Did you know that you can go dolphin spotting in Hong Kong? That’s correct. Right off the coast of Lantau Island near Tai O, you can see the elusive pink dolphins (also known as the Chinese white dolphin) in Hong Kong.
And with no tourists, reduce ferry traffic, and an increase in dolphin sighting, there has never been a better time to book the pink dolphin tour in Hong Kong than 2020!
How amazing is that?
Pink Dolphins In Hong Kong
I must admit that I was quite skeptical about spotting any pink dolphins in the first place. Their numbers have dwindled and the species has been endangered over the years. Today, there are close to 60 pink dolphins left near Hong Kong. Pollution, high speed boats, and land reclamation for the Hong Kong-Macau Bridge have destroyed their habitat sadly.
Thanks to the reduced ferry traffic between Hong Kong and Macau, the pink dolphin population has seen a comeback during Covid-19! Dolphin numbers in the area have jumped by 30% since March when the ferry traffic was suspended.
But, we wanted to believe that we could still spot a few in the wild. So, we booked ourselves on the official tour and hoped for the best.
Where to see Pink Dolphins?
There are numerous pink dolphin “tours” that operate out of Tai O on Lantau Island. We’d taken one years ago, and it was quite a big disappointment. We paid HK$ 20 for a round trip of the Tai O bay area on a noisy speed boat and saw absolutely nothing. You shouldn’t make the same mistake. There are plenty of other things to do in Tai O fishing village.
The Official Pink Dolphin Tour
If you really want to see the pink dolphins, take the official Hong Kong DolphinWatch tour. The good thing about this tour is that they claim a 97% chance of spotting pink dolphins. If you’re in the unfortunate 3%, they allow you to come back on another day.
Their tour starts from Tung Chung and heads towards Tai O. If you can’t make it to Tung Chung on your own, no worries. They operate a pick-up facility from Tsim Sha Tsui.
We were told that most of the pink dolphins inhabit the area west of Tai O, between Lantau Island and Macau. From Tun Chung, it took us roughly 30 minutes to get to our dolphin spot. The boat was quite big, with plenty of room for everybody to relax. We were also served snacks and water.
The tour guide kept a close watch on his sonar device, while we all waited patiently. And then suddenly, he knew where the pink dolphins were and that’s where we headed. We waited for a few moments and then suddenly, we saw them jumping on either side of the boat!
It was really difficult to take pictures of these pink dolphins. Pink dolphins come up to the surface for air every two to eight minutes for 20 to 30 seconds. And, they’re big and bulky (full grown adult male pink dolphins weigh between 150 to 230 kgs as compared to full grown male dusky dolphins that weigh 78 to 85 kgs). They don’t jump as high, but make a huge splash on their way down! So, there’s a very short window to photograph these lovely creatures.
Pink Dolphin Facts
Why Are Pink Dolphins Pink?
The colour of the skin of pink dolphins changes as they age. They are born black but turn grey and develop pink spots as they become “teenagers”. Full grown adults are in fact white in colour. That’s why these dolphins are also often referred to as the Chinese White Dolphins.
Apparently the sediments that are carried by the Pearl River are emptied into the delta region where these pink dolphins reside. The sediment blocks out the rays of the sun causing the pigmentation to occur.
Are Pink Dolphins Real?
Yes, of course they are real 🙂
We were extremely lucky to have spotted 8 individual pink dolphins on our tour! We really didn’t think that we would see so many pink dolphins and that too so frequently.
And finally, here’s a quick video of our pink dolphins sightings from our day.
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Again, remember not to be scammed by those boats in Tai O. If you want to see the pink dolphins in Hong Kong, make sure that you take the official tour.