While enjoying a trip to Hong Kong, you could also stay at a natural park instead of a hotel. There are 41 government built campsites in the country parks around Hong Kong. In addition to these, there are private and YMCA camp areas.
This article focuses on five great places to camp in the parklands and public beaches. Not all of them are built campsites. Business travellers, tourists, shoppers, and backpackers might find that natural camping during your trip will make for an even better experience than staying in a hotel.
1) Big Wave Bay Camping Highlights
- Location: near Sai Kung.
- Features: Big, clean, and wild beaches. It is remote and reached by hiking on foot or riding a boat or yacht. Probably Hong Kong's best. Small cafés. Government campsite for 10 tents.
- Activities: hiking, surfing, relaxing, wild camping, and enjoying solitude.
The Tai Long Wan 大浪灣 or Big Wave Bay area beaches are legendary. Largely unspoiled, its fame is drawing hiking groups and developers. It is still perhaps the most beautiful big beach area and good for tent camping. In this picturesque natural area, you'll find a public campsite, stores, and four beaches.
The Stage 2 of the MacLehose Trail, the beautiful scenery, and the solitude are the highlights. It is also within a Geo Park area that many people will find equally enjoyable for hiking and sightseeing.
Four Big Beaches
Big Wave Bay has four beaches that are separated by rocky outcroppings. Going south to north, they are Sai Wan (西灣 West Bay), Ham Tin Wan (咸田灣, Salty Field Bay), Tai Wan (大灣, the biggest), and Tung Wan (東灣, East Bay).
Sai Wan's scenery is amazing. It is up for controversy whether Sai Wan or Tai Wan is more beautiful. Sai Wan was listed as Hong Kong's most scenic spot about 8 years ago. There are small eateries, and you can also rent equipment such as tents and surf boards inexpensively.
Ham Tin Wan is the next beach about a kilometer north. The several hundred meter long beach has a government-run campsite with space for ten tents. The bathroom with flushing toilets is about 200 meters from the campsite. A store rents sleeping bags, mats, and tents. It is separated from Tai Wan by a narrow ridge of rock.
Tai Wan is about 600 meters long, and it is the biggest beach. It is also called Tai Long Wan. You can enjoy the white sand and clear water. There are no shark nets or lifeguards on any of these beaches. The current may be too strong at times for all but the best swimmers and surfers.
Tung Wan, the fourth beach, is about 200 meters long. These last two beaches are more secluded since there are no restaurants or stores by them. You can enjoy camping right on them.
Directions: The drop off point for the MacLehose trail is the Sai Wan Pavilion terminal. You could get there by taxi or our China Highlights driver. If going by taxi, say Sai Wan Pavilion and show the driver: 西灣亭 for 大浪灣遠足郊遊徑. A green taxi from Sai Kung to the pavilion costs about 90 or 100 HKD.
To go by public transport:
- Take the MTR Green Line to Choi Hung and take the 1A Green Minibus to Sai Kung (40 minutes).
- Take Minibus 29R outside McDonalds or a taxi from Sai Kung and go to the Sai Wan Pavilion terminal (30 minutes).
- Follow the signposts and paths to Sai Wan (40 minutes).
- Follow the path to the next three beaches: Sai Wan to Ham Tin (40 minutes), Ham Tin to Tai Wan (15 minutes), and Tai Wan to Tung Wan (40 minutes).
To go back: You could follow the trail back for a bus, but a quicker way might be to take a boat back if a restaurant owner orders a boat to take you back. This ride might cost about 120 HKD. You could also walk from Ham Tin to Chek Keng pier. This walk is fairly strenuous and takes about an hour.
Gear rental: Since you can rent equipment, you could forego bringing your own equipment. But bring a flashlight, some favorite food, and personal gear. You can surf when there is a storm offshore. Two person tents, about 120 HKD. Sleeping bag, about 60 HKD.
2) Pui O Beach Campsite
- Location: southern Lantau Island near the village of Pui O.
- Features: Clean, good public beach with facilities such as bathrooms, free showers, BBQ grills, tables, café, tent camping site for 52 tents, lifeguard services, and shark nets. There is an outdoor adventure company there and a kiosk for renting surfboards and other equipment.
- Activities: sunbathing, hiking, canoeing, swimming, eating, barbecuing, camping, relaxing, and surfing.
Lantau Island is the biggest island, and it has large country parks with high mountains like Tai Mo Shan in Kowloon. You can hike to the top of Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak, but you can’t hike to the top of Tai Mo Shan. Pui O Beach has a government-run campsite area. In how many places in the world can you find such a great free park campground next to a big clean white sand beach?
The beach is broad, sandy and quite long with no rocks, so it's safer for surfing. When the waves are right, it is one of the best surfing beaches. Kayaks and surfboards can be rented. There are small islands and inlets around it that you can row out to. The trails in the area go up to some of Hong Kong's best camping and hiking areas.
There is both a free government-run campsite that is first come first serve and a private sandy camping area behind Ooh La La. The company rents tents and bicycles. Pui O is close enough to walk to for food and drinks, but the beach café offers Western food such as grilled hamburgers, fries and beer.
Directions: It is quite easy to reach this campground by public transport, taxi, or a China Highlights driver from Tung Chung or Mui Wo. Show the taxi driver: 大嶼山貝澳露營區. The fare from Tung Chung is 93 HKD.
To go by public transport: First take a subway or bus to Tung Chung Station and take Bus 3M to Pui O (30 minutes). Or take a ferry to Mui O, and take any bus to Pui O (15 minutes). Then walk down Chi Ma Wan Road.
3) Nam Shan Campgrounds
- Location: southern Lantau Island in the hills above the village of Pui O.
- Features: Clean, big campground area with with facilities such as bathrooms, free showers, BBQ grills, tables, and tent camping sites for 60 tents. It is located right next to the road for easy access.
- Activities: hiking, eating, barbecuing, camping, relaxing.
This is a big, complete campground area near Pui O. It allows you to enjoy the same area for hiking and excursions down to Pui O Beach. This campground area has several campgrounds that are spread out over over a large area. You can find a variety of tent sites.
This campground is on South Lantau Road. It is an easy hike down to Pui O, or you could simply take a bus down. There are extensive woodlands all around. You can hike up to Lantau Peak (934 meters or 3,070 feet) and Sunset Peak (869 meters or 2,851 feet) and follow the Lantau Trail that is one of the best in Hong Kong.
Health and safety suggestions: Water is freely available, but it might not be potable. So filter it or boil it. In the last few years, more Chinese have been squatting in the hills and staying in the campgrounds for long periods of time. Crime and harassment is increasing. Be on guard with your belongings and especially after dark.
Directions: Getting there is the same as getting to Pui O. It is quite easy to reach this campground by public transport, taxi, or with a China Highlights driver. Show the taxi driver: 南山營地. The fare from Tung Chung will be a about 120 HKD.
To go by public transport: Take the 3M from Tung Chung or any bus from Mui Wo. Get off at the Nam Sham stop.
4) Tai Mo Shan Rotary Park Campground
- Location: north of Kowloon
- Features: Small campground next to the Rotary Club parking lot. Access is easy. It is next to Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Center. Bathrooms, tables, fire pits, etc.
- Activities: hiking, eating, barbecuing, camping, smelling flowers, and relaxing.
This government campground is sponsored by the Rotary Club. It is a small campsite that is set next to flower gardens, and it is on Hong Kong's tallest mountain. You can hike on the mountain and along the trails north of Kowloon in North-Central Hong Kong.
This campground is on Tai Mo Shan that is Hong Kong's tallest peak at 957 meters or 3,200 feet. Some residents go there to keep cool during hot summers, and the temperatures drop to near freezing sometimes in winter. You could hike for an hour an a half to the peak or hike around to see the 35 meter high waterfall. It is next to the Wilson Trail that is probably Hong Kong's fourth best hiking path. You could also go to the MacLehose trail.
Directions: You could go there by taxi or one of our China Highlights drivers. Show this to the driver for the campsite: 大帽山郊野公園遊客中心. The fare is about 95 HKD from the Tsuen Wan MTR.
To go by public transport: Take Bus 51 (to Kam Tin) from the Tsuen Wan West Railway Station's bus stops. Get off at the bus stop called "Country Park" and walk for 5 minutes.
5) Cheung Sha Beach Private Camping
- Location: southern Lantau Island about six kilometers west of Pui O.
- Features: Clean, good public beach with facilities such as bathrooms, showers, life guards, shark nets, private campgrounds and well known restaurants. A rental shop rents kayaks you can use to kayak out to small islands and along the coast.
- Activities: sunbathing, hiking, canoeing, swimming, barbecuing, and dining.
Cheung Sha Beach is the biggest beach in Hong Kong. It is altogether 3 kilometers long. It is comprised of Upper Changsha Beach and Lower Changsha Beach. It is a government-run public beach, but unlike the other two beach areas at Tai Long Wan and Pui O, there is no government-run campground. But for those who want ready-made camping, there are two private camp areas.
Palm Beach offers teepees and safari tents. Long Coast Seaports has ready made tent accommodations that may even have air conditioning. Lantau South Country Park is adjacent to the beach, and you can hike up the trails to Lantau Peak.
Hiking suggestions: Lantau Peak is to the north. Be aware that portions of the trail are rocky and that the steps are uneven. In wet weather, the path can be slick and dangerous. On hot sunny days, take a lot of water. Be aware that groups of Chinese squatters are in the hills. Be alert when hiking after dark.
Directions: It is quite easy to reach by public transport, taxi, or a China Highlights driver. From Tung Chung, taxi fare is about 100 HKD. Show this to the driver: 長沙泳灘.
To go by public transport: First take a subway or bus to Tung Chung Station and take Bus 11 or 23 (30 minutes). From Mui O, take Bus 1, 2, 3, or 4 (20 minutes).
Gear rental: Depending on the day, tents range in price from 200 HKD for the smallest to several thousand HKD for the best furnished. The prices increase on holidays.
Plan and make trip arrangements: China Highlights can help you design a trip including hiking and camping in Hong Kong. We specialize in getting tickets and transportation for trips to Hong Kong and cities in Chinese mainland according to your interests and travel constraints. We can provide private vehicles, drivers, and guides for groups or individuals. We'll try to arrange your Hong Kong hotel rooms, Hong Kong and China flight tickets, and train tickets for a great trip.
Recommended Hong Kong Tour Packages
2-Day Hong Kong Coach Tour: Visit the local highlights on a bus. Ask our tour experts to include camping.
You can create your own dream trip and visit the places you want in China and Hong Kong while you enjoy camping in Hong Kong too.