There's not much to say about Nga Ying Kok due to its average environment and off-putting trailside location. This is a small site with effectively 3 tent spots though the official government website states 5 tent spaces (see details here). The first site is literally on the trail behind the campsite sign with the remaining two up a short set of stairs just above the first location. I didn't experience any ferrel animals but there is evidence of regular cow traffic. There were no other campers during my time at the site, possibly due to its undesirable location. The site is close to Tai O at only 2.5km, though Tai O is a somewhat inconvenient location to get to if you're coming from anywhere other than Lantau.
Nga Ying Kok's one redeeming quality is that the sites are relatively clean and the upper two locations are set back a little. With that said the whole site is so close to the trail that even the back two sites don't provide any meaningful separation.
There is a potable water source at the site and a toilet which is convenient. It is also located seaside, but the amount of trash washed up on the shoreline ruins the ascetic and usability of the rocky beach.
The hike from Tai O is also mediocre with some short stretches of pleasant tree covered walks, but it starts out with a walk through a messy little town with lots of trash.
What I liked:
- Overgrowth Charm: The one thing I liked was that the site was a little overgrown with wildflowers which made it a nice place to sit for a break.
What I didn't:
- Trail Side: This site is small and sits right on the trail side. There are many sites like this in Hong Kong and they all suffer from a lack of seclusion and foot traffic and Nga Ying Kok is no exception.
- Ferral Animals: I was lucky not to see any during my stay but the area is clearly frequented by cows, which could be problematic in such a small space.
- Trash Beach: Like almost all the sites I've been to on western Lantau the seaside stretch next to Nga Ying Kok is covered in trash. I'm not sure if this area is just harder for regular cleaning crews to get to or if the flotsam in the area is just too much to keep up with but the rocky beach is totally unusable.
- Try Other Sites First: No getting around the rating, Nga Ying Kok is nothing to write home about. Try some of the sites toward eastern Lantau like Pak Fu Tin if you want to stay on this Island and are looking for an easy access site, no need to waste time trekking out to the western half for this one.
THE GOOD - In Photos
There are not many positives for Nga Ying Kok, but the back two sites and wildflower overgrowth add a touch of charm to the otherwise poorly positioned campground.
THE BAD - In Photos
Nga Ying Kok's two biggest draw backs are its trail side location and the significant amount of trash washed up on the shore line and the trail side surrounding the campsite.
There isn't much to write about Nga Ying Kok. The actual camp spaces at the site are ok but its small, trailside, and in an area plagued with trash. It could be argued that the location would work for through hikers, but its so close to Tai O that you may as well just keep going. I would say the best use for Nga Ying Kok would be trail side picnics or short rests for those starting or finishing long hikes. There is a potable water source on site but you'll want to purify. There is also a dry pit toilet for emergencies as well as tables, BBQ pits, and clothes lines at each campsite.
Getting to Nga Ying Kok is either a long hike in from Shek Pik (about 12km) or a short 2.5km walk from Tai O. Tai O itself is not the most convenient town to get to either. Using public transport can take a couple of hours from Hong Kong or Kowloon if you don't get your bus schedule right (less of an issue from Tung Chung than Mui Wo, but still a potential issue). If you do time things out properly it's at least 1 or 2 hours of commuting before you start your hike from Tai O. There after its about 1km through a run down seaside town with lots of trash and funny smells, then a relatively peaceful tree covered walk to Nga Ling Kok.
There isn't much to do around camp either as the coast line in the area is cluttered with trash and pretty much unusable. Given the very small campground there's not much to do on site either save any entertainment you've brought along.
I definitely wouldn't make a trip out of this one and frankly can't see any good reasons to use the site as part of a long hike. If you're in the area and want to take a rest definitely stop by to enjoy the wild flowers, seating and shade, but don't go out of your way to check this one off your priority list anytime soon.
This one doesn't need to feature on your short list of campgrounds to visit in Hong Kong. There is nothing particularly wrong with the campsites, but their proximity to the trail, trash filled surrounding area and inconvenient commute to Tai O make this a less than desirable place to plan an overnight camp.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN: The hike in from Shek Pik is far too long for most children (12km+) and dangerous on hot days. The commute to Tai O is lengthy and not much fun for little ones. Once at the site there is nothing to do on location other than sticking to the very small campsite and occupying your time with whatever you may have brought to amuse yourself. Walking in from Tai O you could certainly bring kids if you want but I don't think this one is worth the hassle.
- Number of Tent Sites: 5 officially though it looked more like 3 on site
- Site Facilities: BBQ Pits, stone benches, picnic tables, clothes lines, flat tent sites, trash bins
- Campground Facilities: Dry Toilet
- Fire: There is deadfall and dry scrub to be used in small fires
- Beach: Unusable trash covered rocky beach
- Fresh Water: One potable water source right next to the camp at trail side, you'll need to purify if you plan to use
- Nearby Resources: Tai O town is a short 2.5km back up the trail with a small sea side town a little bit closer
Its a short hike in and out of Nga Ying Kok from Tai O, but a long multi transport commute in so you could technically bring a lot of gear and supplies but it wouldn't be that convenient. If you feel compelled to try this spot despite the negative recommendation start with my STANDARD SOLO CAMPER GEAR LIST adding on only what you think you can carry as you navigate the various modes of transport you'll need to take to get to Tai O.
NOTE ON TENTS: Hong Kong is tropical which means there are lots of creepy crawlies at night and a constant possibility of heavy down pour which is why I recommend the full tent with rain fly and inner mesh. You can get away with a tarp alone but spray for mozzys before bed and don't be surprised to wake up several times a night to brush off bugs, mice and or rats even in the winter months (hammocks might be a little better but not fool proof for bugs or some snakes if not fully enclosed). Last point, Hong Kong is also home to many species of venomous insects and snakes and though I think it would be a very unlucky scenario were you to encounter one in your sleep, a fully enclosed tent removes the risk almost entirely if you keep entrances zipped. Again, I highly recommend a fully enclosed tent regardless of your level of experience outdoors.
The easiest way to access Nga Ying Kok is by taking public transportation from either Tung Chung or Mui Wo to Tai O. You can hike in from She Pik but it is a long 12km+ and not recommended if Nga Ying Kok is your sole destination. In terms of getting to Tai O:
- From Hong Kong Island take Mui Wo Ferry, or the MTR from Kowloon to Tung Chung.
- From Mui Wo take the number 1 Bus to Tai O. Note that they run roughly every 40min so try to time your travel to avoid long waits. You can alternatively take a local taxi if there are any available but be sure to bring several hundred in cash just in case (trip to Tai O HKD 100+).
- From Tung Chung take the number 11 bus to Tai O. These run more frequently and the bus stop can be found in front of Fu Tung Shopping Center right across the street from the Taxi stand outside the MTR station.
- Once you arrive at Tai O make sure to stay on the bus until it reaches the bus terminal (don't get off by the Fire Station training ground). From the terminal walk east (back the way you came) on Tai O Rd and take your first right. Stay on this road bearing right until you see signs for Lantau Trail section 6. If you just stay to the right the whole way you'll end up on a seaside trail (Lantau Trail section 6) that will take you straight to Nga Ying Kok.
- Hiking out is the same as hiking in and you'll need to catch either a bus or taxi back to your preferred method home.
- See the map at the top of this page for details.