The sun is still shining, the weather is sweet – time to dip our toes in the ocean. With around 50 beaches scattered around Hong Kong, we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to hitting the waves and soaking up some rays. So here are the five best beaches in Hong Kong and what they’re best for, as recommended by Francis Sit from HK Travel Blog.
It might just be me, but Hong Kong feels hotter and hotter year by year, and with such soaring temperatures, there’s no better excuse to get away from the dizzying forest of skyscrapers and visit the amazing beaches of Hong Kong. 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 (yep, that never gets old). So here are, in no particular order, the top five Hong Kong beaches you might want to visit during the summer to cool off.
1. Stanley Beaches – Good for Food and Shopping
This choice is so conventional that it’s probably on most of the ‘top beaches in Hong Kong’ lists 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 beaches.
Stanley Main Beach is 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.
How to get there: Take Bus number 6, 6A, 6X, or 260 to Stanley Market from Exchange Square, Central; or number 63 or 65 from North Point Ferry Pier. Stanley Main Beach is a few minutes walk away from Stanley Market.
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 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 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.
2. Shek O Beaches – Good for Surfing
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 number 9 from Shau Kei Wan MTR Station (A1 Exit) to the very last stop (Shek O stop). Shek O Beach is a few minutes walk away from the bus terminal. Even better, catch the minibus just outside the same MTR station (A3 Exit).
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. Though the tides may be strong, the beach’s crystal-clear water is bound to make for fantastic swim. You will meet surfers of all levels here during the summer who are seeking a little fun and perhaps a little competition!
How to get there: 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.
3. Cheung Sha Beach – Escaping the Hustle and Bustle
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 3km long beach is the longest in Hong Kong and boats fine white sand that stretches on for miles. The slightly busier Lower Cheung Sha Beach has a few restaurants where you can find some tasty food, but for a more relaxing experience, walk ten 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 number 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 can cost up to $42.90 for fast ferry service. From Mui Wo, take bus number 1 or 4 to Cheung Sha Beach (takes around 15 minutes). Alternatively, you can take bus number 11, 23, or A35 from Tung Chung directly to Cheung Sha Beach.
4. Silvermine Bay Beach – Good for a Family Day Out
What perhaps makes Silvermine Bay one of the best beaches in Hong Kong is the fact that it’s relatively secluded, as it’s 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 number 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 can cost up to $42.90 for fast ferry service.
5. Long Ke Wan – A Paradise for Hikers and Campers
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 located in Sai Kung East, you’ll first have to complete a moderate to difficult three-hour hike along stage 2 of the MacLehose Trail. This might put you off, but the silky sand and crystal-clear water you see when you finally reach the beach is like no other. You’ll also be rewarded by a pleasant panoramic scene of High Island Reservoir, which makes all the panting worthwhile. This beach 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 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 the MacLehose Trail towards High Island Reservoir. You then walk along the Man Yee Road, which leads you to the West and East dam. Turn onto the roadside path marked towards Long Ke Wan. The journey will last about 3 hours.