Stanley is situated on the Southern Peninsula of Hong Kong, a 30 minute scenic coastal ride from Central is a picturesque little village with a broad promenade that you might mistaken for a coastal town overlooking the Mediteranean. The restaurants, cafes, bars that line the promenade are filled with mainly tourists, kicking back having a couple of pints, watching people walk by or chatter with other fellow travelers.
Stanley first served as the provisional administrative for Hong Kong before the settlement of Central and was named after Lord Stanley, a 19th Century British Secretary of State for war and colonies.
Stanley though has more to offer than just a place to have a couple of beers along the promenade and what most of the people actually come here to do is check out the market that caters to tourists. You won’t see many locals shopping here because it is cheaper in the other markets but things are still pretty cheap. Prices here seem to have more of a fixed price or only a little discount is given.
To the west of the promenade is the Tin Hau temple. The building is very simple, a plain grey tiled, concrete brick building. The temple was built in 1767 as the goddess of the sea, most fisherman make wishes to protect them from dangerous seas. Inside the altars were rather small, each altar had a Buddha sitting in front of it with a gold face, draped in red traditional cloth, in front of each Buddha were bowls of fruit as offerings made to the God.
Hong Kong once had many Victorian Era buildings but if they were located on prime land they were often demolished. The Murray House which is located next to Tin Hau temple was actually dismantled in 1982 to make way for the Bank of China Tower in Central.
Murray House was finally reassembled during 1998/1999. To make it even more interesting when they finished reassembling the building there were five left over pillars that are now used as an art display. Murray House, now houses restaurants and the maritime museum.
Stanley also has two beaches that are well known for windsurfing and its dragonboat racing, so we spent a few lazy hours on the main beach, relaxing in the mild weather watching the windsurfers.
Stanley does not feel like Hong Kong but for me it was a wonderful place to spend a day and to my surprise was one of the highlights for me. Having said that I’m an Australian who has been living in Japan for 14 years so that western side of Hong Kong, might not be that great for everyone.
How to get there
bus 6, 6A, 6X, 260 from Exchange bus terminus in Central
Stanley market operating hours
open 10.30am -18.30pm
Have you been to Stanley? We would love to hear all about it.