Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Yim Tin Tsai - Abandoned Island - Hong Kong

Approaching Yim Tin Tsai on a Kaito Ferry
On a sunny Saturday back in January when I was in Hong Kong visiting my daughter we took a trip to the deserted island village of Yim Tin Tsai.  It took us about an hour maybe a little more to get to Sai Kung from where she lives in Central, bus, MTR train, then a light public bus out to Sai Kung Pier.

From Sai Kung a ferry service by Kaito a type of small motorised ferry which runs at weekends and public holidays takes you across to the island in about fifteen minutes. The island is located south of the Sai Kung Peninsula and east of Sai Kung mainland. It is tiny with an area of 0.24km easily explored before the next ferry returns you to the mainland. We took a picnic with us, but it is also possible to get ice creams, snacks and drinks on the island, from a kiosk, which was once the Village Communal Office, near the arrival pier. Although Yim Tin Tsai has been deserted since the 1990's when the mainly Christian residents fled before Hong Kong was returned to China, there is a revival of interest and this can be seen by the religious and cultural eco-tourism attractions that can now be found there. It is apparently the descendants of the original villagers via a charitable organisation called 'Salt and Light Conservation Centre' who are trying to revive the island as a tourist destination and are themselves running the limited ferry service.

In days gone by Yim Tin Tsai was home to over one thousand people many of Hakka descent originally from the Guangdong province of China, who first moved to the island in the 18C. They derived their livelihoods from farming and operating the salt pans. Christian missionaries arrived in the late 19C and the whole village was converted to Christianity and St Joseph's was built in 1890. One of the landmarks of the island in 2005 it was restored thanks to an award from UNESCO for its protection and preservation.

Some photos I took at St Joseph's Chapel.

The village houses face south, surrounded by hills, with plenty of shelter from adverse weather conditions. Mainly still as left when the residents, deserted the island to resettle in other parts of the world including the UK and Poland. Maybe it was in fear of how the Chinese take over of Hong Kong would impact on the Christian community, I do not know but looking inside the homes it is if they left in a hurry not taking much apart from personal possessions with them. 
There may be a slow return to a resident community as a few of the homes are now occupied again but sadly the majority are still being slowly reclaimed by nature, often because the owners descendants cannot be traced.

Salt Pan

Fantastic views from top of the island
Fantastic views from top of the island
View across the Mangrove Swamp

I took many  more photos than I have shared here today, which can be viewed on Flickr in My Album entitled Travel Tales - Yim Tin Tsai, which includes some great interior shots that my daughter took.

At the moment there is an unresolved issue with sharing photos from Flickr to Blogger posts, when this is resolved which it is supposed to be, I will return to this post and add some of my daughter's interior photos. Until then these can be viewed by visiting the Flickr Album. Travel Tales - Yim Tin Tsai

Also sharing here a slide show of my photos that I put together courtesy of Picasa. 

                                  YouTube Slide Show - My impressions of the island in photos.

Timetable - Please remember this may have changed, so do not rely on this information  if you ever get to visit the island yourself.

Sight-Seeing Map - available on the island, which will guide you as you explore.

With thanks to the following sites for the background information included in this post. The links will take you directly to the Yim Tin Tsai official website if you are interested in learning more about the island.

   Yim Tin Tsai - Official Website    Sai Kung District - Wikipedia    Yim Tin Tsai - Wikipedia

                           All photos unless stated otherwise are my own taken in January 2014

More photos taken by both myself and my daughter can be found on Flickr in My Album entitled Travel Tales - Yim Tin Tsai

Finally if you click through to LindyLouMac's World In Photos you can view some photos of our fellow passengers on the Kaito.
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ancient Forest - Tywyn Beach - Wales

Over the years if there have been big storms, especially during the winter months it has often been possible to see parts of the Ancient Petrified Forest, hidden under the shifting sands of Tywyn Beach.
So at the moment as I write it is no surprise that the Ancient Forest is at low tides still visible but for how long this time none of us know.  Apparently the existence of this forest is sometimes held up as evidence for the existence of Cantre'r Gwaelod, a mythical lost land hidden beneath the waters of Cardigan Bay. 

The recent winter storms which battered the coast of Wales have exposed once again previously hidden traces of the areas Stone Age landscape. A four mile stretch of our coastline here in Tywyn on the west coast of Wales has been so altered by the sea that it was pushed back 50 feet (15 metres). There have been some interesting finds from deer antlers to WWII items and the coast has even been featured on national television. 

What the sea exposes it can also take away again without warning, with this in mind I have been taking photos of the petrified remains as I find them fascinating. 

It struck me that maybe my Travel Tales readers may also be interested in seeing my impressions of the Ancient Forest as viewed through my camera lens. The following photos are just a selection of the many I have taken the rest of  of which can be viewed in My Flickr Albums in the collection entitled  Tywyn Out and About 2014

I hope you found the virtual tour of the Ancient Forest interesting, I certainly had fun taking the photos and maybe the sea will let us enjoy the the phenomenon for a little longer, as it is proving to be a tourist attraction.  If you have not already seen the News Videos I have included one here. 



 The video I have shared from YouTube is courtesy of Ace Science News

Find out more about Tywyn by visiting the Links below.

Tywyn Times   Tywyn Travel Guide  Love Tywyn Website  Love Tywyn Facebook Page

                                                All photos are my own taken in February 2014

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection
More photos  may also be viewed individually in the set entitled