Tathong Point Beacon (Lighthouse) [1921- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Tathong Point Beacon (Lighthouse) [1921- ]

Current condition: 
In use
Date Place completed: 
c.1921-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

On the southern end of Tung Lung Chau Island (N 22° 14' 23'', E 114° 17' 12''). A white concrete structure, first light 1921. The lighthouse was altered in 1924 and 1945. (List of Lighthouses, Light-vessels, Buoys, Beacons, Etc., on the coast and rivers of China, 1947 Source).

stevenD wrote in 2016:  [...]Tathong Point, which was put in place in 1921 down near where the Marine Dept service jetty now is. It was a 21' high concrete column bearing a light visible at 12 miles, so a category 3-4 light and no mere beacon. [...] The remains of the light still exist - just the base of the column - and there's a Panoramio photo on Google Earth. This of course argues that the Japanese gun emplacement out of which today's light has been created was built from new during the occupation.




Photos that show this place



The light in the 2017 photo does not show the Tathong lighthouse, it is a modern battery-operated beacon built between the 1970's and the 1990's.

Thank you, tried to update the entry.

Update: photo and remark removed, new place (Tung Lung Chau North Beacon)  created.

The 1921 light at Tathong was moved to the current location in 1965 and put into operation by 1966. A fog bell was installed in 1924 and replaced by a new system in 1967. The light was unstaffed by 1992. I have photos of the original structure (from government archives, c.1965), which can be seen here:


Anyone who has seen the Tathong Point beacon has probably noticed that the surrounding cliffs are painted white. I have never seen anything like it elsewhere on the Hong Kong coastline, and I have seen most of it. I did some searching a few months ago and found references to the white paint as early as 1938, and in 1940 a HKGCC publication noted that "masters of vessels" had expressed the opinion that the white paint at this spot "is often of use in poor visibility in indicating the close proximity of Tathong Head". However, I am still not clear why this spot alone has received this treatment, or why the paint continues to be reapplied up to the present day. Perhaps someone has more/better information than I do!

There are several instances of cliffs painted white to aid navigation:

-Tang Lung Chau (first painted c. 1912)

-Tathong (first painted c. 1924)

-Po Toi (used in conjunction with the measured mile beacons, first painted in the 1890's/early 1900's)

(Source: Dr. Stephen Davies)

Very interesting! Since Tang Lung Chau and Po Toi are no longer painted, I wonder if the main consideration for continuing to paint Tathong Point is the color of the rock, which is dark volcanic rock as opposed to lighter colored Po Toi granite. 

The white patch on the cliff at Po Toi may have ceased to be repainted after the measures mile beacons were disused after the 1980's.

As for Tang Lung Chau or Tathong, I am uncertain whether they have been repainted or not and why.

A photo from the 1990s can be viewed here.