When you visit a city where you have a lot of family it’s easy to spend so much time doing what the locals do that you forget to sometimes do what the tourists do. On one rainy day in Hong Kong we found ourselves standing in an undercover area outside our favorite Causeway Bay cafe without anything to do. All of our cousins were at work, we had plenty of shopping planned for the evening, and we had just eaten so doing what the locals do was done.
Suddenly someone suggested visiting Stanley – the place, not a person. I’d seen Stanley Bay on lists of things to do in Hong Kong but I’d never been there before. Being a good Canadian kid, visiting a place named after the British Lord who gave us hockey’s Stanley Cup [www.hhof.com] sounded great so we checked Google Maps to see how to get there. It turns out that Stanley Bay is located on the exact opposite side of Hong Kong Island from Causeway Bay! Luckily there was a minibus route [www.td.gov.hk] just a few blocks away that would take us straight there in about 40 minutes.
The minibus route passes some nice beaches at Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay where we saw a handful of people out in the water despite the warm rain. When we finally got there the bus dropped us off just up the hill from Stanley Market, a fairly generic covered tourist market full of small stalls selling clothing, silk, jewelry, small electronics, and trinkets. If you’re into that sort of thing the version out at Stanley seems a little cleaner but not any less crowded than the ones in the city. After walking through a few blocks of market we escaped to the waterfront.
Much of the waterfront seems to have been recently renovated and the Stanley Promenade provides a very nice walk around the bay.
For some reason I really got a kick out of the “caution uneven surface” warning sticker next to the tactile bumps in place for the visually impaired.
After walking around the bay we got to the older part town where cool little waterfront bars and restaurants probably do great business on sunny days. We stopped for some drinks and snacks (it is, after all, still in Hong Kong) and then walked around Stanley Plaza, a small modern shopping center frequented by tourists and expats. There is a bus terminal at the plaza so we hopped on the number 40 and headed back into town to get back to more shopping and eating with the locals.
Stanley is one of the oldest villages in Hong Kong, dating back to the 1500’s. While it is very much a tourist destination, some of the historical architecture and feel still remain. I’m looking forward to going back again one day when the weather is a little nicer.
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The only trip I took to Hong Kong it rained the whole time. It was hot and rainy and, to be honest, kind of miserable! I would love to go back when it was better weather and truly explore.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I went to Stanley on my first trip to HK. I am still wearing some of the clothes that I bought in the market (which I highly recommend)!
I love that you tried out what the locales do before setting out on this expedition.
I host a weekly party called “Oh, the PLACES I’ve been!” and would love to have you join. The link goes up at 7 pm EST on Thursday evenings.
– The Tablescaper
It seems was to miss the places in one own’s backyard but I can see that the place would ooze charm on a sunny day.
I agree that staying with locals can mean not doing touristy things. Mostly that is good, but it does pay to look at some places. Stanley would have been so different in the sunshine. Definitely worth a return visit.
Lucky for you to have all those family members to show you around but also gave you time to see the local places. Stanley Market sounds like my kind of place. This looks like a great place to hang out and walk around on that promenade. Love that warning sticker.
Beautiful photos… photos taken during rain are sometimes with a tint of magic…
I was in Hong Kong 18 years ago, and remember visiting Stanley Market, but wasn’t aware there’s much more to Stanley Bay than the market. Goes on the list for´next time. 🙂
I hope to make it to Hong Kong this year, I have never been there but Stanley Bay is definitely on my list now while I’m there
It’s good you made the most out of the rain. Love you photo of couple with umbrella. I have been to HK twice but didn’t make it to Stanley. My friends who live in HK said they love Stanley for the oudoor restaurants by the water. Should check it out next time.
Stanley Bay looks interesting. We’ve only visited HK once despite transiting through there on many trips. Perhaps it is time for us to do another extended layover.