I consider Hong Kong to be my second home. I was born in Hong Kong, moved to the United States when I was 2, but I’ve been back at least 10 times since. I’m fortunate enough to have family there and a place to stay. Sometimes I even consider moving back for a while; it’s a small country but it has a lot to offer. The last time I went back (my November 2014 trip) I realized Hong Kong is more than just its city life – there’s a whole nature side of beaches and hiking trails I have yet to explore. Turns out that even though I’ve basically lived in Hong Kong for a few months at a time, there are many parts of Hong Kong I haven’t even seen. But for now, let me share with you some of my favorite things to do in Hong Kong, and I’ll add to this list overtime as I continue to explore more of the beautiful country.
What To Do in Hong Kong
1. Grab Snacks at Circle K or 7-Eleven
In Hong Kong (and most of Asia), there are awesome Asian snacks offered at your local convenience store. Every time I land in Hong Kong, the first thing I do is pick up snacks like Baby Star Ramen (pictured below, but I get the Chicken Noodle flavor like in the link), as well as these Nin Jiom Herbal Candies (Tangerine Flavor) cause I’m weird, and some Vitasoy Lemon Tea. Those are my personal favorites but there are a lot of other snacks that would probably better interest you.
2. Eat at Cafe de Coral (In Cantonese 大家樂, pronounced Dai Ga Lok)
The second thing I do after I land is, I eat at Cafe de Coral – a delicious and affordable Hong Kong chain restaurant. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the quality varies at different restaurants in the chain. If they serve their drinks in plastic cups instead of glass cups, I’d steer clear.
This is my go-to meal. 凍檸茶, 叉雞飯, and 雪菜肉絲米粉. Pictured from left to right: Lemon Tea, BBQ Pork + Bok Choy + Hainan Chicken+ Rice , and Shredded Pork & Pickled Cabbage Vermicelli Noodle Soup.
Guess how much this meal costs? About $4 USD. I know. It’s amazing.
Of course there are a LOT of delicious restaurants to check out in Hong Kong – but going to Cafe De Coral is just a tradition of mine.
3. Crane Games at Langham Place, Mong Kok
So honestly there’s only one small arcade in Langham Place, but the shopping center is a great place to visit. Langham Place is beautifully decorated and has one of the longest escalators in Hong Kong. Personally, I like visiting the mall’s Namco Arcade cause I can play games like this:
4. Room Escape Game!
The Room Escape Game originated in Japan and is starting to get more popular worldwide. In the game, you and your teammates are ‘trapped’ in a room and you have a set amount of time to escape. To get out, you have to find clues and solve puzzles until you reach the end. Having gone to the ones in California, I was blown away by the high tech versions in Hong Kong. The Room Escape Games in Hong Kong are so advanced that the last one I went to used projectors, doors that automatically opened when puzzles were solved, and lasers that you needed to dodge to get to the next step.
There are a bunch of these games in Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Causeway Bay. Here is a pretty good list of escape games in Hong Kong.
5. Big Wave Bay
One day I agreed to surf at Big Wave Bay at 6 AM with my friend. I had never gone, but it ended up being one of the most exhilarating times I’ve ever had in my travels.
To get there:
1. Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station exit A3 (blue line)
2. From the Shau Kei Wan bus terminal nearby, get on the number 9 bus for Shek O
3. Get off at the intersection of Shek O Road & Big Wave Bay Road (at a sharp U-turn)
4. Walk 10 minutes to the Big Wave Bay Village and beach
Initially suffering from the cold, I stepped into the surprisingly warm waters that made waking up at 5 AM worth it. And I remember the massive cliffs surrounding the beach made me feel so small. I love that feeling. Although I wasn’t really able to stand on the surf board (I’m a terrible wannabe surfer), I had a great time just being in Big Wave Bay.
6. The Peak Galleria of Victoria Peak
I like going to The Peak Galleria, a shopping centre on the moutain, and eating at their pho restaurant while looking out at the view. If you walk out the back of the shopping center and walk down a bit you can enjoy an even better view of Hong Kong and Kowloon.
7. Lan Kwai Fong – Hong Kong Pub Crawl
Lan Kwai Fong is the main drinking area located in Central. The small square of diagonally sloped streets is lined with bars and clubs and gets completely packed around 11 PM, especially on weekends. Normally, you’ll find a lot of international people especially from Europe visiting.
When you get there it’ll seem like there’s a limited amount of venues, but in the last 2 years I realized there are a bunch of ‘secret’ spots if you go into some of the buildings and take the elevators on up. I found this out on a trip back in 2013 when I tried out the Hong Kong Pub Crawl. If you want to make new friends and discover what LKF has to offer, this is the best way to do so. When you join, you’ll be led by a few of the workers who take you on a route of different clubs and bars, many of which you will not have even known about. I was a bit shy when I joined, and there were a lot of people who already came with their friends so it was more difficult to break past my introversion. However, I ended up making a good friend from London, who I visited later in 2014 when I went to the UK!
8. HK Disneyland and Ocean Park
I love Hong Kong Disneyland! The park is a bit small but the tickets are super cheap (about $50) compared to the ones in Los Angeles, California and Orlando, Florida. The park has grown a lot, though, and now that I checked out the expanded park in 2014, I think it is definitely worth the visit.
Ocean Park is another amusement park that has a lot of animals and rides. It’s pretty fun to visit cause I like seeing the animals (especially the pandas), but I think I prefer Disneyland!
9. A Symphony of Lights
A Symphony of Lights, according to Wikipedia, is the “world’s largest permanent light and sound show according to the Guinness World Records”. Every night this show happens at 8 PM until 8:14 PM, in which buildings around Hong Kong island light up in sync with the music played.
One of the best places to watch is at Tsim Sha Tsui (in Kowloon) in front of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. To get there, you can take the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour from Central (or Wan Chai) to Kowloon. The ferry only costs $2 HKD on weekdays and $3.40 HKD on weekends (around 25-50 cents USD)!
If you know me, you’ll know I love singing. With karaoke in Asia, you and your friends book a room and select songs to sing to on their karaoke machine from their catalog. You basically pay for the time spent in the room. Every trip to Hong Kong, I make sure I hit up Neway, a very nice karaoke spot that has an included buffet if you opt in for it (which actually tastes good). It’s such a good hangout spot – if it were in the states I’m pretty sure I would go all the time.
11. Lamma Island
I have yet to go to Lamma Island, but after seeing it in an episode of “The Layover” with Anthony Bourdain, I am convinced I need to go!
12. Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour
This restaurant is a bit more on the expensive side (about $50 an entree), but I like it for the experience. You get to take a free shuttle boat over to enjoy the gorgeous views and decorations the restaurant has to offer!
Jumbo Floating Restaurant – Check out this picture on our Instagram!
I love Hong Kong. It’s not just about the attractions and the food, but it’s also the atmosphere and of course the family I get to see out there. It’s a great place to visit and live in! Do you have any other things to add on this list? Comment below and let us know!