Summer has touched down and we are blasting 24Herbs Hot In The 852 #onrepeat. It’s time to get out of this sweltering concrete jungle and into our swim trunks! With over 40 beaches scattered throughout the coastline, Hong Kong is home to a bevy of amazing seaside to enjoy. From swimming to surfing to soaking up the sun (safely, of course!), there is a beach for everybody and every occasion. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of Hong Kong’s best beaches, from the ideal spot for kids to the surfing strands to the dog-friendly seasides so you find your favorite sandy summer spots.
Best For Kids: Shek O Beach
A beachside village located south of Hong Kong island, Shek O is a popular pick for kiddos and parents alike. With lifeguards and shark nets, umbrella rentals, changing facilities and a shower area, it’s got everything you need, not to mention the dinosaur playground at one end of the beach that proves to be a good break from wrinkly water fingers. Bonus: there is also a good selection of affordable outdoor dining options to choose from including pizza and Thai/Chinese.
To get here: Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, Exit A3 and take bus 9 to Shek O Bus Terminus.
Best For Dogs: Kwun Yam Beach
A fave among dog owners, Cheung Chau island’s main beach is an awesome dog-friendly beach where your pooch can roam free, unlike most of the city’s beaches, which do not allow canines. Situated near the Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre, there are several routes to Kwun Yam Beach that offer some great swim spots for doggies and ample space for you to take in some sun.
To get here: Take the ferry from Central Ferry Pier 5 to Cheung Chau and follow the signs.
Best For Dining: Cheung Sha Beach
There’s something about an ocean swim that makes one particularly ravenous to eat all the things! Located on Lantau island at Lower Cheung Sha beach, Bathers (or the artist formerly known as BeachHouse) is the place to whet your appetite, or whistle. Serving an array of international cuisines over breakfast (on weekends only!), lunch, dinner or drinks, be sure to book a table during peak season and dine alfresco right next to the edge of the shore. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Bathers Restaurant is open Tuesday to Friday from 12:00PM – 10:00PM; Weekends and public holidays from 9:00AM – 10:00PM, +852 2504 4788
To get here: Take the ferry from Central Ferry Pier 6 to Mui Wo and bus 1, 2, 3, or 4 and stop at Lower Cheung Sha.
Best For Avoiding Crowds: South Bay Beach
While neighboring Repulse Bay gets all the love (and tourist crowds!), why not head two kilometers down to South Bay Beach? With soft sand and calm waves, this hidden getaway is a great respite from the maddening crowd- plus it’s even closer than Repulse- only 10 mins from Admiralty and MTR-friendly to boot (it’s a 20-minute walk from the beach to the Ocean Park stop). Complete with lifeguards and two restaurants (Coconuts Thai for Thai food and Lido Cucina for cafe fare), there are also barbecue grills for quintessential summer picnic. Green Queen Special Tip: Saturdays are often very quiet, so it’s worth heading out there on a sunny day- you may get to enjoy a very private beach day.
To get here: Take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus in Central to Repulse Bay, then taxi to South Bay or take a 30 minute walk. Take the MTR to Ocean Park, then walk 15-20 mins.
Best For Surfing: Big Wave Bay Beach
Like its moniker, the waves can definitely get big at this popular Shek O shore making Big Wave Bay a fave amongst surf enthusiasts. Easily accessible by public transport or taxi, it does tend to get crowded during the weekends with all the amenities, shops and nearby restaurants. If you’re dreaming of riding that A-Frame, opt to come out earlier in the day and make sure to check the forecast!
To get here: Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, Exit A3 and take bus 9 to Big Wave Bay Beach.
Best For Sailing: Millionaire’s Beach
Summers in Hong Kong means junk boat days! Getting on a boat and sailing along the coastline with friends and family is one of the treats of living in Asia’s world city. Whether you and your posse decide on a cruiser, sail boat, yacht a traditional wooden junk boat, one of the most popular spots to drop anchor is Nam Fung Wan (aka Millionaire’s Beach) in San Kung Country Park. Great for snorkeling and exploring lagoons and coves, this is a big destination for junk boat parties.
To get here: Millionaire’s Beach is only accessible by private boat or junks.
Best For Views/Photo Opps: Clearwater Bay Beach
Made up of two beaches (Clearwater Bay First Beach and Clearwater Bay Second Beach, respectively), crystal clear water set amid a backdrop of lush green mountains makes Clearwater Bay a photogenic tropical paradise. Clearwater Bay First Beach is the more secluded of the two (it’s only accessible by a long flight of steps) and it is the only side that offers a barbecue area. Clearwater Bay Second Beach, however, has a refreshment kiosk. Both offer changing and shower facilities and lifeguards on duty.
To get here: Take bus 91 from Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill to Clearwater Bay Second Beach or Green minibus 16 from Po Lam to Po Toi O, 103 from Kwun Tong Ferry Pier to Clearwater Bay Second Beach, or 103M from Tseung Kwan O Station Public Transport Interchange to Clearwater Bay Second Beach.
Best for Sunsets: Pui O Beach
Famed for its gorgeous sunsets, Pui O is the place to be to catch the sun go down. With nothing but the lush landscape of South Lantau island surrounding all three sides of the beach, you’ll get a full-on, unabashed view of the horizon. Pui O boasts changing facilities and showers, a public BBQ area for picnics, and popular bar + surf/skate shop, Mavericks situated right on the beach. Serving locally-sourced produce, supporting farmers and tending to their own plot of organic farmland right in the Pui O wetlands, feel good about ending the day watching the sun go down with a beer in one hand (and some chili cheese fries on the other). You may also see the wandering buffaloes if you’re lucky!
To get here: Take the ferry from Central Ferry Pier 6 to Mui Wo and bus 1 to Pui O Beach. From Tung Chung MTR, take bus 3M to Pui O Village.
Best for Easy Access: Repulse Bay Beach
Possibly the most popular beach in Hong Kong, Repulse Bay’s easy accessibility has made this beach, and its extensive facilities, a big attraction. Just 15 minutes away from Central, Hong Kong’s commercial hub, folks can catch a number a public buses, minibuses or taxis and quickly escape to this golden sand shoreline. Once you’ve tanned to your heart’s content, feel free to walk across the street to wine and dine at shopping center & F&B hub The Pulse before heading home.
To get here: Take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus in Central to Repulse Bay. Or take Green minibus 40 from Causeway Bay to Repulse Bay.
Best For Camping: Tai Long Wan Beach
Considered the best beach camp amongst locals, Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung is the ultimate escape from the Hong Kong bustle. To access this clear coast of powder white sand and sweeping views of the shoreline, you’ll have to first hike Stage 2 of the MacLehose Trail or you can take a speedboat from Sai Kung ferry pier (expect to pay HKD 150 per person per way). Once you arrive, there are facilities like changing rooms and a restaurant to relax and unwind. Or, opt to stay overnight and rent camping equipment, tents and sleeping bags to spend a starry night with friends away from the city.
To get here: From Sai Kung bus terminus, take bus 94 to Pak Tam Au and follow the MacLehose Trail east. The walk will take about 90 minutes.
Images courtesy of Pexels (lead), Bathers, Clearwater Bay Beach Wikipedia