What to Do in the New Territories: Sai Kung
It’s hardly a hidden corner of Hong Kong any more, but Sai Kung is still a quiet (ish) getaway from the pollution and the noise of the city.
Beaches Be Crazy
Among the many trails Sai Kung’s abundant landscape offers, hiking to Tai Long Wan should be on the top of your list because of the beautiful beachy reward that is Ham Tin Wan. Take the two-hour hike, or hire a boat from Sai Kung pier straight there if your summer bod doesn’t need the extra toning. You can rent tents at Ham Tin Wan, or if you want to go hardcore hike to Long Ke Wan, which isn’t as fully supplied but boasts clear water and fi ne sands.
Hike starts at Sai Wan Pavilion: Take minibus 29R from Sai Kung town center.
Photo: Joyee Chan/SCMP
Step off the sampan from Sai Kung pier to Sharp Island for a day of exploring the hills of the island or snorkeling over beautiful coral. Wander along the tombolo causeway that leads the small neighboring island of Kiu Tau—just remember to head back before the tide rises and cuts you off.
Catch Some Squid
Gather your most-cuttlefi sh-loving friends for an evening squid-fishing boat trip. The boat uses bright lights to attract the little critters so you can pull them up. Catch enough and you can dine on your bounty—the boat cooks it all up for you afterwards.
From $199, 3555-5555, www.jubilee.hk.
Tee Up, Island-Style
Don’t have a fabulously expensive membership to the Hong Kong Golf Club? There’s still room for those of us in the 99.99 percent to enjoy a round or two. The beautiful Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course on the island of the same name is the only public golf course in Hong Kong. It’s $160 for golf clubs, $35 for shoes and $175 for caddies. Just remember to look out for eagles, herons and the occasional barking deer when you’re teeing off. Ferry to Kau Sai Chau runs daily from Sai Kung Pier.
If you can’t escape the crowds in Sai Kung town, try the “ghost island” of Yim Tin Tsai, with a total population of… one. Yes, only a solitary caretaker inhabits what was formerly home to about 1,000 Hakka settlers, the last generation of whom departed in the 90s. You’ll find empty salt farms, a UNESCO-awarded chapel, beautiful mangroves and abandoned houses aplenty.
Ferry from Sai Kung Pier on weekends and public holidays, 10am-2pm; returns 12:30-5pm; www.yimtintsai.com.
Photo: Issac Wong/Wiki Commons
Ride the Waterfront
Venture off the beaten path and into the woods for the hour-long seafront walk (or 20-minute cycle) from Yung Shue O to Shum Chung. With a huge piece of grassland to roll around on, little houses dotting the field and great food at the end of the journey, you’ll forget you are even in Hong Kong.
Take a taxi or bike from Sai Kung Town Center to Yung Shue O. Rent a bike at Sun Ping Bicycle (21A Tak Lung Back St., Sai Kung, 2792-3116), no cycling allowed on Sai Sha Road on Sundays and public holidays.
Make Some Waves
What better time for watersports than summer? Head to Sha Ha Beach and hop into a kayak ($100 per day) to paddle around the coves and islands of Sai Kung bay, rent a stand-up paddleboard ($180 for three hours) or take a one-day windsurfi ng course ($450) at Windsurfing Centre HK.
Sha Ha Beach, Tai Mong Tsai Rd., Sai Kung, 9733-1228.