Mai Po Nature Reserve

Mai Po is located to the Northwestern corner of Hong Kong, close to the Hong Kong China border and the city of Shenzhen. A Ramsar site; this is one of the best birding sites in Hong Kong, internationally renowned for the migratory waterbirds that pass through or winter here every year. As many as 60,000 birds can be present at one time during the winter.

Specialities here includes the Endangered Black-faced Spoonbill, Swinhoe's Egret, Saunder's Gull, Spoonbill Sandpiper, Falcated Duck, Imperial and Greater-spotted Eagle, Dalmatian Pelican and much more. However, Dalmatian Pelican's population in East Asia have greatly plummeted in recent years and this former regular winter visitor unfortunately have now become a rare sight at Deep Bay. Fortunately, Black-faced Spoonbills are still very common here in the winter, with a quarter of the world's population wintering here in Deep Bay area. Other wildlife here includes Eurasian Otters which are very rare and the more commonly seen Javan Mongoose.

As many as 700 individuals of Black-faced Spoonbills winters in Deep Bay area.

Saunder's Gull, a common winter visitor in Deep Bay area.

Far Eastern Curlew, regularly sighted within Eurasian Curlews.

Globally rare Nordmann's Greenshanks are regular passage migrants in Mai Po.

Asian Dowitcher is another near-threatened wader that passes through Hong Kong annually.

The Javan Mongoose are curious animals that will come investigate any intruder, including me.

The 2,700 hectares reserve is now managed largely by WWF Hong Kong, habitat here includes freshwater ponds, mangroves, reed beds, mudflats and fishponds. There are various birding hides dotted around the site and trails that link to all areas of the reserve. Trails are very flat, but be prepared for some very long walks. Birding at the Deep Bay mudflats should coincide with high tides, you can check the predicted tides here. Anything from 2.0m or above should be sufficient for close scope views.

A Mai Po Entry Permit will be needed for you to enter the reserve. If you are from abroad and will like to visit, you can apply for a one-day permit through WWF. If you are a resident in Hong Kong you can apply for a one year permit. Public tours by WWF also run through the year. More details can be found here.

The spectacle of thousands of waders during at Deep Bay will be a highlight for anyone visitors.

Easiest way to get to Mai Po will be by bus 76K, departing from Choi Yuen Road opposite to Sheung Shui MTR station, alight at "Mai Po" station at Mai Po Village and walk 20 minutes into the WWF HQ. Alternatively, take a taxi from Sheung Shui MTR directly into WWF HQ, this will cost around $70 - $80.


  1. Hi Matthew Kwan do you have an email to contact you?

    1. Hello EM MM, you can email me at

      :) Cheers!