We love a good day out under the sun and away from the bustle. Follow our guide to Stanley for a great day out (with pirates!)
Think you know all there is to know about Hong Kong? You may be doing rounds around the same district every day but some parts of town still fall off the radar. We love to get our explorer hats on and venture out, be it Hung Hom, Shek Tong Tsui, or Sheung Wan. This time, we venture a little farther to bring you our guide to Stanley.
Your neighbourhood guide to Stanley
First, a history crash course…
Long before Lord Stanley, a prominent colonial politician in the 19th century, had his influence on naming this peninsula, the village was known as Chuk Chue (赤柱) which has two possible meanings. Some believe the village served as a hideout for notorious pirate, Cheung Po Tsai – which would result in the meaning: bandit’s post. Another implication can be: red pillar – as some say there was a massive cotton tree in the village.
The rough history aside, Stanley is a popular tourist destination in Hong Kong and here are our picks on all the eats, drinks, and shops.
Guide to Stanley: Restaurants/Bars
1. Pickled Pelican
Specialising in seafood and a bunch of western specialties, Pickled Pelican is the perfect sea-front resto to get the full-on Stanley experience. We recommend going for the seafood platter that comes with a king crab leg, prawns, mussels, and more! If you want something that looks a little peculiar on camera, then the wagyu beef burger with bamboo charcoal bun won’t disappoint. Be there at happy hour for 30% off on all drinks.
Pickled Pelican, 90 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 28134313
If you’re looking for a wider selection of vegetarian options on the menu, Classified offers ranges of vegan and vegetarian dishes. The meatless menu includes nachos, impossible pie, beyond hotdog, and beyond sausage pizzette. If pasta is your holy grail, the bolognese or Linguine alle Vongole are delish. Plus, the drinks are cheap – we’re talking less than $60 for a glass of spirit.
Classified, Shop G08A, G/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 2563 3454
3. Angeletti Restaurant
The rusty brown exterior sure gives village vibes, giving the resto a more chilled and natural feel. For starters, we love the baked ravioli with spinach covered in smoked salmon sauce. Have your hands on the chef’s choice of honey pig knuckles and Angeletti pizza.
Angeletti Restaurant, 126 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 2813 9090
4. Mirch Masala Indian Restaurant
We love a good deal and at Mirch, a set for two costs just $248 for a five-course meal. Plus, Indian restos rarely fall short of vegetarian options so everyone’s sorted and happy. Drop by during weekday lunch for even better deals! And don’t forget to pair your meals with a good ol’ glass of mango lassi.
Mirch Masala Indian Restaurant, Shop 113, 1/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 2459 8855
5. King Ludwig Beerhall
King Ludwig Beerhall is a traditional German restaurant with an interior that reflects their cuisine. You can opt for outdoor seating that faces the sea or the homey wooden seats indoors. Some of their signature dishes include the Pork Knuckle, Sausage Sampler and Australian Chicken Curry.
King Ludwig Beerhall, Shop 202, 2/F, Murray House, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 2899 0122
Guide to Stanley: Cafes
Calling all sweet tooths for the ultimate dessert – waffles (with ice cream!). There are 14 different flavours to choose from, mostly playing around with chocolate, strawberries, and bananas, but we recommend going for the apple cinnamon sundae waffles for a unique twist. For drinks, you can go for either the creamy and dreamy milkshakes, iced lemon sodas/tea, or the sundae milk that is topped with rich ice-cream and fresh fruit.
Waffleman, Shop 407, 4/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 6223 8996
2. Si Yik
Hong Kong-style French toast will always hold a special spot in our heart. And Si Yik (泗益) is a Dai Pai Dong that serves the fluffiest, softest take on this local favourite. And oh god, when the butter just glides over the freshly made toast, just #foodporn. Indulge in your toast with some Hong Kong-style milk tea to gush over how good the pairing is.
Note: the menu is entirely in Cantonese so you may need a helping hand.
Si Yik, 2 Stanley Market Street, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 2813 0507
Guide to Stanley: Shopping
1. Murray House
Though Murray House predominantly houses classy and luxe restaurants, there are a couple of shops to wander around. Plus, there’s the classic bright red logo of H&M glued to the exterior of the building so it’s a hard one to miss. P.S. scroll to the bottom to read the ghost story about Murray House!
Murray House, 96 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, Hong Kong
2. Stanley Plaza
Everything you need is sandwiched into Stanley Plaza, from grocery, health care, pet care, and enough toys to keep the kids busy! 3hreeSixty is a supermarket selling all international goods for that extra punch in your diet and another shop that needs some mentioning is Slime It. Kids these days love slime without a doubt and here is where they can get their hands on em! There’s even a small play-area inside the shop for them to get their hands dirty.
Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley, Hong Kong, p. 2813 4623
3. Stanley Market
Bringing the street market vibes indoors, Stanley Market is a Hong Kong-style shopping destination. If you’re a tourist hopping by, this is where you can purchase cute souvenirs to take back home. If you’re a local strolling around, still get your hands on HK-style noodles magnets, they’re just too cute to resist. You can also find cheap bargains on handbags, breezy clothes, scarves, and beautiful art!
Stanley Market, Stanley Municipal Services Building, 6 Stanley Market Road, Stanley, Hong Kong
Guide to Stanley: Things to do
1. St. Stephen’s Beach
Stanley Main Beach can be flowing with flocks of goers so if you want to avoid the overwhelming crowds, St. Stephen’s Beach is definitely a more quiet option. The water is cleaner (because fewer people), the waves are calmer, and the view is better too, overlooking Lamma Island. You can rent surfing equipment at the water sports centre and the gentle waters at this beach make it beginner-friendly for water sports. Grab your best swimwear and head for this beach.
2. Hike the Twin Peaks
While this trail may be notoriously known for its strenuous 2000 steps, it’s also loved and sought after by hikers for its stunning views over Stanley and Repulse Bay. Sure, the flight of stairs may seem endless, but just smear ample sunscreen and let the views motivate you throughout the climb. You can either hike to Stanley, or from Stanley which will end at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir. Also, no shame if you take plenty of breaks, we’ve been there.
If you’re an avid hiker, we’ve got more in store for you here.
3. Blake Pier
It’s no surprise if you stumble upon a pre-wedding shoot at Blake Pier, it’s photogenic to say the least. The pier was named after Henry Arthur Blake, the 12th governor of Hong Kong. You can hover over for a quick snap or if you’re looking to take your adventure further, you can hop on the route to Aberdeen and Po Toi Island.
4. Stanley Ma Hang Park
If hiking isn’t exactly your forte, maybe a brisk walk with vistas of the Stanley peninsula? The trail starts right next to Stanley Plaza and takes you around Kwun Yum Temple and Pak Tai Temple with its ancient well which was once believed to have special healing powers. Also, bring your cameras out to shoot the flora, butterflies, and of course the sea view!
Gather round for a ghost story…
It doesn’t have to be the Hungry Ghost Festival to explore local urban legends and spooktacular haunted places in Hong Kong. Given the long history of the Murray House, it’s no surprise that folks may be traumatised and it would have given the rise to ghost stories.
Murray House was originally located in Central. Back in 1941, during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong Murray House was the headquarters of the Japanese military police. Some 4,000 Hong Kongers were reported to be have been killed in the jail cells, torture chambers and execution grounds. After the Japanese left, the British military had a base in Murray House and civil servants complained of seeing headless figures floating about or feeling tugged only to see no one nearby. People said they heard cries at night and it made them very much uncomfortable (understandable!).
To eradicate the spirits, two exorcisms were carried out by Buddhists and Murray House was rebuilt on Stanley. Rumours claim that a headless ghost still roams one of the bathrooms and that typing sounds can be heard in the dead of night.