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Cheung Po Tsai Cave
There is no escaping Cheung Chau's seafaring heritage. As your ferry pulls into the pier, you pass an assemblage of huge fishing vessels moored in the typhoon shelter. The praya or main street is dotted with restaurants selling some of the best seafood you're likely to find in these parts. Less obvious to the visitor is a small cave at the western tip of the island, reputed to be the hiding place of one of the area's most famous pirates, Cheung Po Tsai.
Dubbed the Prince of Pirates, Cheung's band of brigands raided fishing boats in the Pearl River area. One of his favourite hiding spots was a small cave on Cheung Chau that you can still visit today. Some people believe that Chung hid his booty in the cave; but none has ever been found.
Cheung was the son of a fisherman who was captured by Cheng Yat, a pirate chief. The 15-year-old boy became good friends with Cheng and his wife. So much so that when the pirate was killed in a storm, his wife made Cheung her right-hand man and lover. Invigorated, the young man rose to become the head of the pirates. He is believed to have built up an army of some 20,000 men along the coast.
Legend has it that Cheung and his band of brigands stored their loot on Cheung Chau or at least hid from the navy who were trying to capture him. The cave where Cheung hid out is small and difficult to crawl into.
Cheung is well regarded by the fishing folk. Apparently he had a high level of moral integrity and his gang was well disciplined. They shared the booty they made from robbing fishing boats and they were not allowed to inflict physical harm upon any women they encountered.
Eventually Cheung surrendered and was later offered a position in the government. However he couldn't escape his criminal past and some government officials blocked his appointment. He died at the tender age of 30.
Transportation: Take the ferry from the outlying island ferry pier in Central to Cheung Chau. Once you arrive, you can rent a kai to (small motorised ferry) right beside the ferry pier for HK$10 - $15 per person for a one-way trip to the cave. The trip takes 5-10 minutes. Or you can walk from the Cheung Chau ferry pier (head to the right) and follow the coastline for about 25 minutes. The cave is right near Sai Yuen Farms.
Note: The cave is dark and slippery. Vistors are advised not to enter.
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