I joked in an earlier post that I would have to visit every beach in Hong Kong, in order to discover the best one. Well I think the search may be over, as the other weekend we found an area with some spectacularly nice beaches – far out doing any of the ones on Hong Kong Island. The only catch? Well…they aren’t exactly convenient to get to. But being out of the way is part of what makes them so appealing.
From our accommodation at Sassoon Road campus, we had to take a bus into central, the MTR to Monkok, and then two more mini buses – the second of which dropped us off somewhere in the middle of nowhere, some place in the New Territories. From there we took a path, which wove its way along the coast and over hills (they felt like mountains in the heat of the day), in a two hour trek. At the end of it, we were utterly exhausted – sweaty and bright red messes – but it was worth it; we had made it to Ham Tim beach where we would be camping the night. The trek itself was also worth it for the beautiful scenery we encountered on the way. We hadn’t seen a building the entire time and so it felt a world away from the Hong Kong we’d grown used to, with its skyscrapers, noise and fast pace of life. When the sun set at Ham Tim, we could see the stars! I hadn’t seen a single one during my time staying on Hong Kong Island.
On Ham Tim beach, there were just two little restaurants, from which you could rent tents and buy boat tickets. On arrival we saw that it was a popular student destination – there were plenty of groups of exchange students there and a few uni societies were holding their orientation camps at the beach. Although this is where we camped out, we spent the majority of the day at Tai Wan, the next beach along (only about a 5-10 minute walk). Here was a long beach, with fine white sand and clear water that you could instantly tell was cleaner by miles than that around Hong Kong Island. What was best though, was the waves. This is the first beach I’ve been to in Hong Kong with decent sized waves (there were people surfing). The waves were a complete surprise to us however, and many of us girls had issues with our bikini bottoms due to their strength!
I may not be able to pop to Tai Wan beach for the afternoon, as I can with Repulse Bay, but I will definitely be going back. There are also inland pools and cliff jumping, which I would like to do, or even rent kayak in order to visit some of the smaller beaches that are inaccessible by land. We would’ve stayed the full day on the Sunday and done some of those things, but unfortunately – and here’s a lesson for you all – we spent too much time out in the sun on Saturday and were suffering from sun burn (I was wearing factor 50!). So instead we took the speed boat back in the morning which, though brilliantly enjoyable in itself, is also a good way to avoid the two hour hike.