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Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sai Kung: Tai Lon Sai Wan


Duration: 
Excluding the waterfall hiking and any break: 3.5/4 hours walk (about 8k) to the Sha Tau pier. 5 hours (about 9.5k) to the bus stop on Pak Tam road.
Difficulty: To Ham Tin Wan, easy and mostly downhill. A bit of incline afterwards over a longer distance.
Appreciation: 10/10. The beach views are incredible, you'd think you're in Hawaii.
Transportation: Better go on a Sunday as the other days make transportation harder. From Diamond Hill MTR station, take KMB 92 to the Sai Kung Bus Terminus (50min). Then, in front of the McDonald's on  Chan Man street, take the special 29R mini-bus which will bring you to the Sai Wan Road Pavilion (25min).
The mini-bus is meant for the local residents so the schedule is not available on the Transport Department's site. However, it is available here:
http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_405/nr29.pdf
Why it's worth it: 





Garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/297642121 (to Ham Tin beach only)
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Get to the Diamond Hill MTR station.'s bus terminus. Bus 92 will get you to Sai Kung any day. It is about 1/3 the price of 96R but it is slightly longer (50 minutes instead of 35). On Sundays and holidays, you have the option of taking 96R. Check the PTES schedule for details (http://hketransport.gov.hk).
Once in Saikung, you can either wait to get to the bus terminus or get out one stop before, at the Police Station. Might be good if you intend to beat the hikers crowd to the 29R village bus which has limited seating (28) and frequency. You will want to get to Chan Man street.

On the left, that's the signpost for the 29R, right by the McDonald's (it looks handmade). The bus itself is a little bit larger than a regular mini-bus (pic on the right). If you miss the bus, take a cab and ask them for the Sai Wan Pavilion.
Sai Wan Pavilion - 西灣亭


After about a 20-25 minutes ride, the 29R will drop you off at the Sai Wan Pavilion, right by our trail head. Just follow the trail.

The full map of the trek. It's clickable (all the images are) to get the full-size version for printing. The double-dots route is the optional stream-trek.
About halfway to Sai Wan, you'll climb a bunch of steps and get to a map point. Go straight.

Arriving at the Sai Wan village. Just go straight through.

At the crossroad, just before the beach, head left. You'll get over a little hill, to another beach.

On the Sai Wan beach, keep left an follow the stream if you want to do the stream-trek portion. Otherwise, keep going straight, cross the small stream and climb up the path towards right. It's about a 40 minutes walk to the next beach, great vistas but no shades along the way (hat and water are "de rigueur").

Ham Tin Wan. Take a break , enjoy some food and refreshments. You can rent all sorts of beach gear at the store. If you are too tired to keep walking, you can talk to the store manager and book a boat back for $110 per person. I personally think it's better to keep going and take the boat at the Sha Tau Pier which is cheaper ($20) and will have you go by a fishing village.

Once you are done soaking the sun at the beach, just zip through the store to the back and head left at the crossroad, following the path made of pavers.


Right you exit the village, there will be a confusing 90 degree turn. Keep on the path and head left. From that point on, it's pretty much just about following the path which climbs for a good extra hour. Nice and shaded though and not too steep. I unfortunately didn't take a picture but at milestone M042, you will see a path going down on your right, towards the bay and the Sha Tau pier at a distance. Take it. Now, at the bottom of the stairs, if you head left, you will have about an hour more of walking to do. You can also go straight, go to the pier and catch a boat to Wong Shek Pier and the bus terminus.

Bus Terminus at Wonh Shek Pier. 96R will get you to the Diamong Hill MTR station.