It might just be me, but Hong Kong feels hotter and hotter year by year. It’s not even July yet, but more often than not Hong Kongers find themselves sweating under the sweltering heat of the 30 degree celsius sun. With summer creeping up on us, there is no better excuse to get away from the dizzying forest of skyscrapers and visit the amazing beaches of Hong Kong.
Yes, you have not misheard. You don’t have to go to the Maldives to find a perfect site for your sunny beach holiday. There are about 50 beaches scattered all over Hong Kong that are safe for swimming, surfing, sun-bathing, dog-walking, people-watching or sandcastle-building. Here are, in no particular order, the top 5 Hong Kong beaches you might want to visit during the summer to cool off.
- Stanley Beaches – Beaches, Food & Shopping
This choice is so conventional that it’s probably on most of the top beaches in Hong Kong list out there on the Internet. Stanley is a village-town on south Hong Kong Island and very famous for its Stanley Market, Main Street shops and of course its beaches.Stanley Main Beach is one located just next to Stanley Market and the one that is crowded by tourists, expats and locals alike on weekends and holidays. The water quality is acceptably clean, though not the best. If you’re tired of swimming, you can easily go for a break as the waterfront is lined with an abundance of western style bars and restaurants as well as Chinese food. Well facilitated and immensely popular, this beach is good for a little crowd fun and people-watching, and not so good if you want a little peace and serenity.St Stephen’s Beach, which is a 10-minute bus ride away, is on the other hand a relatively less crowded site for a day of relaxation. This beach is facilitated with tuck shops, a small barbeque area, changing rooms and bathrooms as well, so it is a nice substitute if you find the Stanley Main Beach too crowded for your taste.Transportation:Take Bus number 6, 6A, 6X or 260 to Stanley from Exchange Square, Central; or number 63 or 65 from North Point Ferry Pier.
Stanley Main Beach is a few minute walk away from Stanley Market.
St Stephen’s Beach can be reachable by taking New World First bus number 14 at Stanley Market. Get off at St Stephen’s College Preparatory School. If you are taking 6A from Central, you can get off directly at St Stephen’s College Preparatory School.
- Shek O Beaches – Another Seaside Village + Surfing
Another seaside village very much like Stanley, but much less touristy, Shek O Beach is a well-facilitated site for a weekend getaway. You might have to arrive early on holidays and weekends to get your spot, but this beach is certainly a great place to be if you want to make a few friends while chilling out under the sun or in a nearby bar. Changing rooms, lifeguards and shark nets are all also in place, so you can ensure you have a comfortable day on the beach. Shek O even has a barbeque area and a mini-golf course!
Just a 20 minute walk away from Shek O Beach is also the immensely popular Big Wave Bay Beach, an ideal location for surfing and swimming. Though the tides may be strong, the beach’s crystal-clear water is bound to make for fantastic swim. Meet surfers of all levels here during the summer for a little fun and perhaps a little competition!
Transportation:Take Bus number 9 from Shau Kei Wan MTR Station (A1 Exit) to the very last stop (Shek O stop). Shek O Beach is a few minute walk away from the bus terminal. Even better, catch the minibus just outside the same MTR station (A3 Exit).
For Big Wave Bay Beach, if you don’t want to walk, take the same bus number 9, but towards Shau Kei Wan’s direction and get off at Big Wave Bay.
- Cheung Sha Beach – Getting Away from the Hustle and Bustle
Located on the Lantau Island, Cheung Sha Beach is an awesome beach to get an afternoon of peace and serenity. Divided into Upper Cheung Sha Beach and Lower Cheung Sha Beach, this beach, being 3 km long, is the longest beach in Hong Kong. The fine white sand just keeps stretching on and on for miles. If that doesn’t appeal to you enough, the slightly busier Lower Cheung Sha Beach has a few restaurants where you can get some food. But for the whole experience, walk 10 minutes to the upper part to escape the crowd. I promise you will have an enjoyably peaceful day.
Transportation: Take the ferry from Central Pier number 6 to Mui Wo. Remember to check for ferry schedule and fares when planning your trip. Ferries can be up to an hour apart and can cost up to HK$42.90 for fast ferry service.
From Mui Wo, take bus number 1 or 4 to Cheung Sha Beach (takes approximately 15 minutes).Alternatively, you can take bus number 11, 23 or A35 from Tung Chung directly to Cheung Sha Beach.
- Silvermine Bay Beach – A Beach Suitable for All Activities
What perhaps made Silvermine Bay one of the best beaches in Hong Kong is the fact it is relatively secluded. Another beach located on Lantau Island, Silvermine Bay is a good beach location for your whole family. Staying clear of Hong Kong Island, Silvermine Bay Beach also has good water quality perfect for water sports. Due to its big area, Silvermine Bay also has a lot of space for you to fly your kite or play your Frisbee. There are several Western restaurants and bars around too if you want some food or drinks. And while you are on Lantau Island, why not visit the world-renowned Tian Tan Buddha Statue and the Ngong Ping 360 cable cars?
Take the ferry from Central Pier number 6 to Mui Wo, then walk 5 minutes to reach Silvermine Bay. Remember to check for ferry schedule and fares when planning your trip. Ferries can be up to an hour apart and can cost up to HK$42.90 for fast ferry service.
- Long Ke – Campers and Hikers’ ParadiseThe best things in life are not easy to get, so are the best beaches in Hong Kong. To arrive at Long Ke Wan, one of Hong Kong’s best pollution-free beach located at Sai Kung East, you will first have to do a moderate-difficult hike of 3 hours on MacLehose Trail – Stage 2. This may put a lot of people off, but the silky sand and crystal clear water you can see when you finally reach Long Ke Wan is like no other. You will also be rewarded by a pleasant panoramic scene of High Island Reservoir, which is worth all the walking and climbing. This beach also have 6 tent spaces for camping. Remember to bring your own food and drinks though, as only basic facilities like benches, tables, dry toilet pits and a few barbeque pits are available. Transportation:
From Sai Kung Bus Terminal take Bus 94. Alternatively, take bus 96R at Diamond Hill MTR Bus Terminal on holidays or minibus number 7 (Hoi Ha) at Sai Kung Town. Get off at Pak Tam Chung stop.Start hiking. Follow the carriageway of the first stage of MacLehose Trail towards High Island Reservoir. You then walk along the Man Yee Road, which leads you to the West and East dam. Turn to on the roadside path marked towards Long Ke Wan. The journey will last about 3 hours.
There are still so many other beaches in Hong Kong that are all unique in their own ways. Some like Repulse Bay is more accessible but more crowded and dirty; others like Sai Kung Beach is a little more secluded and cleaner. These are just my choices for a beach holiday. Ultimately, it all depends on what you want to do. Stop thinking, just grab your swimsuit and head to the beach next weekend. You just might find something unexpected and surprising there.
Blogger: Frances Sit