A Solo Traveller’s Guide to Hong Kong

Hong Kong is perfect for solo travellers
Hong Kong is perfect for solo travellers | © Jason Knott / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re visiting Hong Kong on your own, you’ll be happy to know the city is well set up for solo travellers.

There are a number of advantages to exploring Hong Kong on your own; parts of the city, such as Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, are often crowded and streets can be challenging to navigate in groups. As a solo individual, you’ll be able to cover more ground with ease.

Budget restaurants in the downtown areas are often packed at lunchtime, so if you’re travelling with others, there’s a good chance your party might be split up. When travelling alone, you won’t have to worry about this, and will probably get a table a lot quicker than couples or big groups.

Hong Kong is also a destination with many single residents and travellers who are usually happy to engage in chit-chat, so you might just make a new friend over coffee.

Sample affordable local cuisine in SoHo

SoHo, AKA South of Hollywood Road, is a vibrant retail and dining area along the Central Mid-Levels Escalator in Hong Kong’s Central district. The streets in SoHo are full of independent eateries where you can feast without breaking the bank. For breakfast, stop by Lan Fong Yuen – a traditional Hong Kong chaa chan tang (teahouse restaurant that serves Westernised local dishes) for a Hong Kong-style milk tea and a pineapple bun with condensed milk. For lunch visit Lin Heung, one of Hong Kong’s oldest Cantonese-style restaurants, for dim sum, or sample a bowl of wonton noodles – a quintessential Hong Kong dish of egg noodles and shrimp and pork dumplings – at Mak’s Noodle.

Tuck into dim sum at Lin Heung

Pamper yourself in a boutique hotel

Hotel rooms in Hong Kong are usually smaller than those in less densely populated cities, but what they lack in size, they make up for in comfort, stylish decor and service. Hong Kong is a high-energy destination, so it’s good to have a private oasis where you can get some rest and relaxation. Cool options include The Murray, a stylish, business-focussed hotel in Central with free high-speed Wi-Fi, smart TVs, coffee pod machines and a rooftop restaurant; TUVE, a calming industrial-chic hotel in Causeway Bay; and the nostalgic, nautical-inspired The Fleming in Wan Chai.

The Murray is the height of luxury

Unwind with a stroll through the park

For greenery and fresh air, take a stroll through Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Central on Hong Kong Island or Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden in the Diamond Hill area of Kowloon. At the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, you can get some exercise at the fountain terrace, meditate in the bamboo garden or enjoy the company of the zoo’s resident flamingoes and monkeys. Chi Lin Nunnery – a Buddhist temple complex built of cedar wood in the traditional Tang Dynasty architectural style – and its adjacent Chinese garden, Nan Lian, has many enchanting bonsai trees and water features; a stroll here feels like stepping back in time to Ancient China.

Stroll through Chi Lin Nunnery’s Nan Lian Garden

Hike the Lion Rock Trail

A rocky peak in the New Territories with the distinctive outline of a lion’s head, Lion Rock is one of the best urban hikes in Hong Kong. The hike, which takes between two to five hours depending on your speed and fitness level, includes a steep 40-minute ascent and is an ideal way to squeeze in a workout while taking in magnificent views. Sights along the way include Beacon Hill, an old military beacon; Eagle’s Nest Hill, which looks out to stunning views of West Kowloon; and the Kowloon Reservoir, which was built in 1906.

Lion Rock is one of the best urban hikes in Hong Kong

Take a day trip to Mui Wo

Watch Hong Kong move at a slower pace in Mui Wo – a seaside town south of Lantau Island. Depending on whether you take the fast or slow ferry from Central Pier, the journey to Mui Wo takes between 30 minutes to an hour. Once you get off the ferry, head to Bahce Turkish near the pier for a kebab and some hummus. Not far from the restaurant is VIBE Book & Music Shop, a soulful bohemian store that sells books and vinyl records. If the weather is warm enough, a swim at Silvermine Bay Beach or a picnic at the Silvermine Waterfall are lovely ways to enjoy the outdoors before heading back to the city.

Take a day trip to Silvermine Waterfall

Explore the charming neighbourhood of Tai Hang

Not far from Causeway Bay is the quiet enclave of Tai Hang, which is home to vintage stores, cute restaurants and bars, and artisanal coffee shops. Stop for an aromatic brew at UNAR Coffee Company, a café young locals swear is the best in the land. Later, grab a seat at the bar counter at Ramen Nagi and slurp down a bowl of delicious soupy noodles, or shop for Japanese street-style clothing and accessories at Microwave fashion boutique. If you can’t get enough of Tai Hang, you can always stay the night at Little Tai Hang, an elegantly furnished boutique hotel.

Tai Hang’s streets are lined with vintage stores, restaurants, bars and coffee shops

Enjoy happy hour in Lan Kwai Fong

As the sun sets, kick back and people-watch with a beer or cocktail in the lively nightlife hub of Lan Kwai Fong. At Ciao Chow – an Italian café that looks out to lively D’Aguilar Street – you can tuck into a pizza and wash it down with a beer or glass of wine for half price. Or head to Irish bar Rúla Búla for half price off all standard drinks from 4 to 8pm every evening. If you feel like it, you can also stay on and dance the night away in one of Lan Kwai Fong’s many nightclubs.

Lan Kwai Fong is Hong Kong’s main party district

This article is an updated version of a story created by Sally Gao.

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