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Enjoying Stanley, a beach town on Hong Kong Island

Beach at Stanley, Hong Kong
Beach at Stanley, Hong Kong

Who would have thought that going to Hong Kong meant spending a day at the beach town. Note that I didn’t say “the beach.” It wasn’t really warm enough for me to shed my clothes and spread out a towel. However, we were drawn to see what a beach town on the Southside of Hong Kong island would be like. We found golden sand, aquamarine sea and sprinkling of rocky islands.

It was great fun exploring Stanley located a 25 minute bus ride on the opposite side of Hong Kong island from high energy Victoria Harbor and the hustle and bustle of the major cosmopolitan city. I grew up in a beach town and spend a lot of time near one in Michigan so it felt a bit like home.

Stanley, Hong Kong
Stanley, Hong Kong

Stanley was a Chinese settlement long before the British arrived and set up a fort on the island in 1841.The local temple Tin Hau has documents indicating that the town was founded in 1771 by pirates. Later it was named for Lord Stanley, Secretary of State for the colonies. Until the 1960s it was a thriving fishing village.

Now it contains gated communities for some of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families while welcoming lots of Chinese tourists during the summer season.

I love the views with the huge expanses of water. Would have been fun to rent one of the condos and hang out here to see the variations in water and light. Didn’t get to do that.

Like beach towns the world over, there is lots of shopping. Stanley has a lively marketplace with a wild mix of stuff geared for both the Asian tourist and folks like me. I had fun buying small trinkets to take home to friends. Since we were there off season, it wasn’t particularly busy so I could really browse. I can imagine it would be packed during the high season.

Stanley, Hong Kong
Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong

One could even rescue a dog.

Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong

I smiled when I saw the these displays. Cute hangars huh?

Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong
Shopping, Stanley, Hong Kong

We also saw an old building turned into a global shopping experience. Frankly it didn’t look like it belonged on a fishing village turned beach town. Turns out it was moved from Central  on the other side of Hong Kong. Do notice the H & M sign, a big Swedish retail chain, hawking their wares in this old structure.

Repurposed British Barracks, Stanley, Hong Kong
Repurposed British Barracks, Stanley, Hong Kong

Murray House as it is called, is one of the oldest surviving public buildings on Hong Kong island, and is similar to other buildings of its era. Originally it was a British Army Barrack, dating from 1848. It was moved brick by brick from the Central part of Hong Kong to this location.

Seems like an odd thing to do, but at least they saved the historic structure.

We also saw lots of places to get ice cream and snacks along with full service  restaurants.  Wonder what thinking juice is?

Stanley, Hong Kong
Stanley, Hong Kong
Stanley, Hong Kong
Stanley, Hong Kong

I loved the touristy spot that mimics the many love locks on bridges around the world. A Chinese effort at being romantic.  It’s a place to enjoy a “love moment.”

Lovers' Terrace, Stanley, Hong Kong
Lovers’ Terrace, Stanley, Hong Kong
Lovers' Terrace, Stanley, Hong Kong
Lovers’ Terrace, Stanley, Hong Kong
Lovers' Terrace, Stanley, Hong Kong
Lovers’ Terrace, Stanley, Hong Kong

It really wasn’t any different than any beach town around the world.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

Comments

2 Comments
  1. posted by
    Judy Bereza
    Feb 6, 2017 Reply

    Susan, I particularly enjoy these posts where you peel back our assumptions about what a particular culture or area is like so we can see that we are so much more the same than we are different. “Love Locks” or “Love Bubbles” – the sentiment is universal!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Feb 6, 2017 Reply

      Thanks, Judy, I appreciate your kind thoughts and comments on DesignDestinations.org. I agree about the Locks or Bubbles. Universal. It was fun to discover.

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