Escape the city crowds in 70 minutes: Wai Lingding Island offers a cool summer vacation

Writer: Wang Jiyuan  | Editor: Stephanie Yang  | From:  | Updated: 2019-07-15

Wai Lingding Island

Located at the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea, Wai Lingding Island is part of Wanshan Archipelago, famous for its soft sandy beaches, clear blue water, and abundant seafood. The island, while not large in size, is an earthly paradise known as the “Little Saipan,” boasting gorgeous landscapes free from the crowds of our busy city. It is only a 70-minute ferry ride from Shekou Port, an alternative to island destinations like Hainan, Bali and Phuket, offering tourists an ideal resort to escape the summer heat and urban bustle.


Lover’s Road: the ‘Beauty’s Braid’

Next to the ferry pier serving Wai Lingding Island runs a footpath beautifully paved with slate, which winds through the woods facing the sea. When viewed from afar, the path looks like a braid wound around the waist of a beautiful woman, hence its name.

Carving on cliff

This cliff carving of a famous line of poetry by Wen Tianxiang is right next to the two sites mentioned above: “None could avert their deaths since time immemorial; let my loyalty remains to shine in the annals.” (人生自古谁无死,留取丹心照汗青)Wen, a loyal poet and politician of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), wrote this line when taken captive by the Yuan army yet refused to surrender under the threat of death.

Shijing Park

Shijing Park, literally “park with rocky scenery,” is located on the main summit of Lingding Mountain.

The landscape is covered with stones of different shapes and colors, some looking like seals, whales and roosters forming a maze. Stepping around the rocky labyrinth, visitors will be stunned by the work of nature.

Lingding Peak

With an altitude of 331 meters, the main summit of Lingding Mountain is a wonderful place for sightseeing. Standing on the peak, visitors will see countless islands stretching over the sea around like stars in the sky. When the weather is clear, they can even see Cheung Chau Island, Victoria Peak and Tsing Ma Bridge of Hong Kong in the distance.

The Pak Tai Temple

This temple of great local significance is also on Lingding Peak. Pak Tai, literally the North Deity, is a god in charge of the water according to ancient Chinese legends. Local people pay tribute to the deity every day to pray for their safety when they set sail in their fishing boats.

Activities and food

Watching the sunrise and sunset from Lingding Peak is a must for tourists. The golden sun slowly rising above sea level at dawn and retreating into the water again at dusk make for pictures one can only behold from an island. Visitors can also go scuba diving near the beaches or take a boat to dive in the water around the island.

Far from the mainland and free of pollution, the island offers abundant seafood. Known as the “Three Treasures of Lingding,” shell fish, conches and sea urchins are most popular among tourists.

Transportation: Ferries to Wai Lingding Island leave Shekou Port at 10:10 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. every day. The 70-minute sea journey costs from 160 (US$24) to 210 yuan.