Reporting & Photos by Rachel Sadler
Situated in the far southwest of Lantau, Shui Hau is a unique area comprising numerous coastal habitats, including intertidal sand and mudflats, marshes, mangroves and rocky shores. The mudflats are among the best coastal wetlands in Hong Kong, and Shui Hau is a designated marine reserve.
The ecosystem in the mudflats is diverse with more than 180 species recorded. While beachcombing, you can expect to find giant Asiatic clams, spiral-shelled snails and cockles as big as your hand. Swarms of tiny fish ebb and flow in the nearby shallows attracting birds like the Little Egret and, during migration season, a few shorebirds.
Navigating your way across the mudflats at low tide, be prepared to witness hundreds of brightly coloured juvenile horseshoe crabs scurrying across the flat sandy beach, dipping in and out of their tiny holes in the sand. Though they may hide as you approach, carefully crouch down and remain silent; and the crabs will re-emerge from their burrows for you to admire.