Yim Tin Tsai Building

Decay­ing build­ing on Yim Tin Tsai

Ghosts of Yim Tin Tsai

Once home to a thriv­ing Salt Indus­try Yim Tin Tsai Island is now most­ly aban­doned with some fas­ci­nat­ing neglect­ed build­ings slow­ly decay­ing, being tak­en back to the earth by the inevitable hand of nature.

Vines creeping through the windows

Vines creep­ing through the windows

The island was first set­tled by the Hak­ka group of South Chi­na in the 1800s.

Yim Tin Tsai Building

Slow­ly decaying

In the 1990s the island was slow­ly aban­doned, leav­ing most of its build­ings to the elements.

Abandoned Building

Aban­doned Build­ing, Yim Tin Tsai

Old Angel Statue

Old Angel Stat­ue, Yim Tin Tsai

Nature slowly taking the buildings back to the earth

Nature slow­ly tak­ing the build­ings back to the earth

The windows have eyes

The win­dows have eyes. Yim Tin Tsai


Yim Tin Tsai Building interior

Aban­doned Liv­ing Room. Yim Tin Tsai


Yim Tin Tsai Interior

Look­ing through a win­dow. Yim Tin Tsai


Child statues

Child Stat­ues. Yim Tin Tsai

In the jungle

In the jungle

Yim Tin Tsai Salt Pans

Old Salt Pans

Old Salt Pans

In its hey­day the salt indus­try on Yim Tin Tsai (Can­tonese for Lit­tle Salt Pan) was used by the local fish­er­man to pre­serve fish, the bal­ance being sold to vil­lages in Sai Kung.

At high tide, a chan­nel was opened to let the sea­wa­ter flow in and fill up the salt ponds. As the water evap­o­rat­ed the brine was grad­u­al­ly moved from pond to pond until all that was left was salt.

As cheap­er salt was import­ed from Main­land Chi­na the salt pans were even­tu­al­ly abandoned.

Refurbished Salt Pans

Refur­bished Salt Pans

Today these Salt Pans have received new atten­tion and work is being done to restore them and revive this old process.

Cur­rent­ly, the small amounts of salt pro­duced through evap­o­ra­tion are being used for sou­venirs, but there are plans to increase the production.

Small pile of salt. Now used for souvenirs.

A small pile of salt. Now used for souvenirs.

St. Joseph’s Chapel

St Joseph's Chapel 1879-81

St Joseph’s Chapel 1879–81

Dur­ing the Autumn of 2013, the Hong Kong Arche­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety car­ried out work reveal­ing the old St. Joseph Chapel built in 1879–1881. The first on the island.

The new chapel was con­struct­ed in 1890 and today is ful­ly restored.

Next to St. Joseph’s Church is a small muse­um exhibit­ing some of the arti­facts found on the island.

Yim Tin Tsai Museum

Yim Tin Tsai Museum

Yim Tin Tsai Island:

In addi­tion to explor­ing the old build­ings and Salt Pans, there is a path around the island. The island is quite small but there’s an old grave­yard and some views from high­er up.

Path around the Island

Path aroundY­im Tin Tsai Island


Yim Tin Tsai Graveyard

There’s also the “Jade Bridge” Which con­nects Yim Tin Tsai to the much larg­er Kau Sai Chau, the neigh­bor­ing island to the South cov­ered with a golf course.

Jade Bridge connecting Kau Sai Chau

Jade Bridge con­nect­ingY­im Tin Tsai to its neigh­bor Kau Sai Chau Island

Graveyard view looking toward Kau Sai Chau

Yim Tin Tsai Grave­yard view look­ing toward Kau Sai Chau

Getting to Yim Tin Tsai Island

The pub­lic Fer­ry departs from the Sai Kung Pub­lic Pier on Sat­ur­day, Sun­day and Pub­lic Hol­i­days. The fer­ry takes approx­i­mate­ly 15 minutes.

Depar­ture times are every hour start­ing at 10:00 am:
10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00

Return fer­ries from Yim Tin Tsai back to Sai Kung: 
12:20, 14:20, 16:00, 17:00

The fer­ry is 45 HKD Roundtrip.

You can find the fer­ry sched­ule and phone num­ber here.

Yim Tin Tsai Ferry

Yim Tin Tsai Ferry

There are also var­i­ous pri­vate fer­ries run­ning on the week­end depart­ing from Sai Kung. 45–50 HKD round trip.

Private Ferry

Pri­vate Fer­ry to Yim Tin Tsai

There are bath­rooms and a few places to eat on the island.

It’s a small island so 4 hours is enough time to walk around and see it, explore some old build­ings and check out the salt pans.

This arti­cle in the South Chi­na Morn­ing Post has some inter­est­ing addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion about the island, its his­to­ry and cur­rent state.



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