Off the beaten track, seven different things to do, places to see

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 March, 2008, 12:00am

1 Kayaking in Clearwater Bay, off High Island and Basalt Island

'When people see my business card, they think the picture is of Thailand,' says Paul Etherington, who takes kayakers out from Sai Kung. 'They're surprised it's Hong Kong. Not many people in Hong Kong know that in such a short amount of time you can be out on the water in a kayak, literally paddling through an island in a remote area with no other people around. I don't know any other place in the world where you can paddle through sea arches that close to the heart of a major city.' Call Paul on 9300-5197, see or email

2 Cheung Chau

A one-hour ferry journey takes you to the carless island which has pirate caves. The island's best-known product is Lee Lai San, aka San San, Hong Kong's 1993 Olympic windsurfing gold medallist. You can emulate her by heading to her uncle's windsurfing cafe and hiring a sailboard.

3 Tai Tong Lychee Farm, Yuen Long

You can walk though a cave with bats, see goats, ride horses, climb a mass rope course, picnic on the soft grass, admire carp in the lake, play war games and see Asia's unique fruit on the vine in the Lychee farm. One of Hong Kong's cheapest urban escapes, with a vast area of land devoted to all things outdoor and real grass underfoot. Tel 2470-2201 or 2473-3818

4 New Hon Kee Seafood Restaurant, Tap Mun (aka Grass Island)

Loi Lam never forgets a name or a face - an endearing quality for a restaurateur. With his family, he's been serving up Chinese fare in the north of England and remote Hong Kong for more than two decades. Loi's family are Hakka descendants. Earthy Chinese hospitality and the spirit of survival runs deep in their veins. A meal at the new Hon Kee is worth the ferry trip from Wong Shek pier in the Sai Kung Country Park alone, or you can ask about hikes from the tourist information centre at the Country Park Barrier, walk part of the way, then get a smaller ferry. The main ferry runs once and hour, on the half hour. Restaurant: 2328-2428. Loi Lam: 9303 7872. Ferry: 2527-2513

5 Sheung Yiu Family Walk

Head to the Sai Kung Country Park Barrier and ask about the variety of walks available, which can take from half an hour up to several hours. The Sheung Yiu family walk is an easy one that takes you past an original lime kiln and original Hakka village.

6 Yau Ley Remote Seafood Restaurant

Accessible by a two-hour hike from the Sai Kung Country Park, or you can call owner Simon Cheng on 9658-8001, and he will organise a speed boat from Sai Kung pier. The ride takes half an hour. The village has a helicopter pad, no cars and boasts the smallest school in Hong Kong.

7 Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course

This week, nine holes of the new third course opened at one of the most spectacular golf settings, and the remaining nine are expected to open at the end of next month. Head to Sai Kung's main township and catch the ferry across from the main pier.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board's Departing Visitors Survey 2006 rated the top seven tourist attractions as:

1 The Peak, 2 Ladies' Market, 3 Avenue of Stars, 4 Hong Kong Disneyland, 5 Ocean Park, 6 Temple Street, 7 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.