Into the great outdoors

YP cadet Ng Lok-yan

We all deserve a break from exams and homework. And what better way to kick back than to head for one of these five getaways off the beaten track

YP cadet Ng Lok-yan |

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1. Chek Lap Kok

There's no reason to go to the airport unless you are travelling overseas, right? Wrong!

Take route S52 from the Tung Chung MTR station and get off at the last station. You'll find yourself at the airport's maintenance area - and one of the best places in Hong Kong to be at 6pm. That's because you will have a gorgeous view as the sun sinks into the sea, painting the sky and clouds in a splash of red, gold and velvet.

Go now before the message spreads and crowds begin to flock to this lovely hideout.

2. Trio Beach in Sai Kung

Every swimmer and sunbather is looking for a beach where waters aren't murky, waves won't bring in floating rubbish, and they don't need to spend two hours on a bus and an hour on a ferry to reach the place.

So we give you: Trio Beach. This beach in Sai Kung has clean water by local standards. It's so clear that you can even see tiny fish in it. The sand, meanwhile, is soft and silky.

Take the 1A minibus from Choi Hung MTR or 101M minibus from Hang Hau MTR and get off at Pak Sha Wan where a sampan takes you on a 10-minute journey to the beach.

3. Sharp Island (Kiu Tsui Chau)

Photo: AFCD

It is the smallest country park in the city, but it has a shoreline rich in geological wonders. Just a quick 20-minute ferry ride from Sai Kung Pier, Sharp Island leaves you marvelling at how Mother Nature has sculpted such a unique variety of volcanic rocks into different shapes and sizes.

This site is special because, when the tide is low, you can cross on a tombolo to the neighbouring island of Kiu Tau.

4. Tung Ping Chau

Photo: AFCD

It lies in the north-easternmost corner of the city, inviting you with spectacular cliffs, staircase-like volcanic rocks and sea caves - of the kind found nowhere else here. If you aren't afraid of ghosts, perhaps you can visit the hamlets that dot the island - some of them are intact, others are in ruins.

When you are done exploring the land, have your snorkelling or diving gear ready and check out the underwater world. The sea here is tropical blue and coral heads are not far offshore.

The ferry ride takes 90 minutes from Ma Liu Shui pier near the University MTR station. If you want to stay overnight, you can catch the 3.30pm ferry on Saturday, spend the night camping, and return on the 5.15pm ferry the next day.

5. Shui Hau on Lantau Island

When the tide is low, this seaside retreat turns into a perfect place for a treasure hunt. There are all sorts of marine creatures hidden in the muddy shore: for example, horseshoe and other types of crab, seashells, shrimps and clams.

If you don't want to carry a bucket, a shovel and a chair there, you can get them from rental stores nearby.

But always remember to return your catch to the sea after a fun day of collecting. And beware of the tides!

To get there, take bus No 11 from Tung Chung or route 2 or 23 from Ngong Ping.

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