mini getaway weekend in hong kong

this may sound really stupid to a lot of people, but i was wondering if there is any no-frills hotel/resort like with a beach front that i can getaway on a weekend with my husband and my dog? i would have chosen camping, but my husband being a city-dweller wouldn't go and the purpose is to be able to bring our pet dog with us without the hassel of necessary permits traveling out of hong kong. i've seen the silver mine bay hotel in lantau but not too sure if dog's allowed. ~ joanne ~
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Silvermine Bay or Cheung Chau are OK, but I prefer Tong Fuk or Tai Long Wan.
Tong Fuk is at the far end of Cheung Sha beach on Lantau. There are around 5 businesses running about 100 guesthouses. My favourite is the shop next to the pub (they have houses at the back away from the noise). Tong Fuk also has excellent pub and restuarant facilities. I used this area frequently during winter as a weekend break (OK, OK it was a dirty weekend). The place is tranquil and pleasant. During the summer weekends you may not be able to just turn up, as it will be packed. And also full of kids holding allnight BBQ parties.
Pui O on Lantau has twice as many guesthouses but many are 10mins from the beach. There are a fair number overlooking Pui O's beautiful beach, and they are spread out. So if you choose wisely you will get a quiet spot even on a summer weekend.
For something that's nearly camping but you don't have to carry anything, you can rent a room at either Tai Long Wan beach or Little Sai Wan beach in Sai Kung. Hong Kong's two best beaches in my opinion.
A few hundred dollars by kaido from Wong Shek pier to Tai Long Wan. A hundred by taxi then 30min. walk to Sui Sai Wan. Or bus then 1.20hr walk along maclehose trail to Tai Long Wan.
Once there you can rent an room very easily, some don't have air-cons, and on summer weekends I would give them a call first.
I did this way back when just a few dingy rooms were available back in the late eighties. I still have fond memories of the mid-week breaks I took with my fiancee. Back then it was deserted.
Cheung Chau is OK if your looking for a browse through the market and a good candlelit dinner in a quirky restaurant. A huge number of guesthouses exist very cheaply in the rundown northwest of the island (they are cheap because it's a favourite suicide location) watch out for cockroaches, to the southeast is a relatively expensive hotel and an adjacent beachpub with watersports.
Peng Chau had only a few rooms the last time I was there, but better restaurants and pubs. Nothing more exciting though. Good for a day trip rather than weekend.
Ping Chau in Mirs Bay [now mainly known as Tung Ping Chau] has rooms but you need to pre-book and plan carefully. Take a day trip first to get to know the place.
And the cream of the crop is the boutique hotel on Cheung Sha beach, Lantau. Very nice, very clean, very romantic. Next to HKs best restaurant (in my opinion), and on a lovely beach. You need to book by internet and it isn't the cheapest option. The name escapes me but check the internet for Lantau hotels and it should pop up.
By the way, in Silvermine Bay there are around 300 rooms available at 1/4 the price of the Silvermine Bay Hotel. Just walk past and take a left, then a right.
I have stayed in all these places except Tung Ping Chau ( I did a week with the army there as a school trip). I have been taking local breaks for all my adult life, and quite a lot of my schoollife too (man, we had some great parties on Lantau).

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/07/17 22:58

Hi Joanne - and Simon D (good to have insightful posts like this):

As I live on Cheung Chau, will admit some bias towards it, but the suicides far less common here nowadays. New place, Cheung Chau B&B, by main beach and just couple of mins' walk from ferry pier, maybe worth considering.
Plenty of guff on the island, inc more on accomm, on another site I've started: [url=http://www.cheungchauhk.com]Cheung Chau HK[/url].

On another thread here, mentioned re Fung Wong Holiday Bungalows in Shui Hau, Lantau, being a fine place to stay. Lies west of Tong Fuk, and lacks restaurants, but good spot.

Tung Ping Chau in Mirs Bay makes v different option; really "away from it all". Article on this site - under "Places", where you might find more ideas.

If you try a place or two, Joanne, hope you'll return and post about them.

hey Simone D and Martin,

thanks for the various suggestions and will probably do day trips to check out several locations. all sound good to me particularly the less traveled part of the islands.

will definitely post it on the site for references.

Thanks for cleaning that up Martin, don't know what happened just got 2 post.
Pity you didn't clean up the fact that I got Peng Chau and Ping Chau mixed up. Though you obviously spotted it with the reference to (Tung) Ping Chau in Mirs Bay.
I also would appreciate feedback, particularly on Tung Ping Chau. The Mirs Bay one. Please include quality of rooms, ferries, snorkelling etc. The only thing that's kept me from going back (I stayed with the army on a schooltrip) is my laziness in recon-ing it myself.

how long does it take to walk around Tung Ping Chau in Mirs Bay?

About an hour I think.
I camped in the centre once and walked about 10/15mins to get to either end and 5/8mins to cross it.
I may be way wrong as this was 20 years ago. But if you don't get another answer this will have to do.
I really enjoyed my time there, but I didn't get a chance to snorkel the reef (which many talk about as HK's best). So I've always wanted to go back.
There's an island hopping ferry which leaves from Chinese University Ferry Pier every morning (0900hrs I think), and returns from Tung Ping Chau at around 1700hrs.
If your familiar with the ferry and facilities on the island, it's probably a pleasant and easy trip. But it's a bit daunting if like me you've never done it. I was taken in a landing craft and stayed in army barracks.

I reckon would have to go at fair clip to make circuit in an hour: military yomp?!
Maybe two hours, even four hours if leisurely.

Worth having a look along some of the side trails, to abandoned hamlets w ruined houses among trees.
Yes, good corals by HK standards, tho no real reefs. Can just walk into water off beaches to north of ferry pier, then snorkel.

I like the place in hamlet north of pier, for food and maybe overnight stay (v rustic!). Called Ping Chau Store I think; I should have tel somewhere around.
There's shower, too - useful if swim/snorkel. Dinner can include some local seafood, such as urchins, which abound and bit of a pest perhaps, maybe devouring too much algae.

That camp may well be the place that's now ready as shelter for nuclear fallout (!) - lest an accident at Daya Bay plant, which not far away.

Not so daunting now; can take the ferry from Ma Liu Shui near Univ; I think Saturday best, as gets busy on Sundays: a popular place now, inc voted most beautiful spot in HK in AFCD poll.
I don't think it is most beautiful; but a lovely place, and quite a contrast to elsewhere in HK, inc for the mudstones that led to landscape making it "ping" - level island.

Article on this site re the island:
[url=http://www.hkoutdoors.com/outlying-islands/tung-ping-chau.html]Tung Ping Chau[/url]