The hike from Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay (Tai Long Wan Village) is one of my favourite short-yet-fun hikes on Hong Kong Island.
I’ve hiked this route on multiple occasions because in under an hour, you go from the city to a beautiful beach via a well-maintained trail through Shek O Country Park. It’s the perfect way to get some exercise before you reward yourself with a well-earned day at the beach!
Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay Hike
The Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay Hike is one of the simplest hikes in my opinion. It involves ascending for 1 km, followed by descending for 1.6 km. The ascent runs along paved roads and steps, whereas the hike descends via Hong Kong Trail Section 8.
Unfortunately, there are many views along the way except for those of Chai Wan during the climb. But I view this hike more as a “fun way” to get to Big Wave Bay, as opposed to taking the bus or taxi.
So, if you’re looking for a short hike that perfect for all seasons, and ends on a beach on Hong Kong Island, read on.
One of the best things about the Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay Hike is that it starts from the MTR Station, making it easily accessible.
Once the Chai Wan MTR Station, take Exit E towards the Youth Square. From here, take the steps down to Wan Tsui Road, towards the intersection with Lin Shing Road.
This is the start of the ascent.
To Cape Collinson Road
Cross Wan Tsui Road and onto Lin Shing Road and begin walking uphill. Lin Shing Road maintains a steady and gentle incline making it the easiest section of ascent.
Follow the road to the top where it meets with Cape Collinson Road perpendicularly. Cross Cape Collinson Road and enter the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery (Cape Collinson Chinese Permanent Cemetery).
The entrance gate, which is located next to the main building, is usually open. In the off-chance it isn’t you can always squeeze through the sides.
To Pottinger Gap
As you enter the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, follow the steps uphill.
Although these steps are quite daunting, they’re still relatively easier than the steps that follow. Walk up at a comfortable pace to the top of the steps, and at the landing, turn left and walk through the gate.
Follow the road as it climbs up gently. At the second hairpin bend, walk straight ahead to the next flight of steps and follow them all the way up to the Pottinger Catchwater.
But before you enter the gate for the catchwater, it might be worth glancing at the views of Chai Wan behind.
Once you enter the catchwater area, follow the path as it continues up another flight of steps on the other side of the catchwater basin.
The flight of steps that follow is the toughest section of the hike. But if it helps, these are shaded unlike the previous steps.
At the end of the second flight of steps, the trail emerges at Pottinger Gap, which is a meeting point of numerous hiking trails in Shek O Country Park, including Dragon’s Back. It is also the highest point on this hike.
There is a lovely seating area, with benches and a pavilion, at Pottinger Gap. It’s a great spot to take a break.
Downhill on Hong Kong Trail Section 8
To continue hiking towards Big Wave Bay, take the path behind the pavilion. Walk for 15 metres and then follow the steps, with the sign for Big Wave Bay, downhill.
This section of the trail runs along Hong Kong Trail Section 8 for 1.5 km to Big Wave Bay Village (Tai Long Wan Village).
It’s also a rather uneventful section of the trail. With a constant tree cover and no views, it can feel quite monotonous. If you’re hiking in a group, this is a good time to chat and keep yourselves busy.
Although the trail descends gently, the same doesn’t apply for its surface. Covered in loose rocks and large boulders, walking on this section of the trail can be very jarring. It definitely helps if you’re wearing proper hiking shoes or boots.
You’ll know that you’re a couple of hundred metres from the village when the uneven trail becomes a levelled path. And before you know it, the trail ends at Big Wave Bay Village.
Through The Village, To The Beach
As you enter Big Wave Bay Village, continue walking downhill on the path between the houses. At the end of the steps, there are signs welcoming you to Big Wave Bay.
Walk straight through the alleys to the large car park, just before a small bridge.
The moment you walk across the bridge, take the steps between the houses where there are a couple of signs to Big Wave Bay Beach. Walk through the alley and take a left as you exit.
The end of this road marks the end of the hike because you’ve now arrived at Big Wave Bay.
Other Hikes To Big Wave Bay Beach
We hope you found our guide to the Chai Wan to Big Wave Bay Hike resourceful. A great way to end the hike is to grab a drink at the restaurant next to the beach.
If you’d like to make this hike longer and more scenic, you can skip taking Hong Kong Trail Section 8 down to Big Wave Bay. And instead, continue walking for approximately 1 km from the pavilion at Pottinger Gap and then take the trail down to Big Wave Bay Beach. This trail emerges at the beach, next to the ancient rock carving, instead of the village. Yes, we definitely recommend checking out the ancient rock carving at Big Wave Bay.
If you enjoyed this hike, you can also hike to Big Wave Bay Beach from Siu Sai Wan or on the Dragon’s Back (highly recommended). Another fun hike in the vicinity is the one to the Cape Collinson Battery, a beautiful relic on the easternmost part of Hong Kong Island from WWII.
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