Living in Hong Kong, we’re lucky in that we can go from concrete jungle to lush greenery and salty sea air within the hour.
With the constant rat race going on in the city, it’s easy to forget that there are whole villages built on water and seaside towns that boast white sands and fresh seafood. Perfect for lazy weekend exploring, make a day trip of one of these six seaside towns in Hong Kong.
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Highlights: Boasting a large stretch of bustling beach (as well as a smaller dog-friendly ‘Back Beach’), Shek O is a firm favourite for seaside aficionados. Not just soft sands and cool waters however, Shek O’s colourful inner town centre is a hub of restaurants and beach bars that dish up fresh seafood, street eats and Thai treats.
LSA favourite: Sai Jai Thai Store– think: affordable, easy-to-eat snacks to nibble on at the beach.
How to get there: From Shau Kei Wan MTR, find exit A3 and then take bus 9, or a taxi, to Shek O.
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Highlights: Known for its market chock full of Hong Kong-inspired treasurers, those on the Southside often make the trip to Stanley for its beaches and watersports, as well as its open boardwalk that’s lined with seafood restaurants and quaint pubs. Albeit a little touristy, Stanley has somewhat of a holiday feel, with its open-air shopping mall and hidden Ma Hang Park — 50,000 square metres of greenery including a butterfly garden and education trail.
LSA favourite: Stan Café — our go-to for fine French wine, cheese and freshly-baked bread.
How to get there: From Central, take bus numbers 6/6A/6X, stopping at Admiralty and Wan Chai along the way.
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Highlights: Located on the eastern side of Lantau Island, Mui Wo is a quaint and laid-back seaside town ideal for sipping coffees in cute cafés or taking an ice cold beer down to the beach. Just 35 minutes on the fast ferry from Central, there are plenty of beaches, restaurants, hiking and cycling trails to explore at your leisure.
LSA favourite: Silvermine Waterfalls. Although the impressiveness of the falls is highly dependent on the rainy season, the waterfalls are just 2km from Mui Wo Pier, and well worth a visit on a hot, humid day.
How to get there: Take the ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo.
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Highlights: Often overlooked by the allure of beach days in Repulse Bay and Stanley, Aberdeen is more than worth a visit thanks to its ‘old’ Hong Kong feel and rustic charm. Home to the oldest and largest fish market in Hong Kong, the harbour is brimming with sampans happy to take you out for a ride and around the ‘Jumbo’. Although no longer operating, the impressing floating restaurant holds a lot of history and is an impressive site, especially when lit up at night.
LSA favourite: Hong Kong Yachting Container Port Tour — get up close and personal and discover one of the largest and busiest container ports in the world. Note: in light of Covid-19, be sure to check that this tour is still operational in line with recent government restrictions .
How to get there: Depending on where you would like to visit, take the MTR to Ap Lei Chau or Lei Tung, or grab the 70 bus to Aberdeen Promenade from Exchange Square in Central.
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Highlights: Affectionately nicknamed the “Venice of Hong Kong,” Tai O is recognised for its traditional stilt houses and rich fishing heritage. Popular for its seafood market and street eats as well as take-home delicacies like salted fish and shrimp paste, take a stroll back in time as you weave around fisherman and out in to nature with a hike up Fu Shan mountain.
LSA favourite: Treat yourself to a night at the esteemed Tai O Heritage Hotel, or take a boat out to the open water for a chance to glimpse Hong Kong’s rare pink dolphins.
How to get there: Tai the MTR to Tung Chung and hop on the 11 bus from Tung Chung Town Centre; alternatively take the Ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo and flag down the number 1 bus.
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Highlights: Just 30 minutes from Central, it’s no wonder than Hong Kongers are moving away from the Island and flocking to Lamma to seek a quieter lifestyle away from the hustle. There’s no escaping the weekend crowds however, as both Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan are popular destinations for those looking to day trip out to this quirky seaside town. Head to Sok Kwu Wan for a relaxed seafood meal by the sea and then hike the Family Trail over to Yung Shue Wan for a cold drink and nibbles by the beach.
LSA favourite: Dale Candela — Sangria and tapas, al fresco. Need we say more?
How to get there: Take the ferry to either Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan from Central Pier 4