This post is about some popular tourist attractions, located in the southern part of Hong Kong Island. These include Stanley Village and Stanley Plaza, Repulse Bay Beach, Deep Water Bay Beach and Ocean Park. Each attraction is closed to each other and can be visited in a single day, except Ocean Park, which also required a full day visit. To understand the location of these attractions, you can use this graphical map:
I made a quick visit to this part of Hong Kong, hence did not explore Stanley Village and Ocean Park thoroughly, but still this post will give you a fare idea about these places. I started this trip in reverse direction from Stanley Plaza and moved towards Ocean Park. Stanley Plaza is just closed to Stanley village and its waterfront, while Repulse Bay Beach is about 4 kms away from the Plaza and can be reach by a public bus, specially small minibus no. 40, which is available from the bus stand outside Stanley Plaza. The best way to reach Deep Water Bay Beach is to walk on Seaview Promenade along the sea coast for 30 minutes from Repulse Bay beach. Ocean Park can be reach from Deep Water Bay by 20 minutes walk along the main road.
Stanley is one of the most-go places for tourists when they visit Hong Kong. During the battle of Hong Kong in 1941,British troops made their last stand in Stanley before surrendering to Japanese Troops. Stanley Fort, former barracks of British troops is still there.
Stanley is a unique mixture of Eastern and Western culture and its famous market, charming waterfront, excellent beaches, bars, restaurants and other attractions make it a popular tourist destination.However, due to time constrain I only visited Stanley Plaza and Murray House.
Stanley Plaza is a six-story modern shopping mall with the stores like Book Buddy, City Lifestyle, Agatha, Mama Kid,In-style,Grace Optical etc and the popular restaurants like Zen Garden, Mirch Masaia, MacDonalds, Classified, Starbucks etc. Upper story of the plaza is just parallel to main road and adjacent to the bus stand. In the front of lower level, their is a large children’s playground and an amphitheater where regular entertainment events take place. Visit to Stanley Plaza gives you an unique experience of Shopping and dining, while walking down the memory lane of the Hong Kong history.
The famous historical structure of Hong Kong is situated in front of the Stanley Plaza. This is basically a Victorian-era building in classical architecture style. The heavy stone walls (with flat arched opening) are located on the ground floor to a give sense of stability, while the lighter Doric and Ionic columns are placed on the floors above to allow better ventilation. All floors have verandas on all sides in response to the local subtropical/monsoons climate.
Originally, it was built in the Central District of Hong Kong in 1844 as officers’ quarters and named after Sir George Murray, British Head of Ordnance. In 1982, it was dismantled and present day Bank of China Tower was built at that location. However during dismantling, they labelled over 3000 building blocks and catalogued the for future restoration. In 1990, resurrection of Murray House was proposed and Stanley was chosen as the site location. The building was restored in 2001 and reopened in 2002.When the building was restored six surplus columns remained and those have been erected in front of the building.
There are restaurants on the first and second floors and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is located on the ground floor. Opening Hours of Maritime Museum is Tuesday to Sunday, and on Public Holidays from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, while it remains closed on Monday and 1st and 2nd days of Lunar Chinese New Year. This Museum is currently in the process to move to Central Pier 8.
Adjacent to Murray House stands Blake Pier, another structure which has been partly transplanted to Stanley. The original pier was located in Central but the canopy, having been temporarily relocated to the New Territories, was re-erected at the new Blake Pier which opened in 2007. A kaido ferry service operates from the pier to Po Toi Island, some 10km distant on the southern extremity of the Hong Kong SAR boundary on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Repulse Bay Beach:
Located at the distance of 5 kms from Stanley, this is the most popular beach in Hong Kong. The stunning pictures and popularity of this beach demands a full blog post, so wait for a future post on this.
Deep Water Bay Beach:
This is another beach located between Repulse Bay and Shouson Hill. This is not a very popular beach either among tourists or among the locals. However, it is still possible to admire the sea view by sitting there. The beach is a popular venue for wake-boarding and facilities include changing rooms, showers, toilets, raft, BBQ area, refreshment kiosk and nearby cafe and restaurants. Lifeguard service operates all year round and the beach has shark prevention nets.
I liked the Barbeque pits that are made in a dedicated area on the beach. Tens of BBQ pits are there, where you can find many local families enjoying their picnic with the live grilled food on the beach.
The beach is easily accessible by bus from Aberdeen side as well as from Stanley Side,but the best way to reach by simply walking from Repulse Bay to Deep Water bay on a pathway, known as Sea view Promenade. It gives you a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the sea front in this 30 mins walk.
Ocean Park ( Major Information Source: Official Website of Ocean Park):
Ocean Park opened in 1977 and was Hong Kong’s first theme park. The park combines attractions, entertainment,conservation and education. Since 1987 the park has been managed by Ocean Park Corporation, a financially independent statutory body which operates the park on a “not for profit” basis with a government appointed board of trustees.
This park is expanded between a waterfront at the sea level to a summit at a nearby mountain.The major attractions of this park is categorized as Amazing Asian Animals (Red Panda as well as two other giant Pandas), Aqua City (Contains an experience of Old Hong Kong, A grand Aquarium,a pacific pier containing seals and sea lions) ,Cable Car Plaza, Ocean Express Waterfront Station, Whiskers Harbour, Summit Cable Car Station,Ocean Express Summit Station,Marine World, Adventure Land, Thrill Mountain,Rainforest,Polar Adventure etc. Cable Car is a great way to travel between the Waterfront and Summit.
With Ocean Park attractions located on two different sides of a mountain and wide swaths of sea in between, riding the Cable Car provides unprecedented views of the surrounding area, the sea, and the entire park. You can also enjoy a train ride from the waterfront to summit. The train,Ocean Express,travels through a tunnel that was created by excavating 71,300 square meters of earth and is 1.3 kilometers in length. Ocean park has plenty of restaurants, food kiosks, shopping stores and they also organize many programmes and personal parties to give its visitors a unique experience.
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM, Summit Close: 06:00 PM
Entrance Fee: General admission fee adult (above the age of 12 years) is HKD 280.00 for a single day. For child, aged between 3 years to 11 years, it is HKD 140.00. Free admission is granted to children under 3-year-old and local senior residents, who is 65 years old or above with Hong Kong Identity Card or the “Senior Citizen Card” issued by Social Welfare Department. Holder of Registration Card for people with Disabilities and Hong Kong residents with Hong Kong Identity Card visiting on birthday are FREE to enter Ocean Park.Admission Fee includes most of the facilities, except skill games and coin-operated games.
Car Parking: Parking is available at the Main Entrance. Opening hours are from 9:00 am to 30 minutes after the park is closed. The daily parking rate for private cars is HKD 95.00.
Where to buy the tickets: General Admission tickets are available at the Ocean Park Main Entrance, all 7-Eleven stores in Hong Kong, the Citybus Bus Route 629 Terminal (Mon to Fri before 3:00pm; Sat, Sun and Public Holiday before 4:00pm) near Admiralty MTR (exit B) and Ocean Park Online Ticketing System.
For more details about the ocean park and to plan your visit as well as to book an online ticket, you can visit the ocean park website: http://www.oceanpark.com.hk/html/en/home/
How to reach Stanley using public buses:
Citybus services 6, 6A, 6X and 260 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus (MTR Central Station Exit B). It takes apporx. 50 minutes to reach there. The service operates daily from 06:00 AM to midnight at intervals of 15 to 30 minutes.
From Tsim Sha Tsui: Citybus service 973, It originates from Tsim Sha Tsui East Bus Station, Kowloon (inside Concordia Plaza on Science Museum Road) and travels via Mody Road, Salisbury Road, Canton Road, Jordan Road, Western Harbour Crossing, Pok Fu Lam Road and Aberdeen to Stanley Market. It takes apporx. 90 minutes to reach there. The service operates daily from 08:30 AM to 10:05 PM at intervals of 15 to 30 minutes. On Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays the journey makes a short diversion via Ocean Park Main Entrance.
These buses generally pass through Aberdeen, Ocean Park, Deep Water Bay Beach and Repulse Bay before reaching at Stanley.If you wish to visit any intermediate stop first, you can easily left the bus at that stop.Fares for these buses varies from 8.00 KKD to 14.00 HKD. Fare for Bus 6 is HKD 7.90,for 6X is HKD 8.40, for 260 “Stanley Express” is HKD10.60 and for 973 is HKD 13.60.