Jump in a cab from the Mid Levels and drive just 10-15 minutes south towards Stanley and you’ll hit Deepwater Bay. A long, flat beach right next to Island Road, it’s the perfect “local” beach to head to early on a summer’s day.
We arrived at 9am and it was already 31 degrees – standard. It was a public holiday Wednesday but at that time there were still plenty of shady places to rest your towel. This beach is less covered in umbrellas than others in Hong Kong due to its great tree coverage, which saves you the $100HK for umbrella rental.
Like Shek O there’s a fenced off swimming area that keeps you safe from sharks and other killer sea life. There are also cute little pontoons you can swim out to if you want to sun bake, or just be cool and “hang” like the large group of early 20s who were hogging them when we were there!
According to some of the locals we’ve met (who seem to opine fiercely about most things!) Deepwater is “much cleaner” than Shek O, but I found it to be equally if not more dirty. In fact I was pretty much grimacing the entire time I was in the water. The only reason I didn’t run out and stay out was the heat, but even then it was a pretty close call.
It wasn’t all bad – in fact it wasn’t bad at all. The kids loved running amok, building sandcastles and splashing freely. We felt relaxed as we lay in the sun and watched them, tiny and happy. And all this just a ten minute drive from home.
BUT the water quality was fairly dire and I felt an awful little knot of homesickness in my gut, thinking about days spent at Camp Cove or Nielsen Park (amazing little Sydney harbour beaches you absolutely MUST visit if you’re nearby). We are definitely spoilt coming from Aus!
So overall, yes I recommend heading there to lie in the sun and listen to the lapping water all while watching the roller coasters zooming around at nearby Ocean Park. But don’t expect a Sydney style swim!