What to do in Hong Kong on a hot summer’s day? If you ask locals, a trip to the beach might be the answer you get.
The reason is based on a process of elimination. There are no large water parks or entertainment facilities in Hong Kong. The swimming pools opening hours are often short. Private pools are uncommon. Because of that, Public beaches become the best way to escape the summer heat.
If you’re not sure what to expect when choosing your favorite beach, this article is for you. In this article we list some of the most popular beaches in Hong Kong and those hidden gems that even locals might not know about.
Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, Middle Bay, South Bay Beach
Although these four beaches are in different locations, we began by introducing these four places at once. It is because these beaches are a few minutes or even 20 minutes’ drive away.
If you ask any local about the most famous beach in Hong Kong, most of the answers would be ‘Repulse Bay’. Repulse Bay is Monopoly’s Park Lane – the second most expensive location on the map.
Call it reality mapping fiction or otherwise, Repulse Bay is known by the locals for its pricey real estates. But that is not the only thing that Repulse Bay well known for. The crescent-shaped beach is also quite sandy and smooth, making this the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.
There’s also a six-story shopping mall name ‘The Pulse’ located right behind the beach. You will also find the Kwun Yam Shrine. It is a Taoist temple dedicated to the worshipping of Chinese Gods such as Mazu and Tin Hau for smooth sailing and calm sea.
We could say that Repulse Bay is quite good. The only problem is that it is often crowded. Every Saturday or summer, it’s always jam-packed. If you are looking for some more intimate spaces, read on.
Repulse Bay is often introduced with Deep Water Bay as a pair. The reason for that is because Repulse Bay’s Chinese name, ‘Shallow Water Bay’（淺水灣）, is a direct pair with Deep Water Bay. They are 10 minutes’ drive from one another. Like Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay is also a super-luxurious residential area. It’s home to a golf club and it’s not as well-known as Repulse Bay.
And as the name implies, Deep Water Bay has deeper water. The tides here are high and wild. The winds are often breezy and blowing during summer, making this beach quite suitable for windsurfing.
There are also two less commonly introduced beaches that are worth mentioning here: Middle Bay and South Bay. You can’t get to any of these two beaches through public transportation. That means no buses, minibuses, and no MTR. You’ll either have to walk or get inside with a taxi.
Middle Bay is the gay beach of Hong Kong. If you are looking forward to experience the gay scene in Hong Kong, you should visit it.
While South Bay is also known for its hefty real estate prices, the South Bay Beach is even less well known by Hong Kong People. Little to no tourists visit this place. There’s a good chance that you won’t encounter too many tourists or locals. If you are looking for an intimate visit with your loved ones, we would say you can’t get any more remote than this.
Big Wave Bay & Shek O Beach
The reason why these two beaches are presented together is also because of the location. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes to walk from Shek O to Big Wave Bay. Both beaches are unique in their own ways, but the path of getting into the Shek O and Big Wave Bay is similar. You start by taking the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station Exit A3, then taking bus No. 9 to Shek O and get off at the Shek O Bus Terminus. After you’ve got off the bus, you will see Shek O Beach not far away.
The Shek O beach is part of the Shek O. The sands here are soft and the wind is calm. The water is often rated as the highest quality. It makes Shek O Beach quite the place for shallow water swimming.
If you’re not interested in getting yourself wet, there are also a few barbecue stations nearby for you to mingle with friends with cooking. Once you are in Shek O Beach, you can’t skip Shak O. It’s often regarded as the backyard of Hong Kong, and for good reasons.
Roughly 10 minutes’ walk from Shek O, and you will see Big Wave Bay. This is, as the name implies, a bay with ‘Big Waves’ and hence the best location for surfing. The waves become choppy during summer, especially between July and August, and so is the most popular time for Big Wave Bay.
If you don’t know how to surf, or you didn’t bring your own board, no worries – There are always charged classes for beginners, with boards for renting or purchasing.
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Stanley Main Beach, St. Stephen’s Beach
These two beaches are also located in Stanley but on the opposite sides of Stanley.
The former is located right next to downtown Stanley. The whole beach is long, with a huge swimming area and calm waters. While the sand here is quite pebbly and the beach is often crowded, the water here is clear. It is a good location for swimming and water activities, such as windsurfing and kayaking.
On the other side of Stanley, St. Stephen’s Bay is way less visited and not as accessible as Stanley Main Beach. The shore is relatively short. To make up for it, there’s a water sports center nearby run by the HK government, where you can rent kayaks and longboards for water activities.
Sam Sing Wan (Three Stars Bay)
Although Sam Sing Wan is in Sai Kung, a relatively popular tourist location in Hong Kong, there is no trains, buses, or even minibuses that can get you in. To get here, you will either have to ride ferries from Hebe Haven or take a taxi. There are also no restaurants or tourist facilities near the beach, making Sam Sing Wan one of the least visited beaches in Hong Kong. This exact reason is also what makes this place worth introducing.
While getting inside Sam Sing Wan might be difficult, those that are willing to do so will be rewarded. Sam Sing Wan’s water is the clearest out of every beach in Hong Kong. In fact, the water here is so clear that you can see the bottom of the ocean when standing on the shore. Perhaps that’s what you would call a hidden gem.
Hung Shing Yeh Beach
Hung Shing Yeh Bay Beach is on Lamma Island, one of the islands in Hong Kong that are popular among locals for day trips. While the water is clean and sands are smooth, people usually don’t come here for the water. There are more Hong Kong residents coming here to fishing and witnessing sunsets than those who are swimming.
Even if you do not plan on getting wet, Heung Shing Yeh Beach is still worth visiting, for many of the island’s best food and locations are next to the beach. For instance, ‘Nanna’s Tofu Custard’ is quite close to Heung Shing Yeh Beach, and you should definitely stop by if you ever plan on paying a visit here.