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For newbies to the city or those who don’t often find themselves venturing beyond urban districts, it’s almost always a surprise to discover the beauty and abundance of Hong Kong beaches. And with so many to choose from, deciding where to set out on a Saturday morning in search of solitude, fun or just giving your dog a good run can be tricky.

So, to help you find the best sandy stretch of shoreline for your needs, we break down the best beaches in Hong Kong for every need — and share some of our top picks of what to pack for a day in the sun.

Put on your swimsuit, slather on that sunscreen and get ready to feel the sand between your toes… 

Big Wave Bay, Southern District

Best for: Surfing

While there are a few different beaches that lend themselves to surfing in Hong Kong (check out The Style Sheet’s full list here), if we’re going to narrow it down to one, Big Wave Bay is the safest for surfers of all levels. You can rent a board in a couple of beachside shops if you don’t have one yourself, and there are food stalls to grab a bite after as well.

Cheung Sha Beach, Lantau Island 

Best for: Water sports

At three kilometres long, Cheung Sha Beach is one of Hong Kong’s longest beaches — and it’s also one of the best for those in the mood for an active day in the water. You’ll find kiosks that rent an array of water sports equipment, including kayaks, surfboards, windsurfing boards, boogie boards and assorted floaties. And with plenty of space on the sand, it’s also perfect if you want to use your own games and toys without disturbing fellow beachgoers.

Repulse Bay Beach, Southern District

Best for: Dining

Repulse Bay Beach gets busy, so if you’re looking for a tranquil day of solitude this beach probably isn’t for you. But it does have the big drawcard of its proximity to gourmet food options — it backs onto a promenade filled with an array of restaurants, from Mexican to Thai to Italian. You’ll also be able to find artisanal cocktails and craft brews. So, if the usual beach fare of a can of beer and packed sandwich doesn’t quite cut it, this spot is the perfect option.

Stanley Main Beach, Southern District

Best for: Kids

Stanley Main Beach is a great spot for bringing the kids. Firstly, there are large, clean changing rooms for getting your kids in and out of wet, sandy swimsuits. There are also rock pools nearby that’ll entertain little ones for hours, and lifeguards on duty. Once a beach morning is complete, you’ll also find plenty of family-friendly dining options at nearby Stanley Plaza.

Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung

Best for: Picturesque surroundings

Tai Long Wan’s beaches can be quite the mission to get to, but they’re well worth the effort — either a 40-minute hike from Sai Wan Pavilion or a sampan from Sai Kung Public Pier. Arguably the most beautiful beach spot in Hong Kong, Tai Long Wan boasts sparkling clear waters and pristine sandy beaches backed by lush greenery. There are a few spots for simple food too (such as Hoi Fung Store).

Shek O Back Beach, Southern District

Best for: Dogs

A few minutes from Shek O Main Beach (which doesn’t allow dogs), this stretch of sand is usually peppered with plenty of other dogs for your pooch to play with. You’ll also find Ben’s Back Beach Bar just behind it. Here, the staff will be happy to give you an icy bowl of water for your furry best friend while you enjoy your own cool drink.