Forget harbour cruises and the ferry to Lamma, hop in a cab to Sai Kung, HK's seaside getaway. Enjoy seafood on the waterfront or ideally hire a sedate sanpan/racy speedboat to ferry you out along the bay, past the country park (HK isn't all urban jungle!) to the beautiful islands off the east coast. Sail back at sunset, so romantic !
Sai Kung. Hong Kong New Territories. East coast. If you don't want to take a taxi, nearest MTR is Hang Hau/Choi Hung plus bus 101/1a) wander along Sai Kung waterfront and the sanpan hawkers will find you!
Hong Kong Island has some fantastic beaches on the south side of the island.
Accessible by minibus, taxi and bus, these beaches can be a fantastic half-day out away from the city.
The beaches, from west to east, include Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay, South Bay and over the point to Stanley.
Deep Water bay is a great place to enjoy the sun and sand and is connected to Repulse Bay around the point past Middle Island by a promenade (20min walk).
Repulse Bay is fundamentally a high-end residential area with a large beach and shops.
A short taxi ride from Repulse Bay is South Bay beach. This gem is usually less crowded and great for swimming and has a decent restaurant for snacks.
Over and around the point is Stanley (famous for its market) which has two beaches of note – the first is the main beach facing east (a short stroll from the main bus terminus); the second is St Stephen's beach. Facing into Stanley Bay, its a 15min walk along Wong Ma Kok Rd (taking you past one of HK’s many military cemeteries from WW2 – a sombre reminder of what went on here in recent history). Great for picnics and just enjoying the scenery, you can also take part in dinghy sailing and kayaking if you have the energy.
From Central Exchange Square terminus: to Stanley – 6, 6X, 260, 66 (6X, 260 via Deepwater Bay) all routes pass through Repulse Bay.
To South Bay: take a taxi from Repulse Bay (£2).
I am amazed that nobody has mentioned the outdoor activities in HK. 40% of Hong Kong's territory has been set aside for parkland, and although the highest point is only 900m above sea level, the terrain is amazing. There are several hundred trails available to the public, covering every part of the territory.
We lived on Lamma Island, and walked the length and breadth of the island. The hiking on Lantau Island is also very good (you can also mountain bike on all the hiking trails). The hike from the back of Lantau from near the airport, up over Lantau peak and then down to the big Buddha at Po Lin is amazing. Such an incredible contrast, seeing the new airport below you in the beginning, then down to a statue that attracts Buddhists from all over Asia.
There is also great hiking/mountain biking in the New Territories, the MacLehose Trail in particular (100km from Sai Kung in the east to Tsuen Mun in the west). This is the same trail where they have the endurance race every year (in the middle of summer), which was traditionally won by the Gurkhas, but they have been overtaken by professional race teams, (who complete it in about 20 hours - it is normally a hard four days’ walk.
Speaking of summer - it gets very hot and humid, so start early and bring plenty of water and sunblock. Winter (October through to April) is perfect for hiking and biking in HK as the weather is cooler and it rains less.
And the best thing about hiking in HK - finishing at an amazing sea food restaurant like the ones mentioned at Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma Island.
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