Hong Kong closed all public gazetted beaches on March 17 in a further tightening of social-distancing rules, leaving Hongkongers with fewer choices for a coastal break as temperatures rise. But besides the 42 gazetted public beaches managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, there are many non-gazetted beaches. Since they are not regarded as bathing beaches, there are no lifeguards, first aid services or shark nets at these beaches. Because of the lack of such facilities, swimmers are recommended to exercise caution, especially when seas are rough. While these beaches are not officially closed, beach-goers still need to observe Covid-19 social distancing rules and wear a mask when doing outdoor exercise. They also need to avoid gathering in groups of more than two and could be subject to fines if they are caught breaching the rules. Here are five of the best (in alphabetical order): Hoi Ha Wan Hoi Ha Wan, or Jones Cove, lies at the north of Sai Kung Peninsula in the New Territories. The beach is part of a marine park, and visitors can learn about the marine ecosystem at the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Life Centre. Packed Hong Kong beaches no place for latest wave The sheltered bay has pristine waters with more than 120 species of reef fish and 60 kinds of colourful stony coral, which makes it a diving paradise. Cultural attractions include two intact lime kilns and small traditional temples. Take a taxi to Sai Kung bus terminal and take minibus No 7 to Hoi Ha Tsuen Village. Kwo Chau Wan Kwo Chau Wan is on Tai Chau in the South Ninepin Islands off Sai Kung in the New Territories. The island features giant hexagonal rhyolite columns, the result of a volcanic eruption about 140 million years ago. Huge sea caves have been formed by erosion under the Thousand-Inch Wall, a sheer, breathtaking cliff. When weather permits, visitors can take boats through the caves. Hong Kong’s smallest Tin Hau temple is at the top of the uninhabited island. The beach is not suitable for swimming because of the heavy waves. Kwo Chau Wan is only accessible by boat and there is no public transport. The best way there is to join a tour which will ferry passengers to and from the island. Long Ke Wan Long Ke Wan is located between the volcanic hills of Hong Kong’s Geopark in east Sai Kung. The tranquil, white-sand beach sits right at the end of Stage 1 and the start of Stage 2 of the MacLehose Trail. Take your own camping equipment and food to enjoy a picnic beside the crystal-clear waters. The waves here are not very strong so it’s also a swimmer-friendly beach. The fastest way to get there is to board a speedboat from Sai Kung promenade. From the Sai Kung Bus Terminal take Bus 94 or minibus No 7 to the Pak Tam Chung stop at the start of the High Island Reservoir. From the bus stop, walk along High Island Reservoir to the East Dam and then hike for another 25 minutes to the beach. Mo Tat Wan Mo Tat Wan is a quiet beach in the east of Lamma Island that is safe for swimmers, though without lifeguards. The clean, golden-sand beach is a great place for a date. Lovers can have a Mediterranean dinner at the only restaurant on the beach. The Bay offers fresh mussels steamed in white wine sauce, bouillabaisse, and sardines with pine nuts and parsley, to name a few dishes. If you happen to be a fan of Hong Kong films, you could make a detour to nearby Tung O, birthplace of Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat. The fastest way is by ferry from Aberdeen’s Fish Market. It takes about 25 minutes. You can also take a ferry from Central to Sok Kwu Wan, and walk along the coast for 20 minutes to Mo Tat Wan. Tai Long Wan The beaches at Tai Long Wan are favourites for surfers. The soft white sands and clear waters entice campers, who can pretend they are in Thailand or Hawaii. The gorgeous bay is nestled on the edge of Sai Kung Country Park. Visitors can hike to its four non-gazetted beaches. The popular Sai Wan Stargazing Site is on the way. Hikers can bump into roaming buffalo and cows on the way to Tai Wan Beach, or the more secluded Tung Wan Beach. Although you’re not supposed to swim at the beaches because the waves are too big and risky, you could cool yourself at the Sai Kung Rock Pools, a natural multi-tiered swimming pool and waterfall at the end of Sai Wan Beach. Tai Long Wan is accessible from Wong Shek pier. Take Route #94 from Sai Kung Bus Terminus or Route #96R from Diamond Hill MTR Station. You can also walk round from the High Island Reservoir, or take a sampan if the waves aren’t too big.