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Adventure

Kayaking: paddle to secluded beach, stunning UNESCO rock region and uninhabited island with colourful past

Written by South China Morning Post (Morning Studio)

The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark is home to many natural wonders that Mother Earth has created over hundreds of millions of years. A popular way to explore the Geopark’s Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region, near the seaside town of Sai Kung in the New Territories, is from the sea — while kayaking. This allows adventure lovers to admire the marvellous rock formations, sea caves and other stunning island scenery up close, while enjoying an exhilarating outdoor workout. The trip also offers kayakers the chance to paddle to charming historic islands, including a preserved Hakka village with ties to Christianity.

ASMR in Sai Kung

Refuel

Between the minibus and bus terminus by Sai Kung Pier and Sha Ha, there are many vending machines selling drinks, and there is also a small shop at Sai Kung Waterfront Park where you can buy snacks.

  • Sha Ha

    Sai Kung is known as the ‘back garden of Hong Kong’, which is rich in natural and cultural heritage. As you arrive at this strip of sand, you are likely to see it bustling with activity, especially at weekends. This charming area is also frequented by visitors walking their dogs or simply sitting relaxing next to the beach.

    The waterfront is also a popular dining destination, with Thai and barbecue specialties among the many offerings. After kayaking, pick a table or charcoal grill at one of the area’s open-air restaurants and refuel with some freshly cooked food while soaking up the lively atmosphere.

    The sea can get choppy at times, so it is recommended that you check the ‘Weather Information for Water Sports’ on the Hong Kong Observatory website before going paddling. Guided tours offered by licensed operators are also a safe bet, while wearing a life jacket is a must.

    Get me there
  • Pak Sha Chau

    The opportunity to explore the area’s many nearby islands — including some that are deserted — is one of the big attractions for kayakers. The long, narrow beach on the uninhabited island of Pak Sha Chau, less than 2km southeast of Sha Ha, is a favourite stopover among kayakers. On one side you can see the town of Sai Kung, and on another side is Sharp Island, a popular snorkelling destination. Many visitors enjoy simply sitting on tree branches and rocks that have been washed ashore on the beach while watching the world go by.

    More adventurous kayakers often spend their time exploring the craggy coastline on the wider side of the island before heading out to other nearby islands.

    Get me there
  • Sharp Island

    It is common for kayakers to carry their kayaks across the beach at Pak Sha Chau so they can continue their journey westwards to Sharp Island — one of the major islands comprising the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark — which is renowned for its numerous stunning igneous rock formations. As you paddle along the shoreline further south, you might see the famous tombolo, formed of sand and gravel deposited by wind and waves, connecting the main island with an islet that forms the Sharp Island Geo Trail. At the southern end of the island, past many little bays and marvellous headlands, you will come to a number of spectacular sea caves. On the other hand, heading to the northern part of the island will take you to little white sand beaches and coral communities. However, making such detours carries risks, so it is important to pay close attention to the time, and changes in the weather and sea conditions.

    Prepare yourself well for visiting a natural environment such as Hong Kong Geopark. You should check the weather forecast in advance and always avoid visiting the Geopark during bad weather. Do not walk in rocky coastal areas, which can be hazardous in all weather conditions. Some islands and coastal areas have no visitor facilities. They should be observed from a boat. Avoid going ashore or visiting them when there are strong winds.

    For more information, please visit Safety Guidelines for Visiting Hong Kong Geopark.

    Get me there
  • Yim Tin Tsai

    After exploring natural marvels, it’s time for a history lesson. To the northeast of Sharp Island is the tiny island of Yim Tin Tsai, which is known for the Romanesque-style St Joseph’s Chapel at the top of the hill. On a clear day, you can see this landmark from Pak Sha Chau, about 1.5km away. It was built in 1890 by visiting missionaries who converted the Hakka Chan clan living on the island at the time to the Catholic faith. Once home to a salt production industry, many visitors come here at the weekend to tour the preserved salt pans after which the island is named; the preservation centre provides a history lesson.

    If it is still early, you can leave your kayak on the little sandy beach beside the pier and enjoy an easy and relaxing hike around the southern part of the island, visiting sites such as the ‘Spring of Living Water’ — once the sole source of drinking water for the whole village.

    Get me there

Transport

Getting to Sai Kung

The many ways to get to Sai Kung include taking bus 92 at MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, minibus 101M from MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B1 and bus 299X from Sha Tin New Town Plaza Bus Terminus. After you disembark at Sai Kung Bus Terminus, you should see the seaside promenade. Turn left when facing the water and Sha Ha, the popular water sports destination, is about 15–20 minutes’ walk away.

Leaving from Sai Kung

From Sha Ha, you can walk back to Sai Kung Waterfront Park, about 10 minutes away, or further along to the transportation terminus by the Sai Kung Public Pier for various options of minibuses or buses to reach different parts of the city.

Local Tour

Sai Kung – One Day Canoe/Kayak Family Fun Tour

Explore the natural scenery of Sai Kung and visit a beautiful islet with this family fun tour. Open to adults and children over six years old, the tour starts and finishes at Sha Ha, Sai Kung, from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Basic training and a simple lunch will be provided. Price is HK$299 per person for both adults and children.

Yee Tai (HK) Travel Service Ltd.
Phone#: +852 3698 0993
Website: www.yeetai-travel.com.hk

Disclaimer:
Details of the local tours are subject to the terms and conditions of the operators. The Hong Kong Tourism Board and the local operators reserve the right to amend, change or cancel any details concerning the tours at any time without prior notice. Customers can refer to the local operators if they have any enquiries.

More Routes

Adventure

Kayaking: paddle to secluded beach, stunning UNESCO rock region and uninhabited island with colourful past

Written by South China Morning Post (Morning Studio)

The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark is home to many natural wonders that Mother Earth has created over hundreds of millions of years. A popular way to explore the Geopark’s Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region, near the seaside town of Sai Kung in the New Territories, is from the sea — while kayaking. This allows adventure lovers to admire the marvellous rock formations, sea caves and other stunning island scenery up close, while enjoying an exhilarating outdoor workout. The trip also offers kayakers the chance to paddle to charming historic islands, including a preserved Hakka village with ties to Christianity.

ASMR in Sai Kung

Refuel

Between the minibus and bus terminus by Sai Kung Pier and Sha Ha, there are many vending machines selling drinks, and there is also a small shop at Sai Kung Waterfront Park where you can buy snacks.

Sha Ha

Sai Kung is known as the ‘back garden of Hong Kong’, which is rich in natural and cultural heritage. As you arrive at this strip of sand, you are likely to see it bustling with activity, especially at weekends. This charming area is also frequented by visitors walking their dogs or simply sitting relaxing next to the beach.

The waterfront is also a popular dining destination, with Thai and barbecue specialties among the many offerings. After kayaking, pick a table or charcoal grill at one of the area’s open-air restaurants and refuel with some freshly cooked food while soaking up the lively atmosphere.

See more...

The sea can get choppy at times, so it is recommended that you check the ‘Weather Information for Water Sports’ on the Hong Kong Observatory website before going paddling. Guided tours offered by licensed operators are also a safe bet, while wearing a life jacket is a must.

Get me there
Pak Sha Chau

The opportunity to explore the area’s many nearby islands — including some that are deserted — is one of the big attractions for kayakers. The long, narrow beach on the uninhabited island of Pak Sha Chau, less than 2km southeast of Sha Ha, is a favourite stopover among kayakers. On one side you can see the town of Sai Kung, and on another side is Sharp Island, a popular snorkelling destination. Many visitors enjoy simply sitting on tree branches and rocks that have been washed ashore on the beach while watching the world go by.

More adventurous kayakers often spend their time exploring the craggy coastline on the wider side of the island before heading out to other nearby islands.

See more...
Get me there
Sharp Island

It is common for kayakers to carry their kayaks across the beach at Pak Sha Chau so they can continue their journey westwards to Sharp Island — one of the major islands comprising the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark — which is renowned for its numerous stunning igneous rock formations. As you paddle along the shoreline further south, you might see the famous tombolo, formed of sand and gravel deposited by wind and waves, connecting the main island with an islet that forms the Sharp Island Geo Trail. At the southern end of the island, past many little bays and marvellous headlands, you will come to a number of spectacular sea caves. On the other hand, heading to the northern part of the island will take you to little white sand beaches and coral communities. However, making such detours carries risks, so it is important to pay close attention to the time, and changes in the weather and sea conditions.

See more...

Prepare yourself well for visiting a natural environment such as Hong Kong Geopark. You should check the weather forecast in advance and always avoid visiting the Geopark during bad weather. Do not walk in rocky coastal areas, which can be hazardous in all weather conditions. Some islands and coastal areas have no visitor facilities. They should be observed from a boat. Avoid going ashore or visiting them when there are strong winds.

For more information, please visit Safety Guidelines for Visiting Hong Kong Geopark.

Get me there
Yim Tin Tsai

After exploring natural marvels, it’s time for a history lesson. To the northeast of Sharp Island is the tiny island of Yim Tin Tsai, which is known for the Romanesque-style St Joseph’s Chapel at the top of the hill. On a clear day, you can see this landmark from Pak Sha Chau, about 1.5km away. It was built in 1890 by visiting missionaries who converted the Hakka Chan clan living on the island at the time to the Catholic faith. Once home to a salt production industry, many visitors come here at the weekend to tour the preserved salt pans after which the island is named; the preservation centre provides a history lesson.

If it is still early, you can leave your kayak on the little sandy beach beside the pier and enjoy an easy and relaxing hike around the southern part of the island, visiting sites such as the ‘Spring of Living Water’ — once the sole source of drinking water for the whole village.

See more...
Get me there

Transport

Getting to Sai Kung

The many ways to get to Sai Kung include taking bus 92 at MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, minibus 101M from MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B1 and bus 299X from Sha Tin New Town Plaza Bus Terminus. After you disembark at Sai Kung Bus Terminus, you should see the seaside promenade. Turn left when facing the water and Sha Ha, the popular water sports destination, is about 15–20 minutes’ walk away.

Leaving from Sai Kung

From Sha Ha, you can walk back to Sai Kung Waterfront Park, about 10 minutes away, or further along to the transportation terminus by the Sai Kung Public Pier for various options of minibuses or buses to reach different parts of the city.

Local Tour

Sai Kung – One Day Canoe/Kayak Family Fun Tour

Explore the natural scenery of Sai Kung and visit a beautiful islet with this family fun tour. Open to adults and children over six years old, the tour starts and finishes at Sha Ha, Sai Kung, from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Basic training and a simple lunch will be provided. Price is HK$299 per person for both adults and children.

Yee Tai (HK) Travel Service Ltd.
Phone#: +852 3698 0993
Website: www.yeetai-travel.com.hk

Disclaimer:
Details of the local tours are subject to the terms and conditions of the operators. The Hong Kong Tourism Board and the local operators reserve the right to amend, change or cancel any details concerning the tours at any time without prior notice. Customers can refer to the local operators if they have any enquiries.

More Routes

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