Stanley a beachside suburb in Hong Kong

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Walking through Hong Kong’s Museum of History

Hong Kong, a metropolis of 7 million people is one of the most densely populated places in the world but it wasn’t always like this 400 million years ago when the lands were formed Hong Kong lay under a cover of shallow water. The earth’s crust rose when the volcanoes erupted forming the hilly, mountainous terrain that is now Hong Kong. In fact only 25% of the land is built on due to the terrain. As the land formed rocks and other small specimens fossilized, that were once covered by water hk Emerging from a narrow tunnel we moved into a forest with trees rising 18 metres high, the place was dark, birds chirping, the roar of a tiger could be heard, the growl of a bear.  Did these animals really excist in Hong Kong?  I thought putting people’s lives in Jeopardy from these dangerous animals.

Well of course they did but not now ,they have been killed or died hundreds of  years ago. I just happen to be standing in the second gallery of Hong Kong’s Museum of History, established in 1975. A great museum that only gets better as you progress through its history from the formation of its land to the handover of Hong Kong back to China.
When you visit the museum make sure you give yourself plenty of time to cover the 17,500 sqm to take in Hong Kong’s broad and dynamic history. Culture plays a big part in the museum with a life size replica of a fishing junk, showing the lifestyle of the fisherman in Hong Kong.  The wedding ceremony where the bride is carried around in a cart pulled by people to the huge opera masks and then the housings of Hakka peasants family dwelling, with its sparseness of furniture reflecting the Hakka people’s frugal lifestyle.
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The next few galleries are the most important historically to Hong Kong covering the Opium wars where Hong Kong and England went to war ending  with the signing of the lease to England. The Japanese occupation during the second world war with the gallery designed as an air raid shelter in order to conjure up the  atmosphere of war. It took Japan only 18 days of fighting before Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas day in 1941.
The last gallery covers the rapid advances in housing industry, finance and trade reconstruction of Hong Kong’s  post war and bringing the story to a close with the handover ceremony marking the return of sovereignty to China. The museum is a must see worthy of at least 2 hours. You should visit early in your vacation to Hong Kong to get a better understanding of the country.
Opening hours Monday, Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday and holidays 10am-7pm
Admission HK $10 Adults HK $5 Children Free Admission Wednesday
Location The museum is opposite the Science Museum, a 10 minute walk from Tsim Tsui

Nathan Road, the heart of Kowloon

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“You sir, yes you sir, how about a suit” as the tailor pushed his business card in front of my face ” for you very cheap ” Continue reading “Nathan Road, the heart of Kowloon”