Stanley Main Beach [????- ]

Submitted by David on Sun, 11/22/2015 - 18:14
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David, are Stanley Main Beach and Stanley beach two different places? Being a non-Hong Konger, I'm ignorant of the beaches. I can't see any rocks at all on the current Wikipedia photo of Stanley Main Beach. I hope that the photo I posted at and which is labelled 'Stanley Beach' really is Stanley Beach. It shows the same dip in the line of hills behind as in the contemporary photo posted by gw, but a rocky shoreline.



Greetings Jill.  I believe your two photos were taken at Stanley Main Beach looking to the east.  The hill topography on Google photos seems to match the background topography on your photos. My first visit to Stanley was in 1953 with my parents but we went to the other Stanley beach which is a short distance west of the Main Beach. My nostalgic trip took place last year and found the place has changed - more people, buildings, shops. and traffic.  The beach is gone and now armoured.  Back then, we could rent a row boat and you could be the only boater on a sunny day.

Hi Jill,

There are several beaches around Stanley. Here are four we're interested in:

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The one at the top is Stanley Main Beach, facing across Tai Tam Bay. The name is how it is shown on government maps today, but it may well have been known as Stanley Beach when your family were taking photos here.

Clockwise around to the bottom beach, that's Tweed Bay, the beach where the Stanley internees could go swimming.

Clockwise around, the next is St Stephens Beach, where the internees initially arrived by ferry.

Clockwise to the last beach that OldTimer remembers - no longer a beach, now just a concrete promenade.

Regards, David

Many thanks for this confirmation, OldTimer. Many of the legends on my family's Hong Kong photos were added in old age by the little girl that was. That's why I'm sometimes uncertain of their accuracy. Most of our beach photos are labelled "Stanley Beach", but one or two are mislabelled or not labelled at all.


Thanks David, for this very helpful list, cataloguing Stanley Main, Tweed Bay, St Stephens and what was East Stanley Beach, as well as the map showing their locations. I didn't think that the current Stanley Main Beach could possibly be the same as the one where the Stanley internees were allowed to swim. I'll trickle a few more beach photos on. Grateful for confirmation if they are all Stanley or not. Perhaps the east side of Stanley Main Beach was concreted over because there were so many uncomfortable sharp stones right on the water's edge. My uncle's family seemed fond of it!


Adults in those days said if you are bad, you would be sent to Stanley so I wondered if there was a civilian jail there, or they referred to the internment camps which I learned about later.  Standing on the edge of what is now Ma Hang Park, the little boy saw a barren tiny peninsula (Bluff Head).  Next, coming out of Stanley Beach was a young man (my family relative from Canada) in a row boat with a young woman.  It was common in those days for parents to send their sons to HK to find a wife, and this boat ride was for the two to get to know each other. We had relatives in Canada, US and southeast Asia and some asked my parents or grandparents for prospects.  These, humbly, are my memories of Stanley.  Times are changing so I suspect such practice is no longer as popular.

Thanks David for the link to the Stanley prison.  A short boat ride was hardly enough time for two strangers to get to know each other to make the most important decision in their life.  That was the time when we were moving away from the practice of parent-arranged marriage.  The young woman had a choice and she decided no.  As an ex-HKer who immigrated to Canada, may I say we were fortunate to have attended English school and exposed to Western culture while in HK.  Otherwise, it would be, as many young brides going to North America will tell, a total cultural shock not to mention the Canadian prairie's cold winters.  Thus, I have the utmost respect for them - leaving their family-siblings and friends behind so that they too, may someday move to a place that offers a better future.  It was a different environment and thinking then.

All the HK-brides that my family knows of have a succesful marriage after moving to NA, and I am sure the lady in the boat would have the same outcome.  Our relative in the boat married another HK-woman and they remain married to this day. Fate plays a part in our life but how we treat and respect our spouse is the most important factor for a long-lasting marriage.  (Rambling from an old man)

As a young boy, I was placed in a role of chaperone and one day in a theatre I sat between my father's good friend and his prospect.  They later became husband and wife.  We watched the movie Waterloo Bridge (1940).  Decades later, the man was killed by a passing truck in HK.  This fate I will never forget.