Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

Five best beaches in Hong Kong

Get out of the city for some sun, sand and surf

Words: Kee Foong

Summer has come early, and it’s hot, hot, hot in the city. Thankfully, the territory is blessed with plenty of great beaches, many of them a short taxi ride from the hotel or easy ferry journey from Central Pier. Whether you want people-watching opportunities and access to a range of restaurants, or deserted strips of sand and the occasional surf break, there’s a beach for you. Unless you like crowds, try and go on weekdays, and when leaving, dispose of your rubbish appropriately or take it with you.

Big Wave Bay

Flanked by mountain and headland, Big Wave Bay on Hong Kong Island’s south-east is among the city’s prettiest beaches, and is popular with surfers. Despite the name, and typhoons notwithstanding, expect gentle swells on most days. Head out early and hike the famed Dragon’s Back trail, starting at the To Tei Wan bus stop and climbing a ridge that affords stunning views of the South China Sea, before descending to the bay. Beach chairs, umbrellas, surfboards, boogie boards and the like are available to buy or rent from various stalls, most of which also sell drinks and food, or chill with a beer and burger at the beach café.

Repulse Bay

A 20-minute drive south of the hotel is glitzy Repulse Bay, where multi-million-dollar houses and apartments line the steep hillside and sparkling waterfront. Its proximity to Central and extensive facilities make it popular with families and visitors throughout the week. Don’t be surprised to find an upscale shopping mall on prime real estate, this is Hong Kong, after all. Tenants include homeware, lifestyle, swimwear, children’s and pet shops, and even a Tesla car dealership. Dining options abound, with refined Balinese fare at Tri and pizza at Amalfitana. Across the road, in another development, pan-Asian restaurant Spices is a great family-friendly option with a terrific alfresco terrace.

Note: Repulse Bay image by Kee Foong

Cheung Sha Beach

With nearly 2.5-kilometres of golden shoreline, you will rarely have to jostle for a spot on Cheung Sha Beach on Lantau Island, even on weekends. Divided into two sections by a small rocky outcrop, Lower Cheung Sha is slightly busier, though still low-key, with a handful of relaxed restaurants and bars serving simple Asian and international fare practically on the sand. Save for the occasional dog and buffalo, the longer Upper Cheung Sha is often deserted, though it does have a seasonal lifeguard service. Cheung Sha can be reached by taking the ferry from Central to Mui Wo, then a bus or taxi to the beach. Stay for sunset if you can.

Tai Long Wan

Frequently touted as Hong Kong’s most beautiful beach, Tai Long Wan (which also means Big Wave Bay) in the New Territories is actually four separate beaches in one – Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan. Getting to it isn’t easy, but once you do, you will be rewarded with rolling surf and crystal-clear water. The most convenient is to take a sampan from Sai Kung pier, where boats depart regularly, or charter a junk and drop anchor offshore, or if you are feeling energetic, hike one of several trails of varying difficulty and length, all of which afford stunning mountain and sea views. A limited number of shops and restaurants can be found at Sai Wan and Ham Tin Wan.

Hung Shing Yeh

Despite the power station in the background, Hung Shing Yeh on Lamma Island has some of the clearest and cleanest water in Hong Kong. Its small arc of golden sand is often packed with Hongkongers young and old on summer weekends, who come for its calm, shallow protected waters and plentiful shade, and shower and barbecue facilities. For a quieter setting and without the power station views, head to nearby Lo So Shing beach. Lamma Island can be reached by ferry from Central followed by a gentle hike to the beaches.


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