Meaning “long sand” in Chinese, Cheung Sha on Lantau Island’s southern coast lives up to its name with a 1.4km stretch of uninterrupted sand. By virtue of its distance from the city, Cheung Sha remains uncrowded even at peak times, and with plenty of space to spare as well. Strong waves make for a good spot to pick up surfing, while paddleboards and canoes are also available to rent from the eastern end of the beach.
How to get there: Take the ferry to Mui Wo from Central Pier 6, then transfer to Bus 1 or 2 to Cheung Sha Beach. Approx. 1.5-2 hours.
Long Ke Wan
Many sights are on offer getting into this secluded beach in Sai Kung. A half-hour taxi ride from Sai Kung’s town centre brings you along snaking hillside roads to the architecturally striking High Island Reservoir East Dam and the surrounding polygonal rock formations, from where a 15-minute hike leads to a dramatic descent into Long Ke Wan, where you’re greeted by a cove of azure waters clearer than you would have thought possible in Hong Kong. A popular place for yachts in the know to drop anchor, Long Ke Wan also boasts a campsite but no restaurants, so make sure to bring a day’s worth of supplies in with you.
How to get there: Take a 30-minute taxi ride from Sai Kung Town Centre to East Dam. Once there, follow the signs for Maclehose Trail Section 2.
Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung
One of the most famous beaches in Hong Kong, Tai Long Wan remains little-visited thanks to the effort required to get there – namely a 40-minute-long hike. However, those who put in the sweat are amply rewarded with stunning views of the mountains and the sea, and upon arriving will find themselves on a wide beach that runs for 700m in length. There, a basic restaurant serves cha chaan teng fare, and also rents out camping equipment for those who want to stay a bit longer in paradise.
How to get there: From Sai Kung Town Centre, take a taxi or the 29R minibus to Sai Wan Pavilion, and hike for 40 minutes along a paved route to the beach. To go home, you can book a speedboat ahead of time to pick you up directly from the beach. Alternatively, you can hike to Chek Keng Pier, board a speedboat to Wong Shek Pier, and take Bus 94 to head back to Sai Kung Town Centre.
Clearwater Bay First Beach
Don’t let its size fool you. While this beach is small, it certainly measures up to the others on this list thanks to clear waters that are no doubt due to its proximity to a country park. A BBQ area provides a place to roast meats, although the nearest snacks kiosk is at neighbouring Second Beach, so you would be well advised to bring with you everything that you need for the day.
How to get there: From Hang Hau MTR Station, take a 10-minute taxi ride to First Beach.
CreditHeader photo by John Rawlings/Condé Nast via Getty Images