Best things to do and eat in Sai Kung
53 Hoi Ha is a chic, pink-coloured house next to serene and isolated Hoi Hai Wan, offering everything from yoga classes and kayaking to snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding. With crystal clear blue waters and a remote location, this getaway also organises activities like pilates, Hiit (high intensity interval training) exercise classes and nature walks.
For a spot of stargazing or a prime position every full moon, head to Sai Kung’s Astropark. Far away from the dirty light of the city, the Astropark boasts an area of 1,200sq m and a range of astronomical instruments you can get busy with. Check the weather forecast to ensure a clear night before popping over and you’re guaranteed a breathtaking view of the night sky.
Taking standup paddleboarding (or SUP) to a whole new level, Blue Sky Sports Club is the only place in Hong Kong where you can try monster standup paddleboarding where up to 10 people get on the same board (rental starts from $2,800 for three hours or $4,200 for the whole day). Sounds hard? You betcha! Monster SUP is a great teambuilding exercise and challenges your core strength but it promises plenty of laughs. If you want something more relaxed, Blue Sky also offers a different kayaking experience with its transparent kayaks, which allow you to see down into the water as you paddle. These cost $300 for two hours.
Goodbye, generic commercial beers. Hello, artisanal breweries. The Bottle Shop is stocked with shelf upon shelf of exotic craft beers and ciders sourced from across five continents. The selection can be overwhelming but everything is meticulously organised and labelled. Whether you’re looking for something hoppy, malty, dark, fruity or barrel-aged, they’re sure to have what you want.
This waterfront fish ’n’ chips joint is owned by a husband and wife team who are crazy about English food. In love with the delicious fish ’n’ chips they used to eat in London’s Camden Town neighbourhood, the couple decided to bring the iconic dish to good ol’ Sai Kung. Rest assured – the moist, crispy and hot battered fish is sure to satisfy.
This dessert shop sells adorable muffins with custard cream centres, which come in flavours like caramel coffee and green tea milk. Even better, you can top them with ice cream or yoghurt. Circle Muffin also sells ‘duffins’ – doughnut-muffin hybrids – and ice cream sandwiches. These guys also take custom orders, so you can bring a whole box of sugary treasures with you on your boat trip.
Sai Kung’s oldest pub has been around since 1988 and has a loyal band of regulars to show for it. A couple of years back, the Duke of York faced closure due to a rent hike but it’s now under new management and thriving once again. With a dive bar vibe and 70s British punk rock playing over the speakers, it’s the perfect spot to grab a drink and play a few rounds of pool.
Hoi Ha Wan is one of four protected marine parks in Hong Kong, renowned for its 60 types of hard coral and 120 species of coral fish. Venture out to the marine park via minibus 7 from Sai Kung Pier and rent kayaks and snorkeling gear from a shop in the tiny village of Hoi Ha when you get there. It takes around 20 minutes of kayaking to reach the main coral colonies. Snorkel underwater and see up close Hong Kong’s beautiful marine life.
Honeymoon Desserts’ mango pudding is the best of the best when it comes to relieving Hong Kong’s sweltering summer heat. Thick mango chunks nestle in a bed of cool, creamy puree and the dessert is bursting with citrusy aromas from the juicy pomelo. The sago adds a satisfying squidgy-ness and once you’ve had one, you’ll be addicted. The branch in Sai Kung is where it all started before its global expansion, so you know the desserts here are top shelf.
Lion’s Nature Education Centre isn’t so much a farm as it is a wide, sprawling park. Take a stroll on a sunny weekend and you’re likely to see plenty of families playing badminton, playing with their dog, bird-watching or simply lying on the grass. The 16-hectare centre is also home to a large lotus pond, an insectarium, a rock academy, shell museum, Chinese medicinal herb garden and a butterfly valley − all of which provide a great opportunity for science-curious kids to explore nature. A large part of the centre consists of natural woodland with a conveniently marked trail. As one sign notes ‘more you walk, more you learn!’ There’s a small cafeteria but Lion’s is the perfect place to enjoy a big picnic, so pack in advance.