Head to Shek O for a day of outdoor fun with the kids! Whether you’re looking to go hiking, enjoy the beach or eat at the many laidback eateries, this place has it all. This delightful spot located on the southeastern corner of Hong Kong island offers stunning views, clean waters, plus fantastic hidden trails! There are many great restaurants to choose from if hunger strikes, but you can always bring your own picnic or have a barbecue at the many pits available. Check out our Ultimate Shek O Guide on where to explore, eat and enjoy a family day out!
This part of the island is one of the few left where the parking is free! However, it does get pretty rammed over the weekends and public holidays, making it hard to find a spot unless you depart fairly early. Getting to Shek O via public transport is easy, but again, be aware that there can be huge lines for the bus and minibus on the weekends.
Thousands of beach bums flock to Shek O Beach whenever the sun starts shining, and with good reasons! Shek O is the largest beach on the island's eastern side, but it somehow maintains its laidback and rustic vibe. This beach also has lifeguards and shark nets during the summer months. There are also plenty of ladies who will rush towards you as you get off the bus or cab and ask you kindly whether you require a chair and umbrella, which they will set up for you at a spot of your choosing at various affordable prices. There is also a playground on the left-hand side of the beach, where you will also find some of the barbecue pits.
For those coming with their four-legged friends, Shek O Back Beach is pet-friendly and often way less quiet on the weekend. However, there are no lifeguards or shark nets here, so keep an extra eye out on your kiddos when they're playing in the water.
Dragon's Back is one of the more famous hikes in Hong Kong, and we can understand why with such panoramic views once you reach the top. This hike is ideal for those who live on Hong Kong Island and do not wish to travel too far to start hiking; Dragon's Back will take from 2-4 hours, depending on the age of your children and the number of stops you make admire the scenery. Click here for the Little Steps Dragon's Back Hike and video!
For those with smaller kids in tow or who prefer not to climb, you can take the Cape D'Alguilar path, which is no less scenic but way easier to walk. This 4-kilometer paved path from Cape D’Aguilar Road bus stop to the Marine Reserve is stroller and pet-friendly! We recommend you bring plenty of sun protection as this path does not offer much shade, and the trail gets quite crowded on the weekends and public holidays, but it's rather peaceful during the week.
Although Shek O is mainly known for its barbecue pits and Thai restaurants, the small colorful streets of Shek O have adorable hidden restaurants everywhere, here is a list of our top family-friendly restaurants:
Mings, 401 Shek O Village Road - is a laid-back cafe next to the village roundabout is popular with residents and visitors alike. The menu has pretty much something for everyone - we recommend the spaghetti carbonara (HK$88) and the pancakes with fruit (HK$48), all washed down with an ice-cool coconut smoothie (HK$40). Grab a seat facing outside for people watching on a busy day or curl up on the cozy sofa seating inside with a good book and a coffee.
Lulu’s, 742 Shek O Village Road - is Shek O’s most popular cha chaan teng - but it comes with a western twist. After being welcomed by the friendly sister owners Lulu and Yoyo, you could always opt for old-school Hong Kong classics such as French toast (HK$30) or ham and egg noodles (HK$32). Or check out the western menu where you’ll find unexpected dishes such as the wagyu burger and fries (HK$158). We love the vibe at Lulu’s and never tire of checking out the quirky decor full of odes to seaside life.
Happy Garden, 786 Shek O Village Road - here’s where you’ll find the best Thai food in the village, hands down. Those in the know come to Happy Garden for a more authentic Thai experience. We can recommend the Pattaya-style BBQ beef fillet (HK$90) and the Pad Thai (HK$80), washed down with a delicious fresh young coconut (HK$40). All the curries - red, green, and yellow with a choice of meats or vegetarian options - are excellent and cost a reasonable HK$78.
Hung Kee Store, 419 Shek O Village Road - the excellent noodles at this unassuming spot is perhaps Shek O’s best-kept secret. Wander down the village road from the roundabout and you’ll find this tasty little outdoor eatery next to the village temple. It’s all cheap and cheerful - you choose the type of noodles you want and add extras such as barbecued duck, beef brisket, dumplings, and tofu. Pretty much impossible to beat for around HK$30 a bowl.
Daphne, 330 Shek O Village Road - For those looking for something a bit more upscale, head to Daphne's (used to be the Black Sheep, but now taken over by their daughter). This adorable small restaurant serves Italian cuisine and you can dine alfresco or indoors with the AC if it's too hot. We recommend their delicious Drunken Tiger Prawn (HK$238), their creamy Black Truffle Risotto (HK$168) and any of their pizzas starting at HK$108. Make sure to check out their cocktail list, they serve great classics like fresh mojitos and strawberry daiquiris.
What started as a fishing community some two hundred years ago has expanded to a beachside village where locals and expats enjoy the seclusion of this little seaside haven. Aside from the beaches and hikes, make sure to explore the vibrantly painted streets to find the Blue Bridge all way up to the pagoda and the historical Tin Hau Temple located right in the center of the village:
Tin Hau Temple - was built around 1891 and is now Grade III historic building. This Temple in Shek O has a legend about its origin. It is claimed that there was a severe flood in Shek O, and the very same evening, the villagers dreamed of the Goddess of the Sea (Tin Hau) and were instructed to build a temple if they found a wooden structure. The next morning, the villagers found a wooden statue on the beach and built the Tin Hau Temple. Tin Hau Temple, No. 333 Shek O Village
Blue Bridge, aka “Lovers Bridge,”- is a well-known tourist spot in Shek O that was destroyed by typhoon "Mangkhut" in September 2018. Fortunately for locals and tourists alike, the bridge has been completely restored, and a far sturdier but equally stunning blue bridge now stands again. This is a fun stroll to take with young and older kids as it leads you all way to the lookout point and the pagoda, where you have amazing panoramic views. Blue Bridge, Shek O Headland Road