Whether you are visiting Hong Kong as a stop over, or even if you have lived there for years – be sure to try these 5 unique things in Hong Kong.
1. Party on transport
Partying in a bar is so old school. The main partying in Hong Kong occurs on boats and trams!
Junk boat parties are THE THING to do in Hong Kong during summer. Perfect for sun baking, drinking, swimming and dancing the day away in some of Hong Kong’s most picturesque and remote locations. You can either hire your own boat with a bunch of friends, or join an existing party. Some boat companies allow you to BYO food and drink. Other more expensive boats usually have free flow drinks and food included. On the fancier boats waterslides and water skiing may also be included. For some of Time Out’s recommended junk boat options and prices click here.
If boats aren’t your thing, you can also party on a tram or “ding ding” as they call it in Hong Kong (not to be confused with ding dong which is a brothel). Similar to the junk boat, you can hire the whole tram or join an existing tram party. You will need to bring your own food, drinks and music, and the route is dependent on the amount of time you hire the tram for. For bookings see HK Tramways site.
2. Eat unusual food
When I was working in Hong Kong, my team’s favourite thing to do, was to get me to eat unusual food. They would order random dishes at lunch, and then take great delight in telling me what I had just eaten. Whether it was chicken feet, cow stomach, jelly fish or chicken balls I gave it all a go.
Probably the best unusual dining experience I had was at Snake King in Sham Shui Po. You get a 10 course snake banquet which allows you to try dishes such as: snake soup, gecko stew, turtle soup, ostrich and snake bile alcohol. To me all the food just tasted like chicken, so I recommend you give it a try. The restaurant will even let you hold a live snake after the meal! Note the menu is all in Cantonese, so I suggest you ask your hotel or a Cantonese speaking friend to help you book this restaurant in. Also it is better to go with a larger group of people, as there is plenty of food.
3. Visit interesting statues
We aren’t really the sort of people to go out of our way to see things like statues, temples or churches. Case in point, for three years we lived two doors down from the famous Man Mo Temple. I only went to see it this year, and Dean still hasn’t seen it. So if you are like us, visiting statues and temples is not high on the list of things to do. But we think these statues are pretty interesting and worth seeing :
- Big Buddha (also known as Tian Tan Buddha statue) – is very impressive and sits amongst the Hong Kong country side. It can be reached by cable car or you can hike. The buddha itself is free, but if you catch the cable car, check Klook for discount tickets. Also dress warm, as it gets very cold and windy up there.
- 10,000 Buddhas – if you want to visit somewhere a bit more off the beaten track than the Big Buddha, then this is the place to go. We really enjoyed the facial expressions on the buddhas and at times we had the whole park to ourselves. Check out this article we wrote for another website on how to get there and tips on what to expect.
- Waterfall bay park – 100s of different religions’ statues line the walkways at Waterfall bay park. The community built this from their discarded religious figures. Instead of throwing them out, they brought their statues down here to create a religious shrine for everyone to enjoy. Again this destination is a bit more off the beaten track and doesn’t appear in typical guide books.
4. Visit secret restaurants and bars
While rooftop bars are all the rage in Hong Kong, the hidden bar and restaurant scene is also emerging.
One of our favourite restaurants is Ms Pound. It serves Asian fusion food and is hidden in what appears to be a stamp (or chop) shop. While figuring out how to get into the restaurant is lots of fun, you really want to check this place out for their delicious food.
Similarly one of our favourite bars is Iron Fairies, which is off Hollywood Road in Central. With a nondescript entrance off Pottinger street, just look for the place where there are people lining up outside. With live music, 10,000 butterflies hanging from the roof and pots of fairies scattered around the place, it feels miles away from Hong Kong.
5. Hike on paved trails
Hong Kong really is a concrete jungle, so much so, that even a number of the hikes are paved! While hiking isn’t really a unique activity, hiking on concrete is! Some of our favourite paved hikes in Hong Kong are: the Peak Circle Walk, Garden Hill in Sham Shui Po and the Tai Po waterfront.
Do you have any other tips for unique things to do in Hong Kong? Comment below. If you are interested in other unique things about Hong Kong check out our recent blog posts: Tips on Hong Kong’s unique dining etiquette or 5 Hong Kong quirks to know before you visit.