Hong Kong, April 2018: Located on Hong Kong Island’s southeastern peninsular is the village of Shek O. Google maps satellite imagery indicates a small settlement with a big beach leading to the Shek O Headland for some possible hiking. Since today is one of those rare sunshine days, escaping the insanely busy Tsim Sha Tsui with a jaunt to the beach sounds like a good plan.
Another ride on the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Central, then a ride to Shau Kei Wan MTR station on the blue line. From here, exit A3 into the bus station will find the number 9 bus to Shek O (Google Maps). A Kowloon Motor Bus double-decker rolls up within a few minutes and after handing over about 80p, one is on the way to Shek O village and beach. Rolling green hills, a beach and blue(ish) sea, its a picture postcard view as the bus descends towards the village from a ridge known as the Dragons Back.
A Long Queue for the 9 to Shek O
Picture postcard view, Shek O beach
A quaint as Hong Kong gets I’d say. SheK O is a very small place with one small high street branching right at the roundabout – the beach road. A high street full of selfie obsessed Chinese tourists clearly enjoying the old character and charm they probably don’t get to see to often. And charming it is! While the place wont win any architectural awards it does boast plenty of mid 20th Century character.
The high street rolls into Shek O Headland Road at Just about a 15 minute stomp from getting off the bus. The road narrows into a track and as there seem plenty of folk heading that way the best thing to do is follow the crowd! Actually to say crowd is something of an exaggeration, not really that many folk here, although on a weekend I’d say the place could be heaving. As its a weekday day, Shek O remains a sleepy little place under the hot morning sunshine. Onto the headland then for a little hike, fresh sea air and some scenic photos.
From the Shek O Headland…
Well maintained paths make hiking the headland easy
Looking back towards Shek O and the Lovers Bridge
Hiking the headland doesn’t take long, just about 20 minutes is enough to capture the scenes and get some fresh air. Its connected to the village by an iron bridge, on Google maps as ‘Shek O Lovers Bridge’. Probably a good spot for some romance at sunset then! By day though there are plenty of folk coming and going across the narrow bridge that also provides access to the nearby rocks. With waves crashing, its a popular place for a Chinese selfie!
As Lunchtime beckons time to head back in Shek O Village. The village roundabout seems to be the focal point being surrounded on one-side with a few cafes jam packed with white tourists! Thankfully, lining the beach car park on the otherside are some local joints where one can grab some cheap and cheerful local chow and eat with the locals. With my non-existent Mandarin and their pigeon English I’ve ended up with another tasty bowl of noodles and the coffees good too. Time to hit the Shek O beach now that my energy levels have recovered to near normal.
Local food at the beach car park
Time to hit Shek O Beach
Easily the best beach I seen in Hong Kong to date. A wide stretch of clean white sand with clear blue water glistening in the afternoon sunshine makes for a very inviting few hours. No motorised jet skis or speed boats to tangle with and there’s plenty of shade under the nearby trees. The place even has showers to wash away all that sand between ones toes. A serviced beach aimed at families I’d say given that there are 4 lifeguard towers, one is going to feel pretty safe – Jaws, well, I hope not! For those who really wan’t a drink with a view, there is one place right on the beach but be warned, its expensive, enough to make even Lord Sugar weep!. That regular coffee is going to cost £6.50 and that pint of Heineken beer will cost £9.50.
No Service Charge! Unsurprisingly the place is empty
A Few more photo’s…
Shek O Beach is a great excursion being just a short bus ride from the metropolis. It’ll be heaving on Summer weekends and holidays but with such a wide expanse there’ll be room for everyone. Great local food without price surcharging is available next to the car park but right on the beach you,ll pay for it heavily. If Jaws turns up, don’t worry as there’s plenty of life guards to save the day!