Among the many beaches in Hong Kong, the ones in Sai Kung district could be considered the crown jewels, particularly along the easterly shores at Tai Long Wan bay. These are also some of the more inaccessible areas of Sai Kung Country Park, requiring a hike in or a 40-minute boat ride (when weather and waves permit) from Sai Kung town or Wong Shek pier. It’s worth it, though – the fine powdery sand and crystal-clear waters are reminiscent of a pristine tropical island getaway.
There are four beaches along the “Big Wave Bay” – Sai Wan, Ham Tin, Tai Wan, and Tung Wan. They are connected by short stretches of hiking trails, but only Sai Wan and Ham Tin beaches have refreshment stores and washroom facilities. This makes them popular camping destinations – especially on holiday weekends. The coinciding Easter and Ching Ming holidays, together with record-setting hot weather, meant a party atmosphere at the beach not unlike something you’d see in Phuket or Fort Lauderdale!
After disembarking from the boat, a group of friends and I set up tents on Ham Tin beach. It was too hot to do anything else other than relax and soak in some sun, and explore the adjacent Tai Wan beach which was beautiful and less crowded. This was followed by a nice evening barbeque at the local supply store. The next morning, any plans we had for hiking nearby Sharp Peak were quickly abandoned. Most of us also had hardly slept due to the stifling heat and noisy revelers partying well into the night.
It was still a good and memorable experience, though – especially fighting the big waves getting on and off the boat, with backpacks in tow – but next time we’ll stick to grass camping and only in much cooler weather.