Located on Hong Kong Island, Stanley, Stanley Market, Repulse Bay and its surroundings are one of the most visited and popular sightseeing places around Hong Kong. Far away from the bustling and hustling downtown area, Stanley and Repulse Bay show a totally different aspect of Hong Kong to her tourists.
• History about Stanley
• Stanley Market [Read more]
• Stanley Promenade and Waterfront Mart
• Murray House
• HK Maritime Museum
(Update: The Maritime Museum has moved to Central Pier since 2013 March)
• Blake Pier [Read more]
• Stanley Piazza and Stanley Plaza
• Stanley Ma Hang Park
• Repulse Bay and Tin Hau Temple [Read more]
Stanley [Go Back]
Although, Stanley is best known for its street market called Stanley Market, however it does not only consist of the Stanley Market. As a matter of fact, the surroundings of Stanley are the true insider tips. Simply read along and you will find out why locals love to spend their weekends at Stanley and why we highly recommend taking your time to have a closer look at this interesting places combining sight-seeing, shopping and history.
History about Stanley [Go Back]
Stanley is one of the oldest villages on Hong Kong Island and many visitors and even locals are not aware and/or don’t know about Stanley’s interesting history. Official records date the village back as early as the Ming Dynasty (1573 – 1620). The English name originates from Lord Stanley, a British Colonial Secretary in the 19th century. In Chinese, Stanley is also known under the name “Chek Chu” (Chek Chu can literally be translated into red column and probably referring to the red-flowered cotton tree (Bombay malabaricum) which can be found around the area Stanley) and was the most populous area on Hong Kong Island under British rule in 1841 (it is said that more than 2,000 people lived in Stanley back then). The British liked the area so much that it soon became a base for its garrison. Traces of the British Colonial Times can still be found today such as the Stanley Old Police Station which was set up in 1859. Btw…the Stanley Old Police Station is actually the oldest police station in Hong Kong. During the Second World War, Stanley Old Police Station was used as the headquarters of the Japanese. After the war the building served its original purpose as police station till the mid-1970s. Nowadays, a restaurant as well as a Wellcome supermarket can be found in the original Stanley Old Police Station and for all of you who might wonder…the new police station is just across the street. Last but not least, also a military cemetery and prison (also known as Stanley Prison) were built in close vicinity of Stanley.
Although, Hong Kong is far away from the Caribbean’s, pirates had been a constant threat back then. The combination of the constant threat of the pirates from the sea plus the remoteness of the city center actually harmed the development of Stanley back in the times. The attacks had been so severe that the British had to erect a series of batteries to protect Hong Kong’s shores and villages. Nowadays, you will find bars and restaurant such as the popular Smugglers Inn Bar to pay tribute to the “exciting” times of pirates in Hong Kong and by grabbing a pint of beer you can reminiscence the old times and figure out why Stanley and its surroundings have been developed into a popular tourist destination since the 1970s.
What will you find in Stanley?
Stanley Market [Go Back]
Stanley Market is on the itinerary of many travel agencies a Must-Go of all the Hong Kong Street Markets. Not only because the shops and stalls are offering a wide variety of products such as apparel, shoes, antiques, artworks and toys, but also it covers the style from both West and East. For many shopping hunters, it’s a great place to pick up some special souvenirs.
Stanley Market opens daily from 10:00am – 6:30pm.
Stanley Promenade and Waterfront Mart [Go Back]
When you finish strolling around Stanley Market you can continue to explore Stanley by simply walking along Stanley Promenade and Waterfront Mart. There are several cafés, pubs, bars and restaurants clustering along the waterfront making it a hot spot for locals and tourists to hang out and enjoy sunshine, water and good food (the food served is mainly international cuisine). Some would even argue that if you wouldn’t know better you would think you are in some European Mediterranean city due to its ambient settings. Along the boardwalk you are able to find some benches where you could sit down, relax, enjoy the sun, watch the small boats and fishermen or simply watch other tourists passing by. The Stanley Waterfront Promenade is a great escape from the hectic, noisy and stress-related downtown area around Central and one of the reasons why Hong Kong people love to hang out here on weekends.
Insider Tips: Stanley is also a popular location for photo and movie shooting. Many print and fashion magazines use the unique settings of Stanley and its surroundings for photo-shootings. It is not uncommon to see models walking up and down the Stanley Waterfront Promenade followed with a complete team of photographers, stylists and make-up artists. Keep your eyes open…may be you will see the next shooting of the Vogue or the latest Hong Kong movie or soap-opera.
Murray House and Blake Pier
When you walk further along the Stanley Waterfront Promenade you will discover two colonial buildings: Murray House and the Blake Pier. Both buildings tell an interesting story.
Murray House [Go Back]
Murray House is one of Hong Kong’s oldest ‘surviving’ buildings and was originally located in Central (for all of you who are interested: Murray House stood once where the new and iconic Bank of China Tower is standing nowadays). The Murray House was built in 1846 and is actually better known as officers’ quarters of the Murray Barracks and was named after Sir George Murray, the British Master-General of the Ordnance at that time.
Due to Hong Kong’s fast growing economy, hunger for more land and land-reclamation activities it was decided to dismantle the historic Murray House in 1982. Hong Kong government decided to dismantle the historical landmark stone by stone (over 3000 blocks), cataloged it and put it for a few years in storage. In 1998, Hong Kong government decided to carry out some beautification and reclamation works at Stanley and resurrected the Murray House there. The Murray House was restored in 2001 and re-opened in Stanley in 2002.
Hong Kong Maritime Museum [Go Back]
(Update: The Maritime Museum has moved to Central Pier since 2013 March) At the ground floor of the Murray House you will currently still find the Hong Kong Maritime Museum which is actually in a process of moving to a new location at the Central Pier 8 (please note: the Hong Kong Maritime Museum will be open at the Murray House location until June 2012 and re-open probably in the first quarter in 2013 at the Central Pier 8 location). The Hong Kong Maritime Museum is divided mainly into two galleries (the ancient and the modern gallery) and not only interesting for people who loves boats, ships, bulk carriers, tankers and containerships. Interested visitors can learn about the maritime explorations and trades (especially how Hong Kong developed its ports) and how China, Hong Kong, the rest of Asia as well as the West have contributed to these developments.
Opening Hours and Ticket Prices:
The Hong Kong Maritime Museum is open from 10:00am – 6:00pm (Tues-Sun). Admission is HK$ 20 for adults. Seniors (aged >65), children (<18 years), full-time students as well as people with disabilities can get tickets for HK$ 10.
Please note: the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is closed on Mondays!
Last but not least, the Murray House offers some restaurants on the first and second floor and might be a good option to dine in a historic setting such as Vietnamese (Saigon at Stanley), German King Ludwig Beerhall, Spanish (Mijas Spanish Restaurant) and International cuisine (Wildfire). Talking about historic settings: the unique colonial architectural design attracts many newly-weds to take pictures around Stanley, Murray House and Blake Pier. The heavy stone walls and covered verandas paired with the light effects are considered as a romantic setting among locals and you can often view a whole crew of photographers taking pictures of the newly-weds.
Blake Pier [Go Back]
The Blake Pier is very close to the Murray House which is similar to Murray House as a rebuild and relocated construction. It was originally known as Pedder Warf and then renamed after the 12th Governor of Hong Kong (1898 – 1903) Sir Henry Arthur Blake.
The Blake Pier was originally situated at the end of Pedder Street (hence the original name Pedder Warf), facing the waterfront where the Des Voeux Road in Central is today. In 1965, Hong Kong Government decided to demolish the Blake Pier. The pavilion and its iron-steel roof was dismantled, moved and rebuilt in Morse Park (Wong Tai Sin) at the Kowloon side which was transferred back in 2007 to Stanley and served as a public pier again.
Stanley Piazza and Stanley Plaza [Go Back]
Stanley Piazza and Stanley Plaza are located just adjacent to the Murray House and Blake Pier. After renovation, Stanley Plaza obtained a new face and just recently re-opened in November 2011. The six-story Stanley Plaza links the iconic historic landmarks Murray House and Blake Pier with a bus and minibus station at the highest level of the new and re-designed building. Inside Stanley Plaza you are able to find a whole bunch of interesting shops, beauty services and other shopping options including the unique design store of G.O.D., Biva, City Life, Instyle, Rapee Living Outlet or the book store Book Buddy. In addition, there is a Taste Supermarket as well as a Watson’s Wine Supermarekt & Convenience Store. Last, but not least you are able to find several restaurants and dining options.
The Stanley Piazza is just in-between Stanley Plaza and Murray House and feature alfresco-dining options including McDonalds, Starbucks, Classified, Chez Patrick Deli, Chugurt, Saffron Bakery and Gino’s Gelato. There is a children’s playground and a stylish modern designed amphitheater. The amphitheater is used to host regular events and a nice place to gather at weekends.
Please note: Stanley Plaza as well as Stanley Piazza claim to be the Hong Kong’s first pet-friendly shopping environment. There is a high chance that you will encounter lots of dogs and dogs’ lovers.
Stanley Ma Hang Park [Go Back]
The Stanley Ma Hang Park was opened in January 2011 and is Stanley’s latest addition. The entrance of the just recently opened beautiful Stanley Ma Hang Park is a little bit hidden and can be found behind the historic Murray House and Hong Kong Maritime Museum respectively. The Stanley Ma Hang Park is basically built into the Cliffside and covers an area of about 50,000 square meters. We highly recommend taking a closer look at this hidden gem. Although, you have steep boardwalks to climb up the Stanley Ma Hang Park it is worth the effort to visit and take a closer look. Visitors have the chance to discover a butterfly garden, a fitness deck, bird watching platforms, a heritage corner, wind turbines and/or taking a break, relax and enjoy the views at the sea view terrace and sea breeze patio. The views from the platforms/terraces are quite impressive and offer stunning views over Stanley and Stanley Bay area, especially on a clear day with a blue sky and cotton-candy clouds.
Stanley Ma Hang Park is open daily from 7:00am – 8:00pm and is completely free of charge (no admission fees).
Repulse Bay and Tin Hau Temple [Go Back]
Close to Stanley, Repulse Bay beach is famous as a relaxed resort for both tourists and locals. Its wide wave-lapped beach and fine soft sands make it a favorite place to spend weekends and holidays.
Due to the peaceful environment and great ocean views, Repulse Bay is also developed as one of the most expensive residential districts. Many celebrities of Hong Kong have their private estates here.
Adjacent to Repulse Bay beach, there is a Hong Kong-style temple “Tin Hau Temple”, which is dedicated to Tin Hau (Goddess of Sea) and Kwun Yam.
How to Get to Stanley and Repulse Bay:
By MTR and Bus: Take MTR to Hong Kong station and exit through Exit D . Then transfer to bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 at Exchange Square Bus Terminal (Central). All of these buses will stop at Repulse Bay and Stanley market. In case of doubt just ask the driver and he will let you know where to get off.
Travel between Stanley and Repulse Bay: You can choose to walk on foot or take any of these buses 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 and get off at Stanley Market/Repulse Bay.
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