Hong Kong Asia's World City

Tranquil Escapes

Tranquil Escapes

Get away from it all with a choice of picture-postcard beaches

There are only a few cities in the world that can claim to offer as much as Hong Kong: it’s where gleaming skyscrapers and modern malls meet steep mountains and deep seas; where urban jungle rubs shoulders with kilometers of wilderness. Below is an introduction to the city’s tranquil escapes—namely the best of its beaches. You can also head out to one of Hong Kong’s many islands and experience a truly rural way of life.

For a region that is famed for its high-rises, economic development and world-class financial institutions, Hong Kong often surprises visitors with its untold natural beauty. If you venture beyond the entertainment hub of downtown, you’ll discover that almost three quarters of Hong Kong is made up of countryside—rugged mountains, bijou islands and kilometer upon kilometer of indented coastline. Get away from it all right in the heart of the city, with our choice of picture-postcard beaches that cannot fail to impress.

You don’t even need to leave Hong Kong Island to find idyllic beach retreats. Shek O Beach is one of the best picks for a fun day-trip. Meaning “rocky bay”, Shek O is a peninsula jutting out into the South China Sea that provides a perfectly sheltered enclave and ample scenic shots for shutterbugs. The crowd is a friendly, holiday-minded set: you’ll find a mix of locals, expats, teenyboppers, families out for a Hong Kong-style barbecue, sunbathers and night-time partiers. But what makes Shek O such a standout destination is the food—you can rent yourself a barbecue on the beach for the day, head to one of the shack restaurants for a skewer or two, or even grab a quick Thai bite on the shorefront.

Tucked between Repulse Bay and Stanley on Hong Kong Island’s southside is the tranquil gem, South Bay Beach. As you have a short walk to get here, it means the tree-fringed shore is almost deserted during the daytime, but you’ve still got a kiosk from which to grab a bucket of chilled beers, and lifeguards during the summer months to put families at ease. It’s worth the journey here late afternoon, as it’s one of the best places on Hong Kong Island to catch the sunset.

Still keeping to the island, St Stephen’s Beach is Stanley’s “other” beach—it’s further away from the crowds that dominate the waterfront on weekends so it often gets overlooked, but it’s positioned so that you get great views back over Stanley Bay. In the summer months, you can hire watersports equipment here (windsurf boards and kayaks especially) and there’s also a café so there’s no need to pack that picnic. Alternatively, do it Hong Kong-style and bring your own meat, bag yourself one of the free BBQ pits and grill your own dinner.

Venture further off the beaten track to the northerly Golden Beach on the Gold Coast. This is one of the longest beaches in Hong Kong, and the golden stretch of sand glistens as far as the eye can see. With a boardwalk lined with tropical trees that runs the length of the sandy shore, and volleyball players that are frequently leaping around, the beach has a California-style vibe. It is right by the Gold Coast Piazza, a seafront arcade offering a range of alfresco cafés and restaurants to please the entire family.

For a whole-day adventure, travel further into the northeasterly New Territories to Sai Kung. A volcanic region of Hong Kong, the coastline and numerous islands are craggy and dotted with unusual rock formations. One of the most prominent of the isles is Sharp Island: here you’ll find the gorgeous Hap Mun Wan (Half Moon Bay), a real Hong Kong treasure. This long, narrow island is situated in Kiu Tsui Country Park, 2 kilometers off the coast of Sai Kung and accessible only by boarding a sampan from Sai Kung’s jetty. The waters at Hap Mun are warm and crystal clear, resembling a tropical Asian destination. While you’re here, you can take a stroll around the island—when the tide is out, a natural tombolo links Sharp Island with neighboring Kiu Tau.

With a near-endless choice of beaches, the buzz of downtown Hong Kong will soon seem many, many worlds away!

Get Going

  • Shek O Beach
    Shek O Beach
    This long, white sandy stretch surrounded by BBQ pits and shack restaurants is one of the best beaches on Hong Kong Island.
    Address:
    Shek O Road, Shek O, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 2809 4557
    How to Get There:
    MTR Shau Kei Wan Station, Exit A3. Take bus 9 to Shek O terminus. It’s about a 50-minute journey.
  • South Bay Beach
    South Bay Beach
    This tranquil gem of a tree-fringed beach is almost deserted during the daytime, and offers idyllic sunset panoramas in the evening.
    Address:
    South Bay Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 2812 2468
    How to Get There:
    Take bus 6, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square in Central to Repulse Bay (50-minute journey.) From there it’s a mile-long walk along South Bay Road to the beach.
  • St Stephen’s Beach
    St Stephen’s Beach
    Hire watersports equipment for a play in the sea and grab a BBQ pit to grill your own food.
    Address:
    Wong Ma Kok Path, Stanley, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 2813 1872
    How to Get There:
    Take bus 6A from Exchange Square in Central and alight at St Stephen’s College Preparatory School on Wong Ma Kok Road. It’s about an hour-long journey. From Wong Ma Kok Road, take the steps down to the beach.
  • Golden Beach
    Golden Beach
    One of the longest beaches in Hong Kong with a California-style vibe and lots of alfresco dining options.
    Address:
    Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories
    Tel:
    +852 2450 6326
    How to Get There:
    MTR Tuen Mun Station, Exit D. Take minibus K51 from Tuen Mun Heung Sze Wui Road and alight at Cafeteria Beach. It’s about a 25-minute journey.
  • Hap Mun Wan (Half Moon Bay)
    Hap Mun Wan (Half Moon Bay)
    A tropical paradise on the volcanic Sharp Island, accessible only by traditional Chinese sampan from Sai Kung.
    Address:
    Sharp Island, Sai Kung, New Territories
    Tel:
    +852 2796 6788
    How to Get There:
    MTR Choi Hung Station, Exit C2, then take the minibus route 1A. Or MTR Hang Hau Station, then take the minibus route 101M.From the Sai Kung pier, board a sampan to Hap Mun Wan. It’s about a 15-minute boat ride.

Tranquil Escapes 'Musts'

  • Tai Long Sai Wan
    Camp in the wild
    Tai Long Sai Wan
    To truly experience Hong Kong's remote and rural surrounds, spend a night camping in the wild at Tai Long Sai Wan, one of the four beaches of Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung. This northern territories outpost takes planning to get to, but after an hour-long hike along the MacLehose Trail, the sight of the rugged terrain dropping away into the sea is well worth the effort. Pitch a tent on the sandy beach or at the designated campsite, and be prepared to be wowed by the morning sunrise.
    Address:
    Sai Kung East Country Park, Sai Kung, New Territories
    How to Get There:
    Take minibus 29R from Sai Kung town and alight at the Sai Wan Pavilion terminal. Follow the signposts and paths directed to Sai Wan Village, along the MacLehose Trail Section 2, which takes about 1 hour.
  • Maverick’s
    Share sundowners on the beach
    Maverick’s
    If there's one place to chill out with a cocktail as the sun sets, it's Maverick's: a relaxed, bar-slash-restaurant-slash-board-shack overlooking Pui O Beach on Lantau Island. The décor screams surf-bar California, with graffiti weaving its way around the bar, and old-school DJ tunes. Grab a stool on the wooden terrace, or relax on a comfy sofa with a plate of sliders and a Hong Kong-brewed craft beer or fruity cocktail.
    Address:
    Pui O Beach, South Lantau Road, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands
    Tel:
    +852 5662 8552
    How to Get There:
    Take the 30-minute ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo. From Mui Wo Ferry Pier, take bus 1 or 4 and alight at Pui O (10-minute journey). Follow the signs to the beach.
  • Repulse Bay Beach
    Unwind at Repulse Bay Beach
    Repulse Bay Beach
    Just a short jaunt from downtown Central, you can reach one of the best urban beaches in the world at Repulse Bay. This long scenic public beach is located near several upmarket residential buildings. Find a peaceful spot on the long, gentle stretch of sand and enjoy a tranquil break from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong's city life.
    Address:
    Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 2812 2483
    How to Get There:
    Bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square bus terminus (near MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit D) and alight at Repulse Bay Beach.

This guide was produced by HK Magazine Media Group from 2014-2015.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

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