The north side of Hong Kong Island is full of high rises, quays, piers and in a constant state of reclamation and expansion. The south side is much more natural with a winding shoreline and home to bays and beaches such as Repulse Bay, Stanley Beach and Shek O.
Stanley Beach is the best beach on Hong Kong Island and ideal for enjoying a day there swimming, sunning on the beach, browsing through the Stanley Market and dining out on Stanley’s main street waterfront restaurants.
Introduction – Stanley is a town located on a peninsula in the south east of Hong Kong Island and is the most southern part of Hong Kong Island. When the British annexed (stole) Hong Kong Island in 1842, Stanley was the temporary administrative center. The Stanley Fort was also the last point of resistance by the British and Canadians before Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese in 1941.
Stanley Beaches – Stanley has two excellent sandy beaches, The Stanley Main Beach and the St. Stephens Beach. The Stanley Main Beach is on the east side of the peninsula and around 5 minutes walking from Stanley town center. Popular for windsurfing and other water sports. The St. Stephens Beach is around 10 minutes walk south of Stanley Main street and has excellent facilities such as toilets, showers and a beach café. This is the beach you’ll end up enjoying when you visit Stanley.
Stanley Market – The market is located along Stanley waterfront and adjacent alleys and is part covered and part out door. Unlike the notorious Temple Street Market, Stanley market is popular with locals as well as tourists and is a decent place to shop. The shops and stalls there sell goods such as clothing, shoes, toys, jewellery, artwork and souvenirs. It is a day market and the opening hours are from 10am to 6:30pm every day.
Stanley Waterfront & Board Walk – This is a newly developed area on the waterfront that overlooks Stanley Bay. The boardwalk is dominated by out door cafes and restaurants and a great place to enjoy dinner after a day at the beach. The food and atmosphere is great but prices are steep so avoid eating here if you are on a budget.
The best way to reach Stanley Beach and Market is by bus and you can catch buses from Tsim Sha Tsui or any where on Hong Kong Island
From Central, Wanchai & Admiralty – You can catch the following city buses from the Exchange Square Bus terminal (Central MTR station exit B) and on the main road in Admiralty and Wanchai 6, 6A, 6X and 260. Bus 6 is best because has a scenic route and does not go through the Aberdeen Tunnel.
From Causeway Bay & North Point – Catch the 63 NWFB bus from the North Point Ferry Piers that goes through Causeway Bay.
From Tsim Sha Tsui – Catch the 973 City bus from Mody Road OR take the MTR to Central and catch a bus from there.
Tips For Visiting Stanley Market & Beach
Sunburn – If you see a sun burnt tourist in Hong Kong, the odds are they’ve been to Stanley Beach. You may not be there in summer but if you spend more than a few minutes on the beach, use sunscreen or you are going to get burnt.