When one pictures typical Hong Kong, sights of high rises and bustling street markets come to mind. But venture a little further from the city (and crowds) to Sai Kung and you’ll be greeted with the sounds of nature and a more peaceful atmosphere. There’s no MTR or convenient one-stop buses to Sai Kung, but trust us, the trip is well worth it. An idyllic seaside town (previously a quiet fishing village), visitors can explore the al-fresco restaurants, adventurous hikes and watersports activities here.
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The rave on boutique coffee hub Little Cove Espresso has not gone unnoticed — crowds queue up every weekend (and some weekdays) to grab a spot at this Instagrammer’s haven which caters to brunch enthusiasts. The minimalist-designed space (by Studio Design) takes on a Melbourne-style setting with wooden furnishings and tall white walls, with natural light flooding through the open windows. Here, coffee-goers can pick up their takeaway caffeine fix, or dine in for a clean, hearty avocado on toast or a fruity smoothie bowl.
Sai Kung Town Villa Block A, Siu Yat Building Block A, Shop 1+2, G/F, Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung, 9572-8560. Open daily 7:30am to 6pm.
On Po Tung Road, an old timer awaits. The Tin Hau Temple and Hip Tin Temple were built in the 1910s to 1920s, revered by fishermen back in the day — before Sai Kung made its popular debut. Believed to represent the Goddess of the Sea, Tin Hau, the temple is thus connected with the nearby seaside, and religious monuments under the same name are scattered across coastal communities throughout Asia and our SAR. Worshippers frequently come here to send their blessings, particularly during peak Chinese holidays such as Chinese New Year.
Po Tung Road, Sai Kung.
Enoteca Group strikes again with the delightful, breezy restaurant in the center of Sai Kung’s “square”: The Conservatory. The alfresco location brings in many locals and tourists alike and specializes in Mediterranean cuisine with an Asian twist. Wine and dine here after a beach day out and try the extensive menu which includes tapas favorites like the risotto balls.
F, G, 26 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, 2792-1105. Open daily.
Tucked away in a little cosy spot in Sai Kung town, comes Chez Raymond de Paris, elegant and slightly upscale — particularly compared to its surrounding casual cafés and diners — with a candlelit atmosphere and a wine and steak menu. This French culinary experience is for the decadent, fine diners in town. Is it cliché to also say that this Parisian restaurant embodies romance for its newcomers?
G/f, 183D Po Tung Rd, Sai Kung, 6484-1400. Open Tuesday to Sunday 6:00pm to 11:00pm
A quaint newbie on the Sai Kung scene, Bakso is an Indonesian restaurant inspired by its home country’s eponymously named meatball, as sold by street vendors at nearly every beach. The space is decked in Balinese-style furniture and decorations, from the surfboards on the wall to the old-school posters. Try the soup noodles — with of course, Bakso — for a taste of Indonesia in this humble abode.
No. 9 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, 2720-3168. Open every day.
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings at Hong Kong’s flagship Honeymoon Dessert — it all began in little Sai Kung. The shop specializes in Chinese desserts from nut, yam and sago soup to wrapped fruit crepes and the infamous durian pancake for a post-dinner treat.
Po Tung Rd, Sai Kung, 2792 4991. Open daily.
For the long-time locals, most will be familiar with and can tell you about the once popular go-to bar, Steamers. The gastropub was then bought by Enoteca Group and received a modern update and renovation — now known as The Picture House, an upgrade from its predecessor featuring an outdoor area (like most of Sai Kung, dog-friendly) and a 1950s-cinema theme throughout (as it once was, many years ago, a cinema). Sip a botanical G&T here (looking at you, millennials) or perhaps just a pint will do.
66 Yi Chun St, Sai Kung, 2792-6991. Open every day 11:00am to 12:00am.
It’s no trip to Sai Kung without stopping by the waterfront scene. And what’s more, there’s a place to drink and play pool — alfresco style— here at Momentai. This independently owned hotspot draws a laidback crowd (be sure to make use of the plush sofas) and offers some of the best local craft beers in town.
Kiosk 1 Waterfront, Wai Man Road, Sai Kung, 2792-8991. Open every day.
Seed, 29 Sai Kung Yee Kuk Street, Sai Kung, 5703-2223. Open every day 11:00am to 6:00pm.
Live Zero, 5 Tak Lung Back Street, Sai Kung, 2567 6696. Open Thursday to Tuesday 10:00am to 7:00pm.
Explore beyond the quirky town and embark on the outdoors, ’cause Sai Kung’s got plenty to see. Hike along one of the trails for a breath of fresh air: some favourites include High Junk Peak, High Island Reservoir and Hoi Ha Wan, just to name a few. For the adventurists, bring your camping gear and stay the night at one of these locations.
The air is crisper and the sand is cleaner once you reach the beaches. Head to one of Sai Kung’s stunning beaches for a day out in the sun by taking the sampan to Hap Mun Bay or Trio Beach; or visit the country park to visit the Hoi Ha Nature Park and Hoi Ha beach. Not one to sit back and tan with a book in hand? Take on the watersports offerings at Blue Sky Sports Club where you can try stand-up paddleboarding (also known as SUP) or kayaking for something a little more active.
Blue Sky Sports Club, Sha Ha Road, 743-751 Tai Mong Tsai Rd, Sai Kung, 2791-0806. Open every day 10:00am to 5:00pm.
Although Sai Kung is rather secluded — accessible only via road — there are many hidden gems waiting nearby. Take a 101M bus back to Hang Hau MTR and take one stop on the train to Tseung Kwan O station to venture over and walk along the peaceful promenade along the waterfront where cyclists and joggers alike make the most of the open-air space.
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