Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. Through circumstance and choice, I usually end up visiting at the end of November. I love Hong Kong in November and part of the reason is that, for me, the weather is perfect around that time – with moderate daytime temperatures (around 65 -70 degrees Fahrenheit this trip) and generally sunny skies. I love walking around in shorts, without the oppressive heat, and seeing the Christmas decorations next to palm trees.
Whenever I visit Hong Kong, I always make grand plans to explore areas outside of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, such as Macau or its beaches. But, like clockwork, every time I visit I end up enjoying the city so much that I never leave its grips.
That all changed this last trip to Hong Kong, when I made it for a day trip to Stanley Beach after spending Thanksgiving in Palawan.
It started, like most great stories, on Grindr. I met an American also visiting from the U.S. alone, who was in Hong Kong for the first time. He wanted to explore the city and because my hotel was right by Victoria Peak, I mentioned that we should go up it. It had been a few years since I had visited, so I didn’t mind revisiting and taking in the city views. After taking in the view and walking around a bit, he mentioned wanting to go to Stanley’s Main Beach on the south-side of Hong Kong Island, and after Googling it and seeing pictures, I agreed.
We decided to order an Uber. It was hard finding a place for the driver to pick us up, and we walked around trying to find a hotel to call from. We had no luck though, so found a store with an address on the front, and put that location in a map. The Uber driver arrived in a gorgeous, new Mercedes Benz, spoke perfect English, and whisked us away on a roughly 20 minute and $15 drive to Stanley Beach.
I was instantly struck by how calm and laid back the vibe was there. In fact, I couldn’t believe I was still in Hong Kong – it felt like the Gold Coast in Australia! Being that it was the end of November and not quite swimming weather, it was fairly empty, though definitely warm enough to tan (I didn’t bring a bathing suit, though, and was unsure of Hong Kong laws on nudity).
There were a plethora of restaurants – from Italian to Thai to Pizza – and there was an amazing beach vibe. It’s definitely family-friendly, as there were a lot of kids with their parents and even a fun race going on, where participants were racing in wheelbarrows.
The beach is fairly small, and I felt as though spending 2-3 hours there was plenty. However, if you like to shop, there is a great market there, with lots of clothes, art, and food that could make it worth a longer stay.
Stanley is worth checking out, particularly if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.