When you hear Hong Kong, what is the first thing you think of? Skyscrapers, financial districts, ship docking stations, dim sum – these are what Hong Kong is mostly known for. But did you know that urban areas only take up about 25% of all of Hong Kong? 75% of the land are still rural areas and 40% of that are actually country parks and natural reserves. In fact, amongst Hong Kongers, trail hiking is probably the number one past time of the locals and expats alike!
Living in the nearby island of Macau, I’ve explored most of Hong Kong and one of my favorite spots is this amazing place called “Sai Kung.” Sai Kung is known as “Hong Kong’s back garden”, mainly because of its beautiful hiking trails and pristine beaches.
There’s plenty to do in Sai Kung, from sunset watching, to cliff jumping, they’ve got it! If the weather is good, look up the sky on nearby mountains and you’ll see groups of people paragliding!
Sai Kung is vast collection of nature activities, having gone there three times, it still feels as if I’ve only visited a quarter of the whole place.
-Sai Kung located in the New Territories, about an hour away from Hong Kong Island.
-Planning ahead is the key because the place is really big, you wouldn’t want to waste your time there with something else. Do some massive research before you go. There are plenty of blogs about Sai Kung that you can check.
-The campsites and beaches get crowded during the weekends and holidays.
-Always start early whatever you plan to do there.
-Always have trail food and plenty of water in you bag, enough for emergency
-Don’t forget your first aid kit, emergency kit like torch, rain proof equipments, utility knife etc. You never know what will happen.
-No running water in the beach area except a small sink in the toilet
-If you’re not camping or don’t want to hike back to town after hiking the Sai Kung trails, make sure to plan your return to Sai Kung town properly as there’s a lot of waiting for taxis and it’s very difficult to call for one because it’s very far and no one wants to ge there and the phone reception is very bad.
-If you walk along Sai Kung Promenade, you’ll see various boat operators advertising boat trips to islands and also fishing trips, more so at weekends than on weekdays.
-Stay there for a night or two to explore more of it.
-Try Airbnb to experience local life.
After a visit to Sai Kung and other local nature reserves, in which Hong Kong is abundant on, hopefully you will start seeing Hong Kong in a different light. Skycrapers, dim sums, and countless nature treks. The best of both worlds, all in one city. Happy exploring!