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Ham Tin from the the sea

If you're craving sun, sea and sand Hong Kong has no shortage of great options when it comes to beaches. However, in my experience, one stands out above the rest. Ham Tin.

Perhaps not Hong Kong's most accessible beach, but it's secluded location means it's away from the hustle and bustle of some of the busier beaches which are closer to the city.

To get to Ham Tin, you have two options. The easiest route is to head to Sai Kung and take a speed boat from the ferry. This will cut down the time and effort it takes (also the speed boats are great fun) but it will cost you around $120HKD each way. The speed boat from Sai Kung takes about 30 minutes.

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Sai Kung Speed Boat

If you really want to earn your beach day then it is possible to hike to Ham Tin. You will still need to first get to Sai Kung Town. From there you can take bus a white minibus, R29, from the bus hub all the way to the last stop, Sai Wan Pavilion. From Sai Wan Pavilion you can follow the hiking trail. The first stage of the hike will take around 45 minutes and lead to to Sai Wan village which has a beach of it's own and refreshments. To make it from there to Ham Tin beach will take around 1 hour 15 minutes, but the views on the journey make the effort well worth it.

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The Journey to Ham Tin

Once you're there enjoy the white sand and clear blue water. There are a couple of stores at the back of the beach selling food and drinks as well as tickets for the boat back to Sai Kung.

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Ma Wan is a popular island in Hong Kong. Similar to Discovery Bay, no cars are allowed on the island. You can get to Ma Wan by bus from Tsing Yi MTR for under $20. The journey takes about 15 minutes. Once at Ma Wan, there's a nice beach facing the suspension bridge, Ting Kau. There's also some alfresco dining available by the beach. It's a great place for lunch or dinner!

There's also a museum called Noah's Ark, which is for kids more than for adults. Noah's Ark is as it's name suggests...a museum built like Noah's Ark and with related exhibits and educational content.

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Take a step back in time with a visit to Tai O fishing village.

Situated in the south west edge of Lantau Island, the journey to Tai O can take a bit of time so leave early to make the most of your day. You can take the MTR to Tung Chung and from there either bus number 11 or a ferry from the pier will take you all the way to Tai O.

Tai O's most famous attractions are the stilt houses and pink dolphins, and the cheap boat tours give you the opportunity to see both. However, with only around 30 pink dolphins left in Hong Kong you'll have to be luckier than we were to see them. Even without a dolphin sighting the $30HKD fee for the boat trip was well worth it with great views of the stilt houses and bay.

Taking a walk around the village offers as many interesting sights as the boat tour, you can stroll between stilt houses, browse market stalls and eat fresh sea food.

The people living in Tai O seem used to visitors and carry on with their day or smile warmly as tourists plod through the tight streets and peer into the houses. The contrast to the towering sky scrapers and bright, busy streets of the city center just an hour or so away is incredible to experience.

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