Header image courtesy of Ribhav Kala (via Unsplash)
Hong Kong feels hotter and hotter year by year, and with such soaring temperatures, there is no better excuse to get away from the dizzying forest of skyscrapers and visit the amazing beaches of Hong Kong. With around 100 beaches scattered around Hong Kong, we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to hitting the waves and soaking up some rays. Helping you sift the good from the bad, here are just a few of the best beaches in Hong Kong.
Stanley Main Beach is located just next to Stanley Market, crowded by tourists, expats, and locals alike on weekends and holidays. As a choice, this one is so conventional that it’s probably on most of the “Top beaches in Hong Kong” lists out there on the internet. At Stanley Main Beach, 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, but not so good if you want a little peace and serenity.
How to get there: Take bus 6, 6A, 6X, or 260 to Stanley Market from Exchange Square, Central; or bus 63 or 65 from North Point Ferry Pier. Stanley Main Beach is a few minutes away from Stanley Market.
On the other hand, St Stephen’s Beach, which is a 10-minute bus ride away from Stanley Main Beach, is a relatively less crowded site for a day of relaxation. This beach is facilitated with tuck shops, a small barbecue area, changing rooms, and bathrooms, so it’s a nice substitute if you find Stanley Main Beach too crowded for your taste.
How to get there: St Stephen’s Beach can be reached by taking bus 14 from Stanley Market. Get off at St Stephen’s College Preparatory School. If you are taking bus 6A from Central, you can get off directly at St Stephen’s College Preparatory School.
Another seaside village very much like Stanley—but much less touristy—is Shek O Beach, a well-facilitated site for a weekend getaway. You might have to arrive early on holidays and weekends to secure your spot, but this beach is certainly a great place to be if you want to make a few friends while chilling out in the sun or in a nearby bar.
Changing rooms, lifeguards, and shark nets are also in place, so you can ensure you have a comfortable and safe day on the beach. Shek O even has a barbecue area and mini-golf course!
How to get there: Take bus 9 from Shau Kei Wan Station (Exit A1) to the very last stop. Shek O Beach is a few minutes away from the bus terminal. Even better, catch the red minibus just outside the same MTR station (Exit A3).
Just a 20-minute walk away from Shek O Beach is the immensely popular Big Wave Bay Beach, an ideal location for surfing and swimming. Although the tides may be strong, the beach’s crystal-clear water is bound to make for a fantastic swim. You will meet surfers of all levels here during the summer who are seeking a little fun in the sun and perhaps a little competition!
How to get there: Take bus 9 from Shau Kei Wan Station (Exit A1) and get off at Big Wave Bay.
Located on Lantau Island, Cheung Sha Beach is an awesome place to enjoy an afternoon of peace and serenity. Divided into Upper Cheung Sha Beach and Lower Cheung Sha Beach, this three-kilometre-long beach is the longest in Hong Kong and boasts fine white sand that stretches on for miles. The slightly busier Lower Cheung Sha Beach has a few restaurants where you can find some delicious food, but for a more relaxing experience, walk 10 minutes to the upper part to escape the crowd. I promise you will have an enjoyably peaceful day.
How to get there: Take the ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo. Remember to check the ferry schedule and fares when planning your trip. Ferries can be up to an hour apart and while fast ferry services are available, can be quite pricey. From Mui Wo, take bus 1 or 4 to Cheung Sha Beach (takes around 15 minutes). Alternatively, you can take bus 11, 23, or A35 from Tung Chung directly to Cheung Sha Beach.
What perhaps makes Silvermine Bay one of the best beaches in Hong Kong is the fact that it is relatively secluded, as it is situated on Lantau Island away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This also means that the water quality is better, making it perfect for water sports and a day out with the family. Due to its large area, Silvermine Bay also has a lot of space for you to fly your kite or throw your frisbee. There are also several Western restaurants and bars along the beach with some good food and drinks.
How to get there: Take the ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo, then walk 5 minutes to reach Silvermine Bay. Remember to check the ferry schedule and fares when planning your trip. Ferries can be up to an hour apart and fast ferry services will cost extra.
The best things in life are not easy to get, and the same goes for the best beaches in Hong Kong. To arrive at Long Ke Wan, one of Hong Kong’s most pollution-free beaches, you will first have to complete a three-hour hike along the MacLehose Trail. This might put you off, but the silky sand and crystal-clear water are like no other.
You will also be rewarded by a pleasant panoramic scene of High Island Reservoir, which makes all the panting and sweating worthwhile. Long Ke Wan also has six tent spaces for camping, but remember to bring your own food and drinks as you'll only find basic facilities like benches, tables, toilet pits, and barbecue pits here.
How to get there: From Sai Kung Bus Terminal, take bus 94. Alternatively, take bus 96R at Diamond Hill MTR Bus Terminal on holidays or minibus 7 from Sai Kung Town. Get off at Pak Tam Chung stop and start hiking. For the full guide on how to hike to Long Ke Wan, click here.