Hong Kong’s Secret Beach

beach silvermine bay header

The Hong Kong peninsular is home to no less than 263 islands. Whilst there are many delights on Hong Kong island and Kowloon, they are also fantastic bases for you to easily hop across to visit a lesser-known outer island. On my final day in Hong Kong, I decided to try and visit Lamma Island. However, due to several mistakes, I ended up on an entirely different island! Yet this island held a secret place. A secret place no one else knows about. I spent the day on Lantau’s East coast on Silvermine Bay and found my own private beach.

I stumbled to the pier. My head was throbbing from a rather large amount of alcohol and a lack of sleep. I do not tend to drink excessively but the night before had been an acception. Yet it was my final day in Hong Kong and I was desperate to visit one of the outer islands. I had chosen an island closeby and hopped on a boat. As I nurtured my hangover I looked down at my phone and realised we had been sailing for quite some time. Much longer than we should have. I had jumped on the wrong boat. I was heading to the wrong island. Where was I going?!

Luckily for me this turned out to be a fantastic mistake. Read on to see how going to the wrong island resulted in finding the most beautiful, secluded, secret beach I have ever stumbled across.

“Idiot!” I told myself when I realised I was going to the wrong island. I cursed my phone for confirming my stupid mistake. I had intended to visit Lamma Island, just south West of Hong Kong island. There was a walk and caves I wanted to visit there. To get to Lamma I needed to jump on a ferry from pier 6 towards Mo Tat Wan. Instead, I had managed to board a ferry going to Mui Wo on Lantau island.

It was already 11am. There did not appear to be a direct route between Lantau and Lamma. This meant I would have to go all the way back to Hong Kong Island then go to Lamma. Whilst I do not normally suffer from sea sickness, my hangover was testing me on the bobbing waters. I did not fancy two more ferry journeys to reach an island. I simply had to make the best of the situation.

I could see the island in the distance by this point. I knew that on the other side there were many things to see and do on Lantau Island. There is the prettyTai-O fishing village, a giant buddha, pink dolphins and even Disneyland! Yet Lantau island is the largest of all islands in the Hong Kong archipelago. The Giant Buddha and fishing village were both over 20km away from the pier which would mean trying to work out the buses. I groaned, my head hurt and all I wanted to do was curl up on a beach.

As we started to pull into Silvermine bay and I saw a glimmer of gold to my right. A pretty beach lay quietly by the sea. There were a couple of houses dotted on the hillside above. I assumed it must be a private beach belonging to the wealthy owners as there were no tourists on the beach. Google maps did not even have the beach on the map. Wouldn’t it be nice to go and explore that pretty secluded beach?

The ferry approached the pier and I could see another beach, Silvermine beach, next to the pier. Silvermine beach was full of locals and a few tourists enjoying the December sunshine. 

I hopped off onto Lantau island. Walking over to the bus stop I was grateful to be on a surface that was not moving. It took me a few moments to get used to the lack of motion.

Upon finding the bus time table I tried to work out how to get over to the fishing village or giant buddha. The buses were fairly infrequent, and my phone told me it would take around an hour to get to the other side of the island. There was also a map of a trail to a waterfall, the Silvermine waterfall. I could walk up there. So many choices!

Feeling mentally and physically exhausted I popped into a shop to grab a much needed nonalcholic drink. I then went over to the sandy Silvermine beach next to the pier. Sitting myself down on the sand, I sipped on my drink and contemplated what I should do. Buddha, bus, brook or beach? Then I looked in the distance to those pretty houses on the hillside. Beneath them lay the lovely slither of sand that looked incredibly inviting.

Silvermine beach on which I was currently sat was fine, yet it did not look anywhere near as nice as the one over there. Should I go over and see if I could get down to that secluded beach? Would I be even more frustrated if I failed to get onto the beach? I decided the reward outweighed the risk.

I mustered my strength and began to walk towards the beach in the distance. I slowly followed a footpath along the pier and into a shady banana tree grove. The trees gently swayed in the wind protecting me from the warm sun. Once I had entered the shade, I saw no one else.

Along the secluded path there were lots of holiday cottages. They stood silently now but I assumed that during peak season this path must be full of the noise of happy holiday makers.

I carried on, almost expecting the path to stop or for a fence to block my way.

Finally, I arrived at a few stone steps and at the bottom lay golden sand. Was this the beach I had spotted?

No one was around, and I made my way down the steps. I stepped onto the soft sand, hurriedly tore of my walking boots and grinned. I had found my very own private beach.

I made my way over to a large rock near the shore. I left my boots on the sand, placed my backpack on the rock then lay on the sand.

I could hear the gentle rushing sound of the waves lapping onto the golden sand. The rhythmic sound calmed me and soothed my pounding head which was starting to feel much better. The wind was faintly blowing as it rustled the palm trees that adorned the fringes of the sand. Noises from Silvermine beach almost completely faded out of reach and the dull throbbing of the ferries could only just be heard.

I wiggled my naked toes into the warm dry sand. My hands explored the little shells dotted across the beach.

The air was not overly salty, and the fresh breeze was welcome after spending a few days stuffy air in the dizzying metropolis of Hong Kong Island.

Looking around there was no else here. More rocky outcrops lay at the other end of the beach and the sea was glistening in the December sun. I had found my perfect island beach.

For the next few hours I had a wonderful time. I took lots of photos. I sat in the sunshine listening to my iPod. I just watched life in and around the bay.
At one point there were two dog walkers. They walked along the beach with their two German shepherds. Apart from that I never saw another soul on my beach.

Hours flew by as I relaxed and felt at peace with the world. My mistake had happened for a reason. It was one of the best mistakes I had ever made. I had found my own private beach next to one of the world’s most populous cities.

Do it yourself!

How to get to East Lantau Island from Hong Kong island

From Hong Kong island you can catch a ferry from central pier 6. It’s easy to get to the ferry terminals by the MTR or a taxi. There are 10 piers and are all numbered. You will need pier 6. Find the one labelled ‘Mui Wo’ to reach Silvermine Bay.

How long does the ferry take to Lantau Island from Hong Kong island?

There are two types of ferries either “slow” or ordinary that take about one hour to make the trip, or “fast” which is half the time and double the price.

The slow ferry is smaller and allows you to go out on the open deck and enjoy the sights of Hong Kong’s busy harbour, while by comparison the fast ferry has only enclosed air-conditioned seating.

How frequently do the ferries depart?

The ferry times change depending on the time of year. You can find up to date time tables as well as the ticket prices on the New World First Ferry website.

Have you been inspired?

Would you like to visit this secret beach? Or have you ever made a mistake which turned out to be an incredible day!? Let me know in the comments below!

How to find a secret beach just outside of the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong! Jump on a ferry to nearby Lantau island to Silvermine Bay and after a short walk find your very own private beach! #hongkong #secretbeach #lantauHow to find a secret beach just outside of the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong! Jump on a ferry to nearby Lantau island to Silvermine Bay and after a short walk find your very own private beach! #hongkong #secretbeach #lantauHow to find a secret beach just outside of the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong! Jump on a ferry to nearby Lantau island to Silvermine Bay and after a short walk find your very own private beach! #hongkong #secretbeach #lantau

2 Replies to “Hong Kong’s Secret Beach”

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