Hong Kong does have some places to stay outside the main urban areas.Some are hotels, including in Sha Tin (still urban, but in the New Territories); while there are small village guest houses in wilder places, including several you can only reach by hiking: these really allow you to stay “away from it all”. (Not all the smaller places are licensed, perhaps). Can make interesting choices for budget accommodation.
There are also plenty of campsites – though not (yet) covered here. And as I update in May 2022, official campsites are closed, as some sort of fears Covid may transmit there, even though bars and nightlife spots now opened…
While Covid has also led to higher prices in the few places to stay in rural areas, even as staycation prices in the city are relatively very low.
Places to Stay Outside the City in Hong Kong
Accommodation on Hong Kong Island
As you might guess, Hong Kong Island has very few choices for non-urban accommodation.
Perhaps the only option is the Jockey Club Mount Davis Hostel. It’s atop Mount Davis, a low wooded hill in northwest of the island, west of the Peak. Run by the Hong Kong Youth Hostels Assocation.
Central New Territories accommodation
There are two hotels in Sha Tin, a new town – nigh-on a city in its own right – in the New Territories. Not at all rustic, but convenient for touring the New Territories – including on birding trips.
The Royal Park Hotel is closer to the centre of Sha Tin, including the railway station; and is right beside a busy shopping mall – convenient for a choice of restaurants if you don’t eat in the hotel.
The Regal Riverside Hotel is beside a “river” that’s really a dirty, channelised creek. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the station and main malls.
Tai Mo Shan
The Sze Lok Yuen hostel is in a wild setting on the upper slopes of Hong Kong’s highest mountain, Tai Mo Shan. A good location for hiking this area, and for staying well above the city and – probably – above the worst of the smog. Cooler here; so in summer some respite from humid heat; in winter surely downright chilly at times.
Eastern New Territories accommodation
Double Haven – Sam A Tsuen [sadly, shut by govt officials]
The Fook Lee Teahouse was a wonderful “hostel” (house with rooms where you could stay before being shut) at Sam A Tsuen, a hamlet on the shore of Double Haven, east of Wu Kau Tang. Must hike there (or take a boat), but a great spot. I’ve stayed a few times; comfortable accomm, good food, chilled beer, and tranquillity – and shut down!
Tung Ping Chau: hostels also shut by govt officials
Further east still, there was simple hostel accommodation on Tung Ping Chau, an island in Mirs Bay. Included at the Ping Chau Store, tel 26616941 (may need Cantonese for the call) – but sadly, shut due to government regulations in 2012.
Places to Stay on Lantau Island
Silvermine Beach Hotel is in a pleasant location beside the beach at Mui Wo (Silvermine Bay), on the east coast of Lantau. Great for touring on Lantau; also, around 10 minutes’ walk from ferry pier, with regular ferries to Hong Kong Island.
Fung Wong Bungalow Centre, at Shui Hau on the south coast of Lantau – just west of Cheung Sha (beach) has flats in Spanish villas. A good spot: I’ve stayed. V pleasant, peaceful location, tho to reach restaurants for dinner must take a bus or a taxi, which can be scarce in the evenings, or walk. Tel 2980 2325.
Long Coast Seasports, beside Cheung Sha beach (eastern end – Lower Cheung Sha, next to The Stoep restaurant), looks a pleasant, relaxed place. As the name suggests, you can rent gear for watersports: kayaking, windsurfing, wakeboarding, bodyboarding and surfing.
Tai O has a couple of places, close to the footbridge near the bus terminus:
Espace Elastique has Bed and Breakfast, w real nice en suite rooms in a small village house. Even includes a jacuzzi and a sauna on the roof, open to the sky; Wi-Fi available, tel 29857002.
Solo Lodge is beside the creek; has cafe on a balcony above the water; tel 91537453.
Also, just outside the village, a former police station on a headland overlooking the Pearl River Mouth has been converted to become the Tai O Heritage Hotel.
Accommodation on Cheung Chau (island)
Cheung Chau makes for a laid-back place to stay; plenty of small restaurants, smattering of bars etc. Fast ferries take just over half an hour to reach Central, right within the city. Also, a ferry trundles across to nearby Lantau Island, and to Peng Chau.
The Warwick Hotel is the only hotel on the island. At six storeys, it’s the tallest building on the island; set by the main beach, overlooking the beach, sea and island, and with views towards Kowloon and Hong Kong Island (if possible, don’t book a “mountain view” room!). Fairly basic, but makes for good out-of-city base; only around five minutes’ walk from pier.
There are also holiday flats, mostly also along the beach. Can book these at small boths along waterfront, on arrival on Cheung Chau. Some are v basic – were popular with HK youngsters coming over for barbecues (and, sadly, also became places for suicides by inhaling carbon monoxide from barbecues: decreased popularity!). Some are well furnished and decorated, however, and have cooking facilities etc.
One block of flats near the beach – a couple of minutes’ walk from the ferry pier – fairly recently became Bed and Breakfast, though only deluxe rooms include breakfast. Prices higher Fridays, higher still Saturdays (can also rise during public holidays). Website: B & B Cheung Chau.