Who doesn’t love a day full of sun, sand and sea!
The city may be famous for its epic skyline and the hustle and bustle of its city streets, but it also has beaches aplenty (that have been sorely missed over the scorching summer!). While our favourite Hong Kong beaches were shut during the peak of the July and August heat this year, the government is reopening beaches from Tuesday, 3 November. We’ve all been here long enough to know that the weather in the city is still pleasant enough to be outdoors — perfect beach weather if you ask us!
Spend the day at one of these strands and you’ll feel worlds away. All these are under government supervision and so they have often have a lifeguard on duty and changing, shower and toilet facilities — all things you need with the little ones in tow! Pack the beach toys, sunblock and get ready to take the kids on a seaside adventure.
Editor’s Note: The situation in Hong Kong regarding closures and restrictions on opening hours due to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. Many businesses are taking extra precautions, but please make sure you follow the latest government advice and stay home if you have recently travelled overseas, have interacted with anyone who has been away, or display any symptoms.
Best Beaches In Hong Kong Island
Repulse Bay Beach needs no introduction for families. It’s is a popular choice for weekend beachgoers and as one of the most accessible Hong Kong beaches, it can often get pretty crowded. But it’s got everything you need – and vendors with things you forgot (umbrellas, sand toys, etc.). Take a break from the beach at the playground and be sure to toss a coin into the mouth of the fish statue for good luck at the Tin Hau Temple before you head home. Arrive early for a good spot on the sand, spend your day catching some rays, and be sure to stop for lunch along The Pulse. Our personal favourites include Amalfitana Pizza, Limewood and Sip Song (not to mention, they’re all family-friendly!).
Facilities: Restaurants, fast-food kiosk, changing room, shower facilities, toilet, playground and beach volleyball court.
The (somewhat) quieter little sister to Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay is located just around the headland. Follow the easy, stroller-friendly boardwalk for a lovely stroll by the sea. This one is popular with locals and early morning swimmers, and with more than 30 barbecue pits, it’s always a popular spot. It is stocked with lifeguards for such a small beach. There is a small café and a nice cold beer is great on a hot summer day! Cheers to that!
Facilities: Café, changing rooms, showers, public toilets and barbecue pits.
Famous for its market, Stanley is always full of activity. Great for taking visiting guests to, and also good for picking up some souvenirs before chilling out on the sand. We have to warn you that this beach gets very busy, so it’s not one to go to if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. Stanley Main Beach is also great to cool down at after completing The Twins hike. Enjoy a quick swim (or drink…), before heading home, and those 1,000 steps will be well rewarded!
Be sure to wander along the boardwalk and choose from the many seafront restos, or pick up some groceries from the supermarket in Stanley Plaza and have your own beachside BBQ. It’s also home to the annual Dragon Boat races, so keep your eye out for team’s practices during the season.
Features: Restaurants, changing rooms, showers, public toilets and barbecue pits.
A popular beach – and rightfully so! – to cool off at after hiking Dragon’s Back, Shek O is ever popular with locals and tourists alike. Go prepared and enjoy a seaside barbecue at one of the many pits available. It’s best to arrive as early as possible, as the barbecues are available only on a first-come-first-serve basis, and they fill up quickly! Lots of people consider this their favourite beach on the island. It has a scenic view of the small island Ng Fan Chau Island Bay. The village has a mellow vibe so it’s great for a stroll. The many beachside cafés are delicious, and we think Thai-Chinese food is seriously YUM!
Features: Café, changing rooms, showers, playground, public toilets and barbecue pits.
Big Wave Bay is not called Big Wave Bay without reason — it’s Hong Kong’s only officially recognised surf beach due to its waves and consistent swell (did its name not give that away?). It’s a hit with surfers and you’ll find everything from chair and sun umbrella rentals and lifeguards. It also has board and rowing boat rentals and lessons if the young ones want to hang ten or boogie board. If your kids are ready to hike, take the route from Dragon’s Back for a good four hours of exploring Hong Kong’s nature. There are a good handful of bars and restaurants for light refreshments or meals. Surfer or not, it’s a clean and scenic beach with hills all around.
Feature: Cafés, changing rooms, showers, public toilets, barbecue pits.
Tucked away around the corner from Stanley sits Chung Hom Kok, a quaint beach that has “urban hideaway” written all over it. Easily accessible but slightly tricky to find if you’ve never ventured there before, Chung Hom Kok is a short 3-minute walk down a leafy park directly off a quiet residential street (meaning it’s nowhere near as busy as the likes of Repulse Bay or Stanley). With a stack of BBQ pits, full-time lifeguard service and nice water for swimming, it’s an ideal spot to catch up with family or friends for a day at the beach.
Features: Café, changing rooms, showers, playground, public toilets, barbecue pits.
Beaches On Lamma And Cheung Chau Islands
This beach has been long adored by expats and locals because of its clear blue waters and powdery white sand. It’s the place to be when you want to host a beach party and barbecue up a storm, or just to relax and have a laid-back day. Hung Shing Yeh is also fully equipped with all the essentials and has very good water quality. Lamma Island is always a sweet getaway and only a 30-minute ferry ride from Central. But fair warning, it’s best avoided during weekends and public holidays because this beach gets overrun!
Facilities: Changing rooms, showers, public toilets, barbecue pits.
Tung Wan Beach And Kwun Yam Beach, Cheung Chau
The beaches of Cheung Chau are loved by Hong Kong families and for good reason. You can easily spend your day exploring the island, or just find your patch of sand and relax for the day. Both beaches are loved by windsurfers but also perfect for little children! Your kids can pay a visit to the “Shan Shan” sculpture, a tribute to Hong Kong’s Olympic champion Lee Lai-shan. If you’re into watersports (or just want to give it a try!), the Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre provides windsurfing, surfing and canoeing equipment, so gear up and take your little adventure buddy to see some unusual coastal rock formations and Mini Great Walls form from the waters around here. Adults, teenagers and children will all love the charm of a day at the beaches on Cheng Chau, so pack up and head on out to the ferry!
Facilities: Restaurants, changing rooms, showers, public toilets, barbecue pits.
Best Beaches On Lantau Island
Just a short walk from Mui Wo ferry pier, Silvermine Bay beach itself is considered one of the cleanest in Hong Kong. Though relatively quiet during the day, Silvermine comes alive at night, with many enjoying the public barbecue pits and other dining options available nearby.
Facilities: Restaurants, changing rooms, showers, public toilets, barbecue pits.
Pui O Beach has a very relaxed, laid back vibe and although it is popular, it never feels overwhelmingly busy. Complete with a campsite, Pui O is a great spot for a night under the stars – just be wary of the water buffalo that can stray away from the nearby fields for a sleep on the beach! It’s also worth noting that, although pleasant, the sand here is darker and quite sticky – so don’t visit and expect to find idyllic white sands. Beyond the gorgeous backdrop and mini holiday feel that comes with Lantau’s beaches, another reason to visit Pui O is Treasure Island Beach Club and Restaurant. Open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it is a hit with locals and visitors alike.
Facilities: Restaurant, changing rooms, showers, public toilets, campsites, barbecue pits.
Located on southern Lantau, Cheung Sha Wan is one of Hong Kong’s longest beaches. Stretching around 3km, you’ll find two beaches here: Lower Cheung Sha and Upper Cheung Sha. Graced with sand that is lighter and finer than at Pui O, the beach is perfect for big kids to build sandcastles, or for sun-lovers to spend an afternoon tanning. Lower Cheung Sha has more restaurants and tends to be busier, so if you want to escape the crowds, head to Upper Cheng Sha beach. Be sure to check out family-favourite Bathers beachside restaurant which is open all week.
Facilities: Restaurants, changing rooms, showers, barbecue pits and public toilets
Family-Friendly Beaches In Sai Kung And Clearwater Bay
Sitting in the southeast corner of the New Territories, Clearwater Bay comprises two beaches — appropriately named Clearwater Bay First Beach and Clearwater Bay Second Beach. The two are separated by a short stretch of rocky coast, and both are very popular with families. First Beach is a little more secluded and can be quieter, though Second Beach has a small café selling refreshments, is a bit more scenic and offers more of the perks that families need.
Facilities: Café, changing rooms, showers, public toilets, barbecue pits.
Grab your kids and head down to this treasure trove because it’s easy to reach with little ones in tow. Trio Beach has all the essential amenities and your little kids can paddle away in the shallow water under your watchful eyes. Grab a book and lie down in the luscious white sand as the kids make sandcastles. Though it’s the most convenient beach in Sai Kung, Trio is still secluded – ok, it’s remote. We admit it is a trek to get to, but hey, it involves a sampan ride! And once you get there, the combination of calm water and soft sand – not to mention mellow beachy dining options, BBQ pits, and the standard public beach amenities – make this a great day trip with the kids. Bonus: it’s also a beach that consistently is at the top of the Environmental Protection Department’s rankings of water quality.
Facilities: refreshment kiosks, changing rooms, showers, public toilets, playground, barbecue pits.
Kiu Tsui And Half Moon Bay/ Hap Mun Bay Beach, Sharp Island
Sharp Island makes a lovely day out with the kids in Sai Kung. Jump on the ferry from Sai Kung pier (boats leave around every 30 minutes and cost around $40 per person) and hop off at your chosen beach. Kiu Tsui is the larger of the two and has a tombolo (use this as an opportunity to teach your kids geography terms!) that connects to the islet called Kiu Tau. When tides are low, you can venture out and walk on the tombolo feeling like Moana on her own tiny islet. “See the line where the sky meets the ocean? It calls me!”.
Sharp Island is part of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, it’s home to many unique and curious rock formations that go all the way back 140 million years. Half Moon Bay is another great spot to base yourself to explore. It’s decked out with all the essential amenities and also allows you to hike admiring the unique fauna and flora. Just be careful of the sharp rocks!
Facilities: Refreshment kiosks, changing rooms, showers, public toilets, barbecue pits.
Beaches In Tsuen Wan And Tuen Mun
Looking for some peace? Located on Ma Wan Island, Ma Wa Tung Wan is quiet and one of the least crowded swimming beaches. It is clean and scenic with beautiful, soft, white sand that you can sink your feet into. You will love the picturesque view of the iconic Hong Kong bridges including the Tsing Ma Beach and the Kap Shui Mun Bridge. This beach is popular for wedding pictures (or Insta-stories!) so snap away with the camera! There are plenty of beach restaurants that typically cost $50 for lunch with a wide variety including Thai food, Japanese food, and Western food. Visit the Ma Wan Park nearby and make a trip to Noah’s Ark Theme Park, which is a fun trip on its own.
Facilities: Restaurants, showers, changing rooms, toilets.
If you are looking into getting away from the bustling city life for a day or two, head to Golden Beach for beautiful sunsets and plane watching on a man-made beach paradise. This gem features lots of crabs, shells, and smooth rocks that get washed up in the mornings. Your kids will love running around on the pristine sand! The gentle baby surf is soothing. If you book yourself into the Gold Coast Hotel, be sure to come to Golden Beach for a morning swim or go for a walk in the nearby park. Visit the many eateries nearby and walk to the Gold Coast Piazza. Best avoid peak hours because it does get busy (and how!).
Facilities: Restaurants, refreshment kiosk, changing rooms, showers, toilets.
If you’ve got lil’ campers who are ready for some nature exploring, bring them to Butterfly Beach for the weekend and stay at the Butterfly Beach Park Camping Site. It has a magnificent, magical view and is easily accessible. There are loads of facilities at the campgrounds, including a barbecue area (you are not allowed to light a fire here), jogging track, soccer pitch, volleyball court, basketball court, toilets, and refreshment kiosks. The beach here is popular as there are no big waves and you can fish as well. The sand is spectacularly soft and it offers a romantic view.
Facilities: Refreshment kiosks, changing rooms, showers, toilets, barbecue area, camping site.
Read more: Where To Buy Swimwear For Kids In Hong Kong
Editor’s Note: This post was originally written in June 2018 by Connie Can and updated in October 2020 by Jess Mizzi.