If you’re looking for a way to get away from the craziness of the city, but don’t have time or money to travel, camping is for you. It is becoming more popular in Hong Kong, as it is a great way to explore unknown parts of our home. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has 41 campsites, and there are non-government sites, too.
So you can work out one that’s right for you, here are seven of our favourite places, along with some ideas of what to do there!
Sai Wan (AFCD campsite)
Part of the Tai Long Wan bay in Sai Kung, Sai Wan offers beautiful, unspoilt scenery, and easy access to the area’s three other beaches, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan.
How to get there: Take minibus 1A from Choi Hung MTR station to Sai Kung. Then take bus 94 or 96R to Wong Shek pier and take a ferry to Sai Wan.Or take minibus 29R or a taxi to Sai Wan Pavilion, then it’s a 30-40 minute walk.
Lau Shui Heung (AFCD campsite)
This site is great for camping newbies. The Lau Shui Heung Reservoir is a short, easy trek away and is a great place to have a barbecue. And if you’re an Instagram fan, there are loads of gorgeous sights to fill your feed.
How to get there: Take minibus 52B from Fanling MTR Station to Hok Tau. Walk along Lau Shui Heung Road, then turn onto Lau Shui Heung Country Trail.
Pui O Beach Campsite
It’s hard to believe this lovely beach is in Hong Kong. Some people set up camp on the beach, but there is also a government campsite if you have your own tent, and a private one that also holds surfing and adventure camps and supplies tents. If you’re not a fan of the beach, there is also Nam Shan campsite, about a kilometre inland.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo, then take bus 1 to Pui O.
Cheung Sha Beach
This is just along the road from Pui O and is great for sunbathing, hiking, canoeing, swimming and sleeping on the beach, with plenty of eateries around if you don’t feel like boiling water over a fire for cup noodles. There are also two private campsites.
How to get there: Take bus 11 or 23 from Tung Chung MTR, or bus 1, 2, 3 or 4 from Mui Wo.
Just off the coast of Sai Kung, this small island offers a glimpse of old Hong Kong. Full of local restaurants and stalls, Tap Mun Hoi Pong Street is a reminder of the city’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. Climb to the top of the 400-year-old Tin Hau Temple for panoramic sea views.
How to get there: Take bus 94 from Sai Kung to Wong Shek Pier, where you can take a kaito or small ferry to Tap Mun. Alternatively, take a taxi from University MTR station to Ma Liu Shui Ferry Pier and take a kaito from there.
Hok Tau Campsite (AFCD campsite)
Aside from its beaches, Hok Tau boasts plenty of trees, birds and a freshwater stream. The campsite has barbecue pits, tables, bathrooms and clothesliness so you can wash out and hang up your sweaty gear.
How to get there: Take minibus 52B from Fanling MTR Station to Hok Tau Tsuen Terminus. Walk along Hok Tau Road towards Hok Tau Reservoir.
Tai Mo Shan
This campground sits on Hong Kong’s tallest mountain, making it perfect if you want to stay cool during the scorching summer months. Hike up to the mountain’s highest point, or head over to the 35-metre waterfall. Also within walking distance are the Wilson and MacLehose trails for hiking fanatics.
How to get there: Take bus 51 from Tsuen Wan West Railway Station and get off at “Country Park”.
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Before you set off on your next adventure, prepare yourself with this good advice:
1 Be ahead of the game
Pay attention to weather forecasts and reports. Be careful when you decide to go camping, as each season has its own problems.
Cold temperatures during winter can lead hypothermia, so make sure you wrap up warm if you’re camping on high ground. Don’t forget, even during the summer it can feel cold at night, so make sure you bring a sleeping bag.
Low humidity increases the risk of hill fires. Fog means hikers can get easily lost, while the tropical weather we can expect for the next few can lead to thunderstorms, typhoons and floods.
High temperatures may also cause heat stroke, so remember to drink lots of water, even if you’re just lying on a beach!
2 Go with your friends, never solo
Travel in groups of at least four, and inform family or friends of your travel plans. Provide them with your intended route and destination, start and finishing date, and the names, ages and phone numbers of all the members of your group.
3 Bring the right equipment
Wear long-sleeved clothing to prevent insect bites, and wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun. A walking stick can be useful if you plan on doing any challenging hikes. Pack spare clothes in a plastic bag, and don’t forget essentials such as a first-aid kit, water, food, paper map (in case your phone dies), and a spare phone battery. A torch, radio, rain coat and whistle are also good ideas.
4 Whatever happens, stay calm
In case of floods, landslides or fire, stay calm, and call emergency services as soon as you have network. Don’t venture from the marked path, but instead retrace your steps or take another path to the nearest safe location.