Please remember when visiting Hong Kong beaches, that the city is hot and just like a good boy scout, it’s best to be prepared. Wear high factor sun-cream before grilling. Similarly, Hong Kong beaches are strictly non-nudist across the board, and you’re likely to find the long arm of the law if you peel off your clothes.
Stanley is a village on the south of Hong Kong Island. The village is well developed, with a host of western style bars and restaurants lining the waterfront. The village also has two beaches; Stanley Main Beach and St Stephen’s beach.
Water Quality – Good, 3/5. Stanley Main Beach is reasonably clean, although some rubbish is evident in the water. Acceptable to most.
Facilities – Excellent. Stanley is the epitome of a seaside town and you'll find both Chinese food and Western bars and restaurants in abundance, a very decent market and a number of tourist attractions, as well as liefguards and shark nets.
While it may take little leg work to get here, this secluded spot on Lamma Island boasts crystal clear water and a beautiful strip of sand.
Water Quality Excellent, 5/5. Aside from uninhabited islands, the location of Lo So Shing Beach makes it the cleanest beach in Hong Kong. If you want to baptise your swimming trunks, this is the place to come.
Facilities Around a 60mins hike from Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island, the isolation of Lo So Shing is one of its greatest attractions, however, it does mean there is little opportunity for donkey rides or sipping cocktails on the seafront. You’ll find lifeguards, nets and changing rooms but little else.
Out on Lantau Island, Silvermine Bay is a relaxed beach next to Lantau's unofficial capital, Mui Wo. Lantau is much more chilled out than Hong Kong Island and is a great option if you have kids. Also on Lantau is the Ngong Ping Cable Car and the jaw dropping Tian Tan Big Buddha.
Water Quality Overall, excellent 5/5. Clear of Hong Kong Island, Lantaus's beaches are some of the cleanest in Hong Kong.
Facilities Good, with a decent selection of western style eateries and bars. Lifeguards and shark nets are in place. One drawback is the infrequency of the ferry in the evening, especially at weekends.
How to Reach Ferry from Central Pier to Lantau Island
4. Shek O Beach
A beautiful beach set on the south of Hong Kong Island, popular with suits on retreat from the city.
Water Quality Overall, good 4/5. Shek O has very good water quality, making it worth the extra effort to reach. Around the corner, Big Wave Bay also has excellent water quality and the best surfing in Hong Kong.
Facilities Very good. Shek O is a fantastic seaside village, with a wide selection of quaint restaurants that offer great al fresco seating. Changing rooms, lifeguards and shark nets are all also in place.
How to reach No 9 Minibus from Shau Kei Wan MTR station
5. Deepwater Bay Beach
Probably Hong Kong's most popular beach, this can be put down to Deepwater Bay's proximity to Central, rather than the quality of the beach.
Water Quality Overall, poor 2/5. Because of its closeness to Central Hong Kong, the water around Deepwater Bay is extremely poor. Although many locals still swim in the water, you may decide not to.
Facilities Excellent. Two restaurants serve the beach, as well as a host of snack stalls. Lifeguards are on patrol most of the year and the bay is covered by shark nets, changing rooms are available. Packed at weekends.
How to Reach Bus 6 or 6X from Central.
6. Sai Kung Beach
A great daytrippers option. Sai Kung takes a little more effort to reach as it is in the eastern part of the New Territories.
Water Quality Overall, good 4/5. As Sai Kung is a good distance from Hong Kong Island and this helps keep its water very clean.
Facilities Excellent. Plenty of dining and drinking available including some tasty gourmet restaurants. Sai Kung is a great option for those interested in watersports, including kayaking and windsurfing - just up the road is the Sai Kung sail club.
How to Reach Bus number 92 from Diamond Hill MTR in Kowloon