Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung is arguably Hong Kong’s most beautiful bay.
Not to be confused with the one that bears the same name (Big Wave Bay) on Hong Kong Island, Tai Long Wan is a more tranquil spot for a holiday retreat.
It has crystal-clear waters and a fine, golden beach that stretches along craggy hillsides.
Along the coast are four smaller bays – Tai Long Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan — in the shadow of Sharp Peak, the most treacherous in Hong Kong.
Off the coast of Ham Tin Wan are two small islands — Tsim Chau and Tai Chau, where I got stranded once in the past.
I was sailing a catamaran at the time when I encountered a strong headwind.
The boat was damaged and there was no way I could get back to land until I had it fixed.
The accident turned out to be a great experience. Sailing across the bay in the evening was wonderful.
This time, I came to Tai Chau again for its sea caves.
The safer option was to go inside it by its west entrance through the beach and trek and swim across the cave until the nearest exit to the east.
It was completely dark, making the swim fairly dangerous but exciting.
With only a flashlight to pave the way, my friend and I moved carefully.
We walked and swam alternately every 10 meters or so. The east exit was much wider and more spectacular than the entrance.
Next to Tai Chau is Tsim Chau, which boasts a rich biodiversity.
The waters of the small uninhabited island are acclaimed as a “forest of sea anemones”. Here, clownfish swim in abundance.
The island is also one of the few breeding grounds left for the white-breasted sea eagle.
From/To Tai Chau or Tsim Chau: Take KMB bus route 94 to Pak Tam Au from Sai Kung Town Center. Then walk to Ham Tin Wan. Hire a private boat at the village store. Alternatively, take a taxi to Sai Wan Pavilion and walk to Sai Wan village. Hire a private boat at the village store at Tai Long Sai Wan.
Experienced visitors can do activities such as trekking, climbing and swimming inside the undersea cave or along the coastline but only under the supervision of professional coaches.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan. 8, 2015.
Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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