(Note: since closed down)
Teepees by the Beach
Camping in November is not synonymous with anything glamorous in my book, so the idea of heading away for a night in a tent with a four year old and two year old did not initially fill me with glee. However, after a bit of research and discovering that a trip to South Lantau to stay at Palm Beach would mean that we wouldn’t be roughing it I gradually came to the idea. The choice of sleeping in either a Native American Teepee or Safari Bush Camper swung it for me – no flimsy tents and uneven ground to contend with.
After taking the ferry from Central to Mui Wo, we jumped on a bus (alternative route is MTR to Tung Chung then bus or taxi) which took about 20 minutes and dropped us off right next to the path leading to Palm Beach. The kids loved it at first glance.
The teepees are arranged in a circle on a grass area with picnic tables in the centre and there were plenty of children running around and enjoying the fresh air. The camp site is right on Cheung Sha beach, which is stunning with white sand, crashing waves and the odd wild cow wandering up and down. It certainly feels miles and miles from life on Hong Kong Island.
We chose to stay in a Safari Bush Camper, which had a deck with table and chairs, and enough space inside for two double airbeds (complete with duvets), and ample space to keep all of our belongings. It’s surprising how much you need for 1 night in a tent with 2 kids! This definitely felt like glamping and we all had a great night’s sleep (well, after I’d shouted at our partying neighbours at 3am).
The Safari tents are a bit further away from the teepees and the disadvantage is that you are a bit of distance from the toilets but the space inside them was great and more than made up for it. All bedding is provided for the Safari tents, but you can hire sleeping bags and bedmats if you are staying in a teepee. The space within both is great, although I’d be a bit concerned about the heat during the summer.
I’m a Brit. Camping is something that we are quite good at, but in my experience, sleeping in tents normally always coincides with the onset of rain. Our experience at Palm Beach was no different. However, waking up to the sound of the waves crashing up on to the shore was wonderful and more than made up for the inclement weather. Be sure to take some waterproofs though, just in case.
The facilities at Palm Beach are pretty good. There are showers and loos of course, although showers cost $20. If you want to try any watersports, they have everything from canoes, to windsurfs, from surfboards to paddle boards. There’s a small kiosk selling snacks and drinks including beer and you are welcome to take food and wine into the camp site. They can also arrange to set up a barbecue for you if you want to cook. Alternatively wander down the beach where there are a couple of small restaurants. If you go for dinner, don’t forget to take a torch, because after the sun goes down it is completely pitch black so the ten minute walk back to the camp site can get a bit tricky!
One highlight for us was the fire that was lit at sunset. It became a real focal point and all the kids had a great time watching it and toasting marshmallows. Once the children had dropped off to sleep we carried on enjoying some wine and chatting around the fire, listening to the waves and we briefly felt that normal life in HK was a long way away.
Eliza is super helpful with all the arrangements and you can contact her: [email protected]
Ferry to Mui Wo from Central Pier 6 and taxi or bus 1,2,4 or A35
MTR to Tung Chung then taxi or bus 11, 23 or A35 at the Bus Terminus.
Open all year round