Shek O Beach is probably one of the most scenic and popular beaches on Hong Kong Island. It might be on the southeast end of the island, but it’s still relatively easy to access and is often the first beach that anyone new to Hong Kong visits (well at least I did). It’s literally a glimpse into the other side of Hong Kong, the side without skyscrapers.
About Shek O
Shek O, which means the “rocky bay”, is a peninsula located on the southeast corner of Hong Kong island, and is home to two beautiful beaches on Hong Kong island – Shek O Beach, and Big Wave Bay. The rest of the peninsula, from the north, right down to the tip at Cape D’Aguilar, is covered by Shek O Country Park.
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I’ve often found that taking first-timers to Hong Kong to Shek O, through the Dragon’s Back Hike gets the best response. The super-easy hike which is situated within the Shek O Country Park offers visitors beautiful views of Shek O Beach, Big Wave Bay, and the Shek O Golf Course.
Everyone just loves the views from on top of the Dragon’s Back.
How To Get To Shek O Beach
You can get to Shek O by bus, minibus, or taxi.
By Bus from Shau Kei Wan
- Hop on to the Island Line to Shau Kei Wan MTR Station.
- At Shau Kei Wan, take exit A3 to the bus terminal, and catch Bus No. 9 to Shek O. Get a window seat on the right side of the bus for the best views!
- Or take the Red Minibus from near exit A2 which costs a few dollars more, but is much faster.
- You can also take a taxi from Shau Kei Wan MTR.
By Bus from Central (only on Sat, Sun, and public holidays)
You can also take the express bus X9 from Central (next to Star Ferry or Central Exchange Square) to Shek O only Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays in the evenings.
The bus only has 7 stops to Shek O, which is the final destination.
In case you decide to take a car, you should know that parking is limited and regulated at Shek O and Big Wave Bay.
Things To Do in Shek O
There are a lot of things to do in Shek O if you plan on spending your day here. Here are my top 5 recommendations.
1. Relax at Shek O Beach
The Shek O Beach is a sandy public beach that attracts large crowds over the weekend. The water quality at the beach is constantly ranked “Good”, and the lack of waves makes it a rather peaceful beach. If you prefer the waves or want to surf, that’s what Big Wave Bay Beach is for.
Renting an umbrella and sun-lounging chairs usually sets us back HK$ 100 for one umbrella and two chairs for the day. Of course, you can bring your beach towels or chairs and simply rent an umbrella.
Be warned that Shek O Beach can get super crowded on weekends, which is why we also recommend Rocky Bay Beach as an alternative.
Rocky Bay Beach
Rocky Bay Beach or the Shek O Back Beach is the much smaller, and less glamorous sibling to Shek O Beach.
There are two ways to get to Rocky Bay Beach, the long easy route, or the complicated shortcut. The long easy route involves walking down Shek O Village Road and then taking the walking path to the Back Beach. The path is easily visible on Google Maps.
Taking the shortcut means walking through the narrow alleys behind the village houses. With no signs, the route can be tricky and comes with a high chance of you getting lost. The network of alleyways runs between Shek O Thai Restaurant and Back Beach Bar.
The Rocky Bay Beach looks out towards Tung Lung Chau and is much smaller than the main beach. It’s also less crowded and known to be a very dog-friendly beach.
There is a small bar called the Back Beach Bar located next to the beach for your refreshment needs.
2. Restaurants at Shek O
The area around the beach is extremely lively and full of restaurants, and cafes. Our favourite restaurant at Shek O is Shek O Chinese & Thai Restaurant. If you’re craving a coffee or smoothie, we highly recommend Ming’s Cafe.
Another great recommendation in Shek O is the Shining Stone, a western restaurant located along Shek O Village Road. Go give it a try!
Next to the parking lot, there are also quite a few Thai BBQ restaurants that always look inviting.
And finally, there’s Cococabana, a Mediterranean seafood bar. The best part about Cococabana is that it’s right on Shek O beach.
3. Beach BBQ
However, if you want to grill some meat on your own, Shek O also has a BBQ area that is located on the northwest side of the beach (next to the playground). On weekends, this area can get crowded.
4. Explore Shek O Village
And finally, if none of these activities is your cup of tea, I’d suggest a walk through the Shek O village. The village itself is quite interesting – with a mix of old and new houses, and lot’s of picture-perfect spots.
The village ends at the Shek O headland, where one can step onto the beautiful rocky shores. Walk further down to the Shek O Lovers’ Bridge, and make your way to Tai Tau Chau Pavilion for some gorgeous views of the South China Sea.
The Lover’s Bridge (pictured above) was destroyed when Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong on 16 September 2018 but has been rebuilt.
5. Walk To Big Wave Bay
If you get overwhelmed by the crowd at Shek O Beach, you can always walk across to Big Wave Bay Beach. Big Wave Bay Beach is relatively less crowded and commercial than Shek O Beach. And it’s a 30-minute shaded walk from Shek O.
Unlike Shek O, the waves here are much fiercer (hence the name). On weekends, you’ll see numerous surfers riding the waves. It is worth checking out! More information on Big Wave Bay can be found in this post.
Beautiful Photos of Shek O
Here are a few more photos of Shek O – the village and the beach.
If you’re looking for beaches to visit in Hong Kong, then check out our dedicated post on the best beaches in Hong Kong.
I hope you enjoyed this post about Shek O, and the things to do in Shek O. Please feel free to share it on the social media platform of your choice