Monday, October 20, 2008

The South Side

Much like Discovery Bay, the south side of Hong Kong Island is gorgeous beach community after gorgeous beach community. However, since Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay (awful name for such a fabulous place) and Stanley are actually on Hong Kong Island, they are about 50% more expensive than DB. It was this and the longer commute that put us in DB -- where we are very happy, thank you very much!

For anyone coming to Hong Kong, I strongly recommend checking out the south side of the island, especially if you're like me and pictured the entire city to be a skyscraper parking lot. You know how when you're laying on the beach in the Hamptons, looking around at the white sand and feeling relaxed, you think, "Am I really an hour or two outside of Manhattan?" It's the same concept here except the south side of the island is a 20-minute bus ride from the hustle and bustle of the city.

To give you some geographical bearings, Stanley is the farthest away and then Repulse Bay and finally, closest to the city, is Deep Water Bay.


Stanley feels like the French Riviera -- it's a quaint sea-side community that you can tell is just as beautiful in winter as it is in summer.

This is Blake Pier. I love the Oriental flavor of the architecture and think it cuts a nice shape against the water.

This is the promenade which wraps around the water. (Blake Pier is behind me.)

Even more famous than its beach is Stanley Market, a flea market that offers deals on namebrand sneakers and clothing plus your typical tourist treasures-- t-shirts, jewelry, figurines, etc.

This is the kind of place where people scream "watches! purses! watches!" when you walk by.


I haven't spent any time in Repulse Bay; have only seen its beauty from the window of the bus on my way to Stanley. I will share a story from our last bus ride to Stanley and be forewarned -- it's gross. Vin and I are sitting on the bus and these two very cute Asian girls (I'd say they were 13) sit in front of us. During the ride, they start pulling things out of their backpack and eating them. The first was some kind of gummy-bear looking snack; the second was dried seaweed strips, which look like flat square green tortilla chips. Then, they nearly knocked us over when they ripped open the package of dried cuttle fish. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this cuttle fish smelled exactly like one of Victor B's wet, car farts. (For those of you unlucky enough to have experienced one first-hand, you know how bad it was. For those of you who haven't, I'm banking on the picture that "wet" and "fart" paints for you.) It was actually stronger in odor than anything Victor has produced, which made the fact that they were ingesting them that much more unfathomable. Thankfully they got off two stops after opening the bag, so we were only subjected to the smell for 5 minutes. It was painful.


I was feeling very Tai Tai on a Wednesday afternoon when Vin was working and decided a beach day was in order. Of the three possibilities I chose Deep Water Bay because it's supposed to be the most affluent of all the south island neighborhoods. (In fact, it ranks right up there with The Peak in terms of expensive housing.) I figured that affluent people would probably have the cleanest beach -- and really that's all I was looking for.

It was very clean, for the record.

These affluent people take their water safety seriously. For a relatively small patch of swimming space, they have two lifeguards manning the water on their own private little boats.

This guy just chilled out for the day and got a nice tan. Hmmm... maybe I could be a lifeguard!

When he's not on his life-saving boat, the lifeguard has quite the groovy hut. Don't you dig the spiral staircase?!

(Side note: In addition to myself and one other couple, the beach was filled with old Asian men wearing teensy banana hammocks who were sunning themselves within an inch of their lives. I'm not joking -- these little 70-year old men were laying on tin foil-covered blankets. I'm all for an even tan, but this seemed a little extreme.)

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