Last updated on June 26th, 2019 at 09:02 pm
Sai Kung is arguably the most beautiful part of Hong Kong, with plenty of things to do. Think stunning beaches, amazing hiking trails, as well as a geopark and many protected marine parks. It’s the place to be if you are looking for nature, laid-back vibes, and seafood. Since I live fairly close to Sai Kung, I’ve spent a lot of weekends exploring it and time has finally come for me to share all my knowledge.
>For my top Sai Kung beaches, head to this post.
Getting to Sai Kung
There is no MTR or rail to Sai Kung. If you want to visit, you’d have to take the bus or minibus. There are three major points to do it:
- Take the MTR to Choi Hung and then change to minibus 1A or bus 92
- From Diamond Hill, you can also take bus 92, as it is the end station
- From Hang Hau take the minibus 101M
- From Mong Kok take the red minibus
If you are in doubt, just go on google and put in your starting point and then pick Sai Kung town center as the endpoint. Th options should be the best one.
Sai Kung bus terminus
The endpoint for all buses, the Sai Kung bus terminus is right by the seafront near the pier. It is right by the town center so a short walk from everything. However, often times the traffic congestion to turn into the terminus is quite bad. In that case, you should pay attention and get off one stop early at the police station.
For minibusses, there are two places where they could stop. One is across the main road from the main bus terminus, which is even closer to the town center. If you want to continue on to Hoi Ha, you’ll be taking one here as well. For those who arrive from Mong Kok, the terminal stop is at the sports center just down the street from the seafront. Everything is within easy walking distance.
Sai Kung town centre
The Sai Kung town centre is not what one would imagine a town would look like in Hong Kong. Almost completely devoid of tall buildings with no skyscrapers at all, it’s got the laid-back vibe that attracts many to visit, especially on the weekend. There are more to Sai Kung than seafood restaurant and the seafront, but let’s start with them:
Sai Kung pier
There are two Sai Kung piers, just behind the bus terminus. They are for regularly scheduled ferries as well as boat trips and street ferry departures, but the highlights are the fishermen selling seafood. They form a long line by the pier, with buckets of fishes, shrimps, crabs, and shellfish for sale. People browse by peering down from the pier and price negotiations take the form of a shouting match from the pier to sea. If you are looking for dried seafood, then go to the edge adjacent to the pier where ladies in sunhats sells them in clear plastic packaging.
Sai Kung ferry pier
There are many ferry services in Sai Kung, with stalls spreading from the sides of the pier towards the beginning of the seafood street. Most of them offer the same service at the same price and I’ve used a few of them before. I wouldn’t say that there is a particularly good one, the rule of thumb is to find one that is departing to your desired destination soon. Once I had to wait around 20 minutes before there were enough people on the boat for them to depart – that isn’t nice. Remember to check the return schedule, although most of the times they kind of just come and go in 30 minutes interval.
More on where you can go from Sai Kung via a ferry further down.
Sai Kung market
There is almost always a weekend market going on in Sai Kung that extends along the seafront just past the piers, away from the center. They are usually on the craft side, with a lot of pet-oriented stalls too since many in the area have one.
Sai Kung seafood market
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a market, as it is basically people in their fishing boats selling their catch right by the pier. It makes for an exciting scene, though negotiating and haggling is a must. It makes for a wonderful photo opportunity, though some fisherman won’t like to have their face in the photos.
Sai Kung Seafood street and Sai Kung seafood restaurant
With its location by the sea, it shouldn’t be surprising that Sai Kung has some great seafood restaurants. In fact, there’s a whole seafood street. There are no less than dozens and it can be overwhelming to choose one. Most of them offer a set meal kind of deal, and it’s (usually) safe to go with those. But my mum frequent this particular one:
Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant
Address: 47-71 Sai Kung Hoi Pong St, Sai Kung
Opening times: 10:00 – 22:00
Sai Kung restaurant hong kong
There are so much more to Sai Kung’s restaurant scene outside of seafood. In fact, i don’t actually eat seafood a lot when I’m there because there are so many other amazing options, too:
The best place to go if you are looking for refreshment, Passion Drinks offer fresh fruit juices as well as fruit soda. My personal favourite is their Thai Lime Soda, which is basically a virgin mojito without the heaps of sugar. There is also a berry version and a passion fruit version. They also have healthy juice combos such as beetroot with pear and apple, and healthy snacks.
Address: G/F, 13 Ko Shing House, 9 King Man Street, Sai Kung
Opening times: Unknown
Sai Kung Cafe & Bakery
Sporting a long queue almost every weekend, the pineapple bun at Sai Kung Cafe and Bakery is unrivalled. We often get the pineapple bun (with butter, of course), for takeaway because you are required to order a drink if you sit down and we’d always want to get something from Passion Drink.
They also offer lunch set and other bakery products – and since it’s just down the road from the bus station, it’s an easy pit stop.
Address: G/F, 6-7 Kam Po Court, 2 Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung
Opening times: 7:00 – 21:30
A surprise find in Sai Kung, the Conservatory a western restaurant that I stumbled across when looking for a place for afternoon tea with my friend. I had only tried their afternoon tea set, which is a total steal with Prosecco and full set under 200 HKD. They also have a good cocktail menu and set lunches.
Address: G/F, 26 Wan King Path, Sai Kung
Opening times: 9:00 – 23:00
For burger fans, don’t miss the Burger Deli just down the street from Passion Drinks. A burger starts at 49 HKD, they also have some themed burgers such as Australia or triple cheese and chilli dogs. I highly recommend their sweet potato fries, even if it’s almost the same price as a burger at 39 HKD.
Address: G/F, 2 Ko Shing House, 9 King Man Street, Sai Kung
Opening times: Tue – Sat 11:00 – 21:00; Sun 11:00 – 20:30
Fans of chicken rice would be happy to know that there is a cheap and delicious chicken rice place: Golden Chicken. Located in the narrow street, the restaurant is famous for the boneless chicken rice, with a set meal only costing you 52 HKD.
Address: Shop 34, Ko Fu Building, Fuk Man Road, Sai Kung
Opening times: 11:00 – 21:00
One of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Hong Kong (in my opinion), Saigon Pho offers your quintessential Viet dishes like Pho, Banh Mi, and spring rolls. I have eaten the Banh Mi there while my family had the Pho and we all agreed that it was a pretty good find.
Address: Shop 16, G/F, Sai Kung Building, 42-56 King Man Street, Sai Kung
Opening times: 11:00 – 21:00
Blacksmith Coffee Shop
A new (as of August 2018) place on the other end of town center (still only about 10 minutes walk at most), Blacksmith Coffee Shop might be more coffee orientated, but its western menu is also pretty good. I tried their pulled pork burger which comes with Nacho and it was pretty good.
Address: G/F, 17 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung
Opening times: Mon – Fri 7:30 – 18:00; Sat – Sun 9:30 – 19:30
A cute Japanese-western style coffee shop serving tasty brunch options as well as Japanese food, .Taps is a good place to hang and chill. It took over Little Cove sometime during early 2019 and admittedly I like it more!
They have indoor and outdoor seating and you go to the cashier to order and pay first. I’ve had their avocado toast with sourdough and loved it. I split it with my sister who got the salmon and there’s plenty of filling for everyone.
Address: 34 See Cheung St, Sai Kung
Opening times: 9:30 – 18:30
Sai Kung kayaking and other watersports
Sai Kung is one of the best places for watersports in Hong Kong, be it kayaking, SUP, snorkeling, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and even surfing. There are many great places to participate in watersports, and here I will list some:
A protected marine area deep inside Sai Kung park, Hoi Ha is the place to go for water activities. As the marine area is protected, only the government-run boats and a glass bottom boat tour is allowed to be in the area with motorized engines. The bay is relatively sheltered, but there are still some waves.
How to get there: take the minibus 7 all the way to the end.
For: kayaking, SUP, snorkeling
Sha Ha (Ah Kok Watersports)
If you are more confident, Sha Ha is a good place to start from as there are numerous islands you can head towards. However, this area is also the docking place for many boats so you will be faced with sea traffic. There are two watersports center here that rents out kayak and SUP for cheap, though they are likely to be extremely busy on the weekends. Blue Sky Watersports Club is one with kayaking options that starts at 120 HKD, and you can contact them here.
You can also call to book ahead for Ah Kok Watersports center, we had the unpleasant experience of booking with them only to find out that they had given our SUP out on arrivals. They weren’t even sorry, so I’ll never book with them again.
How to get there: you can walk from Sai Kung Town Center northwards along the coast or take the number 99 bus from Sai Kung or Ma On Shan and get off at Muk Min Shan.
For: kayaking, SUP
Sai Wan Beach
Also called Big Wave Bay in Chinese, Sai Wan Beach is a good place to surf or just sunbath. This requires a bit more effort to get to – see this post for more information – but this also weeds out a bunch of people who cannot be bothered! There is a surf school which also rent out surfboards, but at times the sea can get a bit busy with boats who are there for a boat trip.
For: surfing, SUP
Sai Kung hiking
Sai Kung hiking trail
There are so many hiking trails in Sai Kung that it’s hard for me to list them all. While I have done a fair few, I honestly can’t pretend to have cover more than half at most. I have written a lot of them and I’ll list them here:
My personal favourite: Tai Tun Shan, which takes 3 hours but isn’t as easy as it seems, though the view is worth it!
For something more off the beaten path, Lai Chi Chong hike takes you past some pretty unique geology and mangrove forest.
While not technically a hike, the Nine Pin Islands are the most glorious group of volcanic islands in the sea
>For more about Hong Kong hiking, check my hiking guides here
Sai Kung hotel
There are no hotels in the Sai Kung town center. Surprised? Me too. There are two beautiful ones near the Hebe Haven Yacht Club, the Pier Hotel, a gorgeous two storey modern space, and spacious rooms.
There are a few AirBnBs, but it’s worth checking with the host just how you are going to get there from the airport.