With restrictions loosening in Hong Kong, we decided to leave the city and spend a day in the beautiful nature that most people do not see when they visit this country. We decided to take a taxi to Sai Kung pier and then switch to a green taxi or minibus to get to the Sai Wan Pavilion. When we got to Sai Kung pier it was packed due to the public holiday so we lost approximately 15 minutes waiting in a very long taxi line when by some miracle we were able to snag a New Territories Green taxi. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we actually could have taken a red taxi directly from our house to Sai Wan Pavilion despite the tips online so lesson learned that not everything on the internet is true.
Getting through Sai Kung country park to the pavilion drop off site takes about 20 minutes and could be even longer if it’s a public holiday so definitely go early in the morning if you can. Our plan was to hike all the way to Ham Tin beach which is arguably the most beautiful beach in Hong Kong. The sand is fine and white and the water is clear and clean. The beach usually isn’t that busy because it is further away. Hiking from the pavilion to Ham Tin beach itself takes about 1 hour and 8 minutes and it’s fairly smooth and flat most of the way there so actually not hard. pre-Covid, you could also get there directly by taking a chartered sampan from Sai Kung pier which would take about 20 minutes. However, due to Covid, they stopped allowing sampan boat charters so you do need to hike back the way you came (at least for now). The beach also has a great cha chaan teng (Chinese cafe) so you can get some yummy snacks and drinks upon arrival. We saw many people carrying big bags of camping supplies on the way there and back so props to them for carrying such a heavy load. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible so we just bought lightly packed backpacks.
If you have the opportunity to hike to this beach, you should also stop at the rock pools on your way and check out the waterfall. There are always lots of people hanging out and swimming under the falls before they head to the beach. You may also see some feral cattle on your hike but don’t be afraid, they’re pretty used to humans so they kind of just do their own thing. If you end up hiking there, let me know and leave a comment!