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Islands & Beaches: Perfect Summer Escape!

We pick some of Hong Kong’s best islands and beaches for your perfect summer escape with friends and family!
 
The choice between a large city or a summer resort for the perfect summer vacation, each offering a different tempo and lifestyle, can be a headache. If only you could experience both in the same destination? Guess what, Hong Kong offers just that – a great metropolitan city with excitement and attractions around every street corner, but also beautiful islands and beaches that rival famous resort destinations, all of them conveniently accessible. For a city of just 1100 square kilometres, Hong Kong amazingly has 90 beaches dotted along its 700-kilometre coastline, with about 40 of them “gazetted” or managed by the government, with lifeguards, amenities, shark nets and the like.
 
Hong Kong also has 260 islands; a few – such as Tsing Yi, Ap Lei Chau and part of Lantau – are now quite densely populated, a few are rather small and inaccessible. The remainder comprise a diverse group of islands that are well worth a visit, offering pristine beaches, enchanting villages, picturesque hiking trails, cool rock formations, and amazing seafood restaurants, with each place oozing its own charm and character. 
 
We recommend some of Hong Kong’s best islands and beaches for your consideration for the perfect summer vacation.
 
Islands
 
Enchanting Day Trip - Cheung Chau
This island is a weekend favourite for locals and visitors alike. There is a small but busy fishing harbour and a lively village with shops lining the waterfront promenade. Stroll through the village for souvenirs and visit the Tin Hau temple nearby. The Tung Wan Beach on the opposite side of the isthmus is ideal for swimming. Hiking trails abound, including one to explore the famous Cheung Po Tsai Pirates’ cave. The ferry ride from Central is a pleasure in itself.
 
Idyllic villages and great seafood - Lamma Island
Hong Kong’s third largest island is home to several sleepy villages, as well as – surprisingly – a large power station. Take a ferry from Central to Yung Shue Wan village, stroll past its quirky shops and cafes, then follow the hiking trail to Sok Kwu Wan. You may want to linger at a pretty sandy beach en route. The modest climb to the ridge offers a panoramic view of the island and the power plant. Sok Kwu Wan has several seafood restaurants to partake of a super fresh meal before taking the ferry back to Central.
 
Spectacular rock formations- Tung Ping Chau
A small island at the easternmost part of Hong Kong, Tung Ping Chau is part of the Hong Kong Global Geopark and its only island made up of sedimentary rocks. Accessible by ferries on weekends from Ma Liu Shui in the New Territories, the island is a favourite destination for visitors. A once thriving costal fishing village has left abandoned buildings and heritage temples. But the spectacular rock formations including towering cliffs and rare wave-cut rock platforms are the real attractions.
 
An island lost in time - Po Toi Island
A favourite destination for local “junk trips”, Po Toi offers primitive but navigable hiking trails leading to panoramic views of the sea and neighbouring islands, cliffs and rocks and spectacular rock formations along the rocky shore. There are ferries from Aberdeen and Stanley, mostly on weekends and public holidays. A seafood restaurant awaits the hungry after a day’s adventure.
 
Beaches
 
Most convenient and iconic - Repulse Bay & Deep Water Bay
Two of Hong Kong’s most iconic beaches are just minutes away from the city centre. Picturesque against their surroundings, both are also good swimming beaches with full amenities. Be sure to visit the large Kwun Yam Temple just next to Repulse Bay, and the scenic promenade connecting the two beaches makes for a delightful and leisurely stroll.
 
Pristine & untamed - Long Ke Wan / Tai Long Wan
With powdery white sands and clear blue waters, these are easily Hong Kong’s most beautiful and pristine beaches. Located in Sai Kung Peninsula in the northeastern New Territories, both require some legwork to reach, only adding to the enjoyment of their sheer, unspoiled beauty. Long Ke is more secluded and unattended, accessible by a moderate hike from the east dam of High Island Reservoir. Tai Long Wan comprises four separate beaches, with Ham Tin and Sai Wan the more frequented. You can take a 90-minute hike from Sai Wan Pavilion or hire a boat from the public pier in Sai Kung Town. Admire the beauty, but swim with care as these beaches are also unattended and the waves can be strong – it’s the closet to a tropical paradise that Hong Kong offers.
 
Unspoiled haven for surfing & swimming - Shek O/ Big Wave Bay
These beautiful beaches on the southeastern part of Hong Kong Island are popular with swimmers and surfers, thanks to the unimpeded waves from the South China Sea. The enchanting village of Shek O provides a rustic backdrop to the beaches. Full BBQ facilities are available for picnic cook-outs. And it’s still just a (thrilling) bus ride away from the urban core of Hong Kong.
 
Clamming & swimming - Cheung Sha Beaches, Lantau
Despite substantial development in the last 20 years, Hong Kong’s largest island remains largely undeveloped because of its mountainous terrain. The long stretch of beaches in South Lantau – Upper and Lower Cheung Sha Beaches – offers smooth sand and calm waters for swimming. Try your luck digging for clams along the seashore – you’ll be surprised how many big juicy clams you can find. Watch the setting sun over cool drinks at one of the beachside restaurants – a most relaxing way to pass an afternoon. Easily accessible by ferry to Mui Wo from Central and then bus to the beaches.
 
 
 
 
(Edited on 4 Aug 2017)

 

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