Hong Kong’s Secret: Tai Long Wan

It’s often said that Hong Kong is lacking in natural beauty, and is often characterized by its dull, polluted skies and towering skyscrapers. However, anyone who says that, has just been too lazy to get up and explore. Sai Kung boasts two country parks, of which on the east-most coast is Tai Long Wan (TLW).

A set of three white-sand beaches; Tai Wan, Ham Tin and Sai Wan. Tai Wan is the hardest to reach, and therefore is the most unspoilt of them all. Sai Wan is the most frequently visited beach of the area. The one we visited was Ham Tin, a 2-hour trek from Pak Tam Au along the Maclehose Trail No.2. There are endless blogs and posts on HKexpat, describing different ways to reach TLW. Here I’ll tell you the way we went.
Our journey began from Hung Hom. Firstly we caught a red public light bus (minibus) to Mong Kok from Ma Tau Wai Rd. Then from Dundas Street in Mong Kok, we caught a red minibus to Sai Kung. Then at Sai Kung after stocking up on water, we took the KMB double-decker No.94 towards Wong Shek Pier. We got off at the 19th stop, Pak Tam Au. If you sit on the top deck, you can follow the stop announcements on a board at the front. When you get off, if you walk about 10m in the direction the bus was going, you should see some toilets and the beginning of Maclehose Trail 2 (clearly signposted).

The trail is clearly marked all the way to Ham Tin beach. Keep an eye out for unusual wildlife on the way, such as lizards, crabs and snakes. There is a stop on the way to get emergency drinks, which are priced at double the normal price. Also, when you reach Ham Tin beach, there will be a simple cafe, with a friendly owner and a bunch of assorted dogs greeting you. Once you cross the rickety bridge made of splitting planks of wood, you’ll finally reach the solace of Ham Tin beach. Enjoy the waves but do be aware of a hidden undercurrent.