With the cooler weather arriving and the colors of autumn coming into full bloom, now is the time to enjoy the outdoors. Get out of the city for a little while and try camping to get you closer to nature. Whether you’re planning a party-time camping trip with friends, or you’re taking your young family to explore the outdoors for the first time, you can find great options for camping sites to stay in around Hong Kong. Have a look at our guide to autumn camping in Hong Kong for information on where to stay and what to pack to make the most of your camping trip.
Top Campsites around Hong Kong
A popular choice for camping locations near to Hong Kong is one of the beaches in the region. What could be better than finding a secluded sandy enclave and waking up to the sound of waves lapping the shore?
The Long Ke Wan beach, near the High Island Reservoir, overlooks a gorgeous bay of azure water, and you’ll find ready-made barbecue pits dotted along the beach for your use. The nearby Tai Long Sai Wan camp site is tiny but offers some of the most spectacular ocean views, and is reputed to be the most beautiful location in the area. However, it is very popular and gets busy at the weekends, so try visiting during the week to avoid the rush and have plenty of space to enjoy this stunning beach for yourself. If you’re into surfing, then don’t forget to pack your board as this bay is a favorite among surfers.
A good option for families is the Pui O Beach campsite, on the southern Lantau Island near the village of Pui O. The beach is clean and welcoming, and there is a lifeguard service to ensure safety. There are plenty of facilities like showers and bathrooms, and there’s a cafe if you don’t fancy making use of the barbecue pits and tables around the site.
To keep the kids entertained, there are lots of sporting activities on offer like canoeing, surfing, and hiking, and there is an outdoor adventure shop which can rent sporting equipment to you. This makes it an easy and safe location to visit as a family, with plenty to do even if you don’t bring equipment with you.
Alternatively, if you want your kids to have the camping experience but you haven’t the time to go with them, then you could send them to one of the summer camps run by the YMCA in Hong Kong. Your kids can explore and learn about the outdoors with other children their age, while supervised by responsible adults.
If you prefer a woodland getaway to a beach, then you’ll want to try out the Nam Shan campsite, also located near Pui O. For those who love to hike, this is the ideal location as there are hiking paths of varying lengths available, including connections to the 70km Lantau trail which winds across the island and is well-signposted and easy to follow.
Another spot that’s great for hikers is the Ham Tin beach, which is just a little further along from the Tai Long Sai Wan beach. The Ham Tin beach is on the MacLehose Trail, a 100km length of pathway which crosses the New Territories and gives you the chance to explore the region’s stunning hills and valleys. The trail varies in difficulty from easy to challenging, so make sure to check out the sections that you’re planning to walk before you arrive, especially if the members of your party are not experienced hikers.
What to Pack
Having the right equipment on your camping trip will make the whole experience more comfortable, easier to set up, and safer. There are a few essentials which you just can’t go without, starting with a tent.
You’ll need a tent or tents big enough to fit your whole party, plus enough room for all of the supplies you’re bringing with you. Don’t forget that a tent which is described as a “2 man” tent will have enough space for two adults to sleep, but probably not their stuff! Most adults find that a “2 man” will comfortably fit one person and their equipment, and two adults together will be better off in a “3 man” tent.
If the weather is threatening rain, you might consider bringing an extra waterproof groundsheet to go underneath your tent to ensure that there’s no water leakage. As well as the tent, you’ll need a sleeping bag for each person. Don’t skimp here, as the temperature can get pretty cold at night during the autumnal season, and you’ll want a sleeping bag that is sufficiently thick and warm. Also in this vein, don’t forget to bring along a sleeping mat to put underneath your sleeping bag which will keep you insulated from the cold ground.
On top of this essential sleeping equipment, you should bring cooking supplies like a portable gas cooker (with spare gas), a kettle for making tea, at least one pot that you can use to make dinner on the gas cooker, and bowls, cutlery, and mugs for you to eat from. Bring along tinned food which doesn’t need to be chilled and won’t go bad, like tins of soup, which are easy to transport, store, and prepare. One thing that it’s vital not to forget is water. You may need to store or carry water from a nearby source, so make sure that you have several large containers which can hold plenty of water for washing and cleaning as well as drinking.
In terms of clothing, prepare for the cold by bringing a thick waterproof jacket and lots of layers, and a big plastic poncho can be a lifesaver if the rain starts coming down hard while you’re trying to pitch your tent. Pack a towel for each person and toiletries in small sizes, and it’s useful for each person to have their own torch so they can find their way around the campsite in the dark. With these supplies sorted, you’ll have a great time getting back to nature when camping around Hong Kong!