Pristine beaches aren’t the first thing that come to mind when thinking of frenetic Hong Kong, but the sandy stretches of Sai Kung East Country Park could be straight out of the Philippines. One of the most stunning is Long Ke Wan, often lauded as one of the best beaches in the world, thanks to its soft, white sand, clear water and forested hillsides.
It’s not easy to reach, but it’s well worth the journey. After an hour-long metro ride to Diamond Hill station, a 30-minute taxi to the High Island Reservoir and a 30-minute hike over the first hill, travelers are rewarded with sweeping views of the South China Sea and a picture-perfect crescent sweep of sand, all surrounded by mountains.
The remote location in Hong Kong’s northeastern corner protects the beach from overuse. Long Ke Wan is just the beginning of a string of beautiful beaches along Tai Long Wan bay.
Continue hiking north and you’ll reach four more beaches — Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan, and Tung Wan — each more pristine than the next. Each stretch of sand is separated by rolling hills along Maclehose Trail Section 2 and can be explored easily on a day trip or over a weekend. For a night alone with the sound of the waves, there are a handful of low-key camping sites along the way.