You may be well acquainted with the many beaches of Hong Kong. Or, if you’re anything like me, you’re pretty unaware of how many stunning beaches the city boasts. That is, until my recent visit. Having found the tranquil Sheung Cha beach on Lantau Island the previous day, finding another Hong Kong beach seemed like the perfect hangover activity for us after another wild Lan Kwai Fong night out. Introducing Shek O beach.
Arriving at Shek O Beach
After a much needed breakfast from a nearby McDonald’s, we decided to escape the city’s sweltering heat. Shek O is around a twenty minute drive from Central Hong Kong, and considered one of the city’s best beaches. Also known as Big Wave Bay Beach, it’s a huge hit with windsurfers. We had considered going to hike the Dragon’s Back trail with its incredible views, but it was far too hot for a couple of pale British girls. Instead, we got in a taxi and zipped over to Shek O to cool down.
It was a little busier than we expected, thanks in part to the fact it was a bank holiday in Hong Kong. It’s easy enough to get hold of a parasol, however. Simply grab one of the hard working ladies dotted around and for several Hong Kong dollars you can get seats and a parasol. Definitely needed in the unforgiving sun!
Shek O Beach, Hong Kong
We relaxed and took in the sights around us and people watched. There were people everywhere, and the ocean was just as busy. People came and went, grabbing snacks and fresh coconuts from the nearby beach stalls.
I talk a walk along the rocks to get a better view – the scenery was pretty and the ocean a lovely shade of turquoise.
After a while, we headed off to get a drink from the nearby beach stalls. Grabbing a coconut, we hailed a taxi and set off back towards Hong Kong for our final evening in the city.
The views en route to Hong Kong are beautiful. Make sure you watch out of the window on your way.
Haidilao Hotpot, Hong Kong
For dinner, we wanted something authentically Hong Kong. If you’ve never heard of it, Haidilao Hotpot is something of a rite of passage in China. Guests are even treated to manicures or board games if (and when) there are queues of over two hours long. Lucky for us, there wasn’t a wait.
If you’re unfamiliar with hotpot, it’s a large pot of hot broth in the middle of the table. Guests then choose a number of ingredients to cook in the broth, from meat to eggs and seafood. You simply dip your food into the broth and watch it cook before tucking in.
There were some interesting items on the menu, from duck livers to fish eggs, but we made some good choices. It was time consuming and we had to learn, but it was a great and tasty experience.
Don’t forget to don your apron too. There is also some entertainment during the meal, as well as your own on-hand server. Order noodles and you’ll be treated to quite the spectacle as the chef will twist them around as a show.
Ozone Bar, Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
One of my highlight activities on our Hong Kong itinerary was going to the Ozone Bar in the city’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. The Ozone takes the title of the world’s highest rooftop bar, at 480 metres high. The Ritz-Carlton is suitably luxurious, and the Ozone bar follows suit.
The views are truly incredible, and some of the best I’ve ever experienced from a building. Positioned in West Kowloon, you can see across Hong Kong and beyond. If you’re lucky, you can also catch the Symphony of Lights each night from a birds eye perspective. We weren’t able to get seats when we arrived, but managed to stand near the window to catch the tail end of sunset. I’d highly recommend getting there a little earlier to enjoy the changing scenery in the light.
I ordered a tasty Dragons Back, while Lucy sipped on a Lion Rock. All of the cocktails have a Hong Kong theme which is a nice touch. Although a little expensive, they were both super tasty. The bar also serves up Dom Perignon brunch on Sundays, and tasty Brazilian and Asian tapas.
Aside from the spectacular views which make cars look like tiny ants, the interior is equally impressive. The decor is futuristic, and there’s a also a terrace which offers a lounge setting. The views alone make it worth a visit.
After sipping our cocktails and absorbing the wonderful view, we went to explore the rest of the Ritz-Carlton. There’s an impressive buffet, and the most amazing interiors. Just check out this corridor.
Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong
Leaving the Ritz-Carlton, we went back to our hotel for a quick outfit change. Of course, we had to grab a couple of the Strong drinks from 711 that had already formed a recurring theme of our Hong Kong vacation.
We set off in search of Temple Street Night Market, a market famous for its late night eats, souvenir stalls, and fortune tellers. We passed all kinds of sights along the way. Can you imagine how much this street smelt!? There were lots of interesting things to spot en route.
Temple Street Night Market is in the Yau Ma Tei region of the city. It’s pretty ungentrified region compared to many other areas in the city. You’ll find fortune tellers and even prostitutes around here if you wander around.
Beneath the dazzling lights, you’ll find some delicious food on Woo Sung Street or north of the temple itself. There are open air kitchens and delicious aromas, serving up wok fried seafood, spicy crab, roast meat and plenty of beers to enjoy.
The market runs from around 7pm to 10pm. It’s pretty busy, and there are plenty of cool stalls to explore, bursting with souvenirs. Of course, I had to pick up one of the lucky golden cats and a tiny jade buddha ornament.
After spending our cash at Temple Street Night Market, we went to find a fortune teller. This was inspired by our experience at Man Mo Temple the the other day, and the bamboo sticks. We found an older lady around the corner and took a seat.
Firstly, she asks for your time and date of birth and cross references it with a book full of symbols. She then looks at your palm and reels off a number of observations and insights. It was pretty spot on for us both – she knew that I had left the UK to live abroad, and a number of other facts. A super eye opening experience that I really enjoyed.
We walked on along the street and saw all kinds of bizarre people and stalls.
One last thing we needed to do following our long day at Shek O Beach and exploring Hong Kong’s markets was to have one last evening on Lan Kwai Fong. We drank from 7-11, partied, and made new friends like all our other awesome experiences in the district.
Another wonderful day in Hong Kong, and we’ll be so sad to leave tomorrow!
Have you visited Shek O Beach? What are your favourite things to do in Hong Kong? Let me know in the comments below!