The one day holiday, perfected…
After our last excursion to the swimming pools of Hong Kong Island, Ellis and I decided on something a bit more adventurous for our Monday vacation this week- especially given how absolutely stunning the weather has been and remains here. We’ve long heard that the beaches and hills of Sai Kung are the loveliest in Hong Kong, but we’ve strangely never visited, except on weekend boat trips, which always obliterate my sense of direction (among other faculties) and which I tend to stay on the boat. When one’s living in Shek-O, the incentive to travel hours away to get to the beach is somewhat diminished. Now that we are living back in the city, though, and looking for the perfect one day holiday, making the long trip doesn’t seem such a chore. So after a hookah at our new favorite watering hole, Sahara on Peel Street, we called Brandice up and asked her to brief us on the best of Sai Kung’s beaches – as there are many, and many islands to explore as well. Without hesitation, she recommended Long Ke Wan to us which I will go ahead and say is not only the nicest beach I have been to in Hong Kong, but probably the nicest beach I have been to anywhere ever.
First, though, a few caveats: it is not so easy to get to. You can take the MTR and then a minibus, or, if you’re feeling self-indulgent, a taxi to Sai Kung town, a charming, ramshackle little seaside neighborhood in the New Territories, not far from the border with China (about which, more later). Long Ke Wan, though, is the furthest away of Sai Kung’s beaches, and though there are boats for hire all along the pier, they are apparently not always willing to make the trip out, particularly on a Monday. She recommended that we try a ferry pier closer to Long Ke Wan- a good deal further from Sai Kung Town in the Country Park. I would not recommend it, particularly on a Monday.
Despite the driverless boats, which was obviously a disappointment, we were thrilled and amazed to see something we never thought possible in Hong Kong: clear water.
Luckily, as it was now approaching one o’clock, we didn’t have to wait too long for a taxi back to the Sai Kung ferry pier. There we discovered that while it wasn’t all that difficult to find a boat willing to make the trip, it was really expensive. The first one we inquired after costs HK$1400, though various other closer beaches could be reached for much less. But we were determined at this point, if not a bit irritable. After putting Brandice on the phone with another company, we managed to secure a motorboat for HK$1000, but only after a really, really long bit of back and forth. Obviously this is a grand sum of money for a thirty-minute boat ride (and I would imagine at the weekend when there are more passengers to split the cost with the amount would be proportionally less), but allow me to say that the minute we stepped on the boat, all the money and trouble were immediately worth it.
Sai Kung golf course- almost, almost!, enough to make me want to play golf
crazy rock formations
this dam looks like an art piece
lots of rock pools too
this one was literally as hot as a jacuzzi
if you’ve got the legs and lungs for it, you can also hike here (I think it’s a four or five hour hike) – you can even pitch a tent next to a bbq pit for an all night party…
back at the Sai Kung pier, filled with pretty wooden sampans
And the obligatory Chinese seafood restaurants, with tanks of giant prawns and crabs and other fishes. After a day enjoying the beauty of the ocean, though, all the plunder on display seemed wrong and even a bit unsettling, so we opted for one of the many open air restaurants in town for some vegetarian tapas. Best to leave the fishes where they belong:
On giant neon signs!