Do you know that Hong Kong is much more than a crowded skyscraper-littered metropolis? In fact, this vibrant, pulsating city is home to diverse residential communities. One such well-known residential enclave is the oceanfront neighborhood, Stanley, located on a peninsula on the southern tip of Hong Kong Island. An immensely popular stop on the Hong Kong tourist tourney, Stanley is famed for its picturesque beaches, animated market, and lively restaurant lined waterfront promenade that exudes a distinct Mediterranean feel.
Historical records indicate the rather homey area of Stanley Village is one of the oldest settlements of Hong Kong Island. Evidence of the existence of this settlement dates back as far as the sixteenth century and the rule of the Ming Dynasty. Stanley received its present-day moniker during the colonial era when it was named after Lord Stanley, a 19th century British Colonial Secretary of State. The British went on to establish a garrison in Stanley. So much so the area continues to be littered with several remnants of the colonial era. The Stanley Old Police Station (incongruously home to a Wellcome supermarket at present), a military cemetery, the Stanley Prison are some prominent Colonial structures of the area. Given its immense popular appeal, it is no wonder then that Stanley is a favored residential locale for both local Hong Kongers and expats to Hong Kong alike.
Real Estate options
Unlike other areas of Hong Kong, the real estate landscape in Stanley is devoid of high-rises. The neighborhood features low-rise colonial buildings, town houses and stand-alone villas and houses, some of which are sumptuously outfitted with private gardens and swimming pools rendering them ideal abodes for families. Most of these dwellings are quite spacious, and several afford stunning views of the area’s beaches and the South China Sea. Added to this mix of residences, is a sprinkling of smaller apartments and walkups. These abodes are popular with folks who do not mind the forty-minute or so commute (extending up to an hour during peak traffic time) to Central. They are in fact, happy to trade this minor ‘inconvenience’ for the privilege of living by the sea and enjoying the area’s fresh air and myriad shopping, dining, recreation and entertainment attractions.
Stanley as doesn’t have any MTR transport links as yet. However, the area is well-served by a variety of regular and express public bus services from and to Exchange Square in Central, North Point, Aberdeen and even TsimShaTsui in Kowloon. Additional transport connections are via a minibus service, which operates round the clock, linking Stanley to the commercial hub of Causeway Bay
The choice of a neighborhood is, usually governed, by the availability of schooling in the area. In that respect Stanley’s schooling options include an International Montessori preschool, a pre-school for French speakers and a reputed, private local school offering the International Baccalaureate, St Stephen’s College. However, more schooling options are available within proximity to Stanley. These take the form of a branch of Tutor Time International Nursery and Kindergarten at Red hill and the prestigious Hong Kong International School, which operates from campuses at Repulse Bay and Tai Tam.
Stanley is an extremely family-friendly and rather self-contained neighborhood. The area’s terrain is largely flat and thus is conducive for the easy navigation of baby strollers. Additionally, many of the bars, cafes and restaurants, which line Stanley’s waterfront promenade offer outdoor seating and are dog-friendly. So it’s not uncommon to see diners frequent these restaurants with babies and even dogs in tow. As for conveniences, the many stalls that litter Stanley market offer a wide range of products including clothing, housewares, decorative items, footwear, luggage and more. Located close to Stanley Market, is the Apple Mall, a shopping destination dedicated to children’s wear.
The restaurants that line Stanley’s waterfront and its historic Murray House offer a wide range of cuisines to suit every palate and budget. The Stanley Plaza mall located at the end of the promenade hosts a variety of stores including dining, lifestyle, and beauty outlets in addition to branches of banks, medical centers, and a large Taste supermarket. The mall and its adjoining amphitheater play host to various ‘live entertainment’ performances during the year. The Stanley Ma Hang Park is a recent addition to the neighborhood. This outdoor recreation area encompasses a butterfly garden, a fitness deck, bird-watching areas and terraces, which offer stunning vistas of Stanley and its bay. Stanley also hosts a branch of Hong Kong’s public library system which is housed in the Stanley Municipal Building home to government offices and basketball and badminton courts.
Stanley is home to not one but two sandy beaches, namely Stanley main beach on the east and St Stephen’s beach on the west side of the peninsula. Both these beaches host barbecue areas and are popular picnic spots during the Hong Kong summers. Stanley’s beaches offer a host of recreational activities like fishing, windsurfing and swimming (the beaches are equipped with shark nets for protected swim). Stanley main beach is the epicenter of all the action during the annual Dragon boat races held in May/June for the celebration of the Tung Ng festival. In addition to its beaches, Stanley is also known for its historic attractions like Blake Pier and Murray House. Both these attractions were once located elsewhere and relocated to Stanley.
Murray House is one of Hong Kong’s oldest buildings. The building which was constructed in 1846 was originally located in Central near the Bank of China building. With the rapid growth of Hong Kong’s economy and the burgeoning demand for land, the government decided to dismantle Murray House in 1982. So this historic edifice was taken down brick by brick. Its components were then catalogued and stored until 2001 when it was decided to resurrect the building at Stanley where it stands tall today. The story of Blake Pier is also quite similar for it was originally situated on the waterfront at the end of Pedder Street. The government then decided to move Blake Pier in 1965 to Kowloon after which it was re-commissioned to Stanley in 2007 and re-erected near Murray House. Today this public pier is popular tourist attraction and a stop on a kaido service that links Aberdeen with Po Toi Island.
Other points of interest include an ancient Tin Hau Temple, which dates back to the early 18th century and Stanley Military Cemetery located near St Stephen’s Beach. This cemetery has much historical significance for it contains the graves of members of the Allied forces who lost their lives defending Hong Kong while fighting the Japanese during World War II.
With its comprehensive amenities and attractions, Stanley is a self-sufficient neighborhood and a favorite with local Hong Kongers and expats alike. Think you would relish being part of Stanley’s laidback beachside community? Then do hurry along and get in touch with our experienced agents at Engel and Voelkerswithout wasting any more time. So that we can get to work in order to help you locate your perfect home by the sea at Stanley.