Shop, eat and play up a storm as the always-buzzing metropolis ups the ante this August.
Vibrant, fascinating and always changing, Hong Kong is a city that sweeps you away with its character and energy.
Make the most of the summer by having a fun-packed holiday in Hong Kong filled with top buys, yummy eats, as well as eSports and music.
SO MUCH TO DO
Whether you busy yourself with packing your suitcase with the best buys, exploring hidden nooks and crannies for hole-in-the-wall eateries with scrumptious grub, and visiting all the latest bars, there is an almost endless list of things to tick off your to-do list when you are in Hong Kong.
For starters, read this insider guide to five of the territory’s coolest neighbourhoods, where a dizzying gamut of fun, surprises and unexpected discoveries awaits you. Let your senses soak in the vibe of hip nightlife spots and the tastiness of the food that locals queue up for after a long, hard day.
Zero in on our picks of each district so you make every second of your stay in the busy territory count by visiting only the best eateries, restaurants, malls, shops, bars and entertainment venues.
1. SHAM SHUI PO
Blend of tradition and modernity
This may be one of the first few districts to be developed in Hong Kong, but it somehow manages to keep with the times yet retain its charm — thanks to the young people who have added new life into the area through their various creative pursuits. So don’t be surprised to see old eateries co-existing with new, trendy spaces. Here are some spots to stop by:
Hang Sing LP Records (Map location: SSP 08)
This will be a haven to fans of vintage records and music harking back to yesteryears. At this speciality store, cassette tapes, gramophone records, second-hand turntables and vintage treasures are just waiting to be discovered by savvy collectors. The friendly and knowledgeable owner may even share a tale or two about some of the records.
Address: No. 56B, Mezz Floor, Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Opening hours: 1.30pm to 8.30pm
How to get there: MTR Sham Shui Po Station C2, walk for about six minutes
Oi Man Sang (Map location: SSP 02)
Tuck into your grub and watch the streets teem with people and traffic too. This dai pai dong, or open-air food stall, has been a well-loved haunt with locals since it opened in 1956. Noodles, razor clams, squid and other local delicacies, which are stir-fried in a wok over an open flame on a concrete stove, retain the unmistakable flavour of wok hei, or the breath of a wok, thanks to the cook’s skill and dexterity.
Address: Shop C, 1 Shek Kip Mei Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Opening hours: 5.30pm to 12.45am
How to get there: MTR Sham Shui Po Station Exit A2, walk for about seven minutes
Wontonmeen (Map location: SSP 01)
Named after Hong Kong’s national noodle dish of wonton mee, you’d be forgiven for thinking Wontonmeen is an eatery, but it is not. Converted from an old apartment building, this creative space is where you will find art studios as well as a bookstore, café and hostel.
Address: 135 Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Opening hours: 11am to 7pm
2. SOUTHERN DISTRICT
Arts and food galore
Amid a scenic southern coast lies a district that once largely comprised industrial areas. But since the MTR South Island Line opened late last year, the area has offered locals and visitors more arts, food, shopping and nightlife options. Take your time to discover cool eateries, galleries, small shops and private kitchens. Make it a point to visit:
Rossi & Rossi (Map location: SD 05)
As hip as it is relevant, this gallery is a great place to look for works from contemporary artists from the Asia-Pacific region. Its clientele includes major players like New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hong Kong’s M+ and the Tokyo National Museum. Seminars are also held here to encourage artistic dialogue.
Address: 3C Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong Island
Opening hours: 11am to 6pm (Closed on Mon and Sun)
How to get there: MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station Exit A2, walk for about one minute
Dine Art Cosimo’s Private Kitchen (Map location: SD 07)
From the open kitchen, see how Italian chef Cosimo Taddei executes his culinary vision. Admire the paintings adorning the walls of the restaurant as you enjoy the inspired and delectable dishes. A reservation is a must.
Address: Room A&B, 16/F, Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong Island
Opening hours: Noon to 3pm (Closed on Sat and Sun)
How to get there: MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station Exit B, walk for about two minutes
Aberdeen Reservoir (Map location: SD 20)
Step into Aberdeen Country Park, and take a leisurely walk along the reservoir to reconnect with nature and leave the city behind. Along the flat and largely shaded trail, you can check out historical buildings like the stone bridge, valve house and dams.
Address: Aberdeen Reservoir, Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island
How to get there: From MTR Wong Chuk Hang Station Exit B, walk for five minutes to Victory Factory Building, and take minibus No. 4C — get off at Hoy Au Lau Yue Kwong Chuen and walk for about eight minutes
3. TSIM SHA TSUI
Full of surprises
A leisurely ride on the famous Star Ferry and extensive shopping marathons in glitzy malls may top your to-do list, but do carve out time to discover equally appealing options in this intriguing neighbourhood — such as creative shops, chilled-out restaurants and hip bars hidden in nooks and corners. Here are some noteworthy hangouts:
LAB Designer Items Collector (Map location: TST 08)
The name of this funky space is an acronym of the last name of its two owners, the Leung brothers, as well as their first names Ambrose and Boniface. The laboratory concept is also evident in the store’s interior and its philosophy, where unique and handmade items from independent brands and artists are experimented on.
Address: 4/F, Honytex Building, 22 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opening hours: Noon to 8pm (Mon to Sat), noon to 6pm (Sun)
How to get there: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit R, walk for about four minutes
Knutsford Terrace (Map location: TST 19)
Hidden away from the busy main streets is this chilled-out area dotted with bars and dozens of restaurants offering a myriad of cuisines from all over the world. Chill out with a drink at an alfresco patio bar after a satisfying meal.
Address: Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui
How to get there: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit B1, walk for about six minutes
Spark Chamber (Map location: TST 11)
This charming shop specialises in floral-themed decorations such as DIY floral lamps and preserved flower ornaments. Its most popular product is the Spark Bottle, a transparent light bulb filled with dried and preserved flowers. Learn how to make these unique and eye-catching mementos at a workshop.
Address: 1/F, 19 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opening hours: Noon to 9pm
How to get there: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit P2, walk for about three minutes
4. WAN CHAI
Melting pot of old and new
In this fascinating neighbourhood, you will find inspiring examples of the old and new co-existing — be it East-meets-West architecture, speciality stores sprung up from an old market, and a 19th-century pawnshop turned bar — all of which give Wan Chai its unique character. Don’t miss these highlights:
Tai Yuen Street (Toy Street) (Map location: WC 15)
Lined with toy shops, this area is also known aptly as Toy Street. It is frequented by locals and tourists alike who have a penchant for classic local toys. This is also a good place to buy decorations during festive periods.
Address: Tai Yuen Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
How to get there: MTR Wan Chai Station Exit A3, walk for about one minute
The Pawn (Map location: WC 17)
Housed in a former pawnshop built in the 19th century, The Pawn is a gorgeous bar and restaurant imbued with an unmistakable colonial vibe. Sip a drink on the first floor and proceed upstairs for tasty British dishes prepared skilfully by chef Anthony Fletcher.
Address: 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
Opening hours: Noon to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10pm (Mon to Sat), 11am to 2.30pm, and 6.30pm to 10pm (Sun)
How to get there: MTR Wan Chai Station Exit A3, walk for about four minutes
Ani-Com Park@Harbour"FUN" (Map location: WC 01)
As you snap shots of the famous Golden Bauhinia Square, make a stop at the nearby space called Ani-Com Park@Harbour"FUN", where larger-than-life statues of 30 classic local ani-com characters, including Old Master Q, Cloud, Wong Xiao Hu, On On & Guy Guy and Ding Ding Penguin, are waiting to be featured in your selfies.
Address: The promenade and open space near Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai
How to get there: MTR Wan Chai Station Exit A5, walk for about 16 minutes
5. YUEN LONG
Head back to nature
Recharge your mind and body in the fresh air of Yuen Long in New Territories. Spend a day exploring the walled villages and old buildings of Ping Shan, go bird-spotting in Tin Shui Wai, or catch a stunning sunset at Lau Fau Shan while dining on fresh seafood. Make time for:
Kei O (Map location: YL 14)
This traditional confectioner specialises in handmade Chinese sweets like its famous peanut candies, which are prepared the old-school way. Qingdao pearl peanuts, maltose, sesame and other ingredients are mixed with a shovel, poured into a mould, then cut into pieces when cool. You can watch the whole process in the shop itself.
Address: 36 Yuen Long Main Road, New Territories
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm
How to get there: MTR Yuen Long Station Exit A, walk for about eight minutes
Wing Nin Noodle (Map location: YL 06)
Having been around for five decades, Wing Nin has morphed from grocery store to a popular eatery ably run by three generations of the Lau family so far. The speciality here is cart noodles. To enjoy the dish, simply pick your preferred noodle type, a soup base and a few toppings, then top it off with its signature curry sauce.
Address: Shop 2–4, Po Shing Building, 88 Kau Yuk Road, Yuen Long, New Territories
Opening hours: Noon to 10pm
How to get there: MTR Long Ping Station Exit D, walk for about 10 minutes
Hong Kong Wetland Park (Map location: YL 01)
Spanning 60 hectares, this sprawling wetland reserve doubles up as an ecotourism park. Trek through a variety of habitats and learn about the diversity of Hong Kong’s flora and fauna. Highlights include the Stream Walk, Succession Walk, Mangrove Boardwalk and Bird Hides.
Address: Wetland Park Road, Tin Shui Wai, New Territories
Opening hours: 10am to 5pm (Closed on Tue, except public holidays)
How to get there: MTR Tin Shui Wai Station, change to 705 Light Rail and alight at Tin Sau Station or Wetland Park Station
EXPERIENCE THE ACTION FIRST-HAND
In exciting Hong Kong, you never have to worry about running out of things to do, especially when you visit in August. A major festival that fuses music, food and eSports is set to change the way you think about entertainment.
ICBC (Asia) eSports and Music Festival Hong Kong
A festival that integrates music, eSports and food this sizzling summer. Look out for:
Return of the Legends
A League of Legends (LOL) International Invitational, with an unprecedented line-up of 20 former pro-players who won major tournaments and even World Championships, will take centrestage in Hong Kong this summer to take a shot at glory.
Return of the Legends will be live streamed in eight languages — Cantonese, English, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.
SMTOWN Special Stage in Hong Kong [Sold out at time of print]
Tickets for SMTOWN’s first show in Hong Kong featuring popular K-pop acts such as SUPER JUNIOR — D&E, SUPER JUNIOR — YESUNG, SHINee, f(x) Luna, EXO, Red Velvet, NCT 127 and NCT DREAM at Hong Kong Coliseum on Aug 5 are sold out at time of print.
Look forward to a first-person experience of eSports games and related activities, like autograph sessions with LOL champion gamers, key opinion leaders (KOLs) and streamers’ live studio footage, snapshots with cosplayers, a virtual reality zone, and more.
Food trucks will be at the festival to serve up great-tasting Hong Kong dishes.
When: Aug 4 to 6 (Friday to Sunday)
Where: Hong Kong Coliseum
Return of the Legends
Aug 4, 10am (Semi-finals: Team Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau vs Team Europe)
Aug 6, 10am (Semi-finals: Team North America vs Team Mainland China)
Aug 6, 7pm (Finals and prize presentation)
Event website: www.emfhk.com
SMTOWN Special Stage in Hong Kong
Aug 5, 8pm [Sold out at time of print]
Ticket prices: Return of the Legends (HK$480, HK$280, HK$150, HK$80); Festival Zone (HK$10; at-the-door purchase)
Ticketing website: www.urbtix.hk