Escape the hectic city life and take the family to explore Sai Kung!
Sai Kung is known as Hong Kong’s back garden and there are plenty of reasons why. This charming former fishing village with its bustling public pier has much to offer. Whether you are after a full-on active hike, a boat trip to a white sandy beach, or a visit to one of three UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sai Kung has something for the entire family. The lush mountains, clear blue sea and abundant wildlife are a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Read more: Your Family-Friendly Guide To Cheung Chau
Editor’s Note: The situation in Hong Kong regarding closures and restrictions on opening hours due to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. Many businesses are taking extra precautions, but please make sure you follow the latest government advice and stay home if you have recently travelled overseas, have interacted with anyone who has been away, or display any symptoms.
Family-Friendly Restaurants In Sai Kung
Sai Kung’s Hoi Pong Square is the hub for family-friendly dining. Most of the restaurants offer alfresco seating around an open area with a colourful children’s playground. Parents can look on as their little people scoot and run between bites of food! But don’t neglect Seafood Street along the waterfront or the cafés hidden in the back streets of the Old Town for that true Sai Kung dining experience.
Dining Options In Hoi Pong Square
With its breezy, leafy interior, The Conservatory (part of the Enoteca restaurant group) is arguably the chicest eatery in the Square. The delectable sharing plate menu boasts creative pizzas, a refreshing mint and quinoa salad, seared sesame tuna bites and tender spiced lamb cutlets. The children’s menu serves up crowd-pleasers like fish goujons and potato wedges as well as a unique Tiffins selection of veg packed options! The breakfast menu is also sure to appeal with your typical egg offerings alongside tasty treats like the melted brie and mushrooms on toast as well as affordable kid-friendly options.
CENA’s inviting wooden tables, great tunes and Latin flare bring a cool vibe to the Square. The tapas-style menu delivers on both variety and flavour. Favourites include pulled pork tacos and Baja fish with cilantro mayo. The many homemade sodas (including a cola with far less sugar!) are a hit with the kids as is the dedicated kids’ menu (with standard fare like pizza, pasta, chicken and chips).
Hong Kong’s beloved Castelo Concepts has two family favourite outposts in the square: Jaspas and Piccolo’s. Both offer eclectic twists on Western fare, as well as a popular kids menu. These are your go-to in a pinch when you want consistently family-friendly food and a fun atmosphere.
Craving something sweet? This bakery is perfect for picking up all your favourite pastries, cakes as well as savoury items like Aussie-style meat pies.
Sassy Mama tip: Ali Oli also offers an affordable catering service with delivery all over Hong Kong.
Man Nin Wah Roasted Meat Restaurant
Truly a local legend. It’s been around since the ’70s and serves up some proper char siu fan.
Man Nin Wah Roasted Meat Restaurant, 28 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
Seafood Restaurants In Sai Kung
A visit to Sai Kung would not be complete without a stroll along its bustling waterfront. Seafood Street is home to several impressive seafood restaurants. The live seafood is displayed in huge tanks. Diners can make a choice from the vast variety of freshly caught seafood (think tiger shrimp, razor clams, king crabs, lobster and cuttlefish) and have it cooked to taste or order off the set menu with plenty of guidance from the knowledgeable staff. Don’t be surprised to see some pampered pets sitting on chairs next to their owners. The Sai Kung pier is teaming with dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Seafood Street, Sai Kung Waterfront Promenade, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant
There are plenty of seafood restaurants to choose from in Sai Kung, but this one boasts a Michelin-recommendation to go along with its waterfront location at the back of the Old Town.
Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant, 96 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, 2792 6938
More Sai Kung Dining Recommendations
Locally owned and run, Little Cove offers much more than great coffee and a cool beachy vibe. Their healthy, tasty, menu focuses on organic ingredients. Top choices include Brioche French Toast, any of the creative smoothie bowls (the fave of the moment is the Spirulina bowl with coconut honey and strawberries) or the hearty Harissa Pulled Pork on homemade sourdough.
Little Cove Espresso, Sai Kung Town Villa Block A, Siu Yat Building Block A, Shop 1+2, G/F, Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, 9572 8560, [email protected] www.facebook.com/littlecoveespresso
Chez Raymond de Paris is a little cosy steakhouse with a great atmosphere, top quality service and good meat. Try the Tenderloin Rossini and Ribeye or opt for one of its many French classics (from duck to foie gras to melt-in-your-mouth lamb). You could always indulge with the Fine Wine Dinner For Two ($2,180) which includes both the tenderloin and ribeye, along with delicious soup, charcuterie, dessert and, of course, an excellent bottle of wine.
Located across from the main pier, Momentai offers seafood, burgers and pasta staples along with an extensive craft beer selection. Sit back on the deck, watch the boats across the water, maybe play a game of pool or some board games with the family. It’s a relaxed atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.
This British-style gastropub is an all-around crowd-pleaser serving up pub staples like the “No Wasted Beer Battered Cod” and the “Cumberland Sausage Skillet” alongside lighter salads and flatbreads. There’s also a brunch menu served until 4pm daily as well as a dedicated kids menu. Living in the area? Be sure to visit with your little ones in the morning for Bubs In Pubs. From 9am to 11am, Monday to Friday, the space is transformed into a meetup area for mums complete with soft play area.
Editor’s note: Bubs In Pubs isn’t running at the moment due to social distancing restrictions. Please contact the pub for latest details when restrictions ease.
Where To Shop In Sai Kung
Sai Kung Old Town
Sai Kung’s Old Town is a warren of little alleys with surprises around every corner. It’s a mix of local eateries, spas, and a host of off-the-beaten-path shops. We suggest you begin at the Tin Hau Temple, which just celebrated its 100th year and is worth a visit. Work your way through the winding narrow streets until you end up on See Cheung Street parallel to the seafront.
Maven stocks home décor, clothing, and bed and bath products sourced from India and Europe. Beautiful patterned quilts and scarves catch the eye, and the gorgeous line of candles, soaps and diffusers please your senses. The helpful staff are happy to help with anything you may need.
Be Candle is a gem of a shop offering artisan scented candles. Treat the family to a bespoke candle-making workshop. Its DIY class lets you tap into your creative side. Choose your own, unique, scent by blending specialty fragrance oils and dried flowers, and learn the art of candle making. Be sure to book your experience in advance!
Owned by a Frenchman who has made Hong Kong his home, this charming establishment sells a range of tempting products. Superb well-priced wines, jams, French cutlery and tableware, donkey’s milk soaps, and ooh the cheese! There is even a selection of penny sweets that will please the wee ones and allow extra time to linger and shop.
Shopping In Sai Kung Town
G.O.D. is the quintessentially Hong Kong shopping experience. Its east-meets-west line includes clothing, gifts and lifestyle products. The Nathan Road cushion cover and the letterbox placemats are always popular. Peruse through its one of a kind designs and you’ll be sure to pick up a trinket!
Zero wasters rejoice! Live Zero carries everything from grains to kombucha to floor cleaner. Check its website to see exactly what is available in-store, pack your containers and you’ll be all set to go. Sassy Mama also has it on good authority that one of our favourite home and lifestyle stores, Thorn and Burrow, will be opening in the space upstairs in the coming weeks.
Whether you are in need of a good butcher for some delicious prime cuts to BBQ at home or looking for a tasty, family-pleasing lunch set in Sai Kung, Bones & Blades is a great place to start. We love that as well as quality cuts, this store sources its meats from family-owned farms that support sustainable practices. Be sure to ask for the team’s expert opinion and cooking advice!
If your trip to Sai Kung involves water sport of any sort, look no further than Island Wake to kit you and your little ones out. Here you’ll find sunscreen, swimwear, rash vests, sunglasses, beachwear and an array of colourful flip-flops. The shop also specialises in surf and skateboard gear.
Named after the 1886 classic, Kidnapped Bookshop is a local treasure. The largely English language bookshop has a second floor devoted to kids of all ages. Books are thoughtfully categorised by age and interest. There is also a section with many educational toys and games; perfect for that last-minute birthday present!
What To Do With Kids In Sai Kung
Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark and Volcano Discovery Centre
Located at the Waterfront Park, this centre is a good place to stop into and plan your visit to one of the many islands and beaches around Sai Kung. Click here for hours and more info.
Editor’s note: The Discovery Centre is currently closed due to government COVID restrictions. Please check the website for the latest opening details.
Sharp Island/Hap Mun Bay
There are two beaches at Sharp Island. We recommend that you take a boat (which should cost about $30 to $40 round trip) from Sai Kung Pier to the first beach, Kiu Tsui. From there, you can see the Tombolo land bridge connecting Sharp Island to Kiu Tau. Take a walk across this natural wonder at low tide for a short outing. If you have more time, hike the 1.7 km over to Hap Mun Bay beach and take a boat back from the pier there. The welcoming, white sandy beach is a perfect place for a swim. While this is a kid-friendly hike, it’s not suitable for buggies due to the number of stairs. There are facilities, and lifeguards during peak season.
Yim Tin Tsai
Fifteen minutes on a boat from Sai Kung Pier will transport the family to one of the most unique spots in Hong Kong. “Ghost Island” is an abandoned village that has been lovingly restored by the descendants of the original Hakka settlers. Start your tour with a visit to the charming St. Joseph’s Chapel built in 1890. Take a stroll by the empty homes, many of which still have the villager’s belongings in them. The old school is now a heritage exhibition that gives a glimpse of what life on the island was like. Stop by the ceramic museum and then finish your trip by checking out the fully-functioning salt flats surrounded by mangrove trees. Click here for the ferry terminal information.
Sai Kung East Beaches
Home to Hong Kong’s most stunning beaches, the Sai Kung Country Park promises a stellar family day out. Our top pics for the kiddos are Sai Wan and Tai Long Wan. For a big adventure, you can even make a night of it by camping. There are a couple of ways to navigate these scenic spots:
Sai Wan Beach: Take a taxi to Wong Shek Pier in Sai Kung Country Park. Once there, you can take a sampan directly to the beach. The boat ride is fun for the kids! Alternatively, you can take a boat from Sai Kung Pier to Chek Keng where you will embark on a one-hour hike to the beach. There are a few initial stairs, but the hike is generally pram friendly.
Tai Long Wan Beach: Take a taxi to the Sai Wan Pavillion (you might need to change to a New Territories green taxi in Sai Kung Town). Follow the signposts and paths to Sai Wan. From there follow the beach path to Ham Tin, and then on to Tai Long Wan. Alternatively, you can take a sampan from Sai Kung Pier directly to the beach for about $150 per person.
Sassy Mama tip: Ubers and other vehicles are not permitted to enter Sai Kung Country Park, so we recommend taking a standard taxi to avoid any issues.
Located just beyond Sai Kung Town is a UNESCO recognized Nature preserve. This is a great one for little people who like to run and explore. Start your outing in the visitor centre where the young ones can learn about the geological history of Hong Kong with interactive displays, then follow any trail that strikes your fancy. There are maps and information plaques dotted about which will guide you to a dragonfly pond, a wetland paradise and many different types of groves and orchards. There are field crops with a Chinese herbal garden to check out, as well as an Insectarium and a Shell House. When hunger and thirst strike, there is a cafeteria run by the society for the deaf serving lite bites and refreshments. You can also pack a picnic and relax in the many open green areas.
Watersport is one of Sai Kung’s specialities. Ah Kwok Water Sport Centre covers the bases with kayaks, canoes, windsurfing, SUPs and even wakeboarding. Rental prices vary by length of time and sport.
For the perfect rainy-day activity, why not opt for an hour or two of bowling at the Tiki Tiki Bowling Bar? Look out for one of its many deals, enjoy the retro music videos on the giant screens (slightly distracting but great for dancing) and nibble on some sweet potato fries. Guaranteed fun for the whole family.
Editor’s note: The Tiki Tiki Bowling Bar is currently closed due to government COVID restrictions. Please check the website for the latest opening details.
Transport To And Getting Around Sai Kung
The easiest way to get the whole family to Sai Kung is by taxi or Uber. It will take around 40 to 60 minutes from the areas around Central, depending on what time and day you are visiting (expect lots of traffic on sunny weekends and public holidays!). Expect to pay around $300 each way.
If you’d prefer to take public transport your best bet are the following options:
- Take the MTR to Choi Hung (Kwun Tong Line), and head for Exit C1, then take the green minibus 1A to Sai Kung Town (about 40 minutes).
- Take the MTR to Hang Hau (Tseung Kwan O Line), and head to Exit B, then take green minibus 101M to Sai Kung Town.
- Take the red minibus from Dundas Street in Mong Kok to Sai Kung Town directly (about 30 minutes).
Editor’s note: This article was originally published 28, September 2018 by Melissa Albarus and has been updated by Jess Mizzi in September 2020.
Featured image courtesy of Getty, image 1 courtesy of The Conservatory, image 2 courtesy of Jerry Shen on Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of Little Cove Espresso via Facebook, image 4 courtesy of G.O.D via Facebook, image 5 courtesy of Hong Kong UNESCO Geopark, image 6 courtesy of Hong Kong UNESCO Geopark, image 7 courtesy of WikiCommons.