Television presenter, mother of three and popular parenting influencer Angie Mak is always keen to discover new family-friendly activities in Hong Kong. She and her husband, who last September welcomed their third child, nine-month-old son Maka Cheung, love to go on family outings whenever the chance arises.
Mak, who also has a daughter Makayla, eight, and an elder son, nicknamed ‘Little Peanut’, five, believes she may well have found the perfect family day out at Kau Sai Chau Fish Culture Zone, in waters to the south of the Sai Kung Peninsula in the eastern New Territories.
Mak’s evolution from TV personality to parenting KOL has been “an amazing journey”, she says. “Even though I’m always busy and have to keep up with my children’s schoolwork and everything else, I think it’s a fun role to be a mother. It’s completely different from being an actress or a TV host. I have a lot more responsibilities: I have to be able to multitask, be a chef, companion, listener and a helper. It’s always a learning experience — a learning process every day. I really enjoy being a mother and a KOL,” she says. “I enjoy these roles and I think I balance them out quite well.”
Mak says she doesn’t find it difficult to find suitable activities for three children of different ages because they always act as a family unit. “We tend to be able to find outdoor activities like going to the park, going to the beach and sometimes cycling."
“Keeping the kids engaged is the challenging part since their attention spans are different from each other,” Mak says. “For instance, my daughter can sit still for longer, but my son likes more active things, so I always let them try different activities.”
Luckily, the Fish Culture Zone was a different kind of day out that proved a big hit with all the children. Located in the calm waters between Kau Sai Chau and Jin Island, the Fish Culture Zone — home to several large floating fish rafts — can be reached by a 30-minute boat ride from Sai Kung Pier.
Fish culture involves rearing marine fish from fry or fingerlings, of about 2 cm in length, up to marketable size in cages which are suspended below floating rafts. Common species cultured there include brown-spotted grouper, giant grouper, mangrove snapper and goldlined seabream and star snapper.
“It amazed all of us,” Mak says. “The whole family enjoyed it. The friendly staff make it easy for children to experience fishing there, allowing them to see and feed many fish up close, learn about different fishing methods, or even use a net to catch different fish. The children had never been fishing before, they were very excited and they loved it.”
While enjoying some cool sea breezes in an environment that looks like the location of a sea adventure film, with views of lush green hills on the surrounding islands, visitors of all ages get to appreciate the true meaning of ‘fresh catch of the day’.
Makayla caught a big fish at her first attempt, Mak says. “She was really determined to catch a fish and she succeeded. It was a big one, too! I would say more than 5lbs [2kg] — the fishing rod was bending as it was quite heavy. She was excited to catch her first fish.”
Mak says her family — particularly her children — also enjoyed the relaxing boat trip there and back from Sai Kung Pier.
“I was surprised to see the water was so clear,” she says. “I almost wanted to dive in and swim. We could see fish clearly in the water. The whole experience was like a mini vacation. It’s a beautiful place — at times it felt like we weren’t in Hong Kong, but somewhere like Hawaii.”
To extend the trip, it is also possible to take shuttle boats to the nearby Kau Sai Chau Beach — known for its fine white sand and crystal-clear waters — or the picturesque Kau Sai Chau Fishermen Village, which includes historic Hung Shing Temple.
The tranquil community is home to a few other sites worth visiting, such as the Herbal Plant Trail, reflecting the villagers’ knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine, and the ‘Scallop Rock’, which has been formed after centuries of erosion by the waves.
“I think both adults and children can benefit from a trip to Kau Sai Chau because it’s a really fun outdoor experience,” Mak says.
Mak has some friends with children who are of similar age to her own, and she has already suggested Kau Sai Chau to them as a good place for families to visit together.
“My kids loved their first time fishing,” she says. “In Hong Kong, we tend to spend a lot of time visiting shopping malls and indoor places while missing out on the fun of exploring outdoor areas. The thing is, if you don’t explore, then you won’t know that there’s such a beautiful place in Hong Kong.”
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