Living In Hong Kong Neighbourhood Guides

Clearwater Bay: Our insiders guide to living in Tai Hang Hau

Do you think that life in Central Hong Kong is really getting you down? Why not look to life in Clearwater Bay? Hong Kong resident Ally Smyth gives us the details on what it’s like to live in Tai Hang Hau.

Name:            Ally Smyth      

From:             UK     

Occupation:   Marketing & Business Development Consultant


Check out ur Tai Hang Hau, Clearwater Bay gallery above

Where do you live?
Tai Hang Hau, Clearwater Bay.

How long have you lived here?
Since August 2014.

Why here?
I lived on Hong Kong Island for eight years, but I always loved this part HK; I just never wanted to live here on my own. When my fiancé and I decided to move in together, we were both looking for a more relaxing pace of life. Plus, I’m a rural girl at heart, being from Kent, so I’m far happier waking to a view of sea and mountains than a concrete apartment block.

Describe your Clearwater Bay lifestyle?
Pretty chilled. I work from home, most of the time, so don’t have to run the rat race. I guess it’s full of puppy licks, spider-and-stray-dog avoidance and entertaining at home.

When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is…
If I walk onto the balcony (not sure if that counts) I see probably the most beautiful bay in the world: green sea, mountains and trees. If I walk out of the front door, there is a large bougainvillea, more trees, a couple of village houses – and spiders hanging in wait.

Closest store to your front door:
The noodle shop by Tai Hang Hau roundabout.

Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of… 
Ooh, you could be anywhere here, in any time period. I can imagine the Bounty sailing into the bay, or maybe the creatures from Alien vs Predator coming down to attack you through the trees!

How are the neighbours?
Neighbours are good. We are probably the worst for being noisy after a few wines when we have friends over. I got locked out in my first week of living here. I knocked on a neighbour’s door and typically in good old Hong Kong style, after a lot of head scratching, the “chief of the village” was called, who translated to my next-door neighbour and we managed to call a locksmith.

The unofficial uniform of your street is:
Shorts and flipflops. Heels are a bit dangerous on the slopes.

A mandatory stop for guests is:
Popping to the beach or Clearwater Bay Park, or going for a hike on the nearby trails.

Date night – what and where?
Either on our roof, or a picnic at the beach, or Hebe One O One.

Best thing for kids in your area?
Being able to play outside and just be a kid.

You’d swap houses in a second with…
Nobody! Well, maybe one of the large posh ones in the village…

Favourite places in your area?
Sai Kung still surprises me for being one of the friendliest places on the planet. Shopkeepers there will help you with everything you need and bring out water bowls for your dogs.

Strangest thing you’ve seen in your area?
Spiders. My fiancé got bitten by one while clearing a tree from the road during the last typhoon. I’ve seen pictures of six-metre long pythons, porcupines and boar (but not in the flesh yet, thankfully), all taken close to where we live. A shark was also spotted recently on the sandbar in the bay. There has also been a praying mantis on our roof and a very strange looking beetle on our balcony. I do sometimes think we live in Jurassic Park!

Guiltiest pleasure in your area?
Just looking out to sea and trying not to take the amazing view for granted.

What would you never change about your area?
The peace, the stars at night, and the fact that you are away from it all, but still only 45 minutes from central by MTR.

Best thing about living in your area?
Always being surprised about how friendly everybody is, how green everything is and the possibility of seeing an interesting new insect or animal.