Tai Long Wan Sai Kung

tai long wan sai kung This is a magical place! Set in the east coast of the Sai Kung Peninsula (西貢半島), Tai Long Wan - Big Wave Bay - is a large bay with white sand beaches flanked by rugged headlands, backed by abandoned fields beyond which rise some impressive hills.

There are rocky islets offshore; beyond them is the South China Sea (Mirs Bay); in onshore winds the swell is indeed impressive, all the more so as the sea is relatively unpolluted, and can be a splendid tropical blue or turquoise.

Hiking to Tai Long Wan

Unless you can arrive by boat or even helicopter, you head here by a bit of a hike. The main route follows a stretch of Maclehose Trail, up and over the ridge from Chek Keng - which you can walk to from a bus stop at Pak Tam Au, though I occasionally take an easier option, riding a speedboat from Wong Shek Pier. Though illegal, ride at your own risk, these speedboats are fun: it seems no matter how much they bounce around, the drivers seem to remain still as statues.

The walk up to the ridge is a fairly long pull, especially on a hot day (phew!).

But once at the top, you can rest, and you're rewarded with panoramic views across hills and bay, with Sharp Peak's distinctive profile on your left. Then, the trail winds down, to the hamlet of Tai Long, where the First Stop cafe may be a tempting place for a drink.

The trail from here is pretty much dead level. The Maclehose Trail bears right, while I prefer to keep left, to another hamlet, Ham Tin, beside a wonderful beach. There are a couple of simple restaurants here, opening at weekends and on public holidays, less reliably on weekdays: the food may be simple, but the location is five-star.

Just north of one of these restaurants is an unenticing looking trail, up into trees on a small headland. If you've come this far, you've gotta take this trail - it's not far to the top of the headland, and from here the view is simply glorious. The best beach in Hong Kong - at Tai Wan - is laid out below you, stretching away to the foothills of Sharp Peak, with only rough grass and bushes behind: there isn't a building in sight! (Mind you, a wannabe developer seems fond of hatching schemes to change that. Happily, these schemes have so far been rebuffed, and thanks to hikers and others, the Town Planning Board has made this an area where special permission is needed for development.)

Especially if it's a hot day, you may want to just chill out on this beach - watching surf dudes if surf's up (be careful if you swim; there are no lifeguards, and the currents can be treacherous; swimmers have died here). But if the weather's ok and you have a burst of energy, well, maybe opt for some serious hiking.

Head south, and you can pass through another village in a neighbouring bay, Sai Wan, then head up, and climb into the hills to follow the Luk Wu Hiking Trail: it passes through a pretty wild landscape, that even reminded two Finnish friends of Arctic tundra! (to me, recalled the North Yorkshire Moors). The stream reaching the sea at Sai Wan is also rated a good hiking/clambering route by adventurous folk: there are waterfalls en route; and, I'm told, at least one somewhat dodgy place where you have to briefly become a rock climber.

sharp peak

Or try the headland to the north - peering down cliffs at the tip to the sea below, then following the rough tracks up Sharp Peak. The trails are ok to the "shoulder" of the peak; but then, there are suddenly steeper trails, with abundant small stones underfoot making them easy to skid on. Still, Sharp Peak is a good hill to conquer; and a great vantage for admiring Tai Long Wan and far more of the Sai Kung Peninsula and nearby HK.

From Sharp Peak, you can return to the ridge, before dropping down to Chek Keng for a speedboat, or hiking on to Pak Tam Au.

Tai Long Wan in Explore Wild Hong Kong!:

On Sundays and public holidays, bus 96R from Diamond Hill MTR station serves Wong Shek Pier (via Sai Kung). There's also a frequent daily bus service (94) from Sai Kung to Wong Shek Pier.

To reach Sai Kung, you could take a bus or minibus from Diamond Hill or Choi Hung MTR stations; or - if you're travelling from Hong Kong Island - Hang Hau MTR station.

The speedboat from Wong Shek Pier to Chek Keng costs HK$60 for 1-3 people, HK$20 for each additional person.

DocMartin

Comments

Me and My frienz wanna go to Sai Kung Tai Long to hike also but we cant decide where to make the MEETING PLACE........can yhue plz help us? Where would be the best place to be the meeting place?
Martin Williams's picture

Depends partly how you'll travel there

Maybe at Sai Kung; in cafe near bus station.

But if taking direct transport to Pak Tam Au or Wong Shek Pier, well, maybe one or other of these should be the place; or at bus station like Diamond Hill, if a Sun/public holiday and this is convenient place for you.

WIll help if you have mobile phones.

Martin

Sai Kung MacDonald Restaurant, there is a Welcome Supermarket next to it. And you can take a mini-bus to Sai Wan Pavilion (Sai Wan Ting), for more details: search hkwalkers [defunct?] and you can check the time table of the minibus as below: [also defunct site?]
From Pak Tam Au to Sai Kung City, you can take the bus ( route 94). .

Do you have to take the same hike back from the beach? Is it safe to do so in the dark?

If there is a bright moon, you don't even need a torch. The Way to Sai Wan is concrete. And the Way further to Tai Long Wan is mostly concrete, too.

Martin Williams's picture

Yes, it's a hike back; easiest way is back to Pak Tam Au (or maybe head to Wong Shek Pier via speedboat from Chek Keng).

I've done much of this in dark once, with only feeble keyring torch; but by accident (almost walked into a pangolin!). Paths good, so should be ok if you have good torch; but I'd think it best to finish hike by dusk.

Hi,

Is there this service of speedboats, or do we have to have our own?

Thanks
Mafalda

Martin Williams's picture

Not your own; likely to be boats there

 

Martin

Can you get any boats out to the tai long wan? is that easy to get there and organize for them to come and collect you again?

Martin Williams's picture

Yes, there are speedboats out to Tai Long Wan, from Sai Kung [somewhere near the public pier w the boats to Kau Sai Chau, I believe]. On per hire basis; there is a standard charge but can't remember just now - several hundred hk dollars per boat.
Should be fine for the boatman to return and collect you; but phoning for him to do so may not be too easy given poor mobile phone signals in the area [or maybe set a time; or see if can use a restaurant phone].

I've been to Sai Wan, and restaurant or two there helped with booking aft speedboats back to Sai Kung; could be on a sharing basis, maybe first come first served if several people wanting to go. Easier at weekends and during public holidays. Not sure if same can apply from Ham Tin as well.

BUT recently seen photo of gate being put up on main path to Sai Wan; I don't know what this means re Sai Wan visiting by boat or hiking from elsewhere.

- and NOTE in fresh easterly winds, the sea round the coast here can be rough; makes for a very bouncy ride!

Dear all,

Would like to go to Tai Long Wan for camping during one week-end with my kids (they are 5 and 3). Do you think it is feasible and not too "dangerous" for them? I've heard (but don't know if it is true) that we can rent tent there? Could you confirm? Anything else I should know for a safe and enjoyable week-end there?

Martin Williams's picture

Should be fine, tho care re heat

Think there's some info in a forum thread here inc camping gear hire; I haven't done, but believe that can rent a tent at one of the Ham Tin restaurants

Martin

Are there any bikes for rent in this area?

Martin Williams's picture

Might be some for rent in Sai Kung town

None at Tai Long Wan itself

know where i can buy/find a cycling map?
thanks

Martin Williams's picture

No

 

Maybe try post in activities forum here.

Hi =),

My friends and I were planning to have a swim there on the beach but are there any Changing Rooms there so that we can change????
ASAP thanks!!! =D

Martin Williams's picture

No changing rooms that I know of; not sure if can use toilets in small restaurants. Otherwise, head for the bushes perhaps?!

Remember to take great care swimming there, lest undertows etc.

Also, in this heat, take care with hike there - drink plenty, inc some salt.

"Hi =),

My friends and I were planning to have a swim there on the beach but are there any Changing Rooms there so that we can change????
ASAP thanks!!! =D"

Yes at the Restaurant on beach 2. Its the one closer to beach 3, they have showers and toilets.

My partner and I would like to camp overnight
in Tai Wan, but we can only see a campsite listed
in Sai Wan. Can we camp at unmarked areas I.e
at Tai Wan specifically?

Thanks!!!

Martin Williams's picture

People camp on the beach

Martin Williams's picture

I've seen people camping above main tide line on Tai Wan beach.

Though you already know this, as I've posted same info here previously...

I've planned a camping trip for mid-november and would like some advice if possible.

We plan to take the boat from Wong Shek Pier. Will that take us to TLW or Ham Tin?
How long is the walk to the nearest camp site?
If there are no camp sites, can we pitch our tents anywhere that's got flat ground?
Are there bbq pits?
Will it be cold?

Thanks,

RC

Martin Williams's picture

Boat from Wong Shek to Chek Keng; hike up and over from there.
Long way by boat to Tai Long Wan; gets rough with easterly winds.

No bbq pits I recall.

Probably not cold in November.

We're four of us planning to hike to Tai Long Wan from Pak Tam Au one weekend, is there anywhere to stay at any of the beaches there? We don't have a tent unfortunately. And what is the best way back? How long is the trek approx. to Pak Tam Chung, or back to Pak Tam Au?
Very grateful for any advice and tip!

Martin Williams's picture

I've seen people camping on Tai Wan beach, above tideline.

Believe there are tents for hire at one or both of restaurants at Ham Tin (mentioned in another comment?)

Maybe 1.5 - 2hrs from Ham Tin to Pak Tam Au.

Hey,

I wanna go surfing at Tai Long Wan. I heard there is a mini-bus from University Station to Sai Kung. Is that true? Where does the bus stop and how do I get to the Piet to where I have to take the speed boat? When I jump out of the speed boat, how do I hike to the beach?
And is there a surfshop at the beach?
Is there any Hong Kong surf forecast site?

Thanks for your answer!!

Hey,

This is some valuable infomation site!!

I wanted to go surfing at Tai Long Wan. I heard there is a minibus from University station (where I'm living)to Sai Kung?! Where does the bus stop and and where do I jump on the speed boat? Would this be Wong Shek Pier? After the speed boat how do I hike to Tai Long Wan?

Can I rent surfboards at the beach, if yes do you have their contact information?
Is there any Hong Kong surf forecast site?

Thank you for the response in advance.

Hi,

Funny, I live at the CUHK campus as well, I might know you haha. Would be fun to go camping/surfing this weekend. Would you be up for that?

Give me a call at 63543626 and we'll sort it out.

Cheers,

Ischa

Hi,

I will go this weekend and live at the uni also.

If you give me a call at 63543626 we'll sort it out!

Cheers

la spiaggia è fantastica,il mare è stupendo ma per arrivare c'e' da prendere il bus da diamond hill fino a sai kung,poi da sai kung a wong shek pier ma non arrivare fino a wong shek pier.Tu devi fermarti ad una fermata intermedia e proseguire scalando delle montagne ,ma il cammino è molto difficile ,io ed un mio amico ci abbiamo messo 3\4 ore ed eravamo quasi morti.Un alternativa e ritornare tramite una barca da tai long wan a sai kung ,la barca e' cara costa 120 dollari a testa ma e' comodo rispetto a tornare camminando ,la barca passa alle 4 del pomerigio ,solo una volta poi basta.Li sulla spiagia non ce niente ma è un paesaggio fantastico,giuro da morire dalla bellezza.Un altro modo per arrivarci sarebbe quello di conoscere qualcuno che da sai kung all'andata e' disposto a portarvi via mare,oppure dicono che da wong shek pier ci siano boat ma a me non risultava e l'unico modo e' stato via montagne :-)

me and my friends are going for surfing and camping, is there any surfboard we can rent?

We provide lessons and rental

Feel free to contact us for more info or check out our facebook/website

Thanks :)

Becky

http://www.facebook.com/SurfHK

Surf Hong Kong

are there surfboards to rent?

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