Best of Sai Kung’s nature: Lai Chi Chong, Sham Chung, and Yung Shue O hike

First glimpse of Lai Chi Chong pier

Last updated on August 4th, 2020 at 10:18 am

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Another great Sai Kung hike, this 5 hour trail takes you from Pak Sha O to Lai Chi Chong, then to Sham Chung via Kai Ma Tung and then to Yung Shue O. 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:

Trail start: at Pak Sha O or Yung Shue O

sai kung center minibus 9 hong kong- laugh travel eat
Minibus stop – it can take up to 30 minutes for one to come so be patient!

To do the hike as I did it, take the Minibus 9 from Sai Kung town center (don’t forget to buy something to eat) to Hoi Ha, get off at Yung Shue O village after the youth hostel.

trail start pak sha o sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Where you should get off and the trail starts (sorry sis but this is the only photo I have)

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.

An easier alternative from Hoi Ha is the Tai Tan Country Trail, which is almost completely flat and along the coast!

vegetable field at pak sha o sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Walking pass people’s garden

Pak Sha O to Lai Chi Chong

pak sha o to lai chi chong trail sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Well sign-posted and paved!

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

lai chi chong facing the pier sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat
First glimpse of Lai Chi Chong pier – the pink is real!

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.

start of lai chi chong geopark sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat

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.

layers going to the sea at lai chi chong geopark sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Look at those layers!

Which is also why you will be able to find them in layers.

mini fault at lai chi chong geopark sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Fault example – fingers for scale!

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.

a fold at lai chi chong geopark sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Fold at a larger scale!

There are a few signposts that would explain all of these as well – so give them a read.

lai chi chong geo route sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat

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:

lai chi chong geopark up kai ma tung path sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
The ribbon is white so it’s hard to spot on the photo, but the entrance is directly to the right
path up kai ma tung path sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Then you’ll reach this creepy house with an arrow

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.

going up kai tung leng sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Looking back!

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.

she shek au sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
That’s me looking at rocks, just the usual

Sham Chung

heading out to sham chung sai kung hong kong- laugh travel eat
Entering Sham Chung is like entering hobbit town

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.

sham chung sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat
The farm/restaurant is just to the very left

I am unsure of whether it is a free campground, but the land is private property so perhaps not!

sham chung grass field sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat
You’ll be hard-pressed to find such a beautiful and spacious spot elsewhere!

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).

sham chong pier sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat-2
The pier is a good place to take photo, too

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

yung shue o mangrove forest sai kung hong kong - laugh travel eat
Yup – it’s this beautiful!

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.

A Sai Kung hike from Pak Sha O to Lai Chi Chong, a geopark, Sham Chung with its grass field, and Yung Shue O mangrove forest - in Hong Kong!
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A Sai Kung hike from Pak Sha O to Lai Chi Chong, a geopark, Sham Chung with its grass field, and Yung Shue O mangrove forest - in Hong Kong!
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Written by Nam Cheah

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.

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