An Insider’s Travel Guide to the Most Colourful Places in Hong Kong
If you are a regular reader of Yoga, Wine & Travel and are following me on Instagram, then it’ll be no surprise to you that I’m all about big, bold, bright, beautiful colours. Hong Kong has been home for more than 2 decades and is a feast for the eyes (and stomach, of course) – almost every single corner is extremely photogenic! It is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, so it should come as no surprise that Hong Kong is home to a plethora of multicoloured places.
Hong Kong has such rich and fascinating stories to tell, so these places are not only seriously stunning and very “instagrammable”, they also hold plenty of cultural, social and historical significance. The colours and designs showcase the diversity of Hong Kong’s rich melting pot of cultures, dynamic landscape, and ever-changing aesthetic. Without further ado, here are some of the most rainbow-rific, colourful places to check out in Hong Kong!
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1. Victoria Harbour at night
This one is a dead giveaway, but had to make it on the list! Victoria Harbour lights up after dark and is one of the most stunning skylines in the world. The harbour sits between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon with boats dashing from side-to-side all through the day and night. There are a few ways to go about appreciating the stunning skyline:
- Hop on a refurbished classic Chinese junk boat and go on a sunset cruise along the harbour (with wine!). I would recommend booking through either Aqua Luna or DukLing. Prices are comparable and you can book ahead online.
- Get comfortable at Ozone Skybar, one of the highest rooftop bars in the world.
- On a tight budget? No worries – hop on the iconic Star Ferry to cross over to Kowloon side and check out the Hong Kong Island skyline from the Kowloon waterfront.
Victoria Harbour has a rich history and played a major role in turning Hong Kong into the city it is today. The harbour’s strategic location on the Far East trade routes and Asia-Pacific basin was instrumental in Hong Kong’s development into a major trading hub, and to this day it is still one of the busiest ports in the world.
2. The Blue House Cluster in Wan Chai
The cluster is made up of 3 brightly coloured buildings (blue, yellow and orange), all built between the 1920s and 50s, and are one of the few remaining examples of old-school tenement buildings in Hong Kong. In particular, the bold Blue House is listed as a “Grade I historic building“, which means that it is a building “…of outstanding merit, which every effort should be made to preserve if possible.” In a city like Hong Kong that is full of skyscrapers and constant urban development, the conservation of these heritage sites is increasingly critical.
The Blue House is also home to the Hong Kong House of Stories, which hosts exhibitions that introduce visitors to the community and showcase the history and architectural features of the Blue House Cluster. The mini museum aims to raise public awareness of the regional and cultural conservation by providing information of past Hong Kong society and culture.
Getting to the Blue House Cluster is easy – it is located along Stone Nullah Lane just off Queen’s Road East. You can’t miss it as it sits just behind a row of rainbow-colored buildings!
3. Street art in Soho
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. The appearance of mainstream street art is a relatively new phenomena, with many local and international artists leaving their mark in the form of beautiful murals. Many of these pieces are hidden around little side streets, and 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 nooks and crannies.
If you really want to delve into the street art culture in Hong Kong, follow HKwalls, a non-profit arts organization that hosts annual street art festivals in the city.
Looking for a convenient and safe place to stay? Look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Soho, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay – click here to book accommodation in Hong Kong!
4. Flower Market Road
As the name suggests, this little road in Prince Edward is lined with a dozen or so flower shops. You might not end up buying anything, but a stroll along Flower Market Road is guaranteed to boost your mood instantaneously. Flowers are an important part of Chinese culture, and almost every flower has a different meaning behind it (never give a Chinese or Taiwanese person white flowers, unless you’re attending a funeral! They signify death and mourning). If you are visiting Hong Kong around Chinese New Year (typically around January/February), then you have to visit the flower market as it is packed to the brim with auspicious flowers and plants for good luck.
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5. Mini Flower Market in Wan Chai
Can’t make it over to the Flower Market Road in Kowloon? Then head to this (much) smaller market on Gresson Street in Wan Chai district. There are only 3-4 shops selling potted orchids, succulents and other flowers, but what I love about this little nook is the multi-coloured stalls! I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to visit this, but it is centrally located and a great place to stop if you’re in the area.
6. The Rainbow Stairs in Sheung Wan
Another landmark made popular by Instagram, this set of rainbow-coloured stairs is located in Sheung Wan on the corner of Mercer Street and Jervois Street. When you visit in person, you’ll notice the words “#prideinrainbow” at the bottom of the steps, and this is because it is thought that the steps were painted in support of LGBT rights in Hong Kong by an anonymous LGBT graffiti group. Though Hong Kong is an extremely international and diverse city, same-sex marriage is not yet legal.
7. Choi Hung Estate
Would it even be a “Colourful Hong Kong” list if it didn’t include Choi Hung Estate? Choi Hung literally means “rainbow” in Cantonese (the local language in Hong Kong), and as soon as you arrive at the subway station you’re greeted by multi-coloured subway walls! Once you arrive at Choi Hung stop, take the C4 exit and turn left after the underground tunnel. Look for staircase number 4 and take the stairs up to the top of the car park where the basketball courts are located. While its colourful exterior makes it an amazing photography location, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that many, many people call this place their home!
What you also need to know is that Choi Hung Estate is one of the oldest housing estates in Hong Kong and is home to more than 18,000 people (according to the Hong Kong Housing Authority). The wealth gap in Hong Kong is one of the highest in the world, with the richest household now earning about 44 times what the poorest family makes according to a government report; additionally, Hong Kong is constantly named as one of the most expensive places in the world to live in. Beyond its multicoloured facade, the density of the Choi Hung Estate gives you a glimpse into the living conditions of millions of people in Hong Kong.
Looking for even more insider tips for Hong Kong? Click here for more Hong Kong travel tips & destination guides!
If you are looking into where to stay in Hong Kong, check out hotels in Central, Soho, Wan Chai, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay to make the most of your time in the city. Click here to book accommodation in Hong Kong!
I’m constantly on the look out for more colourful places in Hong Kong, so be sure to subscribe to the e-mail newsletter below for more insider tips and guides! Have you visited my lovely home? Tell me all about your trip in the comments section!
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