Sunday, May 08, 2016

Hiking Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung

Hong Kong - as busy as a financial center it is has a lot of adventure stuff to do - surfing, hiking, diving, trail biking - which makes it a great country for nature lovers!  This time, back in Hong Kong I decided to go for another hike along the East part of the country - Sai Kung.  Sai Kung is famous for its seafood and also the beautiful beaches/coastal view.  I chose to hike the Tai Long Wan as I've seen loads of pictures online depicting the awesome view while you hike along the coast.  Unfortunately, the weather was not in my favour when I went and basically I couldn't see anything! But it was still a good hike and if you are just looking for a good workout - this is it!

Getting there
It's far out - so you need about 2H if you are going from HK island.  I took the bus from Diamond Plaza MTR station that takes you all the way to Sai Kung (the last stop).  From there, I took a taxi to one of the starting point at Long Ke - was about 100 HKD for the ride.  It was a rather long ride (30mins) from Sai Kung.  There you start the Maclehose Trail all the way to Sai Wan.  It took about 2 hours to get to Sai Wan (slow hike with stops along the way).  This part is a little mountainous as you are hiking up to a peak so some hard work is required.  From Sai Wan, there you can stop and rest, have some drinks or food and enjoy the beach - if the weather is good.  You could also get a boat to go back to Sai Kung from here.  Or you could continue on to Ham Tin.  I went on. 

As I read from the many blogs, there is a waterfall in Sai Wan - not the easiest to find but it really is quite nice and secluded.  From Sai Wan, walk along the path that will take you to Ham Tin.  At the very end of the walkway just before you cross the path to the other side of the river to continue upwards to Ham Tin, you will see a signboard that points 2 direction - one is onwards to Ham Tin, the other is another route to go back to Sai Wan Road.  Follow the signs that says to Sai Wan Road - you will pass by a small farm on the left, continue on.  At the other crossroad, you will see 2 paths - to the left will take you to Sai Wan Road, to the right you will see some rocks that go up - that is the path to the waterfall.  Follow those rocks and in 10mins or so, you will arrive at the waterfall!  There was nobody when I went - weather was not that great for a swim in the cold water but the view was awesome!

The waterfall

Continue back the same way to get to Ham Tin.  That will be a 45mins hike with quite a lot of steep uphills to get to the next beach.  I read that you are able to charter a boat back from Ham Tin but as the weather was crazy bad then, there was nothing!  In order to head back, it was either continue from Ham Tin to Pak Tam or back to Sai Wan for the bus.  I wasn't too sure about the time needed to get to Pak Tam and I was running out of time - don't want to get out when sun is down and buses have schedule too.  So I went back to Sai Wan.

Back at Sai Wan beach, it was another long 1 to 1.5hr hike to get out to the bus station.  I took a different route then I came in and that was quite steep uphill.  But you get up to a viewpoint where you see quite nice view of the mountains.  And a few cows! 

Once you get out, the bus stop is there.  There is a bus schedule and I think the last bus was before 5pm on a weekend.  Make sure you queue for the bus as it is a minibus with limited seats!!