April 21, 2013

Camping in Hong Kong | Sai Kung

I'm finally back with another Camping in Hong Kong post!

My friends and I went camping at Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung on a misty long weekend last spring. We slept right on the beach and fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves and played in the nighttime water with twinkling with little bioluminescence. This place is all white sand and crystal clear water, it's so beautiful you most certainly won't believe you're still in Hong Kong.

The hike to the beach is a little trecherous with all your camping gear but the trail still has cement pathways, wooden rails and stone steps. It gets pretty steep in parts and takes 2-3 hrs depending on your fitness level.

You'll be drenched in sweat but at the end of the hike you'll be rewarding with not one but two huge pristine beaches with the whitest sand you'll ever see in Hong Kong. The first beach has two little restaurants where you can get food, water and rent body boards. Rent the body boards! Tai Long Wan means Big Wave Beach in Chinese and the waves are big enough to surf on. You don't need any experience to body board and you'll end up gulping endless mouthfuls of salty water but you'll have so much fun doing it. After that you'll need protein so go back to the little restaurant and eat some "mountain spring tofu pudding".

Over the little hill at the end of the first beach is the bigger more secluded beach and that was where we set up our camping gear.

The ocean is deathless/
The islands rise and die/
Quietly come, quietly come/
A silent swaying breath.

–Agnes Martin

Being there that foggy weekend I was endlessly reminded of that Agnes Martin poem, maybe because the landscape was like one of her paintings, white and monochromatic but with endless depth if you stay and look beyond the mist.

Although the beach at Tai Long Wan isn't technically a campsite and doesn't have any amenities, we and the other 3 or 4 clumps of campers that were already set up there were not deterred. The beach is huge and very private so we walked over to the furthest point and pitched our tents by the edge.

The next morning we went for a hike in the hills surrounding the beach. It's a nice breezy little walk, there are rock bluffs and lots of interesting plants and insects to look at.

Once the weekend is over and you're back in Sai Kung town, end the night at one of the many seafood joints along the pier which is where we saw these horseshoe crabs, and if not there are lots of good Thai restaurants in the town to eat at as well.

Getting there: about 2-3hrs hike to the beach, the best way is to take the NR29 minibus to Sai Wan Pavilion and hike from there you can hike there following the trail. If you are feeling ritzy or lazy you can also hire boats to the beach from Sai Kung pier depending on the waves and weather.

My other Camping in Hong Kong post about Ngong Ping can be found here.

All photos on this post where taken by me on my Olympus Stylus 120 point and shoot film camera.

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