Surf spots in Hong Kong are at least an hour’s drive from the shopping center, skyscrapers and busy streets. Gi’s, as well as Derek Nailey, first surfed Big Wave Bay in 1960 becoming part of the local surfers, including lifeguards, but when the Australian expatriate Rod Payne tried to ride the same wave in 1979, he was kicked out of the water by the police. HK Surfing Association was born in 1997. Tai Long Wan is the Cantonese term for “Big Wave Bay”, but confusingly, there are 3 spots that own this name: Big Wave Bay LT is on the vigorous island of Lantau, which reaches 930m but only receives waves with the rare typhoon swells from South. Take a taxi from the ferry dock and watch out for the rocks along the beach. Even if there are plenty of close-outs, Cheung Sha attracts dozens of surfers on the occasional 2-4ft days. This spot boasts one of the longest beaches in Hong Kong and a small shop that rents boards. There are calmer waves at Pui O, which can be reached by a short taxi ride from the Mui Wo ferry; this is a place to spend a perfect summer surfcamp. Hong Kong’s 7 million residents enjoy the modern and efficient road network, but it takes a while to reach the spots on the east side. Repulse Bay is a popular tourist beach that is rarely worth visiting as it faces southwest. Shek O is a beachbreak which is usually close-out but it needs to be checked when big swells arrive. Big Wave Bay HK is the center of the surf scene, attracting crowds of up to 100+ surfers as well as plenty of swimmers, as it is supervised by lifeguards and protected by shark nets. Unstable peaks break with all swells from North to East, but a powerful NE typhoon could produce some tubing sections. Among the biggest dangers there are rocks at both ends, strong currents, pollution and a lot of waste in the sea. In the New Territories, known as Sai Kung Province, the third largest bay is Tai Long Wan Sk, which has the biggest and most consistent (good quality) wave around. It is made up of 4 beaches facing NE and SE in a giant horseshoe bay, the long white sands of Fung Bay and Sai Wan are probably the best as they catch any swell that hit the area, while Ham Tin offers a little protection at the north end. With typhoon swells and strong NE winds it could get big, impetuous and with a lot of current: this is not a spot for beginners. In winter there are lots of swells from 2-4ft. The perfect tide is medium-high but the ride is short and the waves are usually no higher than 3,2ft. Most surfers camp here for the night, they have lunch and dinner at the Hoi Fung shops and they relax under the trees on the beach, as getting to town would take 12h of travel. On the mainland, in Guangdong province, there are few spots and they are far between as the sea has recently moved away, leaving a super jagged coastline full of flat rocks and granite islets. To the east, in Xi-Chong and Dongchong, you will find great waves for longboarding that break off lazily on a sandy seafloor close to some rivermouths. Dongchong also has excellent cabins and some restaurants. Pinghai Point is a little more accessible, holding some good right near the Dongchong Hotel. The Zhelang or Hong Hoi Wan area is worth checking out as you may find powerful peaks near a series of piers, but the pollution is high and it shouldn’t be underestimated. The piers have also created 88 excellent sandbars, protected from sideshore winds from the North and from the Northeast (which are often offshore during the morning) with a left breaking off the north pier and a beautiful a-frame in the inside. Cherry Point lefts only work with larger swells and they are usually quite soft.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||Caritas Oswald Cheung International House||Silvermine Beach|
|From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020||€ 179||€ 410|
The typhoon season is better from August to October, but the surf could be very erratic considering that the monsoons from NE, from November to March, record a constancy of 80% of surf days. The best month is November as the first swells arrive, anticipated by NE and some late typhoons. The Taiwan Strait produces swells from the Northeast while the Luzon Strait receives direct swells from the East. Winds tend to blow from the North, and due to the continental mass, in the late afternoon they tend to rotate from the East and Northeast becoming onshore. During the season from May to September, the waves are rare. The tides have an semidiurnal cycle that reaches 8ft. The waves are often better at high tide.
How to get there: You don’t need a visa in Hong Kong: you can get a one-month China visa directly at the airport in less than 24h. Flying to HK’s Chek Lap Kok (HKG) is often cheap. Cathay Pacific require an extra payment for bring boards. If you are going directly to China, fly to Shenzhen (SZX), avoid the land crossing and take the 30 min ferry that goes directly to Shekou. From here it will only take 3h to Shanwai.
Getting around: Renting a car is a bad idea! Traffic could drive you crazy and orientation could be a real problem. By hiring a van, it will take 1h for Tai Long Wan HK and 2h (at least) for Tai Lang Wai in Sai Kung. Access to some spots is hard due to the lack of roads. Public transportation is a nuisance if you are bringing boards.
Accommodation and food: Most visitors are business executives, hotels are mostly expensive. As tourism is taking off, a mid-range market is also developing. The Standford Hotel in Mongkok costs around $ 120 per night, a good value. Meals are cheap. China is very different. Zhelang has 3-star hotels for $ 30 per night. Chinese dishes are quite different from Chinese western takeaways.
Climate: The climate is subtropical and subjected to monsoons. Winter is very mild and dry enough. It is quite hot, humid and rainy from spring to summer, while autumn is warm, sunny and quite dry. The daily averages of the hottest months (from May to October) varies between 25 ° C and 29 ° C. Hong Kong is occasionally hit by typhoons.
Nature and Culture: Sinuous road signs lined up in dirty vehicles. The ears hear the honking of taxi horns. Chrome and mirrored skyscrapers, like space cathedrals, gray apartment blocks are built. HK is the event capital for sports in Asia: arts, theater, festivals and concerts. It is a lively city but the escape routes to nature aren’t so far.
Dangers and annoyances: BWB HK, Shek O and Cheung Sha can get very crowded but the other spots are rarely surfed. Toxic cauliflowers float disgustingly in the frothy sea, because of ship captains and outdated sewage systems. Plug your ears and shut up. Traffic could be very bad.
Tips: Rent or buy a board at Eric’s shop in Big Wave Bay (HK Beach). Renting a board costs $ 8 per day and bodyboards $ 3. In Hong Kong there are 3 shops that sell the boards. In China, driving and cycling are illegal for foreigners. Shenzhen is a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 1.08 USD
Exchange rate variations (more than 3%) will lead to an adjustment of costs. They will be communicated within 20 days of departure.
The tariff does not include
Duration: 8 days / 6 nights
from € 179 - Excluding flights