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Outdoor adventure in Tuen Mun

LUXE City Guides
  • Written by LUXE City Guides, Images by Calvin Sit

Tuen Mun District might not be the first destination that springs to mind for a day trip, but the area has plenty to offer, with beautiful beaches and scenic hikes within easy reach of the city.

 

Located in the northwest of the New Territories, Tuen Mun is believed to have housed some of the earliest settlements in Hong Kong, while its “new town” residential areas were built in the 1970s. As a result, this vibrant coastal district sandwiched between Castle Peak and Kau Keng Shan hill is a charming mixture of old and new, where families and friends come from across Hong Kong to spend relaxing weekends.

Gold Coast

Among the neighbourhoods, the Gold Coast is a highlight. Built in the 1990s, this private resort-like development includes the 545-metre-long Golden Beach (the first artificial beach constructed in Hong Kong), a resort hotel, shopping complex, marina, yacht and country club, waterfront dining and 20 residential buildings offering a seaside lifestyle and modern convenience. In recent years, the area has hosted annual boat and vintage car shows, which attract curious onlookers and aficionados from near and far.

The development has a Mediterranean-Asian atmosphere, with buildings the colour of sunshine, arched windows and tropical greenery. Walking along Gold Coast Piazza, you’ll find restaurants offering everything from kebabs and sushi to dim sum and desserts; on weekends, there are clowns, balloon artists and inflatable slides for children to enjoy, plus seasonal bazaars.

 

Amy Wong is one such Hongkonger who keeps returning. “The Gold Coast has seen a lot of changes over the years, but we keep coming back because it feels like a beach holiday every time,” she says. Although her children have grown up, the area still holds a special place in her heart. “I used to take my daughter here when she was around five,” Wong reminisces, “we had a caricature of us drawn at the Piazza, which I’ve kept to this day as one of our most treasured memories.”

Tuen Mun Trail

If you prefer trees and grass to sand and sea, the Tuen Mun Trail boasts stunning views that are worth hauling your camera for. This relatively easy hike is about four hours long and starts from MTR Pui To Light Rail Station, taking you through two reservoirs before finishing at Nai Wai Light Rail Station. Forty five minutes from the starting point, you’ll reach Lam Tei Irrigation Reservoir, where the tranquil waters, trees and skies merge to form one harmonious picture. Hung Shui Hang Irrigation Reservoir, the second in the trail, shimmers an even more vivid shade of emerald. If you want to make a full day of it, bring some supplies and set up at the Fu Tei Barbecue Area before hitting the trails.

If you’ve only got two hours to spare, head to Tai Lam Chung Reservoir. Located within the sprawling 5412-hectare Tai Lam Country Park, the reservoir was the first water storage facility built in Hong Kong after World War II and involved the construction of an enormous dam that towers 60 metres above a lake. After taking a minibus from MTR Tuen Mun Station to So Kwun Wat Village, the trail leads you to an intersection with the MacLehose Trail, before turning up a hill. Your reward for the climb lies in the knockout panorama known as Thousand Islands Lake — think irregular hills and small islands dotted inside the reservoir, with blue skies as the backdrop.

Tuen Mun’s beauty and seclusion makes it a popular destination for city dwellers looking to escape the urban hustle. “On Sundays, my friends and I like to go hiking there and get some fresh air away from the concrete jungle,” explains Tania Ng, a young professional who works in Central.

 

Butterfly Beach Park is located beside the Butterfly Beach, which includes gardens, a pavilion, barbecue area and areas for ball games. Nearby shops abundant with barbecue supplies will help you take care of dinner. “We love that we can barbecue next to the beach and chat under the stars,” says Ng, who, with her friends, has enjoyed many unforgettable evenings at this Tuen Mun gem.

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