This morning we were up early, like every morning, and decided to head out before it got too hot and investigate one of Hong Kong’s many beaches. “Too hot” is of course relative, because it was already 27 degrees when I woke up with Walter at 5.30am. Okay, enough bitching about the heat. I promise.
After reading a list of Hong Kong’s Top Ten Beach spots we decided to head to Shek O, which is just a twenty minute drive from where we live in Wan Chai. It set us back roughly HK$120 each way in a cab.
We arrived at about 9am and were fast approached by a tiny Chinese woman offering to rent us umbrellas and chairs. Always sceptical, we refused at first but quickly realised our mistake and decided to hire two umbrellas at $60HKD each. This was a great call as we were able to set up camp in the shade and enjoy the day without having too much time in the sun.
Shek O is a beautiful beach on the south of the island, not far from Stanley. There are a few houses dotted about the rocks and on the nearby mountains that I’d gladly take up residence in, and the local streets are crammed with stores pilfering inflatable donuts and plastic beach toys. It’s your classic American seaside town, China style.
The water was Sydney-summer temperature (I’m going to take a stab and say 21 degrees but actually have no idea) – very refreshing and mostly clear, save the occasional piece of polystyrene floating past or the plastic bag that wrapped itself around my calf which I may have thought was a jellyfish.
The scenery was gorgeous, film set/postcard ready, and a leisurely swim out to one of the pontoons to take it all in is a must do. You can also walk up onto the rocks on the left side of the beach and stake a spot for sun basking or ocean gazing.
Our kids had a ball, swimming, fossicking about the rockpools (mostly because they were filled with rubbish and Heike LOVES rubbish(!?)) and playing with the HK$60 beach toys their Dad bought them. I seem to have gotten a tan. Our niece Louisa, who is staying with us at the moment, has definitely gotten a sunburn, while Justus claims to be more relaxed than he was at the outset.
The best thing was that because Hong Kong summers are so steamy, we were able to have what felt like a full day at the beach and actually be home by lunch time. If you have small children this is definitely the way to go, especially given that Hong Kong doesn’t really get going until later in the day anyway. We had a full afternoon of shopping and playing on top of the beach, which made for two very tired children by day’s end. And an exhausted Mum and Dad.
The verdict? Shek O is definitely worth a visit – we’ll be back.