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As summer is coming to an end, there are still a number of things to squeeze into your agenda. While the sun still glistens and the water is still warm enough for a swim, the only thing to do with such perfect weather conditions is head out onto the water. One of the best ways to see Hong Kong’s natural wonders is to casually paddle out to sea and explore hidden caves or secret beaches. Here are our top suggestions on the best places to go kayaking in Hong Kong.
Stanley is a small fishing village situated in the southern part of Hong Kong Island, and it is only a 30-minute bus ride from Central. Its main beach has many shacks that you can rent watersport equipment from, such as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Once on the water, you can paddle around Tai Tam Bay and Lo Chau, a tiny island off to the side of Stanley. If you’ve got lots of energy to burn, you could even kayak all the way out to Beaufort Island and Po Toi.
Hiwindlover offers kayaks for rent for as low as $80 an hour, and they are also stocked up on gear for boardsports such as windsurfing. Another fine establishment is Aqua-Bound Water Sports Centre, which also has its kayak rentals priced at $80. They also offer private guided kayak tours for beginners, the price of which varies depending on the number of people attending. With its convenient location for Hong Kong Island residents, Stanley is a popular choice for a weekend getaway, so be sure to check out our neighbourhood guide for local’s perspective of this charming community.
Hong Kong is well-versed when it comes to the juxtaposition between urban life and natural greenery, and nowhere is that more evident than in Sai Kung. Nestled in the northeast part of Hong Kong, Sai Kung is made up of beautiful natural surroundings, small villages, and a bustling town. A highlight of Sai Kung is definitely its UNESCO Global Geopark site, a wonderland of hexagonal volcanic rock formations and calm blue waters, reminiscent of the vistas in Thailand
Sha Ha Beach is a good place to start when looking for kayaks to rent, as there are many shops that offer a range of different water sports equipment. Blue Sky Sports Club is one of many but they stand out from their competitors for their high-quality gear and affordable prices. Full-day rental for a double kayak costs around $270.
Once you are equipped with your kayak and paddle, set out to sea, as Sai Kung has plentiful scenic wonders to explore. Make your way around to small coves and islands around the area, such as Pak Sha Chau, Sharp Island, Yim Tin Tsai, Yeung Chau, and Cham Tau Chau, to name but a few. When you are done kayaking for the day, check out our neighbourhood guide to Sai Kung, where we highlight the best places and things to eat, see, and do.
When it comes to kayaking, we would highly recommend checking out Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets. Located near Grass Island, Hoi Ha Wan is a small village with a designated marine sanctuary, easily accessible by minibus from Sai Kung and perfect day-trip material. Its quiet and secluded cove is ideal for kayaking and taking in natural views, as the sheltered bay offers an array of marine wildlife to gaze at. It is also home to Hong Kong’s largest coral colonies, so be sure to do your part and keep the park and waters clean when you visit.
Rent your kayaks from Hoi Ha Wan Hoi Store, a general store that stocks everything from food and drinks to water sports equipment. Full-day rental for a double kayak costs around $250 and $100 for a solo kayak. Once you’ve paddled your fill around Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, you can also take your kayak out to neighbouring Grass Island and Port Island to explore, but we guarantee there’s already plenty to do around Hoi Ha Wan.
Located towards the west of Hong Kong, Lantau is known for its spectacular hikes and iconic Big Buddha. However, there are also pristine beaches along its coasts, making it a popular weekend destination for locals. Lower Cheung Sha Beach is a favoured spot amongst day-trippers, as there are many restaurants and bars that line the beach. Additionally, there are also places where you can rent kayaks for a bit of paddling around.
When it comes to kayak rentals, look no further than Long Coast Seasports. This well-established outdoor activities centre offers everything from equipment rental and camping gear to guided tours and even surf lessons. Rental for a double kayak starts at around $120, so why not head over to Lantau and spend a day on the water there?
Cheung Chau is a small island in the southwestern part of Hong Kong, and it is fondly known as “Dumbbell Island” due to its interesting shape. Originally a fishing village, Cheung Chau is now known as a domestic tourism hotspot due to its sandy beaches, cafés and restaurants, fresh seafood, and its own unique microculture.
Tung Wan Beach, the most popular beach on the island, is filled with a multitude of restaurants and shops. Naturally, there are also places to rent kayaks either by the beach or near it. One place to visit is the Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre, an institution that has been on the island since 1975. Getting its start as a windsurfing school, it quickly grew into an equipment rental shop and a café, too. Rental prices for a double kayaks start from $150 for an hour.
If you are looking for a quieter beach, you should definitely check out Kwun Yam Wan. Once there, soak in the sun and check out Hing Kee Beach Store, a family business that has been open for business for over 70 years. This tiny shack serves a range of snacks, local premium draft beers, and even the option for a barbecue. Other than food and beverages, they offer kayaking rental services that start from $150 for a single kayak and $250 for a double kayak.
Located in the northeastern New Territories, Plover Cove is right next to Tai Po and is mostly a country park, boasting the largest reservoir in Hong Kong. The area is known for its splendid hikes and bike paths. However, not far from the country park is a small village called Tai Mei Tuk. Right in front of Tai Mei Tuk is Long Mei Beach, where Tai Mei Tuk Water Sports Centre is located. Surrounded by calm seas and green hills that make it ideal for kayaking and water-based exploring, the centre provides various water sports lessons and also have affordable kayaking equipment for rent.
Also known as Yan Chau Tong, Double Haven is home to the Yan Chau Tong Marine Park, a bay in Plover Cove Country Park that is ensconced by Crescent Island, Double Island, and Crooked Island. Here, you can witness a few of Hong Kong’s most important ecological habitats—natural mangroves and seagrass bed, for example—that fish and other kinds of marine animals use as nursery grounds. Due to its various geographical landforms, from rock cliffs and sandpits to peninsulas and beaches, some have taken to nicknaming Double Haven as the “Mini-Guilin of Hong Kong.”
Do note that Yan Chau Tong Marine Park is more suitable for intermediate to advanced kayakers, as there are no rental kayaks available from Double Haven itself. You will need to cover a round-trip of roughly 40 kilometres in order to get there. Rent your kayaks from Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park and paddle north, rounding Wong Chuk Kok Tsui, where the Devil’s Fist will greet you. Continue on between Double Island and Crescent Island and you will reach Double Haven.
If you are not familiar with the areas above, don’t worry—there are many companies all over Hong Kong that carry out guided adventure tours, even for kayaking. Guided tours are definitely worth considering, as expert guides plan out a fun-filled day exploring the most interesting and beautiful natural wonders Hong Kong has to offer. Even if you are a beginner, rest assured that you will glide through the waters safe and sound for an unforgettable experience. Here are some adventure companies worth checking out if you are looking for a guided kayaking tour.
Wild Hong Kong, G/F, 35C, Wo Mei Village, Sai Kung | (+852) 6087 1439
A-Team Edventures, 8/F, Cheung Hing Commercial Building, 37–43 Cochrane Street, Central | (+852) 2560 8838
SeaKayak Hong Kong, Yung Shue O Village, Sai Kung | (+852) 5506 3620