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Hong Kong's best public barbecue sites
Charcoal, chops and good cheer at these scenic outdoor barbecue sites open to the public and free to use
It doesn't matter if it's the dog days of summer or the first cold weekend of winter -- it's a good time to barbecue in Hong Kong. There are dozens of free public barbecue sites around Hong Kong where you can test your best marinades and huddle around the fire with friends while you wait for your honey-coated chicken wings to cook. Which one to choose? Here are our five top picks.
Shek O Beach
Our favorite beach is also our favorite place to barbecue -- a hopping atmosphere without the
tourists of Repulse Bay or the scenesters of South Bay. The public
barbecue site is one of the largest in town, with 39 pits, but it gets
very crowded on weekends. A worthwhile alternative is to reserve a pit
at one of the privately-run barbecue areas right on the beach. You’ll
have to fork over HK$400, but in return you’ll get charcoal, unlimited barbecuing time and a
chance to feel the sand between your toes as you cook your chicken
wings. Call +852 2809 4579 to book Liu's Barbecue at Shek O main beach.
Opening hours: 24 hours at the public site; until 11 p.m. at the private barbecue area.
How to get there: Take the 7 bus or red minibus from Shau Kei Wan MTR.
Where to stock up: There's only one grocery store in Shek O and it's as expensive as you would expect from a monopoly, so do your shopping at the markets in Shau Kei Wan before hopping on the minibus.
Tai Mei Tuk, Tai Po
Tai Mei Tuk’s name is the Cantonese equivalent to "the end of the road" and that pretty much describes the atmosphere of this likable village, which sits on the Tolo Harbour just next to the Plover Cove Reservoir. With two of the city's largest barbecue areas, you can be sure there's always going to be a crowd, but there's more than enough space to go around. We prefer to walk past the swanky marble barbecue pits to a quieter, scruffier site just beyond the Bradley Jockey Club Youth Hostel, which has better views and a more rustic atmosphere.
Opening hours: 24 hours.
How to get there: Take the 20C minibus from Tai Po Market MTR. There's also a cycle track from Tai Po to Tai Mei Tuk, which takes about 45 minutes. Bikes can be rented from many shops in Tai Po.
Where to stock up: Three snack bars provide all the beer, charcoal and frozen fishballs you need, but for better-quality meat and fresh vegetables, hit up the Tai Po wet market -- two blocks from the MTR station -- before heading out to Tai Mei Tuk.
Anglers' Beach, Sham Tseng
Mysteriously underrated, the stretch of coast along the Rambler Channel is some of the most beautiful in Hong Kong, with sweeping views of emerald water, green islands and the trio of bridges built to connect Lantau with the rest of Hong Kong. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Lamma Island. The 11 barbecue pits at Anglers’ Beach are perfect for a long afternoon barbecue that lets you soak up the views while your food soaks up the smoke.
Opening hours: 7 a.m. to midnight.
How to get there: Take the 52X bus from Mongkok or 962B bus from Central to Sham Tseng. The beach is less than five minutes by foot from the centre of town.
Where to stock up: Sham Tseng has everything you need, with a wet market, supermarkets and a number of smaller food stores.
Lion Rock Park, Chuk Yuen
Just five minutes by taxi from Festival Walk is one of Kowloon's most overlooked green spaces: a beautiful expanse of huge trees, gardens and barbecue pits just under the Lion Rock. The barbecue area, which was renovated last year, is one of the spiffiest in Hong Kong, with 26 pits, comfortable benches and a spacious picnic table for each pit. There's a leafy hiking trail leading up the mountain slopes from the barbecue site.
Opening hours: 24 hours.
How to get there: Take minibuses 72 or 73 from Festival Walk at Kowloon Tong MTR and get off at Chuk Yuen Road just after Lung Cheung Road. The park entrance is about 50 meters uphill from the bus stop.
Where to stock up: There aren't many facilities near the park; Taste in Festival Walk has barbecue supplies and a wide range of grillable food.
Silvermine Bay Beach, Mui Wo
Mui Wo is a memorable place and
its beachside barbecue area is exceptional. Last time we were there, we
made friends with a Pakistani family at the next pit over and got
plenty of help from strangers when our fire wouldn't start. There are
20 pits with marble benches and low-slung tables. The place really
comes alive at night, when it seems like everyone in Mui Wo is out
grilling their food, either at the public pits, at bonfires on the
beach or in their front gardens.
Opening hours: 24 hours.
How to get there: Take the ferry from Central Pier 6 or the 3M bus from Tung Chung. The barbecue area is next to the beach, just past the Silvermine Beach Hotel and across Wang Tong Stream.
Where to stock up: Mui Wo is barbecue heaven. Aside from the usual supermarkets, there are two barbecue-supply stores near the ferry pier selling a large range of barbecue-friendly veggies and marinated meats.