Sai Kung is one of the busiest, and most happening places in Hong Kong over any given weekend. Everyone from far and wide comes to visit the town to enjoy its hikes, beaches, country park, and other natural attractions. In fact, there’s so much to discover and explore in Sai Kung, that you can keep coming back here every weekend and still have something new to do.
Over the years, we’ve been to Sai Kung on countless occasions. For first timers, it’s probably a good idea to stick to exploring the main town. There’s plenty to see here. But, for those who want to go further, or seek an adventure, there’s a whole country park full of wonders waiting to be discovered!
So, use this guide help you decide on what to do. Let’s start with the main town and its waterfront.
1. Explore The Sai Kung Town
For first timers, Sai Kung offers plenty to explore within the town. From walks along the pier, to restaurants, and quaint cafes. One can easily spend a day discovering the town. Also, there’s always something happening in Sai Kung over the weekends. So keep an eye out for that.
The last time we were in Sai Kung, we visited Pepperoni’s, where we were pleasantly surprised by the variety on their menu. Not to mention that their serving sizes were also very generous. Pepperonis’ Pizza & Cafe is a good alternative if you’re not in the mood for local food and want to grab a pizza, pasta, or even a steak.
Once you’ve seen enough of the main town, why not make a day trip to one of the many attractions beyond it?
2. Go to High Island Reservoir East Dam
High Island Reservoir’s East Dam showcases Hong Kong’s volcanic past – hexagonal rock columns, sea caves, the Global Geopark, and the Geo Trail hikes. Budget enough time for the East Dam because it is far (even from Sai Kung), and the only way to get there is via taxi.
3. Discover The UNESCO Global Geopark
Visiting the High Island Reservoir will only get you a glimpse into Hong Kong’s UNESCO Global Geopark. Perhaps the best way to discover the Geopark – the hexagonal volcanic rock columns and coastal erosion landforms – is to do it via a boat tour. This way you can truly admire the beauty of the Geopark that can be difficult or impossible to access on foot.
But of course, you can also see part of the UNESCO Global Geopark from the East Dam of the High Island Reservoir.
4. Visit Sharp Island
Sharp Island is probably one of the easiest islands to access from Sai Kung Pier. A short ferry ride gets you to an island with two beautiful beaches, and a hiking trail.
5. Explore Yim Tin Tsai
Are you a fan of old abandoned villages? What about a tiny island that has not one, but two UNESCO merited landmarks – a chapel built in 1890 and a functional salt farm?
If yes, then I highly recommend checking out Yim Tin Tsai, a small island only 15 minutes away from the Sai Kung Pier by ferry. It’s less than 1 km square and perfect to explore within a day.
Its historical landmarks include the St Joseph’s Chapel, a working salt farm (that was once a main source of livelihood), and an abandoned Hakka village.
Click here to discover and explore Yim Tin Tsai.
6. Hop Over To Grass Island
Grass Island (or Tap Mun) is one of Hong Kong’s most pristine and untouched islands. Mostly overrun by cows, the island is know for its plateau that is…grassy. Grass Island is popular destination for those who seek to get far away from the city life to enjoy a picnic.
7. Discover Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park
Hoi Ha Wan is one of five marine parks in Hong Kong. It is a protected area that contains 60 types of hard coral and 120 species of coral fish. Hoi Ha Wan offers visitors plenty of activities from snorkeling, to kayaking, and even short hikes.
8. Explore Hong Kong’s Most Pristine Beaches
Sai Kung Country Park is home to Hong Kong’s most beautiful beaches. From Tai Long Wan, Ham Tin, to Long Ke Wan, all are located within the vast Sai Kung Country Park.
To get there, one must either thread the Maclehose Trail, or hire a ferry from Sai Kung Pier. Either way is a long journey, so be prepared. But I can assure you, that it’s worth it!
9. Hire A Junk Boat
Sai Kung is possibly the most beautiful area in Hong Kong, and there is no better way to explore its beaches, and waters than on a junk boat. Hire a public junk boat if you’re on a budget, or get a private one with your friends. Obviously, getting a large group of friends and hiring a private charter is the way to go!
How to get to Sai Kung
There’s a reason why Sai Kung is often referred to as Hong Kong’s back garden. It literally occupies the north-east corner of Hong Kong. Getting here can be a long and difficult journey especially for those living on Hong Kong Island. And it can also be a painful journey on weekends when the buses run full, back-to-back.
There is no MTR connectivity to Sai Kung, and it is advisable to take a minibus as they cover the distance faster. Depending on your location, there may be plenty options to get to Sai Kung. Usually, I would advise you to check what’s the fastest way on Google Maps. Just remember to budget sufficient time for your journey.