10 Things to Do in Hong Kong That Probably Aren’t in Your Guidebook – Yoga, Wine & Travel

10 Things to Do in Hong Kong That Probably Aren’t in Your Guidebook

The Big Buddha, Avenue of Stars, the Peak, Man Mo Temple, Stanley Market, Temple Street…these are but a few of the typical “Top 10” places to visit in Hong Kong that you hear or read about (click here to read more about these top iconic Hong Kong sights). Not to say that they aren’t spectacular and fun, but there are a whole host of off-the-beaten-path places to visit and things to do in Hong Kong that the guide books don’t tell you about. If you’re planning a trip, I’ve teamed up with some fellow travel aficionados to put together this list of 10 unique and offbeat things to do in Hong Kong (that you might not have thought of doing or known about). Let’s get started!

First time to Hong Kong? You should also read this for some things to know before going to Hong Kong!

1. Visit Sham Shui Po / Jess of Expat Getaways

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My favourite place to take visitors to is Sham Shui Po. This colourful Kowloon locality is one of the poorest of all the districts in Hong Kong and provides a stark contrast to the glitz and glam of the Central skyscrapers. Each street specialises in different goods, from kids clothes and suitcases, decorations to match the season, electronics of every kind, craft and jewelry making supplies and every fabric under the sun. For even more of a local feel go for a walk through the busy wet market to see fish fillets so fresh the hearts are still beating, every manner of sea creature and literally every part of the pig in the pork butchery. If that’s not your scene you can go on a Michelin foodie hunt with the famous Tim Ho Wan dim sum and new inclusions to the street food guide Kung Wo Tofu and Soybean shop and Kwan Kee dessert shop. Hit up Sham Shui Po in the afternoon or early evening to see daily life in full swing.

2. Go on a sunset cruise on the Aqua Luna

The stunning red sails of the Aqua Luna are iconic and clearly visible every night as it sails up and down Victoria Harbour. It’s one of the last remaining red-sail Chinese junk boats and has been refurbished to take passengers on short harbour cruises. If you feel like taking your happy hour to the open water, book a spot on Aqua Luna’s sunset cocktail cruise to watch Hong Kong’s famous skyline come alive at night. Tickets are HKD$195 (approx US$25) and includes 1 standard alcoholic beverage. The boat leaves from both sides of the harbour and tickets can be booked online here.

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3. Head up to Victoria Peak gardens / Liza of Tripsget

My absolutely favorite destination in Hong Kong is Victoria Peak gardens – not the famous Victoria peak you most probably know, but another much more amazing place. It’s quite hard to find and it was shown to me by a local. When reaching Victoria Peak Observatory/Peak Tower, you’ve got to keep walking up the road for 10-15 minutes and when you’ll see stairs. Keep your eyes open, since these stairs are barely visible. Once you’ve taken them, you’ll get to Victoria Peak gardens, but don’t stop! You’ve got to climb up the hill, because when you get on top of it, you’ll see a wonderful nearly 360-degree panorama of Hong Kong. And most probably, you’ll be there completely alone and can enjoy the view in silence.

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Looking to pair the amazing views of Hong Kong with a good glass of wine? Click here to find out where the best rooftop and outdoor bars are in Hong Kong!

4. Walk around Lugard Road

If it’s beautiful views you’re after, skip the hordes of people at the Peak Tower and take a stroll along Lugard Road instead. Lugard Road is right next to the Peak Tower and offers a leisurely, mostly-shaded stroll around the Peak. I have two small dachshunds and this is one of my favorite places to take them – they get a nice, long walk and I get unparalleled views: a win-win! The leisurely walk takes around 90 minutes to complete and loops right back to where you started. About mid-way through the walk you will reach a small park and a fork in the road, take the path on the right hand side and keep walking. A few more minutes and you’ll get to a long cliff-side path for breathtaking, unobstructed panoramic views of Hong Kong. The view from these lookout points are, IMHO, much better than those from the Peak Tower!

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5. Check out all the street art in Soho

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Over the past few years, street art has really taken off in Hong Kong and there are lots of beautiful pieces scattered around Soho, a neighborhood just above the CBD. You can easily spend an afternoon walking around and stumbling upon funky and colorful street art. Start at Graham Street and walk along Hollywood Road towards Sheung Wan, make sure you explore all the different side streets: honestly the fun is in wandering around and spotting the pieces on your own!

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Looking for a place to stay? Look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Soho, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay for maximum convenience! Click here to book accommodation in Hong Kong!

6. Take a ferry to Cheung Chau Island / Lisa of The Wandering Lens

On every visit without fail I catch a ferry from Hong Kong to Cheung Chau Island. Rich in pirate tales, the island is a quiet escape where fishing boats bob in the harbour and beach sports are a popular pastime. Bicycles are the main mode of transport and you’ll find life is lived at a much slower pace until the annual Bun Festival celebrations when the island is home to one of the craziest (and tastiest) festivals in the world.

The ferry to Cheung Chau leaves from Central Pier 5 and the journey takes about 30 minutes if you hop on a fast ferry, and an hour if you get on a slow one. The ferry schedule is available here.

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7. Explore PMQ

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PMQ is a complex in Soho that has become a creative hub for local designers and funky brands and products. PMQ stands for “Police Married Quarters” as it used to house married junior police officers before being emptied in the year 2000. It sat there until it was revitalized as a heritage site and was opened to the public in 2014. It is now home to about 100 different design galleries, shops, exhibits and boutiques with an emphasis on homegrown designers and brands. It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts and check out cool storefronts – the complex is always hustling and bustling over the weekends with pop-up exhibits and workshops, so even if you don’t buy anything, you never leave empty-handed.

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8. Eat egg waffles / Nam of Laugh Travel Eat

Arguably the main reason why I moved back to Hong Kong, Egg Waffle is a type of waffle that was created by a store owner who was trying to find a way to use up the leftover egg, flour, sugar and milk in his store back in the 50s. Their name derived from their shape, which is also called bubble waffle or eggettes. Nowadays, you can get egg waffle at almost any corner street food stores and it comes in a variety of flavours as well. In fact, some stores have some whacky yet delightful flavours such as orange chocolate, pandan, pineapple and even meatfloss and sesame.

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Click here if you want to try some other unique Asian desserts in Hong Kong!

9. Chase waterfalls

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love a good waterfall. Sheung Luk Stream is a great day trip destination if you’re looking to get out of the city and bask in nature. If you are visiting Hong Kong from May to about October/November, aim to head here on a weekday as you’re almost guaranteed to have the place to yourself. The best thing about this one is that you can swim in the cascading pools of fresh water! To get here, take the MTR (subway) to Choi Hung Station and then hop in a taxi to Sai Wan Pavilion (Sai Wan Ting). Take the path on the right and follow it for about 45 minutes to get to the beach. Once you’re at the beach go to one of the local shops to pre-purchase your boat ticket back to Sai Kung as they tend to fill up fast.

After you’ve bought your ticket, head left down the beach and turn towards the woods. The waterfall is another 10-15 minute walk from the beach and you will need to climb over a few jagged hill faces to get to it so wear comfortable walking shoes. More detailed instructions on how to get to Sheung Luk Stream are available on Hike Hong Kong.

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10. Go for high tea at the Mandarin Oriental

Delve into Hong Kong’s British colonial history by sipping on tea and stuffing your face: one of the most popular places for afternoon high tea in Hong Kong is the Peninsula Hotel…however, I much prefer the high tea at the Mandarin Oriental in Central. We have been going to Clipper Lounge for high tea ever since we were little and it was always such a treat. While the prices aren’t exactly cheap, the sandwiches, cakes and pastries are delicious. The star of the show, however, would have to be their raisin scones with rose jam and clotted cream. Unlike the Peninsula, you can actually book a table at the Clipper Lounge so you don’t have to wait around like a chump. Note that there are 2 Mandarin Oriental hotels in Central – the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and the Landmark Mandarin Oriental – you want to head to the original Mandarin Oriental. Just tell your taxi driver, “Gau Mun Wah”.

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Head on over here for more Hong Kong travel tips and advice!



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Have you been to Hong Kong before? What are some other cool and unique things you would recommend? Share them in the comments section below!

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Yogawinetravel.com: 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong That Probably Aren't in Your Guidebook

Yogawinetravel.com: 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong That Probably Aren't in Your Guidebook

Yogawinetravel.com: 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong That Probably Aren't in Your Guidebook

Yogawinetravel.com: 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong That Probably Aren't in Your Guidebook

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54 Comments

  1. Gemma says:

    Yup, these definitely were not in my guidebook back in 2009! Would like to see more nature when I return to HK.

  2. oooh I didn’t know about the Victoria Peak Garden – so lovely to see other’s fav in Hong Kong. Sham Shui Po is definitely a neighborhood worth visiting – although my sister hates it (she thinks it’s unhygenic)

    • Flo says:

      Haha unhygienic? It’s not so bad 😉 That’s what I loved about putting this together: seeing other people’s favorite things to do in Hong Kong!

  3. Kana says:

    I LOVE reading things that aren’t all about the guidebook ways! I also love that you had other bloggers submit their tips! So awesome; definitely pinning this for when I’m in Hong Kong! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday and always following the rules, we love having you! xo

  4. Cool post. Have been to HK a few times and have done some of the things listed like the sunset cruise but others I was not even aware of. Would love to do all the food related options that are mentioned because I am such a foodie and the eff waffles already have me salivating. Nice of you to mention Sham Shui Po as supporting the locals is always big on my list.

  5. This is a dope list. You’ve included a lot that I love to do. Boats, street art, high tea, gardens… my favorites! Pinning this.

    • Flo says:

      Thanks for checking this out, CJ! I loved reading other people’s suggestions for off-the-beaten-path activities and places to see in Hong Kong – glad you enjoyed it too!

  6. Kristina says:

    All of your posts on Hong Kong have made me want to go SO BADLY! I really need to look into taking a trip there soon. What’s the temperature like in February?

    • Flo says:

      Ooh it’s fairly chilly in February, Kristina! I’d say around 10 degrees celsius? Nothing compared to winter in Japan, Korea or China though!

  7. I’ve been to Hong Kong countless times and you are right, these tips are not in the guidebook! My friends were talking about how they’re sick of going to Hong Kong because every time they go, there’s nothing new to do and see. They should read this post! It’s making ME want to go back to Hong Kong!

    • Flo says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Nadine! There’s a few other things that I haven’t included this list (there’s SO much to do in HK!) – if you ever come back to visit let me know!

  8. Indrani says:

    Quite a lot of different things to do. I like such places which offers loads of varieties to tourists.
    The street art is amazing!

  9. Anita says:

    I loved Hong Kong when I was there quite long time ago. I must admit I hadn’t seen most of the places on your list. I especially liked the tip about a high tea at Mandarin Oriental. Something to remember for future visits.

  10. Lena says:

    Thanks for putting this off the beaten path tips together! Its really helpful and I saved your article for later, as we are trying to include Hong Kong to our world trip.

  11. Sumti says:

    Lot of things to do in Hong kong. It is really a great tourist destination.

  12. Chloe says:

    Ok this just sparked major wanderlust….especially the boat right on the aqua luna… omg hearts for eyes!!! haha!! this guide is too good! def saving this for my next set of Asia travels, whenever we get there!!

    • Flo says:

      The Aqua Luna is such a great cruise because you don’t have to spend hours on board! A sunset cruise is just perfect and you can head to dinner straight after. Hope you make it to Hong Kong soon – bring the baby! 😉

  13. neha says:

    Wonderful list of things to do in HongKong. I would definitely try these when I go there. I would definitely not miss the high tea.. looks quiet yummy 🙂

  14. Rachael says:

    I love street art! I would definitely go exploring for art in Hong Kong! It looks great!

  15. Thanks for sharing these 10 ideas as I always only do my shopping in HK 😉 am keeping your post for my HK trip in March 2017. Cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

  16. Great tips, Flo – thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to finally explore Hong Kong next year, and these gave me a couple of extra ideas in addition to what we have planned already. The Aqua Luna is a great idea, for some reason I thought it’d be more expensive! Soho’s street art and the waterfall both look amazing, too, so they’re definitely going on my list!

  17. CathG says:

    I loved this. Makes me want to jump on a plane back to HK right now! I stayed in Sham Shui Po for a week last year and I loved it! We had such a great time there. Need to have another trip to do some more of these things!

  18. Your photos are gorgeous! There are so many things worth to be done and seen in Hong Kong!

  19. Amazing tips, Flo! I am definitely going to use your post as a guide for Hong Kong!

  20. Oooh some great out of the ordinary things to see and do on this list Flo, thanks for sharing! Those egg waffles look delicious btw! 🙂

  21. Ana says:

    I always get lost in Sham Shui Po! xD
    And love love walking around Cheng Chau and end up at the beach 😍

  22. we’ve never visited hong kong but we’re SO saving this post for when we finally do!

  23. Cassandra says:

    Wow, Hong Kong looks so interesting. I had no idea. Thank you for sharing this, I will get back to this post when I make it there. 🙂

  24. Victoria Park/Peak is definitely on my list. Ughhh this makes me wanna visit Hong Kong so bad!! So many places to go but so little time. Definitely adding all these suggestions to my book tho or when I visit. Thanks for sharing, Flo!

  25. Romy says:

    I’ve never been to Hong Kong, but these sound like amazing tips. I always try to stray from the guidebook and avoid the most touristy spots.

  26. Robert says:

    I’m heading to Hong Kong for the first time this Sept. Some excellent suggestions in your article. I’m very interesting in visiting Sham Shui Po! Love to get off the beaten track and see the real side of things when traveling. Glad I found this article on Pinterest! 🙂

  27. Kylie says:

    This was a great list, thanks! My partner n I are actually flying in to HK as the last destination for our Asia trip on CNY eve so this is great! My family are HK/Malaysian but I’ve never been for CNY! I’m slightly worried that everything is going to be shut and we’ll starve… But if you have any ideas as how to best experience the New Year celebrations I’d much appreciate it 🙂

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