- Not Secluded
- Reasonably Easy to Access
Po Kwu Wan is a 3 out of 5 relative to all other campsites in Hong Kong due to its generally clean environment in a jungle setting. The biggest setback for Po Kwu Wan is its trailside location. In fact almost the entire site and each tent location boarders the trail with very little separation between the two. On slow days this may not be an issue but with any kind of foot traffic you'll have a less than secluded experience. There is also no separation between tent sites so it will have a more communal feel if others are using the site. It's not a bad option for through hikers or groups larger than 2 families looking to camp together, but one of the better sites in Hong Kong is just down the trail if your looking for something a bit more secluded.
WHAT I LIKED:
- The Approach: The hike in is a very pleasant walk suitable for anyone including young kids. The max elevation gets to just under 90m and is tree covered almost the entire way with the added treat of some historic buildings at the start of the trail.
- Fire Making: Enough deadfall to make small evening fires.
WHAT I DIDN'T:
- Trail Side Location: The entire campsite is bordered by the trail you hike in on so on busy days it will not be secluded at all.
- Open Layout: If you manage a day when no one is there you'll be ok but the campsites open layout means theres no real separation between tent sites, so if its busy be ready to bump elbows with your neighbor.
- Take the Hike: The Sheung Yiu Country Trail is the best approach to the site and offers a pretty tree lined hike with just enough exercise to make you feel good about your decision. Without or without kids this is definitely the way to go.
- Pick a Slow Day: Due to the trailside location and open layout crowded days may make for a disappointing experience.
- Consider Nam Fung Wan: Just down the trail is one of the top rated sites in Hong Kong at Nam Fung Wan so consider giving it a look before you set up camp.
In addition to my STANDARD SOLO CAMPER GEAR LIST the world is your oyster when it comes to Po Kwu Wan given the sites relatively easy hike in. Some things to consider in specific are:
- Camp chair for back support
- Cooler with fresh food and cold drinks if you plan on taking the shorter approach to camp
- Water just incase the stream is dry or not flowing
NOTE ON TENTS: Hong Kong is subtropical which means there are lots of creepy crawlies at night and a constant possibility of heavy down pour which is why I recommend the full tent with rain fly and inner mesh. You can try a tarp if you really want to but spray for mozzys before bed and don't be surprised to wake up several times a night to brush off bugs, mice and or rats even in the winter months (hammocks might be a little better but not fool proof for bugs or some snakes if not fully enclosed). Last point, Hong Kong is also home to many species of venomous insects and snakes and though I think it would be a very unlucky scenario to encounter one in your sleep, a fully enclosed tent removes the risk almost entirely if you keep entrances zipped. I highly recommend a fully enclosed tent regardless of your level of experience outdoors.
- Number of Tent Sites: 6
- Site Facilities: BBQ Pits/Fire Pits, Trash Bins, Stone Table, Stone Seats
- Campground Facilities: Portable Toilet
- Fire: Deadfall to use for small camp fires in cooler months
- Beach: N/A
- Fresh Water: Fresh water stream on the way to the toilet, could be mostly dry during certain seasons
- Nearby Resources: Short hike back to the Sai Kung Country Park Visitor Centre
SUMMARY REVIEW: Po Kwu Wan is an easy to access middle of the road campsite, and I mean this both in terms of its actual location and overall score. You can access the campground via a pleasant 3km hike on Sheung Yiu Country Trail starting from the Sai Kung Country Park Visitors Centre. The hike isn't very strenuous and is mostly tree lined so even on hot days you could manage to bring in some extra supplies assuming you are in reasonably good shape. Max elevation is under 90m and there are a number of things to see along the way including some traditional buildings and village remnants towards the start of the trail (see Photos above). There isn't much of an approach to the site as its located right on the path and there isn't much separation between the two. This being the case if you happen to arrive on a busy day for the trail it won't feel very secluded. In addition the campground is laid out as a large upward sloping flat site with no separation between tent spaces so if there are lots of other campers you may be in for a hectic stay. With all that said, the campground is located in a tree covered section of the Sheung Yiu Country Trail and if you happen to be there on a slow day it can actually be quite peaceful. There wasn't any trash to speak of and aside from a few trash bins that look like they were either washed or blown into the bushes all the standard amenities were well laid out. There are officially 6 tent spaces though with the open layout you could arguably squeeze quite a few more in if you were traveling with a big group. On that note, I think Po Kwu Wan actually lends itself well to a moderately sized group looking to have a big campout together. Large or small, you and or your campmates can look forward to a dry toilet a short walk from the site. On your way you'll also pass the local water source. Its a stream with a few pools and looks like it could stop flowing during very dry periods so make sure you check recency of rain fall before you decide how much water to bring. You'll also need to bring in all your food as you'd expect, but as referenced the hike is not bad at all so you shouldn't have any problem with the weight if you're in reasonable shape. With Nam Fung Wan just down the path I can't put Po Kwu Wan at the top of the list of sites to visit, but it's not a bad option for larger groups or through hikers in a pinch.
The best way to get to Po Kwu Wan is to either Uber/Cab it to Sai Kung Country Park Visitor center then hike out via the Sheung Yiu Country Trail.