I’m no Oxfam trailwalker or adventurous weekend explorer to start debating hiking routes, but I love food and photos, so let me recommend a scenic value-for-effort “walking” route, which involves food at the end!
This route requires minimal levels of fitness and passes through some of the most scenic mountainous views and secluded beaches. It lasts only 1 1/2 hours, starting from Sai Wan Ting and ending up at Ham Tin Wan beach where you can enjoy delicious Hong Kong local-style cafe food (fried noodles, instant noodles, chicken wings, spring rolls etc.).
Then proceed to take a bumpy rollercoaster speedboat ride back to civilization of Sai Kung Town. Alternatively, level up for a proper hike, with another 1 1/2 – 2 hours of walking back to Pak Tam Au where you’ll make your way back to the main road to take a cab or bus back to Sai Kung Town. This part is a little more strenuous.
Sai Wan Ting (西灣亭) can be reached by minibus 29R from outside McDonalds in Sai Kung town or by taxi. There are only three buses per day on weekdays, though more frequent on weekends. Most cabs in Sai Kung know where this is and it will cost under HK$100.
Sai Wan village
After a short 30-40 min walk you’ll already have reached the first beach. A handful of cafes are also around so you could sit down and enjoy a bowl of local Tofu dessert. However, I usually save my meal and beach playtime to Ham Tin at the end of the mini hike.
After walking across the beach, climb back up the mountain and continue following the Maclehose trail.
Ham Tin beach
Just another 20-30 minute walk will bring you to Ham Tin beach, which I think is the best one for chilling and swimming.
Sit down at the store/cafe and enjoy an ice cold beer with some local Hong Kong food by the beach. They actually make very good fried noodles!
If you’re planning to take the speedboat from the beach back to Sai Kung, go straight to the store/cafe to buy a ticket. The cost is usually between HK$130-150 depending on how busy they are that day. However, if you’re unlucky, they may be full but can arrange an additional sail at a premium price.
How to get to Ham Tin beach without hiking?
For those who want to miss the walk altogether and go straight to this beach, the only way is by speedboat. Give Man Tsam (98003601) a call to arrange a boat there.
It’s getting hot and it’s the holidays – so get moving and see the beautiful scenes in the country side of Hong Kong. Enjoy!