A trip to Hong Kong Island’s Big Wave Bay!
Known in Cantonese as ‘Tai Long Wan‘, Big Wave Bay is nestled between mountains in Shek O, a remote part of Hong Kong Island. Despite its location, it’s not that difficult to get to.
You can get to Big Wave Bay by driving, taking a taxi, or through public transportation. For the sake of this post, I decided to go using solely public transportation. The first step was to take the MTR (Hong Kong’s subway,) to Shau Kei Wan MTR station. Arriving at the station you have two choices to proceed: bus, or mini-bus. If you’re interested in going to Shek O beach, the bus is perfect, simply look for exit A1 and take the number 9 bus to Shek O bus terminal. Some people prefer Shek O beach due to its greater selection of restaurants and shops. I prefer Big Wave Bay because it’s slightly more secluded.
From the Shau Kei Wan MTR station, take exit A3 to catch the mini-bus that stops at both Big Wave Bay and Shek O beach.
On my voyage there I made the mistake of taking the bus rather than the mini-bus. I ended up arriving at the Shek O terminal which is about a twenty minute walk from Big Wave Bay. I should have gotten off one stop before the bus terminal. The walk from there would have been about five minutes instead of twenty. If you’re interested in going via bus (to Big Wave Bay,) look for this sign, or better yet, tell the driver to drop you off at the stop closest to Big Wave Bay before he reaches the terminal.
You know you’re almost there when you reach the parking lot and see a sign covered in surf stickers! Walk down the road and there will be plenty of shops selling drinks in addition to a bbq joint on the way to the beach.
When I arrived at the beach the waves were tiny, so no surfers, but plenty of people sunbathing and a few out on inflatables. The sand is white and soft. I went during the week and the beach was peacefully uncrowded. With new shower and changing facilities, as well as a revamped restaurant next to the beach, there’s just enough infrastructure to keep it convenient.
So are the waves big? Yes! The waves actually do get large enough for surfing! You can rent a board, or buy your own and keep it at a locker. If you’re interested in surfing, check out the Hong Kong Observatory website for tidal information before you plan a trip.
A few months ago I took a hike that ended at Big Wave Bay. If you’re into hiking, there are some scenic trails in the hills surrounding the beach.
Special tip: If you’re traveling from Central, direct bus service to Shek O beach via bus 309 is available on Sundays and public holidays from the Exchange Square bus terminal below IFC mall.