Header images courtesy of Indre Velaviciute and Joshua J. Cotten (via Unsplash)
With over 200 islands that make up Hong Kong, if there’s one thing we’re definitely not short on, it’s coastline—and where there’s a coast, there’s a little seaside town just waiting to be explored! Whether you’re planning around your next hike, junk trip, or seafood dinner, there’s plenty to do, see, and eat in and around Hong Kong’s varied coastal settlements. From centuries-old fishing villages to up-and-coming residential areas on reclaimed land, here are the best coastal towns to check out in Hong Kong.
This charming Southside town is often likened to the French Riviera and between its charming low-rise buildings, open-air market, and beautiful sea views, it’s easy to see why. (The sizeable French population helps, too.)
Relaxing on the boardwalk with an ice-cold beer in hand is a must when in Stanley, as is rifling through the wares at the market. While there are some typical touristy keepsakes to be found here, there are also plenty of surprises too; board games, Egyptian cotton bedsheets, silk-lined jackets, and affordable art frames, among others. For a souvenir you can eat, check out Stan Café, which some (ahem, us) claim to have “arguably the best baguettes in Hong Kong.”
Click here to check out our full guide to Stanley.
Sun-worshippers will need no introduction to Shek O. It seems like anyone who grew up in Hong Kong has fond memories of beach trips, barbecues, and games of mini-golf in the charming Southside village. While its beach is not as pristine as, say, Ham Tin or Trio Beach, Shek O is beloved by many for its proximity to both the city centre and the famed Dragon’s Back Hike, which starts on Shek O Road—and those in the know will also tell you that it’s home to fantastic Thai restaurants, too!
Click here to check out our neighbourhood guide to Shek O.
Surfing and hiking enthusiasts will already be familiar with the white sand beaches and jade-green rock pools of the Sai Kung Peninsula, but Sai Kung Town is just as worth exploring. The Cantonese seafood restaurants along the promenade are on par with those at other fishing villages like Lei Yue Mun or Lamma, with the added bonus of some truly excellent dog-spotting on weekends.
Spend a day taking in the laid-back, convivial atmosphere of Sai Kung and you’ll understand why so many people have decamped to “the sticks”—the combination of natural beauty, friendly residents, and cool independent haunts is enough to convert even the most hardened city slicker. Pick up a new home scent from BeCandle, grab a coffee at one of Sai Kung’s many cafés, and boogie down with some new friends at Ventuno, a waterfront vinyl record and bottle shop owned by Volar’s former resident DJ.
Click here to check out our neighbourhood guide to Sai Kung.
Aberdeen has a tendency to get overlooked by weekend warriors in favour of its flashier Southside neighbours like Stanley and Repulse Bay, but those who are familiar with the rustic charm of this historic seaside town will know it’s well worth a day trip. Fun fact: Aberdeen was originally named Hong Kong, but was soon renamed after people started using “Hong Kong” to refer to the whole territory.
As a longtime settlement for the boat-dwelling Tanka people, the fishing port vibes are alive and well here, and you can still hire a sampan to jet you around the waters. Fittingly, Aberdeen is also home to the oldest and largest fish market in Hong Kong, the straightforwardly-titled Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market.
There’s loads to occupy both history buffs and foodies alike in Aberdeen, such as the famous floating village—where you can get noodles fresh off a sampan kitchen!—and longstanding stores that peddle nostalgic Hong Kong eats.
Click here to check out our neighbourhood guide to Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau.
As the largest island in Hong Kong, Lantau is home to several coastal towns and villages—the most iconic of which is Tai O. While some have called Tai O the “Venice of Hong Kong,” we’d say that its stilt houses and rich fishing culture have more in common with the floating villages of Cambodia or Thailand.
Weaving around the pans of drying seafood and ramshackle old houses can feel like stepping back in time—until you spot a fisherman scrolling on his gigantic smartphone while waiting for something to bite, of course. Its idyllic nature has made this little town a particular favourite with photographers—just remember to make time for some of Tai O’s famous snacks in between snaps!
Click here to check out our neighbourhood guide to Tai O.
While Tseung Kwan O may not spring to mind when it comes to coastal areas, trust us—you’ll want to check it out. Built on reclaimed land in Junk Bay, Tseung Kwan O New Town is surrounded by green mountains and blue seas—making it the perfect getaway or even permanent home for outdoorsy types and young families. The beautiful café- and restaurant-lined waterfront alone makes this up-and-coming residential area worthy of a weekend visit, and keen cyclists are sure to love the state-of-the-art velodrome park, too!
Click here to check out our neighbourhood guide to Tseung Kwan O.
While this rural Lantau town isn’t quite the secret it used to be, adventurers will sure to be pleased with its mix of village comforts and wild beauty. Take your pick from groovy beach clubs, waterfall hikes, and bike trails—or just mosey down to the pristine Silvermine Bay Beach and rent a kayak to explore the surrounding area from a different perspective. Thanks to the diverse local population, there’s also plenty of interesting eats to try around Mui Wo, from Cantonese seafood to Thai fusion and classic British pub grub!
Click here to check out our neighbourhood guide to Mui Wo.
Best known for its tranquil atmosphere, all-ages activities, and hipster coffee shops, Tai Mei Tuk is a popular weekend destination for cyclists, barbecue enthusiasts, and young families to enjoy the great outdoors. Amongst its main attractions, the Plover Cove Reservoir is particularly well-loved, as it offers a flat, two-kilometre trail for day-trippers to cycle around on. Flanked by a good deal of hiking trails and natural landscape, the petite neighbourhood offers towering peaks, waterfalls, and geological wonders to explore. Cool off at the newly opened Lung Mei Beach and cap off your day with a hearty dinner at one of the many delicious Thai restaurants that line Ting Kok Road.
Click here to check out our neighbourhood guide to Tai Mei Tuk.