Stanley, Hong Kong

Stanley, Hong Kong
Stanley Peninsula.jpg
Chinese 赤柱
Literal meaning "Bandit's post" or
"red pillar"

Stanley is a town and a tourist attraction in Hong Kong. It located on a peninsula on the southeastern part of Hong Kong Island. It is east of Repulse Bay and west of Shek O, adjacent to Chung Hom Kok. Administratively, it is part of the Southern District.

The Chinese name "Chek Chue" refers to the original village-town but "Stanley" generally refers to all the surrounding areas of the peninsula.



Promenade in Stanley, Hong Kong
Main Street waterfront

There are two possible origins of the name "Chek Chue".

Legend has it that the notorious pirate Cheung Po Tsai was active in Stanley. That is why the district became known in Cantonese as Chak Chue (賊柱 for Bandit's Post). There was once a Cheung Po Tsai Cave near the Tin Hau Temple west of Stanley, but the cave was filled in the early 1950s.

The original Cantonese name of the village was believed to be based on a big tall cotton tree (Bombax malabaricum, Bombax ceiba 木棉樹) often covered with bright red blossoms at the time, hence red pillar (赤柱) in Hakka language.

It was given an English name after Lord Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, 19th-century British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.


After the annexation of Hong Kong in 1842, the British made Stanley the temporary administrative centre, before moving it to the newly founded Victoria City (present day Central) on the north shore of Hong Kong Island.

Stanley was the location where British and Canadian troops made their last stand before surrendering to Japanese troops during the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941. Stanley Fort, the former British barracks in Stanley, is now occupied by the People's Liberation Army. This change followed the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997.

Places of interest

Stanley Market and Pat Kan Uk

Stanley Market
Tin Hau Temple

The ever popular Stanley Market is situated in Stanley New Street near the Stanley food market. It is an array of small shops and street stalls flaunting handicrafts and souvenirs rich in local flavour, as well as household items, toys and low cost fashion. The selection is dazzling and offers great value for money. After a shopping spree one can sit down to sample authentic Hong Kong street delicacies. On hot summer days, the beach nearby is the best place to cool off. Swimwear and other beach items are available in many shops in Stanley Market. You can enjoy sun, sea and sand all at the whim of the moment.

At the end of the market street, continue along the sea front and you will see small kiosks selling souvenirs, clothes and snacks. Shopping by the idyllic seaside setting is always a pleasure.

For a change of scene after Stanley Market and the food kiosks, take a look at Pat Kan Uk, a row of eight houses. Many people think they are abandoned pre-war buildings but each of them is still a home to local elders. There were eight houses belonging to farming families in Wong Ma Kok before the Sino-Japanese War. The government recovered the land to develop barracks and a terrace of eight houses was built here as relocation homes for the local residents.

Stanley Main Street

Stanley is renowned for its many bars and restaurants on its waterfront along Stanley Main Street where visitors can enjoy a variety of different foods (including French, Italian, American, Indian and Thai) or relax with a beer and soak up the friendly atmosphere in one of its bars.

To the west of Stanley Main Street, past the amphitheatre in Stanley Plaza is the Tin Hau Temple (Temple of the Queen of Heaven). Built by Cheung Po Tsai in 1767, it is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong.

Murray House

Murray House

Murray House is a Victorian-era building originally built in the present-day business district of Central in 1846 as officers' quarters of the Murray Barracks, the building was relocated to Stanley during the 2000s.

Stanley Plaza

Adjacent to Murray House, opened in 2001, it includes a shopping arcade and a community theatre. It is owned by The Link REIT. Every Christmas, Stanley Plaza hosts a free concert in the amphitheatre put on by the Hong Kong International School band. As of September 2010 the arcade is under renovation and will not fully reopen for some 18 months. Some businesses are still open but most have either been closed or relocated.

Stanley's beaches

Stanley Beach

Stanley is famous for its two beaches: Stanley Main Beach, located on the eastern side of the peninsular, and St. Stephen's Beach, on the western side. Both beaches are sandy and have areas designed for barbecues. Like many beaches in Hong Kong, they also have netted perimeters to protect swimmers from sharks.

The larger of the two beaches - Stanley Main Beach, which is also popular with windsurfers and other watersport enthusiasts, hosts the Stanley Dragon Boat Championships each year in June to celebrate the Tuen Ng Festival.

(See official website for Stanley Dragon Boat Championships)

St. Stephen's College

St. Stephen's College is a primary and secondary school that has been located in Stanley for over 100 years. It has both day students and boarding facilities.

The mission of the College is: to provide quality education for the whole person - with a balanced emphasis on physical, intellectual and spiritual development - in a caring and supportive Christian environment.

Originally a private school, St. Stephen's College became a government-funded public school during the late 1900s. The College recently announced its intention to become a Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) School, an historic change to the College as it will free the school from the centralised funding system that currently administers secondary education in Hong Kong. If the plan is widely accepted by students, parents and alumni, this new plan will be implemented during the 2008-2009 academic year. Pupils enrolled in the 2006 Primary 4 class at St. Stephen's College Preparatory School, also based in Stanley, will be the first group to enter the DSS system. In order to upgrade the school administrative level, this is the first secondary school in Hong Kong to employ a Registered Professional Housing Manager on its staff to manage and handle all property and facilities-related issues for and on behalf of the school.

While the school is not open to the public or tourists, it is just a short walk from Stanley Main Street.

Correctional Services Department (CSD) Complex

Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum

Stanley Prison is a maximum security level correctional facility, established in 1937, that houses the most hardened of criminals from the Hong Kong Judicial System. The Pak Sha Wan Correctional Institution (a medium security institution established in 1999) and the Tung Tau Correctional Institution (a minimum security institution established in 1982) are all part of the overall Hong Kong Correctional Services Department complex in Stanley. Nearby on Stanley Village Road is the Ma Hang Prison (a minimum security institution established in 1974) which houses male adult prisoners and clinically old prisoners of low security risk.

The CSD Staff Training Institute is also located in Stanley. It is responsible for planning and implementing training programmes to equip CSD staff with relevant knowledge to fulfill the Vision, Mission and Values of the Department.

The Correctional Services Museum is located at the entrance to the Stanley Prison. It's open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily except Mondays and public holidays. Admission to the museum is free of charge and occupies an area of 480 square metres. The collection has some 680 artefacts in nine galleries.

Other areas of interest in Stanley

Old Stanley Police Station
  • The Hong Kong Sea School [1] is located in Stanley.
  • The Stanley Military Cemetery is located near St. Stephen's Beach.
  • The Old Stanley Police Station, built in 1859 is a declared monument of Hong Kong.Today it retains the original architecture, but inside it houses a Wellcome Supermarket.
  • Blake Pier at Stanley
  • The Stanley Municipal Building opened in the summer of 2006. It houses some government offices, a medium sized branch of the Hong Kong Public Library [2] containing both English and Chinese books. It also houses several recreational rooms such as basketball and badminton courts. There is a very pleasant "garden zone" on the roof of the library section of the building with an outstanding view of Stanley Harbour.
  • The Stanley Fort is a PLA military barracks located at the southernmost part of Stanley peninsula, south of the lighthouse. It is not open to tourists or to the public.

Public housing

Ma Hang Estate

Ma Hang Estate (Chinese: 馬坑邨) is a public housing estate in Stanley.[1] Formerly the site of Ma Hang Squatter Area, the estate is designed as "working village" and consists of 5 residential blocks completed between 1993 and 2000 for providing in-site rehousing for squatters.[2] Stanley Plaza,[3][4] Murray House and Blake Pier at Stanley are also the territories of Ma Hang Estate.

Name Type Completion
Chun Ma House Harmony Rural 1993
Kin Ma House
Koon Ma House
Leung Ma House
Ying Ma House 2000


Lung Yan Court

Lung Yan Court (Chinese: 龍欣苑) is a Home Ownership Scheme court in Stanley, next to Ma Hang Estate. Formerly the site of Ma Hang Squatter Area, the court has two blocks built in 1993.

Name[6] Type Completion
Lung Chun House Harmony Rural 1993
Lung Tan House

Lung Tak Court

Lung Tak Court (Chinese: 龍德苑) is a Home Ownership Scheme is Stanley, next to Ma Hang Estate and Lung Yan Court. The court was originally planned for rental housing, but it was converted to HOS court for sale finally. it consists of 4 blocks built in 2000.[7]

Name[8] Type Completion
Chun Tak House Harmony Rural 2000
Shing Tak House
Chi Tak House
Yi Tak House


Stanley is served by Repulse Bay Road and Tai Tam Road. It is extremely easy to reach with several buses that go back and forth from all over Hong Kong. In addition to the many buses Stanley is also served by a taxi stand, which is almost always full of taxis awaiting customers.


New World First Bus
To/From Stanley Market: 65 (Terminus: North Point Ferry Pier) [Operates on Monday-Saturday, via Wong Nai Chung Gap]
To/From Stanley Prison: 63 (Terminus: North Point Ferry Pier) [Operates on Sundays & Holidays via Causeway Bay]
To/From Stanley Fort: 14 (Terminus: Grand Promenade, Sai Wan Ho)
To/From Stanley Plaza: 66 (Terminus: Exchange Square)

To/From Stanley Market: 973 (Terminus: Tsim Sha Tsui, near Hung Hom Station)
To/From Stanley Prison: 6 6A 6X and 260 (Terminus: Exchange Square); 73 (Terminus: Cyberport); 314 (Terminus: Siu Sai Wan Bus Station; only operates on Sundays & Holidays)


6, 6X, 63, 65, 66 and 314 have final departures at approximately 19:30.
Route 973's last departure occurs at 22:05 daily.
Only 14, 73 and 260 offer late night departures from Stanley after approximately 22:00.


Between Chai Wan MTR Station and Stanley Market: 16M
Between Aberdeen and Stanley Prison: 52
Between Causeway Bay and Stanley Prison: 40

See also


External links

Coordinates: 22°13′N 114°13′E / 22.217°N 114.217°E / 22.217; 114.217

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