As Hong Kong’s blazing hot summer approaches, there’s no better place to escape the city than to its postcard-like beaches. From remote, tropical island getaways to buzzing beach-front malls, here are Hong Kong’s best beaches and seaside destinations to spend a full day at.
Repulse Bay – Good Clean Fun in the Sun
Forget the moniker, Repulse Bay is the smartest of Hong Kong’s beaches, attracting residents and visitors alike with its idyllic shallow waters and a wide swathe of palm-fringed sand. On the weekends, beach-front mall The Pulse is abuzz with sun-seekers of all ages looking to refuel and refresh at eateries like Limewood and Amalfitana Artisan Pizza Bar; there’s also a slew of lifestyle and children’s boutiques.
Tip: go early morning before the crowds descend.
Stanley – Sups, Sips and Shops
Reminiscent of an English seaside town, Stanley’s beach might be small, but you’re not here to swim – beeline to the promenade flush with alfresco bars, pubs and restaurants, perfect for people-watching. Away from the promenade, meander down the labyrinthian stalls at touristy-but-fun Stanley Market for a browse for art, souvenirs, clothing and linens.
Big Wave Bay – Surf’s Up!
A 30-minute drive from Central, Big Wave Bay on Hong Kong Island’s eastern tip exudes a relaxed, boho vibe. Known as the city’s ‘surfer’ beach, you’ll find the swell is modest by international standards, but the sheltered white-sand beach is the tops for lounging. There are several surfboard- and umbrella-hire stalls and a couple of no-frills eateries on hand; come sundown, the beach kiosk is a top spot for a post-surf pizza washed down with a fresh craft ale. But a coconut’s roll away is the slightly busier Shek O Beach, for a wider range of eat and drink spots.
Lantau Island – Island Escape
Hong Kong’s big little island, Lantau is bedecked with dramatic mountains and powdery sand beaches, including Lower Cheung Sha Beach, a family-favourite for its shallow waters, watersports and beach-fronting restaurants. Sitting with the sand between your toes, as you cast your eyes to the South China Sea, the feel is more tropical island than Hong Kong. Closer to Mui Wo ferry pier, Silvermine Bay Beach is host to a slew of local seafood restaurants. Pre- or post-lunch, trot up the stairs at the far end of the beach to see the view back across the bay. Alternatively, rent a bike from the local stalls and explore.
Sai Kung – Hike to it!
Sure, Sai Kung may be a little further out, but this is a day trip after all. Make your way over to Sai Kung Country Park and you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches with aqua-blue water and powdery white sand. Accessible by hiking trail only, head to Tai Long Wan for Ham Tin Wan beach, which boasts crystal-clear waters, a notoriously rickety bridge and charming local beachside cafe that serves delicious Hong Kong fry-ups and ice-cold beverages. Stay here and camp overnight or head back to Sai Kung town proper for a cuppa joe at Little Cove Espresso or seafood feast at one of the many pier-side restaurants.
Get more Hong Kong insider tips from our digital (and beach-friendly) guide:
See also: Hong Kong’s Best Hikes