Hong Kong isn’t all about high-rise buildings, neon, and shopping. It’s also home to some of the most delightful beaches on the planet!
Whether you want to sunbathe, camp, surf, or simply bring the kids to make sand castles, there’s a wonderful expanse of beach that’ll be just perfect for a bit of R&R.
So with that in mind, here’s our definitive guide to the beaches of Hong Kong.
Surfs Up: The Waverider Beaches
If hitting the waves is what does it for you, then you’ve got a good choice in Hong Kong.
Big Wave Bay
The aptly named Big Wave Bay is Hong Kong’s official surfing beach. By official, we mean officially recognised by the “powers that be” – there are more surfing beaches that we’ll cover in a moment.
Expats have been surfing here since the 1970s, but now a diverse local and expatriate crowd make for a good mix. This lovely cove is surrounded by green vegetation, and the ocean benefits from both northwest and easterly winds. It can be busy at weekends, but the swells are pretty consistent.
Getting there – MTR to Shau Kei Wan, exit A3. Number 9 bus to Shek O – jump off at Shek O/Big Wave Bay junction, 10-minute walk from here.
Tai Lon Wan
This delightful beach offers excellent surfing, and is also good for those just finding their feet on a board. However, there’s no lifeguard here, so be sure to go with friends, and don’t venture out unless you’re a strong swimmer.
The beach isn’t hugely accessible. It’s going to take about an hour of walking the Tai Lon Wan Trail, but the beautiful stretch of sand that is Tai Lon Wan, the clean water, and the fact of truly getting away from it all makes it worth the effort.
Many people camp overnight (it can be busy at weekends), but if you go during the week, you might just have it all to yourself.
Getting there – Bus 94 from Sai Kung to Wong Shek Pier. Take the boat to the start of the MacLehose Trail, then walk.
Pui O Beach
The broad expanse of sand that makes up Pui O Beach is not only great for waves – it’s surrounded by some superb hiking trails too. Plus, for those who like to kayak, there’s some interesting small islands and rocky inlets you can explore.
One big plus about this beach is the lack of rocks – a godsend for anyone learning to surf and not wanting to worry about any hidden dangers! You can camp here, rent surfboards, and take advantage of the many facilities, all under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards on duty.
Getting there – Take the MTR to Tung Chung, then bus 3M or A35. Get off at Pui O Village and it’s a short walk from there.
Family fun: Bring the Kids
Here are some of the most popular family-friendly beaches in Hong Kong:
Despite the off-putting name, Repulse Bay has great public facilities, plenty of eateries, lifeguards, and a free playground. It’s also close to some good hiking trails.
It’s a wide, crescent shaped expanse lapped by clean, blue water. It’s also very easy to get to. As you can imagine, it’s very popular – especially on hot summer weekends. It’s also very near Ocean Park, so it’s a good spot for cooling off after the excitement of the theme park.
Getting there – Take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66, or 260 from Exchange Square direct to Repulse Bay.
Another very popular beach (but way less crowded then Repulse Bay), Shek O is beautiful, with soft, silky sand and clean water. You can hire lilos, body boards, use the small golf course, and try the paraglide lift.
Manned by lifeguards, it also boasts plenty of cafes and restaurants for getting refreshments.
Getting there – MTR to Shau Kei Wan, then bus 9 until the last stop on the line.
Paradise Found: True Solitude – Even in Hong Kong
You might not think that it’s possible to find a little piece of beach paradise in Hong Kong, but although it might take a little effort, it is still possible to do.
Upper Cheung Sha Beach
This little beauty takes just that bit too much effort for most people – and that’s what makes it so special. Located on Lantau Island, you’ll need to allow around an hour or so to get to Upper Cheung Sha Beach, or be prepared to spend around $HK100 on a taxi.
When you get there, relax… The beach is in two halves, so walk along the beach that has a few restaurants for around 10 minutes until you come to the second, far more secluded cove. There are no crowds, no restaurants, and the water’s beautiful and safe. If you go on a weekday, you’ll have it all to yourslf
Getting there – From Central, Pier 6, take the Mui Wo ferry to Lantau Island (around 30 minutes), then the bus to Cheung Sha Beach (around 15 minutes).
Lo So Shing Beach
Located on Lamma Island, Lo So Shing Beach is wild and beautiful, yet safe and lifeguarded. It’s clean, has facilities (eateries, showers, changing rooms, BBQ grills, and bathrooms), and is an excellent place to simply chill, fish, hike, and sunbathe.
Getting there – Take the ferry to Lamma Island, hike from Yung Shue Wan Pier for along the trail for about 50 minutes.
There are around 50 beaches in and around Hong Kong, but the ones mentioned here are what we consider to be the jewels in the crown.
Others worth a quick mention include Middle Bay Beach, Deep Water Bay, and South Bay Beach for swimming, Sai Wan Beach (in Sai Wan Country Park) for freshwater swimming, Lamma Power Station Beach for somewhere to let your dog run free (not the most scenic, but the furry one won’t mind…), and Stanley Beach and St. Stephen’s Beach for windsurfing.
For those worried about sharks? Well, they’re not the most common visitors to the waters around Hong Kong, but even so, many of the public beaches have shark nets.
If a beach has facilities and lifeguards, you can be pretty safe in the knowledge that it also has shark nets. Although in most cases, all these actually do is keep any rubbish from floating into the swimming area (so in that instance, they’re great!).
Whatever your beach wants and needs, you’re sure to find it in Hong Kong – and if you don’t like the beach you’ve just visited, there’s always plenty more to choose from. Enjoy!