Beaches in Kowloon

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South side Hong Kong is a region of rocky coasts and smooth white beaches, with little fishing villages and unhurried markets. Neither an office building nor factory is anywhere in sight, but on summer weekends every office, factory and farm worker in the colony seems to descend on the south side's shores.

Rocky Bay Beach

Of Hong Kong's 36 gazetted beaches, the south side of the island has 14 of them. A few, such as Rocky Bay on the road to Shek O, have virtually no facilities, save an unparalleled view and an uncrowded beach. Rocky Beach is perfect for the Kowloon visitor that is looking to avoid the busloads of tourists and beach vendors, while getting as much peace and quiet as possible.

Shek O and Big Wave Bay

On the road to Chaiwan you will hit a fork where you can go to the left to Shek O or to the right to Big Wave Bay. Shek O is located between the skirts of Mount Collinson on the left and the parked yachts of Tai Tam Harbour on the right. Big Wave Bay Beach is a pretty beach, but has no public transportation to and from it. Big Wave Bay Beach and Shek O Beach are a 30 minute walk away from each other.

The marketplace at Shek O Village caters almost entirely to its bathers, so soft drinks and a few snacks are available. Walking around Shek O is great for people watching and finding the high-walled mansions owned by some of Hong Kong's most affluent citizens.

Stanley Beach

On the road from Chaiwan, after Shek O you will head towards the Tai Tam Reservoir. After the Tai Tam Reservoir you will find Stanley Beach. Despite Stanley's very English sounding name, Stanley was a thriving Chinese capital long before the British sat foot there. In fact, a Tin Hau Temple here documents that the town was founded in 1770 by a pirate, Chang Po Chai, who captured the island. Once one of the colony's best kept secrets, today Stanley Market at Stanley Beach attracts thousands of visitors on weekends. Down a few steps from New Street is a a large area with shops selling fashionable clothes, rattan, fresh food, ceramic jugs, budget art, hardware, brass objects and almost anything you can imagine. Other attractions at Stanley Beach are the Stanley Prison, the Stanley Cemetery and St. Stephen's Beach (a more secluded alternative to Stanley's main beach).

Repulse Bay Beach

Past Stanley Beach you will see Repulse Bay Beach, where you can find everything except peace and quiet. This beach was very famous because it had one of the finest resort hotels in Asia, the Repulse Bay Hotel. A replica of its famed veranda now fronts the new apartments, housing two fine restaurants and several shops. There are also plenty of fast food stands for those traveling on a budget. Unfortunately, this beach tends to get dirty during the weekends, as some 25,000 bathers visit the beach. The landmark of Repulse Bay Beach is the huge statue of Tin Hau, the Queen of Heaven and protector of fishermen and anybody involved in seafaring activities.
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