When most people think about Hong Kong, they would think of a city full of skyscrapers, but it is in fact blessed with a large area of countryside and much beautiful scenery. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful places is Sai Kung – an area east of Hong Kong.
Couple of weeks ago, I decided to join a coasteering trip with my mates to the East Sai Kung Country Park -a beautiful area full of rugged coastlines made of volcanic rocks and crystal clean sea. So clean that you can see the rocks at the bottom. This is a sight that one doesn’t see all the time.
How did I get myself into this?
So what was it actually like?
As we walked down from the dam at the High Island Reservoir, we saw the first island off the coast. We climbed over the fence and made our way towards the sea. The sea provided a welcoming coolness in the hot sunny morning. We swam and bouldered along the coastline of the mainland towards the first island (Po Pin Chau) at the same time being mindful for not being scratched by the barnacles, mussels and sea urchins that live on the rocks as you get in / out of the sea. I’m glad I’ve got those special protective gloves – my hands didn’t fancy saying hello to them, as much how lovely they taste in a sushi shop.
Half way through the adventure…
Well, then I was told about the “truth” – an open water swim nearly 1km in distance. At that point, I was standing on a rock saying “what the f*** have I got myself into” under my breath. I was tired and starting to get cramps in my legs.
Then my friend threw a bombshell saying, “Phil, I’m glad you are experienced, you know this route is not suitable for the first timer!”,I replied, “Dude, this is my first coastal hike”.
It was fun, although I felt like being Bear Grylls. The swim was certainly the first long distance open water swim I’ve ever done. Once I settled in, it actually felt all right. We swam past a pleasure boat with topless guys and bikini girls with drinks in their hands. They probably thought that we were mad… (and maybe we were…)
As we got close, I had a surge of energy to do the last stretch and then I realised I was climbing up the rock and headed up to the shore. We had fun exploring the caves. After which we slowly headed towards the beach with few climbs and swims in the middle, which was the end of our adventure
If you ask me if I want to do that again? The only answer is “hell yes”, even though my arms, shoulders and legs might not agree…