If Hong Kong’s two-dozen country parks are among its greatest assets, then the 40 or so official campsites scattered about their furthermost reaches are the icing on the cake. That they are pretty basic – sometimes little more than a flattish patch of land and a noticeboard – adds to their attraction. The further away they are from urban areas, the more idyllic they become. Here are six that we rate highly. 1. Pak Fu Tin, Lantau Blink and you might miss Pak Fu Tin, which is separated from the Lantau Trail by a belt of trees. Apart from its seclusion, the site’s chief draw is a brook that obligingly babbles pretty much all year round – a constant source of drinking water (with sterilising tablets, obviously) and handy for cooling cans or bottles. There’s space for 20 tents at a pinch, but it’s extremely rare to find that many. The shady picnic tables afford impressive views down over Chi Ma Wan. Getting there: the nearest bus stop is at Nam Shan, above Mui Wo. The site is less than an hour’s walk up a reasonably gentle incline. 2. Tung Lung Chau One of just two genuine small island campsites in Hong Kong, Tung Lung Chau is more than a little amazing. At the eastern entrance to Victoria Harbour, it is within sight and (faint) sound of the metropolis. A Qing dynasty fort adds a bit of character, and there are trails to explore and stony yet swimmable beaches. The island is popular with rock climbers. Bring your own food: the scattering of shops and stalls here may well run out. Getting there: kaitos [small ferries] run roughly every hour during the day from Sai Wan Ho and Sam Ka Tsuen, but only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The campsite is at the northern tip of the island, about 10 minutes’ walk from the pier. (Note: Tung Lung Chau is not in a country park.) 3. Sam A Chung, Plover Cove It would be hard to get much further off the beaten track than Sam A Chung, which feels as if it is anchored to a time when the New Territories really were new. Some excellent marine panoramas – three islands are on the horizon – are backed up with a surprising variety of fish and even coral. There are several traditional villages here that are ripe for exploration, but the temptation to linger and enjoy this seaside oasis is powerful, to say the least. Getting there: from Bride’s Pool Road, east of Tai Po, walk up Wu Kau Tang Road and then on to the coast – about an hour’s hike. 4. Ho Pui, Tai Lam Remote Ho Pui is not, but this makes it an excellent introduction for youngsters who at the outset may not be entirely convinced camping is a good thing. Easy to get to, adequately supplied with barbecue pits, small enough to deter it being inundated with huge groups, it also sits just below a reservoir that’s circled by a well maintained trail. The water attracts many different types of birds and other wildlife. An organic farm, halfway between the campsite and the reservoir, sells toothsome beans, melons, herbs and similar green stuff. Getting there: the campsite is about 30 minutes’ walk up from Ho Pui Tsuen, south of Kam Sheung Road MTR. 5. Pak Lap, Sai Kung Most campers headed this way make for either Tai Long Wan or Long Ke Wan, both no strangers to Instagram. Pak Lap promises fewer people, a perfectly decent campsite and – down the hill – just as good a beach. The actual camping ground is a little exposed, but the views over the reservoir and sea are splendid. For anyone who favours travelling light, the Pak Lap Cafe supplies camping equipment as well as a tempting menu. Getting there: southwest of the High Island Reservoir East Dam, the campsite is a good two-hour hike from the main road. Taxis have been known to venture here. 6. Kau Ling Chung, Lantau Getting here is a tough walk, but utterly worthwhile. The site’s well shaded, the beach relatively clean, and there’s little sign of any human interference at what is one of the most natural spots in Hong Kong. For further entertainment, Nearby, on the tip of Lantau and in sight of Macau, is Fan Lau fort, nearly 300 years old. This is frontier country – phone signals tend to go mildly haywire around here. Getting there: the campsite lies about one hour’s hike along the Lantau Trail from Shek Pik Reservoir.