Monday, October 15, 2012

Hiking in Sai Kung

One of my oldest friends recently came to visit me and, aside from the fact that apparently my hair looks awful and my friends "dress like they don't have money" (she can't help it - she lives in Los Angeles), she seemed to have a good time.  In only a week we covered most of Hong Kong - from museums to markets to dim sum to the Peak to lots and lots of shopping.

We finally got a day off from Prada and Hermès to go hiking.  I'd originally planned to take her to Lamma, but the husband didn't want to make the 1.5 hour commute so we tried a hike in Sai Kung, which we later realized is supposed to be one of the most scenic hikes in HK.

It's not too difficult and it ends with beer, so here's how to do it:

Take a taxi or minibus (though the minibus runs only a few times a day during the week) to Sai Wan Pavilion in Sai Kung Country Park.  From there you just follow the signs towards Sai Wan (about a two hour hike) and from there on to three more beaches.

We stopped at the second beach because the others were another hour-plus hike, but this is really all you need - white sand, blue water, and practically deserted during the week.

The hike was momentarily derailed when my friend spotted an abnormally large gecko (which I'm pretty sure was a leaf) and came barreling down the hiking path screaming something like "AWWWLBLARRWWLABLLLAWWSLLLLALLL", but that was resolved fairly quickly.

Once we made it to the beach there's a small restaurant/bar where we had some great noodles and many, many beers while waiting for the boat back to Sai Kung.

Oh  yes - the boat.  Rather than a ferry, there's a small speedboat that you can call from the restaurant to pick you up.  It costs $1000 HKD per trip and seats ten people, so you want to split it with fellow hikers if you can.  We stumbled upon some French students who were taking time off from studying in Taiwan, bribed them with beer to stay one hour later so we could share the boat, and then sat drinking and exchanging curse words in various languages until the boat arrived.

You wade out there, then zip back to Sai Kung in less than 45 minutes.

Bonus hipster photo of the sunset from the trip back:

If you're truly interested in hiking in Hong Kong, check out this book by my friend Pete - everything you need to know.

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