The Long Mei Beach was officially opened to great fanfare on the 23rd of June 2021 by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) as the first man-made beach in the SAR. While the beach at Repulse Bay has a manmade extension that was made for military use during WWII, Long Mei is certainly the first made-for-purpose beach in the SAR.
To get there you can take the No. 75K KMB bus or the No. 20C green minibus, both departing from the Tai Po Market MTR Station. On Sundays and public holidays, you can also get the 275R, also from the MTR Station. If you are taking the 20C alight at the Lo Tsz Tin stop and walk back along the road for about two minutes to reach the entrance to the beach.
We had intended to visit Long Mei shortly after it opened but almost immediately there were reports of injuries caused by sea urchins and jellyfish. That was enough to start putting people off but this was soon followed by reports of pollution and a young man we spoke to told us that he developed a rash after swimming there.
Those that the sea urchins and jellyfish failed to frighten off were discouraged by the reports of pollution. Fortunately, things settled down. The government acted quickly to remove anything likely to be causing the pollution and posted warning signs regarding the sealife. In all fairness, and to put things into perspective, there is hardly a beach anywhere in the world where you don’t run the risk of being stabbed or stung by something. And, more importantly, Long Mei Beach is clean! Which is more than can be said of many other beaches in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
We were fortunate to be able to visit Long Mei Beach on a weekday and apart from perhaps a dozen other visitors we almost had the beach to ourselves.
We purchased a beach mat from the tuck shop and laid it out in the shade of one of the two lifeguard towers. Then we went for a walk along one of the boundary breakwaters to see if we could find any sign of sea urchins or the ‘black sand’ that people had reported seeing.
After returning to where we had set up the mat and resting in the shade for a while. We walked down to the shoreline so that we could see, close up if there was any sign of pollution. The sand was the cleanest we had ever seen on any beach in the SAR.
All too soon it was time to leave. Picking up a bus to return to Tai Po was just a matter of walking out onto Ting Kok Road and walking for a few minutes down to the bus stop where we boarded a 75K KMB bus bound for the Tai Po Market MTR Station.
We will definitely be returning to Long Mei Beach for a longer stay. It was clean and pleasant and we happily recommend it to anyone that likes to be near the sea. If any of our readers have visited Long Mei we would be grateful to hear your opinion of the beach itself and its facilities.
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