Header images courtesy of @richarddio and @alexativity (via Instagram)
Yes, Hong Kong’s famous harbour view is one of the most iconic in the world. There are few city sights that rival how Hong Kong looks like across the waters of Victoria Harbour, especially when the cityscape lights up at night.
However, the territories also have loads of other waterfront areas that live in our famous harbour’s shadow and are very much overlooked despite being lovely in their own rights. Here are eight other Hong Kong waterfronts to explore that are not Victoria Harbour!
This stretch of promenade is interesting because it has been designed with a little recycling and sustainability in mind. The entire site used to be a container port, and a nod to this history remains in the promenade’s stand-out landmark: a blocky tower illuminated with multi-coloured lights, which took its inspiration from the huge amounts of compressed recycled paper that were once stacked up in the old cargo area. Looking out from the boardwalk will grant views of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and a post-industrial landscape of cranes and container barges, with sections of Whampoa, Quarry Bay, and North Point in the distance.
How to get there: Ngau Tak Kok MTR station is located closest to the Kwun Tong Promenade, but it’s also easily accessible from Kwun Tong MTR station as well.
Due to its proximity to the Shun Tak Ferry Terminal, the Central and Western District Promenade overlooks what is possibly Hong Kong’s busiest section of Victoria Harbour. There are always boats and vessels passing by, on their way to Macau or the various outlying islands in our territories.
Running the length of the waterfront all the way from Sheung Wan to the HKU and Shek Tong Tsui area, the promenade includes several sections that jut out from the boardwalk proper and extend out to sea, with play areas, grassy sections, work-out stations, and seating. These really do make for excellent spots to simply kick back and gaze out to sea. Of course, the promenade is also connected to the excellent Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park, with its well-appointed green spaces, sports centre, ball courts, and swimming pool.
How to get there: Exit A2 of Sai Ying Pun MTR station will bring you closest to the Sun Yat-sen Park, which marks the start of the Central and Western District Promenade, but it’s also super easy to get there from Exit D of Sheung Wan MTR station—Shun Tak Centre—as you’ll be on the right side of the highway flyover.
This three-kilometre-long public space is Hong Kong’s newest waterfront promenade. Running along Tolo Harbour, visitors can be treated to stupendous views of the harbour, Sha Tin Hoi (also known as Tide Cove), and the surrounding mountains. The park starts near the Tai Shui Hang MTR station and ends near Ma On Shan Park; from this point, it’s only a stone’s throw from the small but pleasant Wu Kai Sha Pebbles Beach. Going further along will bring you to Wu Kai Sha Beach, which is a great place to watch the sunset.
How to get there: The Ma On Shan Promenade is easily accessible from the Tai Shui Hang, Heng On, and Ma On Shan MTR stations.
Everybody already knows about the bustling Sai Kung harbourfront, where you can dine al fresco, buy live seafood directly from fishermen’s boats, and hop onto booze-filled junks. Past the pier and the floating market though, lies a stretch of waterfront park that’s a lot more chill, mainly frequented by joggers and dog walkers.
There’s not much going on here in terms of shops, amenities, or interesting things to stop and do, but there’s something to be said about simply strolling along, gazing out at the waters of Port Shelter and beyond. The ocean view is dotted with the nearby islets of Yeung Chau, Cham Tau Chau, Pak Sha Chau, and Tai Chan Chau. To the southeastern end of the waterfront promenade lies Sai Kung Seafood Street, while a block away from the northern end is the little Sha Ha Beach.
How to get there: From Hang Hau MTR station, hop onto the 101M minibus, which will take you straight into Sai Kung town centre.
Though really quite small in size, Stanley Promenade is one of Hong Kong’s most picturesque waterfronts. The crescent-shaped bay is lined with a good range of bars and eateries with outdoor seating—usually frequented by dogs and their owners—which lends the whole place a distinctly laid-back holiday vibe. The boardwalk itself is lined with trees and benches, with the sea cordoned off by a breakwater.
Do note that while the neighbourhood of Stanley is generally very dog-friendly, furry friends are not allowed on the boardwalk. It’s ever so pleasing to look out and be able to see Murray House and Blake Pier on one end, and rocky boulders outside Shui Sin Temple on the other, all in one glance. Stanley Back Beach—one of Hong Kong’s few dog-friendly beaches—is also just a stone’s throw away from the southern end of the promenade.
How to get there: From Exchange Square in Central, hop onto buses 6, 6A, 6X, 73, and 260 to Stanley.
Tucked away in the quiet section of the Southern District, the Cyberport Waterfront Park is much loved by those who can be bothered to make the journey in, especially because of its expansive lawns which are perfect for picnics with a seaview. The park overlooks Telegraph Bay and Waterfall Bay, with Lamma Island in the distance. Though not very accessible unless by car, Cyberport Waterfront Park is nevertheless a lovely waterfront location, made all the better by the public amenities and eateries available nearby in the Cyberport mall.
How to get there: Take the 30X bus from Central, or head to Kennedy Town MTR station, then change to the 58 minibus.
Tuen Mun sounds like a rather unlikely area to visit if you’re looking for pretty waterfronts, but you’d be surprised. Stretching from Butterfly Beach to the mouth of Tuen Mun River, the majority of the promenade is a quiet paved path lined on one side with small shops, and on the other by the cordoned off waters. In the distance, you might be able to see our airport in Chek Lap Kok, as well as lots of cranes and barges along Tung Wan and Castle Peak Bay.
How to get there: The closest station is the Tuen Mun Ferry Pier MTR Light Rail stop. You could also take the ferry, and alighting at Tuen Mun Ferry Pier will put you in the middle of the promenade’s length.
This public space is the only waterside park on the east side of Hong Kong Island, making it very popular with residents of Taikoo Shing, Quarry Bay, Sai Wan Ho, and further. The entire stretch of waterfront is paved and tiled, so strolling, jogging, or walking your dog is a delight. This eastern end of the harbour is also a lot more chill than the western side, with much less ferries, so the overall vibe is definitely more serene.
The main point of interest in this park is the Alexander Grantham, which was once Hong Kong’s leading fireboat, and has since been converted into a museum for the marine fire services. On the western end of the park is also a pet garden—one of our city’s rare spaces where dogs can be treated to both the sea breeze and patches of grass to roll around on.
How to get there: Tai Koo MTR station is a mere five minutes away from Quarry Bay Park. Go through the Cityplaza shopping mall for a spot of air conditioning before stepping out into the heat.