It’s hot – which means the frizzy hair, stick-to-black-and-prints-because-I’m-so-sweaty Hong Kong summer is upon us. Hiking season is slowing down as the heat kicks in so we’ve pulled together the top ways to enjoy nature, far from the scorching city centre. Check out our ultimate outdoor sports guide and get active!
Learn from the master at Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre, the training camp for Hong Kong’s first ever Olympic Gold Medallist in women’s windsurfing.The centre also offers kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and windsurfing rigs at affordable prices.
Where: No. 1 Hak Pai Road, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
How much: Full-day beginners’ classes are $1,800 per person for group lessons or $2,500 for individuals.
How to book: Email email@example.com or call 2981 8316.
Nestled in Tai Tam Tuk Village, just off Tai Tam Road, is a mecca for all your extreme water sport needs. Wakeboard Hong Kong offers not only wakeboarding, but wakesurfing, tubing, hoverboarding and Flyboarding in that very paradise. Its coaches are HKWSA-certified, so you’re sure to be in good hands.
Where: Tai Tam Tuk Village, Tai Tam, Hong Kong
How much: Wakeboarding and wakesurfing are $850 or $900 per hour on weekdays and weekends respectively, while flyboarding and hoverboarding are $1,500 per hour. The weekday Family & Friends Package is a great deal at $2,200 for a maximum of six people, and includes three hours of wakeboarding, tubing, wake surfing and family boating.
How to book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/ Whatsapp 9454 5772.
Also known as kiteboarding, kitesurfing is best described as a combination of wakeboarding and paragliding. Kitesurfers use their body weight to control the kite and propel themselves across distances at speeds of up to 90 km/h (that’s the world record so don’t worry, you’re not going to be speeding off like crazy on your first try), while doing tricks like jumps and 360-degree turns. The Kiteboarding Association of Hong Kong moves depending on the time of year for favourable wind conditions. From March to August, you can find them at Lung Kwu Tan, the closest beach to Tuen Mun in the westernmost part of the New Territories.
Where: March to August: Lung Kwu Tan, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong; September to February: Shui Hau Wan, Lantau, Hong Kong
How much: Take a one-day intro course for $600 or try the three-day beginner package for $4,500.
How to book: Email email@example.com.
Hong Kong is the ideal place to get your scuba certification before heading off on holiday so you don’t waste precious vacation days doing course work. There are several dive centres offering a variety of certification courses. Pick your centre based on convenience and the type of certification you want to get. Splash Hong Kong is an award-winning dive centre in the New Territories that offers PADI courses and diving excursions tailored to your needs and schedule, as well as fun trips abroad. Mandarin Divers, based in Wan Chai, offers PADI, IANTD and RAID.
Read more: Scuba Diving: A Girl’s Guide to the Underwater World
Where: Usually Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, but may vary depending on the chosen course.
How much: Splash’s PADI Open Water Diver Course is priced at $4,800 per person, while Mandarin Divers’ is $4,900 per person, but you get discounts if you get a friend (or two!) to tag along.
How to book: Splash Hong Kong: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2792 4495; Mandarin Divers: Email email@example.com or call 2554 7110.
If it’s always been your dream to fly like a bird, paragliding might just be the sport for you– if you’re willing to put in the time and money. For a pretty penny, you can get an entry-level paragliding license in as few as eight sessions with Paraglide HK. You can also buy a full set of equipment, but be prepared to shell out a small fortune.
Where: Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
How much: The entry-level course is at $10,400 for eight sessions, while buying a full set of equipment will set you back $25,000 – $35,000, depending on the brand.
How to book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9450 0851.
The best way to find a dragon boating team to join is simply asking around friends and colleagues or posting on one of the local forums as there are social groups, corporate groups and competitive groups scattered across Hong Kong. As one of Hong Kong’s most popular locations for the sport, Stanley is home to a local association that offers corporate training and equipment rental. If you’re looking to join a competitive team, check out Tai Tam-based Stormy Dragons or Aberdeen-based Buzz Dragon, both of which compete regularly in local and international races throughout the season.
Read more: Why You Should Join a Dragon Boat Team
Where: Stanley, Hong Kong; Tai Tam, Hong Kong; Aberdeen, Hong Kong
How much: Varies depending on the team but most teams have one or two free training sessions for you to try the sport out.
How to join: Email email@example.com or call 2813 0564, www.dragonboat.org.hk
Stormy Dragons: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, stormydragons.com
Buzz Dragon: Email: email@example.com, www.buzzdragon.com
A-Team EDventures offers kayaking trips, trainings, environmental clean-ups, corporate outings and school camps all over Hong Kong. As an introduction, check out one of their eco-adventure day tours that they can tailor to your fitness and interest levels. If you’re looking for something that needs less time to organise, head to Ah Kwok Water Sports Centre on Sha Ha Beach in Sai Kung, where whole-day kayak rentals go as low as $100 per person. Easily accessible by both public mini buses and car, it’s where we go when we’re looking for something fun to do with friends on a whim.
Where: Various locations across Hong Kong.
How much: A-Team EDventures’s one-day kayaking trips are at $900 per person, equipment and picnic lunch included. Whole-day (9am-5pm) kayak rentals begin at $100 per person at Ah Kwok Water Sports Centre.
How to book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2560 8838.
Ah Kwok Water Sports Centre: Call 9170 7513 to reserve your kayak in advance, or just head down to their shack to rent on the spot if you’re nearby, www.facebook.com/AhKwokWaterSport
Rent stand-up paddle boards (SUP boards) at the Hong Kong Aqua-bound Centre on Stanley main beach for a great workout at sea! Apart from SUP boards, they also offer windsurfing classes, kayaking tours, wakeboard lessons, and a beach party package for three full hours of fun.
Read more: Yoga on the water… we try out SUP at Stanley Beach, Hong Kong!
Where: Stanley Main Beach, Stanley Beach Road, Hong Kong
How much: SUP board rentals start at $80 per hour while 2-hour SUP tours can be as low as $450 per person.
How to book: Email email@example.com or call 8211 3876. If you’re only renting SUP boards, booking in advance isn’t usually necessary, but calling to make sure they’re open doesn’t hurt. On the other hand, tour and course bookings have to be made seven days in advance.
Channel your inner Cali surfer girl and go ride the waves (literally) with Surf Hong Kong at Tai Long Sai Wan in Sai Kung, which is considered by many to be Hong Kong’s cleanest beach! Besides surf lessons and surfboard rentals, Surf Hong Kong also offers three-day summer surf camps from June to August (we think it’s the perfect excuse to take a Friday off).
Read more: Surfing in Hong Kong: Catching Waves with HK Waterman
Where: Tai Long Sai Wan, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong
How much: 1.5-hour lessons (equipment included) are $900 for one but gets cheaper for two or more, at $600 per person. Surfboard rentals start at $100 an hour; $300 for the whole day.
How to book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2560 8838. Lessons must be booked at least a week in advance.
Rock climbing right after shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui could actually be a thing– the Hong Kong YMCA offers private rock climbing courses at the outdoor climbing wall in King’s Park near Jordan MTR station, only one stop away from Tsim Sha Tsui. If man-made walls don’t cut it for you, make your way up sea cliffs and granite crags with the Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventure (HKRCA), whose founder, Gordon Hon offers rock climbing excursions at various spots across Hong Kong for beginners and pros alike,
Where: YMCA: 22 Gascoigne Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Hong Kong; HKRCA: Various locations across Hong Kong, depending on the course.
How much: YMCA: $510-$890 per hour for one to four people; HKRCA: Private courses are at $2,200-$$4,260 for one to four people.
How to book: YMCA: Email email@example.com or call 2782 6682; HKRCA: Call/ Whatsapp 5405 4960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Literally immerse yourself in Hong Kong’s waterfalls and streams by going canyoning, where you make your way not around, but through obstacles by going straight through them. Apart from rock climbing courses, the Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventure (HKRCA) also offers canyoning tours where you get to go rock climbing, waterfall sliding and jumping, zip lining and much more.
Read more: Hong Kong’s Best Waterfall Hikes
Where: Ping Nam Stream, Fanling, New Territories, Hong Kong or Ma Tai Stream (Ma Dai Stream), Ma On Shan, New Territories, Hong Kong.
How much: $680 per person.
How to book: Call/ Whatsapp 5405 4960 or email email@example.com.
The most popular cycling route in Hong Kong is the 20-kilometre stretch from Tai Wai to Tai Mei Tuk, near Plover Cove, in the northeast corner of the New Territories. This bike route takes you down the Shing Mun river, along the stunning Tolo Harbour (pay close attention to the wired fence on your right– there’s a small opening where you can climb out onto the rocks and relax right next to the sea), through the Tai Po Industrial Estate, all the way to the Plover Cove Reservoir. There are several bike shops near the Tai Wai station from about $50 per day. If 20 km sounds a little too crazy for you, rent your bikes from the Ma On Shan bicycle park instead and begin your (slightly) shorter 17 km-journey to Tai Mei Tuk. Many shops will let you return the bike at the end of the path for a bit more, so be sure to ask around. Looking for a cycling route somewhere else in the city? Check out the Transport Department’s Cycling Information Centre here.
Read more: From Beginner to Advanced: The Best Cycling Trails in Hong Kong
Where: Tai Wai, New Territories, Hong Kong
How much: Whole-day rentals are at $50 – $90 per bike, depending on whether you rent on weekdays or weekends and where you return your bikes.
How to rent: Head up to any of the bike shops near the Tai Wai Station or at the Ma On Shan bicycle park.
Editors note: This article was originally published on 1 June, 2015 by Eleni. H and updated on 26, June 2018 by Rachel Au