We have become friends with a British couple, Guy and Flick, and gotten to know some of their friends too. Last weekend we were invited to join them for a beach BBQ celebration they had planned for their newly-engaged friends. We didn’t have much of an idea what we were in for, other than a bit of brief research Braden did. We knew we had to travel a ways to get to the beach, and we also knew it’s one of the most beautiful and least busy beaches accessible from Hong Kong. Sounded great to us!
We met our friends in Wan Chai and caught a cab to Sai Kung. You can see a map here of where we went. The cab ride took about half an hour (costs about 150HKD or $25 CAD) and we enjoyed getting a tour of some new areas as we made our way to our destination. Without any trouble we got to Sai Kung, an active fishing village with a busy little port where you can rent boats for swimming, fishing and day tripping. In our case we chartered a speed boat to take us to Long Ke Beach (about a 20 or 30 minute ride) which was fun. For the return trip it was 250 HKD or $40 CAD each. An alternate way to get to the beach is to take another taxi from Sai Kung to a trail head and then hike down for about 15 minutes. Given the heat and the cooler bags of BBQ provisions we were carrying the boat was an excellent choice.
It was a fun ride and really scenic. Luckily our boat had a cover so we were shaded and could enjoy the view while weaving past a golf course, old island cemetery, huge reservoir dam, and too many little island beaches and caves to count. You can see a map here of our final beach destination.
We arrived at the beach feeling sweaty and hot, so we dropped our belongings in the shade and hopped in the ocean. It was so refreshing to be in the water and almost could have been cooler. That feeling when you’re going in to the ocean and the water hits your bellybutton – and you have to convince yourself to keep going – that didn’t exist here. We floated around for a bit, and I was telling the group about being a lifeguard and never feeling super relaxed at the beach. Everyone in our group could swim so I wasn’t feeling concerned. Five minutes later Flick heard someone calling for help. We turned around and a guy who had been swimming from his moored party boat to the shore was struggling halfway to shore. A girl paddled up in a kayak and he clung on, but she couldn’t make progress with him holding on to the front and one end of her paddle was broken off and basically useless. We called over to see if she needed help and she said yes, so we swam over and pulled the kayak to shore. The guy was sputtering and coughing, so I asked the paddle girl to translate to him that he needed to get help to get back to his boat. At this point I started noticing all the people swimming around holding on to just a noodle or cheap little inflatable pool toys and had to leave. I couldn’t handle it!
There was lots of good food to eat, including a vast array of chips and dip, loads of smokies and buns, and an incredibly gourmet homemade cake. Our koozies came in pretty handy to keep our bevvies cold, but we still had to drink them fast!
We had coordinated with the boat guy to pick us up at 3:30. With him speaking no English, this was accomplished with hand signals and gestures, and we also gave him a phone number. I’m not sure how helpful that would have been given the language barrier and lack of cell service at the beach but…it worked out. Unfortunately the engine stopped working halfway back to Sai Kung, so we had to idle along and the trip took about twice as long as it should have. It was relaxing to have a quiet ride so we didn’t mind too much. Luckily we got back to Sai Kung early enough and there weren’t hoards of end-of-day beach-goers lined up for a cab and we easily grabbed one back to Wan Chai. A great day!