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Hong Kong's best beaches - plus a few hidden gems

The mercury is rising, here’s our guide to cooling off on Hong Kong’s sandy side


Summer’s almost here and we can smell the whiff of sun cream on the breeze. If you’re looking to take advantage of the warmer days, here’s our pick of Hong Kong’s best beaches, plus a few hidden gems


Hong Kong Island

Shek O Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

Shek O Beach


The large stretch of sand at Shek O on the southern coast of Hong Kong Island is a popular spot. The water is generally rated as good and it’s a great spot for a long, leisurely swim. The swimming area is netted and this is a life-guarded beach. Shek O Village is also worth a wander if you want to come off the beach, including a temple and several cafe and restaurant options. 


Facilities - all the usual beach facilities, including changing rooms, showers, BBQ pits and kiosks. There is also a small playground by the beach.


Getting there - car parking is available at a large car park right by the beach, but note that it fills up quickly on weekends. Shek O can be reached by public transport buses and minibuses from Central. 


Top tip - if Shek O Beach is too crowded for your liking, try secluded Shek O Back Beach on the opposite side of the main beach.



Big Wave Bay Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

Sun umbrellas out at Big Wave Bay


If the kids are looking to ‘hang ten’, Big Wave Bay is the place to be. This sizable beach on Hong Kong Island’s eastern tip enjoys surfable waves that roll in from the Tathong Channel. However, it can also be flat, so check the forecast if you fancy a surf. Emerald green mountains backdrop the golden sands and the tiny village offers plenty of surf gear for hire, beach shops and snack stops.


Facilities - all the expected beach facilities including changing areas, showers and barbecue pits. There’s a children’s playground in the village plus snack shops, beach gear hire and surfboards for rent. There’s a western style cafe overlooking the beach and local options further into the village.


Getting there - if you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike in from the Dragon’s Back trail, otherwise there’s a car park a few minutes walk from the beach; the car park is also served by minibuses to and from Shau Kei Wan MTR.


Top tip - stroll around the headland path overlooking the beach to view Big Wave Bay’s famous 3,000 year old rock carvings, chipped into the stone during the Shang and Zhou dynasties.



St Stephen’s Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

Soaking up the serenity at St Stephen's Beach


Secluded St Stephen’s Beach is just a few minutes drive from Stanley. It’s a great spot away from the crowds of Stanley Main Beach and offers a small beach with safe paddling and swimming. There’s also a Leisure and Cultural Services Department water sports facility with windsurf and kayak hire options (click here for details). 


Facilities - there’s a small car park, changing areas, showers and barbecue pits. 


Getting there - St Stephen’s is around 12kms from Stanley; catch a bus or a taxi from Stanley, or drive and use the small car park. 


Top tip - St Stephen’s beach faces west so stay for the sunset!



Chung Hom Kok Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

Little Chung Hom Kok Beach is worth the steps


This slightly under-the-radar Island beach is located on Southside and one bay along from Stanley. The beach is accessed by a steep flight of steps from the road so beware if you have littlies or strollers. The beach itself is a hidden gem, with a small play park and a golden curve of sand in a protected bay. It’s normally a life-guarded beach* and has BBQ facilities and a bank of changing rooms.


Facilities - all the usual beach facilities including a changing area, showers BBQ area. There's a well equipped children's play park and ping pong tables away from the sand.


Getting there - several buses and minibuses stop at Chung Hom Kok Beach on their way to and from Stanley, including the 6 and 6X from Central. There is no beach car park so it’s advisable to take public transport or a taxi to Chung Hom Kok Beach.


*Lifeguard services at Chung Hom Kok Beach had been temporarily suspended at time of publication.



New Territories

Clearwater Bay Second Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

Evening swim at Clearwater Bay Second Beach


This curve of golden sand is nestled on the eastern shore of Clearwater Bay Peninsula in Sai Kung District. The water is generally rated as good quality and it’s a popular spot in summer both for junk boats and beach goers. The bay is netted and there’s a large swimming lane on the outer perimeter of the netted area. 


Facilities - expect the usual public facilities including vending machines, showers, bathrooms and changing rooms. Kayak rental is available and there is a small shop selling beach paraphernalia and snacks.


Getting there - catch a train to Hang Hau MTR station and then pick-up a taxi or bus to Clearwater Bay. There is a car park (this fills up quickly in busier months) and to reach the beach you must descend a flight of stairs (buggy-users beware!).

 

Top tip - take a 15-minute stroll along the footpath that connects Clearwater Bay Second Beach with the smaller and quieter Clearwater Bay First Beach.



Hap Mun Bay Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

Playing in the shallows on Hap Mun Bay Beach


Rather excitingly, Hap Mun Bay beach must be accessed by boat. If you’re feeling adventurous, hire a kayak from Sai Sha Beach and paddle over, otherwise catch a sampan from Sai Kung waterfront. This cute curve of sand is located on the southern side of Sharp Island and is famous for its crescent shape; ‘Hap Mun’ translates as ‘Half Moon’. 


Facilities: There are changing areas and toilets, but do plan ahead with supplies as because of its relatively remote location, Hap Mun Bay does not offer many facilities.


Getting there: Head to Sai Kung waterfront (MTR to Diamond Hill and then a bus or MTR to Hang Hau and then a bus). The sampan ladies work the strip near to Sai Kung New Pier and will sell you a round-trip ticket.



Trio Beach Beach

Another beach that can be accessed by sampan is little Trio Beach, perched on the end of the Tsiu Hang Hau peninsula. There is a walk into the beach from Tsiu Hang Hau village passing by the Hong Kong Royal Yacht Club, which takes around 45 minutes and offers some shade. Otherwise, the Trio Beach sampans run regularly from Pak Sha Wan pier (cash payment on board).


Facilities - as a relatively remote beach, there are no restaurants or cafes. However, there are barbecue pits and a small snack shop open in the summer months (typically April 1 to October 31). Changing facilities are also available and the beach is life-guarded in season. There is a small children’s playground at the back of the beach.


Getting there - by public transport, catch a train to Hang Hau MTR and then a bus to Pak Sha Wan. The sampans run from the end of the pier. 



Long Ke Wan Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

The silky sands of Long Ke Wan


If you’re searching for beach paradise in Hong Kong, this is it. Often billed as ‘Hong Kong’s Maldives’, Long Ke consists of a long stretch of powdery white sand back-dropped by emerald green mountains in a turquoise-hued bay. Due to its ocean-facing location, the water quality is generally very good. It’s a superb spot, a popular destination for junks in the summer and not what most people expect of Hong Kong!


Facilities - a big fat nothing! Owing to the remote location, there aren’t even changing facilities. Most beach-goers sail in by junk and eat lunch on board, so come prepared. 


Getting there - You can walk in through Sai Kung Country Park East (head to Pak Tam country park gates and catch a green taxi to the Long Ke turn-off, then it’s a steep hike down the mountain to the beach). Otherwise, catch a speedboat from Sai Kung Waterfront. 


Top tip - stay until sunset and watch as the feral cows wander down the mountain and onto the sand.



Cheung Sha Beach

Hong Kong's best beaches

Locals enjoying Lower Cheung Sha Beach


Cheung Sha Beach on Lantau Island is Hong Kong’s longest beach. It’s a three kilometre stretch of golden sand flanked by Lantau’s lush green mountains and consists of quiet Upper Cheung Sha Beach and busier Lower Cheung Sha Beach. The water quality is generally good and there are plenty of watersport options as well as beachside dining spots at the lower end of the beach.


Facilities - all the usual beach facilities, including changing rooms, showers and barbecue pits. There are cafes and restaurants at Lower Cheung Sha Beach while quieter Upper Cheung Sha Beach has a snack kiosk.


Getting there - take the MTR to Tung Chung and catch a number 11, 11A or 23 bus. Alternatively, catch a ferry from Central Ferry Piers to Mui Wo and then a number 1, 2 or 4 bus. Note that private drivers need a Lantau Closed Road Permit to drive on this section of Lantau Island.


Top tip - Bathers has long been a go-to beachside restaurant at Lower Cheung Sha Beach. Enjoy a laid-back breakfast, lunch or dinner, or sunset cocktails, with your toes in the sand.



Nga Kau Wan Beach

Nga Kau Wan Beach on Lamma Island (also known as Tannery Beach) is a short walk from Yung Shue Wan ferry pier. It’s a cute stop with plenty of sand, gentle waves for little paddlers and great sunsets. Lamma Island is the third largest island in Hong Kong and easily reached by ferry from Central Ferry Piers.


Facilities - all the usual suspects including changing rooms, showers, snack kiosks and shops renting and selling beach equipment. There are also a couple of dining options and even a small hotel behind the beach. 


Getting there - catch a ferry from Central Ferry Piers to Yung Shue Wan from where it’s a short ten-minute walk to the beach. Note that Lamma is a car-free island. 


Top tip - if you’re feeling active, once you’re done with the beach, hike over the island to the village of Sok Kwu Wan and enjoy a seafood meal at one of the many restaurants there before catching a ferry from Sok Kwu Wan pier back to Central. The hike takes around one-and-a-half hours with some steep ascents. It’s a paved route and partially shaded.


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