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Uniquely HK

Feature Story

Sai Kung Great Outdoors Beckons

The Sai Kung Peninsula, an undulating expanse of green hills and hiking trails, pristine beaches, picturesque islands and an enchanting town located in the northeast New Territories, charms visitors and locals alike. A striking contrast to the jam-packed concrete jungle of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, Sai Kung fills the senses with raw natural beauty and tranquillity, instantly supplanting the stresses of the city’s hustle and bustle.
Most of the areas fall within Sai Kung Country Park East. Getting to your destination will likely require either a couple of hours hike or a boat ride, for which Sai Kung Town centre serves as a starting point. Sai Kung is also home to most of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark locations, where visitors are treated to stunning volcanic rock formations on several islands lying off the peninsula. However, to fully explore Sai Kung will take more than a day, or even two. Our suggestion is to use Sai Kung Town as a base, select one of the four itineraries we’ve mapped out for you, and return to the town for a well-earned dinner and drinks. Once you’ve discovered the Sai Kung area, you’ll want to come back.
 
Tai Long Wan Beaches Hike
 
The Tai Long Wan hike will treat you to scenic views of the rugged coastline and some of the most magnificent beaches in Hong Kong. We suggest you begin at Sai Wan Pavilion accessible by minibus NR29 or taxi from Sai Kung Town. The hike takes about two hours to complete; the path merges with the MacLehose Trail Section 2 and winds over to the beaches. Reward yourself by chowing down on local fare at one of the beachside eateries in Sai Wan and Ham Tin at the end of your hike. The beaches are gorgeous, but if you want to get active on the water, hit the waves on the main Tai Long Wan beach (after Ham Tin beach). You can rent surf boards at Ham Tin. (Beware: currents can be strong in the area, and the beach is not supervised by lifeguards, so be careful of rip tides!) To return, you can hike back up the hill and descend to Chek Keng to hire a motor sampan (kaito) back to Wong Shek Pier, from where Bus 94 heads back to Sai Kung Town.
 
High Island Reservoir East Dam / Pak Tam Chung 
 
Start at Pak Tam Chung park entrance, accessible via bus 94 from Sai Kung Town. You may want to take a quick detour and check out Sheung Yiu Folk Museum, originally a 19th-century fortified Hakka village. The museum (now also a declared monument) is only a 15-minute walk along the Pak Tam Chung Nature Trail from the bus station. Then you can either hike to High Island Reservoir East Dam on MacLehose Trail Section 1 (about 10 kilometres, mostly flat on paved roads) or take a taxi there from the bus station. The dam itself is part of the Geopark with its signature volcanic rock columns. A further 30 minutes along the trail, which turns into MacLehose Trail Section 2, and you reach Long Ke Beach, arguably Hong Kong’s most pristine beach – pollution-free with silky sand and clear waters. There are no provisions there, so bring your own food and water and please leave the beach as you find it. If you are fit and keen, you may want to continue your hike to the Ham Tin beaches, which will add around two hours – it’s absolutely worth the extra effort.
 
Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark 
 
Listed by UNESCO as part of its Global Geoparks Network, the Hong Kong Geopark surprises even locals with its unique geological features. Rent a boat from the Sai Kung Pier to get to the stunning rock formations of either Sharp Island or the Ung Kong Group (comprising Bluff Island, Wang Chau, and Basalt Island). Steep cliffs and sea arches make for breathtaking and unforgettable views. You can disembark at Sharp Island and enjoy either Kiu Tsui Beach or Hap Mun Bay Beach. There is a natural tombolo near Kiu Tsui Beach which you can walk across at low tide to reach the Geopark portion of the island.

 

 

Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park
 
Sitting within a sheltered bay, the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park is one of the best biodiversity hotspots in Hong Kong. A sanctuary for corals, coral fish and mangroves, it also offers water activities include snorkelling, kayaking, diving and swimming. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the waters as you explore Hong Kong's marine beauty. Take Green Minibus 7 from Sai Kung Town to Hoi Ha Tsuen and follow the path to the bay and the pier below.
 
Sai Kung Town
 
The jumping-off point to Sai Kung’s natural wonders is not just a transit zone but a bustling enclave full of character. On weekends, visitors flock to the waterfront promenade where you can rummage through the stalls of an idiosyncratic flea market, watch dog owners showing off their preening pets, and gawk at fresh seafood being sold direct from sampans near the busy public piers where junks and boats take on their passengers bound for the outlying islands. If golf is your thing, you can take a ferry to the Kau Sai Chau Jockey Club Public Golf Club to practice your swing at the driving range.

 

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