Best of Sai Kung’s nature: Lai Chi Chong, Sham Chung, and Yung Shue O hike
First glimpse of Lai Chi Chong pier
Another great Sai Kung hike, the trail from Pak Sha O to Lai Chi Chong, then to Sham Chung via Kai Ma Tung and then to Yung Shue O is a long 5-hour hike that would take you to some pretty stunning landscapes and habitat. You have the dramatic volcanic coastline of Lai Chi Chong geopark, the wide grass field of Sham Chung, and the mangrove forest of Yung Shue O, all are excellent places to fly a drone. You can cut this trail into different sections or attempt it all together like we did. Here’s how:
To do the hike as I did it, take the Minibus 9 from Sai Kung town center to Hoi Ha, get off at Yung Shue O village after the youth hostel.
If you are unsure of where to get off, it isn’t so far from the end stop Hoi Ha, so you can simply walk from there. We asked the minibus driver to let us know where to get off, but unfortunately, he had dropped us off at another hiking trail. Make sure to ask for the Pak Sha O village stop or else you might have to walk a lot further.
Alternatively, get a taxi to Yung Shue O as otherwise, you would have to walk an hour out to Sai Sha Road to get the bus.
Pak Sha O to Lai Chi Chong
There is a path by the Pak Sha O village sign that leads to the village itself. The path is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. It isn’t a long walk to Lai Chi Chong, with the trail nicely paved and flat. There is a junction where you can take the stairs down to Sham Chung directly, which you might want to take later (more below).
Lai Chi Chong
The path will pass through the village first before the path runs along the river to the pier. And the area left of the pier is the geopark.
The Lai Chi Chong Geopark area consists of volcanic-sedimentary rock from 140 million years ago. What is volcanic sedimentary rock? It’s formed from materials erupted from volcanoes that settled in lakes or sea.
Which is also why you will be able to find them in layers.
The rocks here are then folded and faulted, which you can also find along the coastline. It’s a beautiful area and my sister and I had fun finding all the mini faults and folds there.
There are a few signposts that would explain all of these as well – so give them a read.
Up Kai Ma Tung and She Shek Au
If you are not up for a challenging hike, then return to the junction back the way you came to Sam Chung. It took us a while to find the trail up Kai Ma Tung, with the trail starting by the vegetation towards the end of the Lai Chi Chong Geopark. It’s marked by a white ribbon, here’s a photo for reference:
The hike up was much steeper and more difficult than expected, with the trail leading us around in a convoluted path, first up then down, across a stream, before it matched the route I had on my map. Once you reach the top, you’ve got a nice view of the Lai Chi Chong coastline.
The downhill part was a lot quicker, and She Shek Au is easy to miss once you get down. It’s the black mudstone and slates. After that, it is a relatively flat path to Sham Chung.
Famous for its endless grass field, Sham Chung is a popular camping ground. Here, you can find a farm-slash-restaurant that serves as a great refreshment point, although expect higher than normal prices.
I am unsure of whether it is a free campground, but the land is private property so perhaps not!
Aside from the grass field, there isn’t much to see in Sham Chung. If you don’t want to carry on to Yung Shue On (or walk your walk out from there), you can go to the Sham Chung pier and catch a ferry to Ma Liu Shui near the University East Rail stop (about 15 minutes walk).
But you would have to time your hike with the ferry schedule, which you can check here.
(you can also get the ferry from Lai Chi Chong but that would mean it’s a very short hike).
Yung Shue O
The path to Yung Shue O is similar to the one at the beginning. It shows a great view of the sea along the way and is fairly shaded. Before the path turns inland to the village is the mangrove forest and it’s majestic to see. There are a few spots along the path where you can peek out, though there isn’t a place to stop where you can admire it.
From there, you can very close to the village. However, it’s an hour’s walk back out to the nearest public transport. You can call a taxi, but you would probably need to pay an extra fee for them to agree to drive in.
Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.