5 alternative ideas to explore Hong Kong this summer
With international travel yet to resume, Hong Kongers can take advantage of the extra time at home and explore the city from new perspectives. From riding the ‘ding ding’ tram across the island to sampling locally brewed craft beers, Holiday at Home – a new initiative by Hong Kong Tourism Board to encourage locals to go out and enjoy the city – has come up with a number of staycation itineraries and neighbourhood guides. Organised under five creative themes, these guides will help you rediscover the city you call home.
Explore Hong Kong’s skyline from a different angle
There’s no question that Hong Kong’s stunning harbour is one of its best charms. While most people are familiar with the sights of the glittering skyline from Central Harbourfront and Tsim Sha Tsui’s Avenue of Stars, we suggest taking in the sweeping views of Victoria Harbour from lesser-known spots like Signal Hill Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui and Tai Wan Shan Public Swimming Pool in Hung Hom.
If you want to embrace the sea further, you can even take a day trip by boat. Looking for an experience that looks a bit different from a trip on the Star Ferry? Explore beyond the well-trodden paths as locals and hop on a ride from North Point to Kai Tak or Sai Wan Ho to Kwun Tong to see a different side of Hong Kong.
Indulge in gastronomic delights
Had too much home cooking lately? This summer, amazing dining deals from some of the hottest bars and restaurants around town will get you to dive right back into the city’s incredible wine and dine scene. Lan Kwai Fong has taken the lead by launching an array of LKF123 promotion offers with different outlets. Until the end of June, restaurants such as Infinity Thai Restaurant & Bar, Kyoto Joe and Porterhouse are offering buy-one-get-one-free deals on meals, while Zentral is bidding you in with its buy-one-get-three-free deal on Vodka.
If you’re planning well ahead, Holiday at Home’s continuously updated list of dining deals is your best friend. If you love Central’s vibe, Wan Chai is another buzzing food neighbourhood you should try for a change of scenery. At Sichuan Lab, inside the Lodgewood by L’hotel Wan Chai hotel, expect to get complimentary dishes for certain orders. Just around the corner, try Bo Innovation’s creative fare at the promotion price of $1,500 (plus 10% service charge) for a designated set menu.
Take in the lively culture
Another great way to rediscover Hong Kong is to climb aboard a ‘ding ding’ tram and experience cultural gems along the island. Riding west to east, some of the hidden gems you might have missed in the past include the historic Pak Tai Temple in Wan Chai and F11 Foto Museum nestled in Happy Valley. Feel free to hop off at any time to explore these places further. For a scenic detour, disembark in Braemar Hill and hike up to Red Incense Burner Summit for a panoramic view of the city.
On the eastern side of Hong Kong Island, chill out at some of the city’s trendiest hangout spots. We love Oil Street Art Space, a government art organisation that aims to promote visual arts by providing a platform for exhibitions; Sugar, a buzzy rooftop bar above EAST Hong Kong; and Duo Dots Design, a design studio focusing on custom decorative lighting and installation.
Enjoy the great outdoors
That said, spending too much time in the city can become overwhelming. The Peak is great, but to be completely embraced by nature is also just a bus ride away. If Dragon’s Back is your regular go-to, why not head out to northeast New Territories instead? Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, Ping Che Mural Village and Ha Pak Nai are just a few of the places in the area where you can experience a different and more relaxing side of Hong Kong.
Alternatively, board a ferry or put on your hiking boots and visit Hong Kong’s picturesque, uninhabited islands. You may have heard of Cheung Chau, but have you explored Port Island, Wang Chau Island or Jin Island before? It’s amazing how much diversity our city offers and how many places we have yet to discover.
Experience nonstop nightlife
When you’re done recharging on the beautiful islands of Hong Kong, return to the city, energised, and hit up the best bars around. Feeling adventurous and craving something fresh but different from your usual Asahi and Stella Artois? Follow Holiday at Home’s suggested routes for the ultimate drinks crawl around the city and discover hidden speakeasies and craft beer establishments like Ping Pong 129, Blue Supreme and Craftissimo.
If you prefer a booze-free night, Kowloon’s Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong districts offer a range of fun but often overlooked activities. Catch a live gig at Wing Fat Cha Chaan Teng – a diner by day, entertainment venue by night – and enjoy a soothing spa treatment at Cordis’ Chuan Spa. These are just some ideas for how you can spend your night in a new and refreshing way.
A day in Hong Kong can be enjoyed in so many different ways. If you just do a bit of digging, there are a lot of unexplored paths and unique activities to experience. Make the most of the summer in our beautiful city and you won’t regret it!