Coasteering at Sai Kung – A day of “hardcoreness”

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.

Chilling on the rock
Chilling on the rock

How did I get myself into this?

Essentially, “boulder along cliff faces, swim between some islands and explore a couple caves along the way”. These are pretty much the words that I got told by a friend of mine. Without thinking too much and with my inflated ego, I said “yes” – what more does one want to do on a Saturday?
Ignoring the warning sign.. This must be the way forward (Just a typical thing to do in our group)
Ignoring the warning sign.. This must be the way forward (Just a typical thing to do in our group)
Swimming through the channel with full kits
Swimming through the channel with full kits

So what was it actually like?

As usual, the day started off with lots of banters about the past hikes. Hardcore stories of what people got up to in their adventures including slipping down 30 meters down a mud banks into a reservoir few weeks ago and stories of people getting completely lost at the bushwack hike and ended up getting home at 3am in the morning. Yes, these are the great people who I hike with…  Crazy people will always hang out with other crazy people I suppose…
Man vs. Wild
Man vs. Wild
Making our way to the beach
Making our way to the beach

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.

Phil walking along the coast
Phil walking along the coast

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”.
We didn’t say anything afterward for few minutes as everyone were shoving energy food down their throats and getting ready before the long swim to the cave…
Before the big swim
Before the big swim
That's the way to Amerillo
That’s the way to Amerillo

The swim and the cave

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

Survived the open water swim and more to go!
Survived the open water swim and more to go!

After thoughts

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…

Having lunch at a cave
Having lunch at a cave

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. R Zhao says:

    Sounds awesome and I’d never have imagined this was possible in Hong Kong. I’m not sure I’d do it though. I’m kind of a wuss sometimes.

    Like

    1. yhpchung says:

      Hi R Zhao,
      I guess most people dont. In fact about 70% of HK land is protected or is part of a country park. So there are plenty of places to do stuff like that.

      There is also a diverse range of hiking trails ranging from family friendly to thrill seeker level.

      Phil

      Like

  2. Doni Laksono says:

    Hi there! So glad I found your page. This is amazing.
    I am planning to explore Hong Kong this April and really eager to go here like yours. Can you tell me the route to reach this area from Sai Kung Waterfront Park?

    Kindly need your info. Thank you.

    Like

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