Mini Getaways- Hong Kong Islands Beaches

By on May 10, 2013

Everyone in Hong Kong leads a busy lifestyle. What with work taking up most of our time and with the little bit of time we have left, we like to get away from the world and spend some quality time with our family. Here are some of my top picks of Hong Kong islands beaches- getaways (some with limited mobile network to discourage you from working on-the-go, for all you workaholics).

Sai Kung

First on my list is Sai Kung. If you are an outdoor loving person, this is the place you want to visit on a good sunny weekend. This not-so-popular place hosts arguably the most beautiful beach in Hong Kong. The area I am referring to is called Tai Long Wan – Big Wave Bay. Because of its remote location and the fact that you can only reach the beaches by a not so hard hike.

The beaches here aren’t crowded like the beaches in Stanley or Shek O. The cherry on top is that this is the only white sand beach in Hong Kong. There are two main beaches here: the first one can be reached by hiking for about an hour from where the taxi drops you. This beach is popular for overnight and weekend camping retreats with barbeque and some quality time with your close ones. But if you are one of those adventurous types, then just follow the water stream which joins in from the hills into the sea onto this beach.

The Sai Kung Beach

About a half hour rocky walk upstream will take you a perfect place for a must-do cliff jump. You will always find diving enthusiasts jumping off into the water from a height of about 20 feet. It’s a great place to just sit in fresh water and relax as well. But the fun doesn’t end here. You must cross another hill, which is about another half an hour hike to reach the second beach, better and more secluded. You can also catch boats to reach this beach.

The hike to this beach is breathtaking, as it goes along the sea giving an open view to the whole beach from the top. You have to see it to believe it. With blue and green water, you get a view is only expected in places like Phuket or Laos. This beach is much cleaner and secluded than the previous one and gives you more access to clean water.

After all that hiking, you’re bound to get hungry. There are small restaurants on the beach which serve delicious food with an array of cuisines; perfect for a sunny beach day. What more can an outdoor loving person ask for: a good hike, great views, secluded beaches, cliff jumping and to top it all off, great food on the beach.

Cheung Chau

Second on my list is a place I visited recently: Cheung Chau. It’s about 45 minutes from the Central pier by ferry. This is a unique place to experience the Hong Kong culture and village life. A town which hosts the famous Hong Kong bun festival, where cars are not allowed and different types of bicycles are the only way to travel; it’s a perfect place to run away from the city life. There is so much that this small island offers: right from fancy weekend villas and rooms for rent to barbeques alongside the sea to small and medium hikes which take you into the wild.

Cheung Chau trail towards the beach

 

Once you get to the ferry terminal, I highly recommend renting a bicycle (which comes as   cheap as HK$40 per day) and finding your way towards the reclining rocks and the famous caves. The bike ride is a pretty one along the seafront. During this bike ride, have quick stopovers at the seafood places and small local Chinese food stalls which appear along the way to grab a quick bite. I recommend keep trying different foods and not stuffing yourself at one place.

There is too much variety to just ignore. Take a hike to the Cheung Po Tsai caves and Kwan Kung Pavilion. Also, check out the reclining rocks, there is an adventurous way to reach these rocks from the caves for the adrenaline rush lovers or just follow the normal hiking path. This is a famous spot for local people and you won’t get lost in the wild. I ended up getting some great shots of giant spiders which you might notice during the hike in the woods. Be careful as these spiders and other insects hang from trees and might take a shot at you. The cave is a small one but still interesting to explore. Having done cave exploration in the past, I found it pretty easy, but first-timers might find it a bit challenging, especially people with a big belly. Please don’t get stuck. There are also a couple of beaches in Cheung Chau, but I couldn’t explore it. Saving it for the next trip as I know I’m definitely going back.


Lamma Island

 

Lamma Island – Hong Kong’s famous Seafood spot

 Third on my list is the famous Lamma Island. Everyone who lives in Hong Kong knows about this island. But it’s everything you have ever heard of and better. This island again offers a great combination of hiking, local Chinese village culture, amazing seafood and some great beaches. You can spend an entire day on this island and won’t even realize. Once you get off the ferry, just start walking right or left and keep following the trail. The normal hiking trail goes through the village, various seafood restaurants, some world war caves and finally, to the beaches. There are many beaches in Lamma but are generally packed with expats, so you might have to walk around to find a good place to sit. The village in Lamma is also a treat in itself, very local and expat friendly at the same time.

Unlike Cheung Chau, Lamma is more tourist-friendly because of its popularity with expats. The hiking trail which pretty much covers the entire island is a good outdoor experience for the perfect weekend getaway. Lamma is also seafood heaven. With a huge variety of seafood, many food places offer different preparations. The hike around the island just sets up your appetite for the lovely seafood platters. I would highly recommend tourists to check out Lamma and taste the local culture in a friendly way. For vegetarians, make sure you check out the Bookworm Café near the pier for some of the best veggie and vegan food not only on the island, but in Hong Kong itself.

As I keep exploring Hong Kong, stay tuned for more suggestions on where to get away on your weekends off.

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Tathagat Sarkar

Tathagat Sarkar is an avid traveler and thus, pursued a passion in photography. He has lived in Hong Kong for two years and absolutely loves this city. Having lived around the world at different parts of his life, he claims, without hesitation that Hong Kong is the best city in the world to live in because it provides the perfect balance of work and play, all while catering to people with different interests and needs, including his own. Tathagat believes that Hong Kong has something to serve everyone; you just need to look in the right places!

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