To Stanley Market from Repulse Bay
Located on the South Side of Hong Kong Island the district of Repulse Bay is known for its wide clean beach, the many up-market residential blocks, and for the now long-gone Repulse Bay Hotel. Hikers also appreciate it as the point you see while hiking Wilson Trail section 1, while Hong Kong history buffs will find plenty to debate regarding the origin of the name and its importance during WWII.
Today's visitors are most likely going to the beach to swim or sunbath, or perhaps visit the kitsch Kwun Yam Shrine which sits incongruously at the end of the sandy beach. With its 1970s style tile mosaic and quasi-traditional Chinese Longevity Bridge it is also a working Taoist Temple dedicated to Kwun Yum and Tin Hau.
The beach itself is artificially extended and much of the sand there is not originally beach sand, but dredged from elsewhere. Hence parts of it tend to be course compared to some other beaches in Hong Kong, but that doesn't stop it being a popular swimming spot. And families with small children appreciate the shaded areas from the many trees which grow in the sand, as well as the good clean public facilities at the beach such as the Fast food kiosk, Changing room, shower facilities, toilet, raft, playground and beach volleyball court. Lifeguard services run from the first of March through to the end of November.
Although quite close to Stanley market, both being in the Southern District, there are limited transport options between Repulse Bay and Stanley. Busses are your best bet here as they are very frequent and run at all times of the day, while the usual Hong Kong go-to of a Taxi is much more hit-and-miss. Walking along the coast is also a possibility, as is hiking up the hill and down again, but only during suitable weather.
Option 1 - Busses
The southern district is well served by busses, and many routes go through Repulse Bay, though they do not stop at the beach.
- Go to the bus stop at Repulse Bay Road, outside The Repulse Bay / Old Repulse Bay Hotel
- Catch any of these busses: 973, 65, 260, 6, 63, 6A, 6X or 73 . Avoid the 66, but any bus that says "Stanley market" or "Stanley Prison" or "Stanley fort" will do.
- Select bus 6 for interesting views as you go over the hill, or 260, 6A and 6X if you want the faster tunnel route
- Pay exact change or use an Octopus card, the fare will be about $5 per person depending on which bus you are on.
- Watch the bus stop names displayed on the screen at the front of the bus, you need to get off at Stanley Village, which is about 12 stops. Don't get off at any of the earlier "Stanley" stops such as "Stanley Gap", "Stanley Mound" etc.
- Many people will alight at the correct stop so it is easy to see when you arrive there, but if you miss the stop and go on to Wong Ma Kok Road get off here at once and it is only 10 minutes walk back.
- After alighting from the bus walk back a few steps to the crossing, cross the road, and walk down the slope
- The market is directly ahead of you as you go down the slope
Option 2 - Green Minibus
The route 40 GMB passes along the same route as the regular busses and there is an official stop near the same point. But unlike other buses with green minibuses you can flag them down anywhere to get on, but being only 16 seaters they are often full.
At HK$5.60 it is approximately the same price, and probably quite a bit faster. But some people find the rather enthusiastic driving of the GMB captains to be a little much for their tastes.
Option 3 - Walking
As the distance is not that great walking is certainly a possibility, and there are several choices of routes. It will take about an hour to walk, but the route is quite hilly at times so would not be recommended unless you need the exercise to go with the admittedly great views.
- Walk along Repulse Bay Road with the sea on your right, so you are going south and follow it up past the buildings and onto the hillside.
- Get to the point where Repulse Bay Road becomes Stanley Gap Road, and there is a right hand turning signposted Stanley Plaza. Cross the road and look for the pedestrian steps only going down.
- This long steep, narrow, staircase goes through a wooded area and is a great chance to see the natural trees and small wildlife that lives in Hong Kong, but is not suitable for the infirm, small children or strollers. At the bottom of the steps
- You are on Cape Road turn left and continue onto Carmel Road. When you reach Stanley Plaza enter the plaza and take the escalators down to the seafront level.
- Exit the plaza, cross the open space to the roundabout beside the temple.
- Walk along the seafront past the restaurants until you find the market on your left.
There are also more strenuous routes that involve hiking up the hills, for better exercise and better views. More details can be found about Wilson Trail Section 1 of which this route mostly consists.