Find part 1. HERE
October to December, the weather is perfect for camping around Hong Kong. My tent’s fly hadn’t been needed, so I’d slept under only the mosquito net, waking with the rising sun – and a sore head from too much rum. Like a bear reanimating after winter, I slowly began to emerge.
“You’re awake!” Toby said before I could even unzip the net “Mum told me not to wake you, but now you’re up we can go swimming!” It was obvious from his enthusiasm levels that the five-year-old hadn’t been drinking rum around the campfire till the wee hours. Yet he was probably on to something, as the best cure for a hangover is surely a dip in the ocean.
The surf still pounded the shore, while a slight wind lifted each wave’s spray into an airborne salty mist which sailed across the sands. Toby had acquired a body board which we played on ‘together’. Wave after wave, I pushed the little beach boy into some gnarly little waves. Each time he popped back up looking like a drowned rat with the smile of a surfer who just caught their first ride.
We were soon called in for breakfast; pancakes, eggs, potatoes, and beans, cooked by my new camping foster families, over a single gas burner. We talked about the day’s duties, which would include gathering firewood, hunting for clams, and building a bar. The breakfast table we ate upon was a 10ft long, 4ft wide, and 3ft deep piece of styrofoam, which had washed up on shore some time ago. And there was another one, similarly sized, sitting idle just waiting to be made into the perfect beach bar.
Myself and Jacky, a local from Hong Kong and father to two of the children, stayed behind while the rest of our clan went to catch some clams for dinner. The two of us carted the other piece of styrofoam off the beach to convert into a suitable bar. We decorated and named her using leaves. Jacky found an old pump which he converted into a wash tap, and for the pièce de résistance, I carved a cool box out of the middle.
It’s a hard life living on the beach. After all that work putting the bar together, it was time for another dip in the ocean, followed by a wash in the stream which supplies camp with cool, fresh running water (seasonally). All scrubbed up, I was ready to make the hike back to civilisation to meet my very special guest.
The hike up the top of the cliff isn’t deadly, but it certainly took me a few seconds to regain my breath after 10-minutes climbing those stairs. The paths are well maintained, and once you’re up the top, there’s an easy walk downhill to the village. It’s beautiful too, as you’re treated to an epic view of Lantau peak, Hong Kong’s second highest summit. While admiring the view, my phone began to buzz, reminding me I was now in signal and almost back to reality.
Approximately 20 minutes after leaving the beach, I reached Shui Hau, a typical Hong Kong island village; Simple, quaint, and slow. There’s only one shop selling the basics, which fortunately includes cold beer. Elderly locals use the shop-come-restaurant as a place to meet, sit, and put the world to rights. I sat down and waited for the bus to deliver my VIP. Before I could finish the beer I’d ordered, she arrived. My girlfriend had come straight from work, to enjoy the weekend camping together.
We trekked back as the sun set, arriving into camp just as night fell, to find four eager children ready to meet Kaleigh. Unpacking her backpack, she received the same treatment as I had yesterday. questions fired quickly and consecutively, at a rate of over 100 per minute. I let them ask a few hundred, before attempting to drag them away and let her settle in.
Soon we were all settled next to the camp fire, our fresh supply of sausages stuck onto sticks. The moon and stars flickered on and off as the clouds came and went. The temperature was just cool enough to enjoy sitting around the fire. We cooked and ate the clams caught fresh that afternoon, while once again enjoying a rum, or five. When we were all smoked out and tired from the day, Kales and I returned to our tent as the sky cleared completely, allowing us to sleep beneath an inky, starry sea.
- In part three, five more VIP guests arrive! Come back to Intrepidlee.com on Friday, January the 11th, to continue the adventure…
How to get there
From Tung Chung bus terminus (MTR to Tung Chung) take bus number 11, show the bus driver ‘Shui Hau Village’ written down, so they can help you get off at the right stop. Approximately 25 minutes after leaving Tung Chung, you will arrive at the village.
Walk in the same direction as your bus, and you will soon come across a hiking signpost (with a map and hiking information) on the left. Turn left into this road and cross the bridge, before heading up three hills. After 10 minutes or so, you’ll get a great view of Lantau Peak. Continuing along and you’ll see a sign directing you to turn right towards Lo Kei Wan. Keep going down the steps, and you’ll eventually pass a stream before entering the camp/beach.
Need to know/top tips
- stock up on all supplies before leaving the village.
- The campsite has toilets but no toilet paper.
- As you cross the stream, turn right into the campsite and keep walking to find the best site, furthest from the entrance.
- The sites all have bbq pits, but you’ll want to take your own metal mesh.
- There are metal clotheslines for drying your belongings.
- The sites get busy on a Friday and Saturday night.
- Loads of trees around, so the intrepid camper should always be able to find firewood.