Beach + Island

Bizarre Beaches of the World

by Matthew Link

Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, China

Repulse Bay Beach, an artificial strip of sand on the south side of Hong Kong Island, is one of that city's most popular beaches, and you'll know it by the throngs who pack the place on sunny summer days. Shark nets and floating platforms have been added for swimmers, and of course the needs of a nearby dragon also had to be considered during the construction of a 37-story residential building on the hillside behind the beach. Legend has it a dragon lives at the top of the mountain, and a feng shui master warned that the building would block the dragon's access to the shore. Hence, a large hole was cut out of the tower's center to mollify the dragon and avoid a whole lot of bad luck.

Beyond the beach: Repulse Bay Beach is also famous for the elaborate statues of Chinese sea goddesses at the Kwun Yam Shrine. Throw a coin into the mouth of the fish statue and receive good fortune; cross the gaudy Longevity Bridge and add three days to your life! Once you've had your fill of dragons and superstition, retire to Jia, a Philippe Starck–designed hotel in Causeway Bay that has 54 apartment-style guest rooms.

Next: A beach on a beach in Chile >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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