Header images courtesy of @william.maug and @fanielledletcher (via Instagram)
In times of uncertainty, marked by our collective cabin fever and aching wanderlust, it’s no wonder that the open beaches of Hong Kong have provided a window of solace. We mourned their temporary closure last December and sat shiva until they re-opened again, giving us reason once more to step out of our air-conditioned enclaves.
For most, international travel remains a distant daydream. Still, there is much to look forward to as you plan for summer. On your next beach trip, consider the sport of surfing: popular elsewhere but arguably underrated at home. Hong Kong has always had its niche surf community, and the milder swells can be a great chance to practise ahead of your next trip to Bali or the Gold Coast. Read on to discover the best spots to go surfing in Hong Kong!
For a straight-forward surf, look no further than the Southern District, home to The Pulse, Dragon’s Back, and one of the best places to go surfing in Hong Kong. With good reason, Big Wave Bay is the go-to place for surfers—decent-sized waves make this the perfect spot for anyone just now picking up the board.
All equipment is available on-site, including surfboard ($50) and wetsuit ($20) rental. For a post-surf pick-me-up, find the best grub Big Wave Bay has to offer at Eric’s Kitchen—pizza, burgers, and more—or Ho Lok Store, a more local option with staples like beef brisket and Hong Kong-style French toast.
If surfing is uncharted territory for you, that is all the more reason to make your trip to Big Wave Bay. Anthony Dickson, the founder of Surfing Hong Kong, fosters a wave of amateur surfers, coaching them in Big Wave Bay. Holding classes daily from 6 am to 9 am, you can take a class with Dickson and learn to be a pro in no time.
Take the Island line to Shau Kei Wan Station (Exit A3).
Hop on bus 9 to Big Wave Bay Beach and Shek O.
With a three-kilometre stretch of pristine sand, Cheung Sha Beach is a surf spot with an unbeatable view. Heralded as one of Hong Kong’s best beaches, Cheung Sha is divided into two sections and located on the southwestern coast of Lantau, accessible via car ride from Mui Wo. Ideal surf conditions at Cheung Sha Wan come around during the summertime when there is heavier surf and more wind for higher waves. Make your way to Cheung Sha Lower Beach for surfboard rentals at Long Coast Seasports.
Take the ferry to Mui Wo from Central Ferry Pier 6.
From Mui Wo Ferry Pier, hop on bus 1 for Tai O.
Alight at Cheung Sha Fire Station bus stop for Upper Cheung Sha Beach.
Another great spot for surfing in Hong Kong, the west-facing beach of Pui O has a more sheltered set-up and flat sandy bottoms that make for soft and lined-up waves. Also known to be one of Hong Kong’s cleanest beaches, this means you’ll be picking up your newfound hobby without worrying about floating rubbish patches!
Tai Wan Beach is one of a quartet of beaches that make up the famous Tai Long Wan. Similar to the crescent-shaped bay, this is one of the rare spots that make for a great surf in Hong Kong. Hugged by mountains, Tai Wan produces some of the strongest waves during monsoons or typhoon swells, and it’s best to surf at mid-tide. Tai Wan is also home to Surf Hong Kong, which offers lessons and provides surfboard and wetsuit rentals.
Take the Tseung Kwan O line to Hang Hau Station (Exit B1).
At the Hang Hau Bus Terminal, hop on minibus 101M to Sai Kung.
From the Sai Kung Pier, grab a water taxi to Tai Wan.