Island Guide: What To Do, See And Eat In Tai Long Wan
If you've already been to the likes of Lamma Island and Cheung Chau and relished in the slower pace of life, a must-visit in Hong Kong is Tai Long Wan. Found on the east coast of the Sai Kung Peninsula, the coastal area is famed for its stunning beaches – Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan – which offer some of the clearest water and whitest sand you'll find without hoping on a plane. Perfect for a weekend trip, or even an overnight camping adventure, here we tell you everything you need to know about the picture-perfect area, including how to get there, what to do and what to eat.
How To Get There
Tai Long Wan may take a little time to get to, but it’s worth it once you’re there. There are several ways in which to reach the remote beaches, but the easiest route is via Sai Kung Town. To reach Sai Kung, travellers can choose to take the MTR to Choi Hung or Hang Hau and then hop on the green minibus or take a red minibus from Dundas Street in Mong Kok. For an easy alternative, you can also take a taxi directly to Sai Kung. Just note that Ubers are not permitted to enter Sai Kung Country Park, so it’s best to take a standard HK taxi.
Once in Sai Kung Town, you can take a speedboat directly to either Sai Wan or Ham Tin beach or take a taxi to Sai Wan Pavilion. From the pavilion, there is a short hike of about 40 minutes to reach Sai Wan beach and a further 30-minute walk to reach Ham Tin beach. Only the first two beaches feature man-made facilities such as washrooms and restaurants, but you can also continue further to reach the more remote beaches of Tai Wan and Tung Wan.
We recommend hiking to the beaches from Sai Wan Pavilion and then catching the speedboat back to Sai Kung after your day on the beach.
What To Do
Relax on the beach
Renowned as some of the best beaches in Hong Kong, there are few better things to do in Tai Long Wan than enjoying some time relaxing on the sand. None of the four beaches offer facilities such as loungers or umbrellas, so it’s best to be prepared and bring anything that you may need for your day out. For extra seclusion, we recommend heading to the furthest out beaches of Tai Wan and Tung Wan. The beaches are also dog-friendly, so be sure to bring your furry friends along for the day.
See also: Island Guide: What To Eat, Drink And Do In Cheung Chau
Set up camp
Make the most of your trip and spend the night under the stars. As one of the most secluded camping spots in Hong Kong, many choose to set up camp and enjoy a weekend away from the hustle of the city. To save you the trouble of hiking in with armfuls of gear, tents and sleeping mats and bags can be rented at Ham Tin beach. Firewood can also be purchased if you’re looking to complete your outdoor experience with some campsite smores.
Try a surf lesson
Literally translates as “Big Wave Bay”, Tai Long Wan attracts many surfers. Though it is worth noting that there are no lifeguards at any of the four beaches, beginners can still catch some waves by booking in lessons with Surf Hong Kong at Sai Wan beach. As the most accessible beach, Sai Wan tends to have the smaller waves, which are most suited for beginners. Surf Hong Kong is open on weekends or by appointment in fall, winter and spring, and on most days during summer.
Tackle Sharp Peak
Aside from the relatively easy hike that leads to the beaches of Tai Long Wan, the area also offers several other trails for those looking for a challenge. Known as one of Hong Kong’s toughest hikes, Sharp Peak (Nam She Tsim) is a popular option. Featuring rugged, winding paths and strenuous cliffs, it’s not a hike to be taken on lightly, but does promise spectacular views – not to mention an ice cold beer on the beach after your descent.
See also: Hong Kong Hikes—Plus Where To Eat And Drink After
Where To Eat
As a remote area, Tai Long Wan doesn't have many options when it comes to dining, but we're all about embracing the more rustic life (if only for a weekend).
Only the beaches of Sai Wan and Ham Tin have man-made facilities, so if you're looking for a bite to eat, you won't find anything at Tai Wan or Tung Wan. The two eateries are basic with only outdoor seating available. Both feature menus made up of simple dishes such as fried udon noodles, fried rice and chicken wings, along with a range of refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, which are sure to be in demand after a hike.
Alternatively, you can choose to take your own food with you. Green catering company Invisible Kitchen offer a range of luxury picnic baskets, or you could head to one of the city's gourmet delis such as Feather & Bone and pick up a selection of meats, cheeses and snacks to enjoy on the beach.
If you're passing through Sai Kung Town on the way home, there are also plenty of food and drink options there. Head to the famed Sai Kung Seafood Street for super fresh fish, or choose from the likes of fish & chips, Thai, Vietnamese and burgers.
See also: The Tatler Guide To Hong Kong's Neighbourhoods