With Dad on our minds and the long summer holidays upon us (not that you can tell by the rainfall Hong Kong is currently experiencing!) it’s a good time to barbecue. While there are plenty of free public barbecue sites around Hong Kong, not all are created equal. Don’t even think of firing up a pit on a Sunday at Deep Water Bay – we don’t know which is worse, the closeness to the road or the overcrowding. But that location aside, there are some perfect spots to get your grill on and let the kids runs wild. So which ones do we think rank as the best in town?
TAI TAM COUNTRY PARK – PARKVIEW ENTRANCE
A short stroll downhill from Parkview, to the left down a small paved lane overhanging with trees (conveniently located opposite some well tended restrooms) is a huge open space with numerous agreeably spaced BBQ pits. There is plenty of room for the family dog to run around and for the kids to play games in sight of the adults. Best of all there is a Fusion by Park n Shop at Parkview so you can pick up all the supplies you need before heading into the park.
Opening hours: 24 hours
How to get there: Taxi as the mini bus and bus stops at the bottom of Tai Tam Reservoir Road so it’s quite a hike up to the entrance. Hourly parking available at Parkview while there is a small, metered car park located near the entrance.
SHEK O BEACH
Shek O, a peninsula on the southern coast has to be one of the most beautiful places in Hong Kong. Despite weekends being extremely crowded, it has one of the largest BBQ sites in town with a whopping 39 pits. If you don’t want to take a chance on there actually being space, you can reserve a pit at one of the privately-run barbecue areas right on the beach. For HK$400 you’ll be provided with charcoal and unlimited barbequing time. While supplies can be bought at the Shek O grocery store, it’s expensive in the way the only store in the village can be, so stock up before you get there.
Opening hours: 24 hours at the public site; until 11 p.m. at the private barbecue area.
To book a private site: Call +852 2809 4579 to book Liu’s Barbecue at Shek O main beach.
How to get there: Take a taxi, the number 9 bus or red minibus from Shau Kei Wan MTR. Public parking for private cars is available but gets busy at weekends.
ANGLERS’ BEACH, SHAM TSENG
With lovely views across the water to the three bridges built to connect Hong Kong island to Lantau, this stretch of beach along the Rambler Channel has 11 barbecue pits. But while it’s a good barbecue spot, there is no swimming allowed on the beach, so is a better option come the cooler months. If you don’t feel like taking all your stuff with you, there is a wet market and supermarket in Sham Tseng.
Opening hours: 7 a.m. to midnight.
How to get there: Take the 52X bus from Mongkok or 962B bus from Central to Sham Tseng. You can walk form the centre of town to the beach.
LION ROCK PARK, CHUK YUEN
In the shadow of the famous Lion Rock landmark, are some gorgeous gardens shaded by huge trees where possibly the best barbecue area in Hong Kong is located. Each of the 26 pits has a huge picnic table and benches for relaxing on. Supplies can be picked up from Taste in Festival Walk and if you are feeling fit, there is a hiking trail so you can walk off lunch.
Opening hours: 24 hours.
How to get there: Take minibuses 72 or 73 from Festival Walk at Kowloon Tong MTR and get off at Chuk Yuen Road just after Lung Cheung Road. The park entrance is about 50 meters uphill from the bus stop.
TAI MEI TUK, TAI PO
Tai Mei Tuk means the end of the road in Cantonese, which should give you some idea of the location of this village on the Tolo Harbour, next to the Plover Cove Reservoir. It has plenty of barbecue pits and you can choose between the newer smarter marble pits, or head for the scruffier more rustic sites past the Bradley Jockey Club Youth Hostel, which we think has better views. You can get basic supplies like beer and charcoal from the snack bars, but would need to bring your own food or go to the Tai Po wet market for better quality meat and veggies.
Opening hours: 24 hours.
How to get there: Take the 20C minibus from Tai Po Market MTR. There’s also a cycle track from Tai Po to Tai Mei Tuk, which takes about 45 minutes. Bikes can be rented from many shops in Tai Po.
Lamma might be known for its seafood restaurants but its close proximity to Hong Kong Island means it is a great place to go for the day too. While it may not be as rural as it was when we were children, it still has no cars and limited homes. Hung Shing Ye sandy beach is partially sheltered by trees and has a barbecue area, but we prefer Lo So Shing Beach barbecue area which is set in a scenic cove. While supplies can be found at the various mom and pop stores on Lamma we recommend bringing your own.
Opening hours: 24 hours
How to get there: Lamma is served by ferries from Central Pier 4 on Hong Kong Island and from Aberdeen on the south side of Hong Kong Island. From Central Pier 4 there are services to both Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. Check out the schedules here.
There is also a kaido service between Aberdeen, Mo Tat Wan (a small village on the eastern coast of the island) and Sok Kwu Wan. See the schedule here.
A few more….
NATURE LOVERS WILL LIKE…
Ma On Shan Country Park in Sai Kung (take MTR to Sha Tin, then bus 299 to Sai Kung), which has sites at Ma On Shan Village, Nai Chung, Shui Long Wo and Kei Ling Ha. Tai Mo Shan Country Park (take green minibus 80 from Tsuen Wan MTR to Chuen Lung Village, or take Bus 51 to the bus stop in front of the village), with barbecue sites along Route Twisk.
ONLY FOR THE GROWNUPS….
Kam Shan Country Park in north Kowloon might be beautiful and has barbecue areas along Tai Po Road, the Kowloon Reservoir and Smugglers’ Ridge section of Kam Shan Road. But be careful this trail is where Hong Kong’s macaque monkeys live and they are not shy about trying to get food out of hiker’s backpacks once you stop to eat. Note: take Kowloon Motor Bus 72, 81 or 86B.