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Hong Kong: Beaches

With more than 700 kilometres of coastline, it should come as no surprise that Hong Kong has plenty of beaches to enjoy. Most of them have lifeguard services and shark nets, although these may be suspended out of season.

Tai Long Wan (Sai Kung)

This is one of the most picture-perfect bays in the whole of Hong Kong: fine white sand, expansive and almost always empty.

There are four beaches along the bay: Sai Wan (West Bay), Ham Tin Wan (Salty Field Bay), Tai Wan (Big Bay) and Tung Wan (East Bay).

Sai Wan is a popular spot for surfing and windsurfing. There are places on the beach where you can rent equipment: 100 HKD per hour for a kayak or surfboard, 50 HKD for a bodyboard and 30 HKD for a snorkel and mask. You can get a cheaper hourly rate if you rent for longer. The place also rents camping equipment (300 HKD for a four-man tent, 500 HKD for an eight-man tent and 50 HKD for sleeping bags and bedding).

It is free to camp at the beach.

Long Ke (Sai Kung)

This offers the perfect combination of sightseeing and picturesque beaches.

There is a fabulous sandy beach here, which is a great place to escape the crowds. You need to walk 30 minutes to get to the beach, though. There is a free campsite at the beach, plus barbecue facilities.

There are no shops or restaurants here.

Cheung Sha Beach (Lantau)

There are two halves to this beach.

Lower Cheung Sha — the side of the beach closest to Tung Chung — has a few restaurants and bars, and therefore tends to be busier than the other one. It also has a fancy convenience store — Lantau Grocer — that sells, among other things, Italian ricotta and feta cheese.

The other part of the beach — Upper Cheung Sha — is a 15-minute walk away and much quieter. It doesn’t have any restaurants or places to buy drinks.

The white sand on both parts of the beach is spotless and smooth, the water clean and inviting and the swimming safe.

Silvermine Bay (Lantau)

This iis a great place to swim or simply relax with the family. The area is not usually very crowded. There are free barbecue pits, changing facilities, toilets and a volleyball court. There are a number of restaurants, bars and kiosks along the promenade.

It is possible to rent sea kayaks from a small shop just next to the small bridge that crosses Silver River. These cost 200 HKD for three hours, for either a one- or two-seater.

There is a waterfall and an old silver cave nearby that you can visit.

Discovery Bay (Lantau)

Framed by mountains and surrounded by the South China Sea, Discovery Bay is a peaceful area with a pleasant community feel to it. There are plenty of activities going on and a lively atmosphere in many of the bars and restaurants in the town.

This is a good starting point for a number of walks in the area, including one to an old Trappist Monastery.

Discovery Bay, with its modern amenities and pleasant vibe, makes for a good day out at the beach — with or without the family. There are a number of good restaurants and bars in the area, many with outside terraces, and some playgrounds located on the main beach.

Discovery Bay is divided in two main parts: the upper part that is built around North Plaza and the lower part centred around Discovery Bay Plaza. Both parts are served by buses and have a shopping area with plenty of bars and restaurants, with frequent activities organised during the weekends.

The walk from one side to the other takes around 40 minutes, and is along a not terribly pleasant main road. Fortunately, there is a free shuttle bus that runs between the two areas, as well as buses that you have to pay for.

It is the lower part that ferries from Central run to. Here you will find the beach and the playgrounds. This area is also the main social hub.

There is a beautiful golf course in Discovery Bay, but it is only open to members.

Cars are not allowed in the area — only buses and special tourist vehicles. The most common way to get around is therefore on foot, by bike or — interestingly — by golf cart. Many estate agencies in the area can help you find golf carts that are for sale. Some of the more expensive properties might also include free use of a golf cart in the rental price.

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