Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hong Kong Day 2 - Enjoying the seaside atmosphere at Stanley Bay

If you think Hong Kong is just all about the hustle and bustle of the city, then you haven’t been exploring hard enough. There are so many places here where you can get a relaxing vibe – places where you can actually slow down and enjoy the sights at a leisurely pace.

One of those places is Stanley Bay. Located on the south side of Hong Kong Island, this place is likely to transport you to a side of Hong Kong you didn’t think would exist.

small boats around Blake Pier

It was fairly easy getting to this place. Just one bus ride away from Central and you’d get here in about 30 minutes. The views you will get from the bus ride will be nice to the eyes. You’ll start out with tall skyscrapers of Central, head on to the low rise residential buildings of Wanchai, and onwards be greeted by cliffs and the sea once you near the south side of Hong Kong Island.

When we got off the bus, we took the time to explore the area. As the main attraction here is the bay itself, we just leisurely walked along the boardwalk. The cold breeze from the sea was really nice – a bit of fresh air to escape the one you can normally find in cities.

view of Stanley Main Street

There was also a market area (Stanley Market) that sells lots of different stuff here. You can get your usual souvenirs – key chains, magnets, and I love Hong Kong T-shirts among others. However, there are more unique souvenirs that you might want to consider purchasing. Let’s say a Chinese chop. What is it exactly? It’s actually a seal with your name on it. If you don’t have a Chinese name, they’ll translate your English one for you. It’s a really nice item to bring home to remember this place by.

Stanley Market
courtesy of photo by “Edwin.11″
Chinese chops
courtesy of

On the far side near the market, there’s a terrace where you can get great views of the harbour.

rock formations at the edge of Stanley Main Street

It’s nice to visit the Blake Pier as well. Here, you can actually ride on some ferries to get you towards the neighbouring areas – Aberdeen and Po Toi Island. However, we didn’t really intend to go somewhere else so we just observed some of the ferries come and go while appreciating the good views of the sea. I really loved feeling the cold breeze and hearing the waves at this spot – very soothing and relaxing. One trivia about this place was that it was originally located in Central before a modern one was built dring the 1960s.

entrance of Blake Pier

Right beside the pier is the Murray House. Named after Sir George Murray, this Victorian building dating back to 1844 was originally in Central. It was used as the barracks of British military soldiers until the 1960s. It ended here at Stanley Bay in 1999 after giving up its original location for the construction of the Bank of China tower during the 1980s. Currently, there are some restaurants that occupy the Murray House. If you decide to dine here, you can have great views of the harbour as well as the town proper.

Murray House from a distance

If you don’t fancy any of the restaurants at the Murray House, you might want to check out those that offer alfresco dining at the Stanley Main Street. With many of the restaurants having seafood specialities, surely you’ll have a great dining experience at one of them. Great views of the sunset as well if you happen to go during dinnertime.

restaurants lined up at Stanley Main Street

It’s worth checking out Stanley Plaza if you have time to spare. There are some speciality shops here that are interesting to look at. There are also some restaurants that have good food selections.

Stanley Plaza

I think I’ll never get hungry here at Stanley Bay. So many choices! It’s a matter of how to try them all.

Anyway, there is also a good veranda area here worth checking out. You can clearly see the whole bay area from above here. Good picture spot as well for those who want to capture a bird’s eye view of the whole place.

view from the top of Stanley Plaza

Staying at Stanley Bay for the whole afternoon proved to be worthwhile. We were able to experience the laidback side of Hong Kong and get a break from the busy city life. I would probably go back here again just to relax and experience alfresco dining while feeling the cool sea breeze.
How to get here:
Bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66, 260 from Exchange Square Bus Terminal (Hong Kong Station Exit D)
Get off at Stanley Plaza or at Stanley Market.

What are your thoughts on Stanley Bay? Did this post make you want to go and visit it too? Tell me about it by commenting below or using the Contact button on the right.

If you have some questions, feel free to ask. I’ll try my best to help you out.

Up next, Finding inner peace at the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.

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