Hong Kong/Southern District

The Southern District (南區) is the southern part of Hong Kong island.

Dragon's Back

Understand

The Southern side of Hong Kong Island was for many years on the wrong side of the hills. In the early colonial period, when modern air-conditioning was no more than a dream, the south-facing slopes on the island were too sunny for many, and had the added disadvantage of bearing the brunt of torrential rain and the typhoons that sweep in off the South China sea. Today, the southern shore of Hong Kong island is a strong rival to The Peak as one of Hong Kong's most exclusive residential areas. Here you will find extravagant homes with spectacular views over the sea. Visitors to Hong Kong should come south for the excellent beach resorts, theme park and some very good dinning opportunities. On a sunny day, the south-side is a welcome escape from city life and ought to be a compulsory part of your agenda when travelling in Hong Kong.

Aberdeen is a town of approximately 60,000 people on the south side of Hong Kong Island. The town's most famous feature is Aberdeen Harbour, which lies between Aberdeen and the island Ap Lei Chau. The original Chinese settlement on this harbour was named Hong Kong, and when British seafarers landed here in the 19th century they mistook the name of the village for the name of the entire island. The settlement was subsequently renamed Aberdeen after George Hamilton Gordon, the 4th Earl of Aberdeen (Scotland) and the then-current British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. Keen videogamers may recognise Aberdeen as the setting for the Sega Dreamcast game Shenmue II. Scenes from the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon were shot in Aberdeen Harbour.

Stanley (赤柱) is a very pleasant town and one Hong Kong's most exclusive neighbourhoods, favoured by Western expatriates and Chinese military generals alike.

Repulse Bay (淺水灣) is another exclusive town with a fine beach.

Shek O Village is a tiny day trip centre right on the edge of Hong Kong island itself. It feature beautiful scenery, a sandy beach and plenty of restaurants.

Get in

Getting into the Southern District is made harder due to the complete absence of the handy MTR system. Nevertheless, by using the bus system you can reach the most remote parts with ease.

From Hong kong Central you can take one of a number of frequent buses (including 6, 6A or 6X) from the bus station at Exchange Square (next to Central MTR station). The faster buses pass through the Aberdeen tunnel through the middle of the island, although it may be worth to take a slower bus and take in the fantastic views over the top of Hong Kong island.

If you are travelling in a group then a taxi is not an unreasonable proposition and will cost around $120 to most places from Central.

If traveling to Shek O, then the Eastern MTR station of Shau Kei Wan has a bus terminus that will take you there in half an hour.

See

The south east coast of Hong Kong island offers visitors some attractive coastal and mountain scenery. It is simply interesting to travel around the two peninsulas found either side of Tai Tam Bay that dangle into the South China sea. This part of Hong Kong does have its own unique charm that is hard to describe; for some visitors it has a Mediterranean feel, whilst others will be reminded of parts of the Californian coast. In reality, it is affluent Hong Kong - drenched in money and bathed in sunshine.

Do

In contrast to the hard shopping and eating elsewhere in Hong Kong, the southern District offers the chance to relax. There are plenty of beaches with traditional Hong Kong style barbeques and local supermarkets cater for demand by selling all the paraphernalia and food needed for such a feast. There is Wakeboarding in Tai Tam, Repulse Bay and Stanley. There is Surfing at Big Wave Bay for around $50 per day.

The other side of Hong Kong Island: surfers at Big Wave Bay

Buy

Due to the lack of MTR stations, there isn't a great deal of shopping on the south side of Hong Kong island. Aberdeen still has some factory shops.

Eat

The restaurants in this area tend to be far more relaxed and open air than in the rest of Hong Kong.

Drink

In Stanley the only nightlife is along the waterfront on Stanley Main Street.

Sleep

There is not too much reason to look for a hotel specifically in the Southern District, since most places can be visited inside a day from Hong Kong Central. Also the lack of MTR stations make it a poor base to explore the rest of Hong Kong. Nevertheless, there are a few options:

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

There are a few Outlying Islands reachable from the Southern District:

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.