Sunday 9:00am. Ferry service from Ping Chau back to Ma Liu Shui is at: Saturday and Sunday 5:15pm. It about 1 hour 40 minutes to reach the island of Ping Chau from Ma Liu Shui Pier.