Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by queenie mak
Tai Tan Country Trail (大灘郊遊徑) is a scenic coastal trail on the northeast side of Sai Kung West Country Park (西貢西郊野公園) in Hong Kong. The 7km trail runs along the coast next to Long Harbour. Along the route, there are two secluded beaches, a historical landmark and one of Hong Kong’s best marine park, Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park (海下灣海岸公園).
The easy hiking trail starts from the village of Tai Tan (大灘) and ends in Hoi Ha Village (海下村). It is possible to hike any time of the year and it is suitable for hikers of all ages.
So if you are looking for an easy hike in Sai Kung, then look no further. Keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how to spend the day hiking Tai Tan Country Trail in Sai Kung.
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What you need to know before hiking Tai Tan Country Trail in Sai Kung
Before you hike Tai Tan Country Trail, take a look at my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of HK first.
Here are a few additional tips for the Tai Tan to Hoi Ha hike:
- The best time for hiking Tai Tan Country Trail is late autumn, winter and early spring. You could hike Tai Tan Country Trail in the summer but part of the trail is exposed but there’s a nice breeze next to the coast.
- Bring enough water for a few hours of hiking.
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation and use it for taking the MTR, minibus and buses in Sai Kung. It costs $100HKD, but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave HK.
- I chose to hike from Tai Tan to Hoi Ha but you can hike in the reverse direction. Typically, I like to end the hiking day in a nice destination, like a beach, which is why I chose to end the hike in Hoi Ha.
How to hike Tai Tan Country Trail
Start hiking Tai Tan Country Trail from the village of Tai Tan. The scenic trail wraps around the east coast of Sai Kung West Country Park until it merges with Hoi Ha Nature Trail near Hoi Ha Wan Pier. Then hike to the end of the nature trail and finish your hiking day in the village of Hoi Ha.
The entire coastal trail is relatively easy with not much elevation gains at the beginning. Then it goes up to about 100m in the middle of the trek and comes back down to sea level near the end. I included the elevation profile (see below).
To see the details of the hiking route, click on “more options” on the top left corner of Google Maps and the map will open in your browser or in the app on your smartphone.
- Difficulty: easy
- Duration: 3 hours
- Distance: 7km
- What to bring: hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation)
How to get to the start of the Tai Tan Country Trail in Sai Kung
From anywhere in Hong Kong, take the MTR to Choi Hung MTR Station. Then take exit C, find the bus stop for minibus 1A and take it all the way to the last stop, which is at Sai Kung Pier Minibus Terminus.
- Minibus 1A: from Choi Hung MTR Station Exit C to Sai Kung Pier Minibus Terminus
- Time: 35 minutes (every 4 minutes)
- Cost: $9.70HKD (use Octopus Card)
- Check: 16seats website for minibus 1A for more information
When you alight the minibus, walk north for a minute (basically, cross the road) to the other side where the bus terminus resides. Find the bus stop for bus 94 and take the bus to the third last stop, Tai Tan bus stop on Pak Tam Road.
FYI – the frequency for bus 94 varies. So check the schedule otherwise you might wait a while for the next bus.
- Bus 94: from Sai Kung Bus Terminus to Tai Tan Stop
- Time: 35 minutes (every 15 – 40 minutes)
- Cost: $7.20HKD (use Octopus card)
- Check: KMB website for bus 94 for more information
Walk across Tai Tan Village
From the Tai Tan bus stop, turn left on Road Section 2 which will lead you directly to the village of Tai Tan.
The small road weaves through Tai Tan village, passes by residential buildings on the left, crosses Hau Tong Kai River, and passes several more residential homes.
Then you’ll see the inner harbour of the Long Harbour (大灘海) and soon you’ll be starting the trek on Tai Tan Country Trail.
Start hiking Tai Tan Country Trail
At the end of Road Section 2, it merges with Tai Tan Country Trail. All you have to do is follow the signs and the path.
This is not the exact starting point of the Tai Tan Country Trail. If you look on Google Maps, the trail starts a bit further to the west of the village. But starting in the village of Tai Tan is the easiest way to hike this coastal trail which is why I recommend starting here.
Tai Tan Country Trail: trail condition
The best thing about a coastal trail is that it is easy to navigate because there is only one way. There are other trails that go across the mountain but if you stick to the coastal trail, you can’t get lost.
Moreover, there are many signages along Tai Tan Country Trail so there’s comfort in knowing you are going the right way especially if you are hiking solo.
As for the trail condition, Tai Tan Country Trail is either rugged paths with flat or slight elevation gains or rugged stairs. Even if you wear sneakers, you can complete the entire trail with ease.
First part of of the coastal trail: easy
As I mentioned earlier, the first part of Tai Tan Country Trail is very easy. The path is flat and it wraps around the edge of the coast. The easy part of the trail is about a third of the entire trail.
Take a break at the secluded beach
There is a secluded beach at the end of the easy part of the Tai Tan Country Trail. Before continuing forward, take a short break here and also take some photos. You can see Sharp Peak, one of the sharpest peaks in Hong Kong, the mountains of Sai Kung East Country Park and the Long Harbour.
The middle part of of the trail: many stairs
The middle (and harder) part of Tai Tan Country Trail starts at the north end of the beach.
First, find the stone walkway at the end of the beach. The walkway will move inland where the trail goes up. Along the way, there are either stone stairways or rugged paths. It is still not that difficult because the path is pretty clear and doesn’t have any loose rocks. And it only has about 100m of elevation gain.
Views along the middle part of Tai Tan Country Trail
The coastal trail goes up and down and in and out. During the parts of the path that goes to the edge of the coast, you can see Nam Fung Wan (南風灣) which is a bay just north of Long Harbour. And on a clear day, you can see Grass Island in the northeast direction. And of course, you can still see the mountains of Sai Kung East Country Park.
Keep following the path. When the path descends closer to sea level, it means you’re almost done with the toughest part of the trail (which still isn’t that hard).
Approaching the beach at Wan Tsai
When you see a beach along the coastal trail, it means you’re approaching Wan Tsai (Nam Fung Wan) 灣仔(南風灣). This is not the same as Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island (although the actual name in Chinese is written the same way).
This also means that the hardest part of the hiking is over! The hiking trail will descend near the beach. And if you want to stop by the beach, find the “entrance” which is a narrow path between some bushes (see photo below). The beach itself is clean and pretty quiet (especially on a weekday).
Turn left and follow the sign for Hoi Ha
To the north of Wan Tsai beach is the Sai Kung West Country Park (Wan Tsai Extension) 西貢西郊野公園 (灣仔擴建部份). I walked maybe about five minutes into the extension and saw campsites and a bike trail for mountain bikers. There is also a pier for ferries from Wong Shek and Chek Keng Hau. You can explore this part of the park if you have time.
To continue forward, turn left at the beach and walk in the southwest direction. There is a stone stairway going up the hill and a sign pointing to Hoi Ha. This is where you want to go.
Last third of of the trail: easiest
The hiking trail after Wan Tsai gets much easier. Most of the trail is a paved path or concrete stairway with railings. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Along the way, you’ll come across the Jockey Club HSBC WWF Hong Kong Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre on the right. It is one of the marine reserves parks in Hong Kong that has an education centre that allows visitors to learn about marine biodiversity.
And you can book a trip on the glass-bottom boat to see corals and other marine life. Apparently, there are over 60 types of coral and 120 fish species in the area!
Merge into Hoi Ha Nature Trail
Somewhere near Hoi Ha Wan Pier, Tai Tan Country Trail ends and Hoi Ha Nature Trail (海下自然教育徑) starts. The merging of the trails is seamless and not even noticeable (no signs or anything). I only know this when I zoomed in on Google Maps.
Nonetheless, continue hiking down the paved path towards the village of Hoi Ha.
See the Lime Kilns
Before you reach Hoi Ha, there are several large structures made with stones on the left side of the trail. These Lime Kilns (石灰窰) were used for burning oyster shells and coral skeletons to make limestone back in the 20th century.
Today, there are only two lime kilns that are still intact (there were four) and are considered as a historical landmark in Hoi Ha.
Take a closer look by walking to the right of the lime kiln and up the stairs. When you reach the top of the stairs, you can see the inside of the large cylindrical lime kiln.
Continue hiking towards Hoi Ha Village
The scenery along Hoi Ha Nature Trail is quite nice. You can see the entire Hoi Ha Wan including the beach, the Drumming Rock (東風石), which are the large rocks next to the beach and Hoi Ha Village behind the beach.
Arrive at Hoi Ha Wan
Hoi Ha Wan is a bay in the north part of Sai Kung West Country Park and it is part of Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park (海下灣海岸公園).
Many people make a day trip to Hoi Ha to kayak in the clear water of Hoi Ha Wan. You can rent a kayak and explore the area including the two small islands (Flat Island and Mo Chau) on the north side. Kayak rentals start from $100HKD per person (Mondays to Thursdays) and $150 (Fridays to Sundays).
Besides kayaking, you can also snorkel or rent a standup paddleboard at one of the shops in the village.
If you start hiking Tai Tan Country Trail super early, it is possible to have a few hours at Hoi Ha beach and enjoy some water activities.
Regardless, you should explore the beach and relax before heading back to Sai Kung town.
Return to the town of Sai Kung
To get back to the Sai Kung town, walk in the opposite direction of the arrows on the concrete path. The arrows point to Hoi Ha Wan beach and are drawn for visitors going directly to the beach.
After about two minutes of walking, the path ends at the roundabout on Hoi Ha Road. The minibus stop is on the far left.
The minibus comes every 30 minutes or so. If you just missed the minibus, walk a few minutes up the road and visit the new Hoi Ha Visitor Centre. It is supposed to be really nice and instagrammable.
As for the minibus ride, take it all the way to the end, which will take you back to Sai Kung Pier Minibus Terminus. And from there, you can hop on minibus 1A to get back to Choi Hung MTR Station.
- Minibus 7: from Hoi Ha Village to Sai Kung Pier Minibus Terminus
- Time: 25 minutes (every 30 minutes)
- Cost: $13.10HKD (use Octopus card)
- Check: 16Seats website minibus 7 for more information
Are you ready to hike Tai Tan Country Trail in Sai Kung?
Tai Tan Country Trail is one of the nicest and easiest coastal trails in Hong Kong. It is far and you’ll have to take several modes of transportation into Sai Kung West Country Park before starting the hike. But the scenery is worth it!
If you have any questions about the hiking trail between Tai Tan and Hoi Ha, let me know in the comment section below.
Other Hong Kong hikes you might be interested:
- Victoria Peak Hike: See Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline
- High West: A short hike to see the Victoria Peak sunset
- Dragon’s Back Hike: the most popular day hike in HK
- Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill: best spot for sunset and night views
- Mount Nicholson Hike: see hidden rock statues in the middle of HK Island
- Violet Hill and the Twins: hike over two mountains with over 1,000+ steps
- Rhino Rock Hike: see a rocky rhinoceros head in Stanley
- Pineapple Mountain: the Great Canyon of Hong Kong
- Lamma Island: hike from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- High Junk Peak: one of three sharpest peaks in HK
- Pat Sin Leng Hike: hike over 8 peaks named after Chinese Mythological immortals
- Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail: hike around HK’s largest reservoir
- Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff: see Hong Kong’s most dramatic cliff
- Tung O Ancient Trail: hike the coastal trail in Lantau North Country Park
- Lo Yan Shan hike: hike Chi Ma Wan Country Trail in southern Lantau Island
- Cape Collinson hike: visit an old battery used during WWII on Hong Kong Island
- Tsing Yi Nature Trails: meander through the easy trails in Tsing Yi
- Tsing Yi Peak: hike the three peaks on Tsing Yi Island
- Ma Shi Chau Nature Trail: see 280 million year old rocks in Tai Po
- Fan Lau hike: explore the southwest tip of Lantau Island
- Po Toi Island: see Hong Kong’s South Pole