Last year I was too tired to attend the second annual beach party at Big Wave Bay in Sai Kung, but to quote friends of mine it was “one of the best days of my life,” and “the best party I’ve ever been to”. So with that in mind, I decided to make a little effort to check out the third edition on Sunday.
Three years ago, when the Hong Kong club, Volar was brand new, the owners organized a summer beach party out in Sai Kung’s Big Wave Bay (‘Tai Long Wan’ in Cantonese.)
This long, remote beach surrounded by rolling green mountains is known as one of the most beautiful spots in all of Hong Kong. The crowd that first year was a who’s who of Hong Kong’s party scene, in addition to a large contingent of models. Many of the people, up all night from the night before, hit the beach at dawn and continued partying until sunset. With the right mixture of people, an amazing beach, and perfect weather, a new tradition was born!
The anticipation for the third beach party has been building for several months. This year, in addition to the regulars, there was a reported waiting list of over 150 models who wanted to attend!
Despite its beauty, Tai Long Wan is never crowded. The reason? It’s hard to get to. The beach is about a 45 minute boat ride from Sai Kung, the nearest harbor. It’s more than twice that distance to Hong Kong Island. Tai Long Wan beach is cut-off from civilization. There are no snack stands or any structures intruding on the tranquility. Without a boat you need to get there by hiking over a mountain! Waking up too late to catch a ride, and being in the mood for a little adventure, that’s exactly what I did!
Getting to Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay,) Sai Kung
Leaving from Central, I took the MTR (subway) out to the Diamond Hill station. From there I caught the 96R bus (which only runs on Sundays and public holidays.) The bus took me past a gated road, deep into Sai Kung. Getting off at the last stop, Wong Shek pier, I caught an illegal speedboat to Chek Keng (about a five minute ride). With no signs or directions posted, it can be a little intimidating once you disembark.
I had a basic idea which direction I needed to go – away from Wong Shek, and over the mountain, so it wasn’t too difficult to navigate. I confirmed my hunch by asking people along the way.
A few minutes after getting off of the speedboat, at the first fork in the path, I came across a big animal who was in the midst of having lunch!
From here I started the slow ascent up the hillside. I’m used to hiking, so it wasn’t very difficult. Getting to the top, I paused to take in the view and shot a photo of the beach with all of the boats parked below. Of course the photos don’t do it justice.
Heading down the mountain, I passed through Tai Long Wan village where there was a small restaurant. Near here I spotted a sign pointing to Tai Long Wan beach. I continued through a marshland area on a small stone path, the way meandering through trees and pastures, attempting to maintain higher ground. Looking back, I could see the mountains I just traversed in all their glory.
Pretty soon I began to hear the faint thumping beat of electro music in the distance. Walking along the path it eventually opened up onto the beach.
Though there were boats dotting the entire length of the bay, (I counted twenty-eight in total,) nine boats tied together formed the nucleus of the party.
As in previous years, on the beach there was a tent set up with d.j. equipment and a booming sound system. There were around thirty people dancing and hanging around the tent chilling.
Similar to Waikiki beach in Hawaii, at Tai Long Wan you can wade far out into the water before it gets deep. The waves on Sunday were also good enough for body boarding and boogie boards. My favorite part of the day was hanging out in the water, admiring the view of the mountains.