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Hong Kong off the beaten path
If you’re planning on visiting Hong Kong, you’re no doubt familiar with the enduring images of our iconic skyscrapers and teeming night markets. But beyond the well-worn tourist spots, may I suggest some off the beaten path experiences that, in my opinion, impart an even more special and personal experience of the city?
I moved here 13 years ago to become the voice and face of Mulan’s Captain Shang for HK Disneyland. As the ENTERTAINER’s Marketing Manager, I now take it as a personal mission to share what I love most about my Home Kong.
Bonus: There’s no entrance cost to any of these activities. Woop! Enjoy!
There’s no better way to imbibe the city’s dynamic energy than by the riotous art splattered on its walls. Sheung Wan is the best place to gawk over graffiti. Fuel up with coffee from Café Life in PMQ, then leisurely make your way around SoHo and Tai Ping Shan. You’ll encounter Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe and a host of other colourful, irreverent characters.
Along the way, be sure to take in some of the art galleries on Hollywood Road, too, and the kitschy antiques on Upper Lascar Row.
According to Time, this former cargo dock is the “perfect place for selfies in Hong Kong.” With decaying industrial detritus juxtaposed against sweeping sea views and dramatic sunsets, we couldn’t agree more.
After you’re done squeezing out all your creative juices, take a short tram ride toward Kennedy Town. Grab some craft hops from The Tramline Liquor Co. Try the classic sour and salty Young Master Cha Chaan Teng Gose, which is brewed in HK. Take a stroll and simply delight in this district’s right-before-our-very-eyes transformation from its history as a cattle depot and slaughterhouse, into the trendy ‘hood it is today.
Yick Cheong Building
Reality check. There’s more than 7.3 million people crammed into only 25% of HK’s developed land mass (the rest is protected country parks – more on this later). This is why the city builds vertically – and nowhere expressed more extremely so than this combination of five startlingly dense residential complexes in Quarry Bay. They look like colourful cubes stacked skyward, leaning precariously toward each other. Take a moment to digest, then hashtag the heck out of it. #ig_global_life
Hike to the Big Buddha
Most guide books suggest taking a glass-bottomed cable car from the Tung Chung MTR station, to get to the world’s largest outdoor seated Buddha. But since 75% of HK’s land area is mostly protected country park, why not experience it? Taking the 4-hour hike up the Big Buddha ensures you won’t just be enjoying spectacular views throughout; you’ll actually be immersed in them.
Remember to take lots of water (at least 1L per person), energy bars, and a change of clothes. Here’s my favourite walking guide.
HK is a foodie city. Nowhere is this more evident than in our love for dim sum, which literally translates as ‘touch your heart’. There can be anywhere from 150 – 200 items of these bite-sized goodies on a menu. This means choosing can be daunting, but it’s also a challenge to not find something you love.
Let your hunger lead you toward a culture trip. A revival of the traditional Cantonese tea house, LockCha is in the heart of leafy Hong Kong Park. This all-vegetarian dim sum spot is beloved for its charm and vintage elegance. If you happen to visit on a Sunday, come by for the Chinese Music Tea Concert from 4.30 – 6.30pm.
There’s nothing to stop you now – Hong Kong is waiting for you! Don’t forget, if you’re looking for a place to stay, make sure you check out ENTERTAINER getaways, where you could save up to 60% off your accommodation!