Making the most of what Sai Kung has to offer…
The past 20 years have seen quaint little Sai Kung transform into to a vibrant, bustling area. With restaurants from across the globe, some of Hong Kong’s most beautiful hikes, an abundance of fun kids’ activities and the occasional herd of cows – yes, it’s a bit of a trek from the island, but we dare you not to fall head-over-heels for this little town.
On a weekend, the Sai Kung waterfront is a lively stretch where teams of dragonboaters do their warm-up push-ups, groups of friends wait (im)patiently for the inevitable stragglers delaying highly anticipated junk trips, and every single dog owner is showing off their pooch. It’s busy, it’s loud, it’s entertaining. Grab a Happy Cow ice cream (or a cold craft brew) from the nearby Bottle Shop and soak in the atmosphere! If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the two famous poodles riding their own electric car (we’re not kidding).
The Bottle Shop, G/F 114 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2791 1600,
A firm family favourite, this little beach lies at the end of a 10-minute, $10 sampan trip from Pak Sha Wan pier. It’s a great place to go for a swim, build sand sculptures (let’s face it, you’re never too old for a sexy merman with seaweed hair), and have a BBQ at one of the many pits available.
Trio Beach, Sampan from Pak Sha Wan pier, Sai Kung
Rent a Sampan
Junk trips, while one of the most popular Hong Kong summer activities, can get expensive. Why not try a budget-friendlier alternative and rent a sampan instead? Yes, they’re a little noisier and no, you can’t get drinks included, but these little boats will happily take you to a peaceful spot just outside of Sai Kung. Bring some snacks, good music and a few floaties (rainbow unicorns, anyone?) and enjoy bobbing in the blue waters and soaking up the rays for a few hours.
Hire a sampan from any of the little stands next to Sai Kung Pier
Sai Kung is arguably the best place to sleep under the stars, and with camping season coming up, there’s no better time to find a free weekend, pack some essentials (i.e. marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate) and head out to the Sai Kung Country Park. For those who don’t like the sand, find a private spot among Tai Long Win’s grassy dunes, and if you can’t be bothered carrying food, grab some of the delicious, crispy-fried squid offered at Ham Tin’s restaurant.
Tai Long Wan, Sai Wan, Ham Tim – we suggest grabbing a green taxi to the Sai Wan Pavilion in the Sai Kung Country Park, hiking from there and then getting a boat back. For a longer hike, take the 94 bus to Pak Tam Au and start from there.
Keeping the kids happy:
What’s not to love about gathering family and friends for a night at an open-air cinema? Literally nothing, which is why the Hive is first on this list. With classics like Grease and The Goonies on show – well, we’re peachy keen, jellybean.
The Hive, 5 Tai Moong Tsai Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2780 5844, www.thehivesaikung.com.hk
Sai Kung Stingrays
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Sai Kung-er who isn’t proud of our homegrown kids’ rugby club, the Stingrays. This is a fun, safe and friendly place for anyone interested in rugby (plus, one where girls are very well represented). Strolling through Sai Kung on any given day you’re likely to bump into sweaty kids in Stingray kits, generally with big smiles on their flushed faces.
Tiki Tiki Bowling Bar
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 their many deals, enjoy the retro music videos on the giant screens (slightly distracting but great for dancing) and nibble on some sweet potato fries – if they don’t make up for landing in the gutter, a cocktail will. Guaranteed fun for the whole family.
Tiki Tiki Bowling Bar, 4/F Centro, 1A, Chui Tong Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, www.tikitiki.hk
Bricks 4 Kidz
Let’s face it, if it was socially acceptable for adults to play with Lego, we would. With themes ranging from space to sports and animals, Bricks 4 Kidz is the perfect place for your little ones to learn about science, math, technology and engineering while being creative and having fun. We wonder if they do adult classes, too?
Bricks 4 Kidz, 1/F, 65 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2791 0007,
The Perfect Friday Night
Chez Raymond De Paris
Chez Raymond de Paris is a little cosy steakhouse with a great atmosphere, top quality service and top quality meat. Try the Tenderloin Rossini and Ribeye or opt for one of it’s many French classics (from duck to foie gras to melt-in-your-mouth lamb). A 3 Course menu for dinner is about $850, and you can be sure you’re getting the highest grade of meat available in the 852.
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When the kids are happily tucked into bed and exhausted from their full day of activities, why not head out for a night on the town – Sai Kung town, that is (don’t sneer, it gets pretty crazy out here, too). Cena is the perfect place to start. Settle at an outdoor table and enjoy a relaxed drink and some seriously good tacos. At only $30, there’s really no excuse; try them all, then follow up with some buffalo wings. They’re moreish. Trust me.
Cena, 9 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2757 1020, www.facebook.com/CENASAIKUNG
Next up, cross the street and head over to Bacco for a curry and some fantastic live music; Larry and Greg are Sai Kung legends, and if you’re lucky, you’ll also catch local bluegrass band the Pineapple Jam (get ready for some foot-stomping). Feeling adventurous? Raj will set you up with some of his mysterious blue shots. Warning: this is for when the kids don’t have rugby training early the next morning.
Bacco, G/F, 21 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2574 7477
By this point it’s probably getting pretty late, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll need a midnight snack right about now. There’s really only one place to go: family-run Sawaddee Thailand, in the alleyway behind the taxi stand by the pier. The pork neck rice and fried minced chicken with Thai basil and chili will take you straight to heaven.
Sawaddee Thailand, The alley behind 7/11 on Fuk Man Road, Sai Kung (near the pier), Hong Kong, 2791 6399
Where to go for breakfast:
Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant
After a night like that, you’ll need a decent breakfast, and everyone knows Dim Sum is the best hangover food to tackle as a family. Luckily Sai Kung gives you quite a few options. If it’s not too busy, find a spot by the waterfront (we recommend Chuen Kee) or visit the Fat Duck Den for something a little quieter (and air conditioned).
Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant, 96 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2792 6938
Fat Duck Den, G/F, 79-81 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2205 0399
Ali Oli Bakery Café
Craving something sweet? Pop by Ali Oli for a homemade pastry. This is the best spot to take in the hustle and bustle of the famous Sai Kung square (plus a great place to pet passing dogs, and who doesn’t love that). Oh, and we hear the breakfast baps are “top notch”.
Ali Oli Bakery Café, 11 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2792 2655, www.alioli.com.hk
We’re all pretty big fans of sort-of newcomers Conservatory; great at any time of day. There’s something about the tropical decor, friendly staff and delicious menu that make it the perfect breakfast spot. Order the skillet for $118 and you’ll get everything you need served in one big, hot pan. Extra local’s tip? They’ve got a great little kids breakfast menu, too.
The Conservatory, 26 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2792 1105, www.enotecagroup.com
Man Nin Wah Roasted Meat Restaurant
I’ve written a bit about local legends today, but this is really one of them. They’ve been around since the 70s and if you’re in the mood for some proper char siu fan, this is the place to go.
Man Nin Wah Roasted Meat Restaurant, 28 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Little Cove Espresso
If you’re craving an amazeballs flat white, and mouthwatering, healthy and seriously Insta-worthy food (oh, hello chia bowls!), check out our peaceful little oasis Little Cove Espresso in Sai Kung’s old town. It’s the perfect place to refuel after exploring this charming, confusing and constantly changing part of Sai Kung.
Little Cove Espresso, 34 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung
With our fair share of chain stores, we’re not completely cut off from the “Dark Side” (i.e. the island); arguably one of our favourites is Just Green, which will fulfil all your organic lifestyle fantasies (not to mention their selection of feel-good ice creams which – we promise – will hit that sweet spot).
Just Green, 22 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2325 9994, www.justgreen.com.hk
Lions Nature Education Centre
If Sai Kung on a weekend is a little overwhelming (sometimes it can seem like there are three cars to any one person), then head over to the Lions Nature Education Centre. A tranquil spot of green, this is the perfect place to take your kids and dogs on a walk, explore the many different veggies grown there, marvel at the butterflies and if you come early enough on a Sunday morning, pop by the organic vegetable market!
Lions Nature Education Centre, Tsiu Hang Special Area, Sai Kung (get off any bus coming into Sai Kung from the Pak Sha Wan side at Pak Kong bus stop)
Local fruit and Veg stall
Last on this list is a little stall we very affectionately call the ‘magic witches’; this brilliant mother-daughter duo’s many different juices can cure anything and they’ll generously share taste testers with you. Find them behind the Sai Kung old town, on the corner of Sai Kung Main and Sai Kung Tai street.
Fruit and veg stall, corner of Sai Kung Main and Sai Kung Tai street, Sai Kung Old Town, Hong Kong
Wild Hong Kong
Let Rory Mackay from Wild Hong Kong take you on an eco-adventure tour on his home turf! On land or sea, our very own wild Scotsman will take you on a trip you’re not likely to forget. Whether you choose to go kayaking from Pak Lap Wan or hiking to Sai Kung via Ngong Ping, this is one of our top ways to take in the beauty of the area.
Wild Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 6087 1439, www.wildhongkong.com
Tina’s Dance Studio
Local legend Utpala is a rare gem in the yoga world, a teacher who takes the time to focus on each student individually and is constantly applying newfound knowledge. Whether you’re looking to stretch, sweat or salute the sun, Utpala’s got you covered; just get ready for some core work (that’s non-negotiable).
Utpala’s yoga classes at Tina’s Dance Studio, 15 Man Nin Street, Hong Kong, 2791 0511
Ma On Shan
Lace up your hiking boots and make your way up Ma On Shan. This trail not only offers breathtaking views of Sai Kung and Shelter Cove, but culminates in a gorgeous plateau from which you can watch the paragliders take off (or go paragliding, if you’re up for an adventure!). From there, keep hiking for a tougher workout or make your way down Po Lo Che road to Sai Kung; if you’re lucky, you and the family will catch a glimpse of the (now rather large) boars that roam the sidewalks. Just steer clear of letting the littles feed them!
Sai Kung has endless options for fitness classes! You might consider joining Outdoor Fitness’ popular bootcamp sessions, try out Piloxing Barre (we love the sound of this combo) or tire yourself out in Action Fitness’ crossfit and Muay Thai classes. You’ll be in pain the next day, but it’ll be the rewarding kind.
Outdoor Fitness, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 9043 4674, www.outdoorfitness.hk/Outdoorfitness/Home.html
The Studio, 1/F 28 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2791 9705, www.new.thestudiosaikung.com
Action Fitness, 2/F, 14A, 1 Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 9646 3676, www.actionfitnesshk.wixsite.com/home