Sai Kung is one of Hong Kong's most beautiful corners, and a haven for nature lovers or anyone who wants to get away from Hong Kong's crowded, hustle-and-bustle, overwhelming intensity (not to mention pure urban density!). We had out-of-town friends visiting us (it's been sooo nice to finally have visitors in Hong Kong again!), so we took them on a relaxing Saturday excursion to Sai Kung to see another face of Hong Kong.
11:45AM - Early Dim Sum "Brunch" on the Seaside
No one wanted an intense schedule (it's vacation, after all), so we took it easy. Leave home at 10:30AM, arrive in Sai Kung around 11:30AM. Since there were four of us, it made a lot of sense to just take a taxi there.
Especially on Saturdays, popular restaurants can get very, very crowded. We went to an old but good standby, Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant, which is right on the waterfront. It's not too far from the pier, so it's a convenient first stop. We arrived before 12PM, so we didn't have to wait for an outside table at all. It was awesome, sitting facing the water while dining on delicious dim sum.
The restaurant also has fish tanks full of all sorts of seafood that you can choose for them to cook. Since this was brunch (and we planned to hike in the afternoon), we took it easy and just enjoyed dim sum. There are a bunch of steamers at the front, and you just go up and select what you want.
1:15PM Take a Boat to Sharp Island
There are numerous small stands along the pier hawking boat rides to the nearby islands. The prices are all pretty reasonable, and I didn't see a huge price differential (~ HK$40 a ticket). We pretty much just walked up and down the pier and found out which one was leaving soon. It was easy to just buy tickets on the spot and hop on a boat. We took the Blue Flag Boats, which were fine.
There are many, many boats that go to Sharp Island or Hap Mun Bay Beach, two sides of the same island. You can hike from one location to the other, and then pick up another boat back to the mainland.
Hap Mun Bay Beach
We first took the boat to Hap Mun Bay Beach, a lovely secluded beach surrounded by lush green hills and beautiful crystal blue green water. If you bring a swimsuit, definitely spend some time on the beach.
If you're more of a hiker, there is also an excellent trail that goes from Hap Mun Bay Beach to the other side of Sharp Island, where the "pineapple bun" shaped rocks reside (more on that later).
The trail is beautiful, with endless views of the surround ocean and mountains.
I thought it was funny the park even set up these natural looking "selfie stands" for people to take photos.
Pineapple Bun Rocks
As we got closer to where the pineapple bun (菠蘿包) rocks were, we noticed that there were cute little pineapple bun themed signs and statues.
Hello stone pineapple bun man!
For reference, this is what a pineapple bun looks like. It's a classic Hong Kong bread, topped with a delicious crispy topping. This one is from Kam Wah Cafe in Mongkok, and it's delicious.
At the end of the hike we arrived at the other end where all the pineapple bun rocks were hanging out. These rocks have the same crackled surface as the pineapple buns, hence the name.
Sharp Island Tombolo
There is a tombolo over here, a thin strip of land that acts as a natural bridge connecting Sharp Island to another small island. When the tide is low you can walk across it.
Fishmongers on the Pier
Finally, we caught another boat back to Sai Kung Pier. At the pier, it's fun to watch live seafood hawkers selling seafood right off their boat to people standing at the pier above them.
They literally use this looooong stick to transact. Live seafood and money exchange hands all via this stick and basket. It's quite amusing to watch.
If you're a fan of beer, one last stop to make before heading out is The Bottle Shop. They have an amazing collection of craft beers from all around the world, including some extremely difficult-to-find bottles!
If you want to stay around for dinner, try Loaf On, which is an excellent Cantonese restaurant having 1 Michelin star.