The 12 Best Experiences in Hong Kong

Enjoy unique experiences that reflect all Hong Kong has to offer
Enjoy unique experiences that reflect all Hong Kong has to offer | © Ian Hinchliffe / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Engstrand

Hong Kong is a multifaceted city. Part jungle, part metropolis, a thriving financial hub and a spiritual sanctuary, it truly needs to be thoroughly explored to be understood. If you’re ready to discover this SAR for yourself, check out these 12 experiences.

There are so many ways to experience Hong Kong. Adventure junkies can explore the area’s natural beauty by boat, on foot or even via rope. Those with tamer interests can spend an afternoon honing their Chinese painting skills or mastering the art of tea. Foodies are spoiled for choice, with dozens of tours and cooking classes available every day of the week. These top experiences will take you to mountaintops, through sea caves and everywhere in between.

1. Taste the Colour of Nature: Five Elements Food Art Box Course

Market

Courtesy of Cookly

Food and spirituality are both integral parts of the culture in Hong Kong, so embrace them with a hands-on course. This isn’t your traditional Cantonese cooking class. Instead, this one focuses on creating whimsical bento boxes with seasonal ingredients. After a walk through the city’s dried seafood district, you’ll work with trained therapists to uncover your personal colour associations and learn how to work with Wu Xing, or Five Elements, energy to create something both beautiful and delicious.

2. Dim Sum: Xiao Long Bao Cooking Class in Hong Kong

School

Courtesy of Cookly

If you’ve had dim sum before, then you know exactly how delicious xiao long bao are. These steamed pouches of heaven are also known as soup dumplings, because they’re filled with bubbling hot broth. Learn the secret to this culinary miracle (from a family recipe) so you can bring the magic home with you. Vegetarian and pescatarian options are available, just let the team know in advance.

3. Hong Kong Horse Racing Tour

Tours

If you love horse racing, then this is the tour for you. Get up close and personal with one of Hong Kong’s two famous horse racing venues, and spend the day rooting for your picks from the lush Members’ Enclosure. If you’re new to racing, this tour comes with a ‘how to’ guide and a HK$30 (£3) betting voucher to get you started. Live the high life by spending the day sipping on complimentary wine, beer and drinks and nibbles at the buffet. It even includes round-trip transportation to your hotel.

6. A Rock Climber’s Guide to Hong Kong

Natural Feature

Courtesy of Viator

Ready to see the city from a totally different perspective? Harness up and hit the mountains for a rock climb. Whether you’re brand-new to climbing or an expert, these guides know the perfect route for your group and will tailor it to suit everyone’s abilities. Every group is limited to four people, so you’ll feel safe and supported the entire day. And if you’re nervous, just think of the views to come.

7. Neon Signs in Hong Kong – A Photo Tour

Building

Once upon a time, Hong Kong was completely illuminated with neon signs. They advertised everything from restaurants to printing shops, but now they’re almost extinct. Learn about their fascinating history as you walk through the most iconic spots in the city. You’ll learn how these signs were made and get professional tips on how to photograph them. Take a quick break at Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop for a £3.70 Michelin-star meal, before finishing the night at Ocean Terminal Deck for a 270-degree light-filled view over Victoria Harbour.

8. Mindful Tai Chi With a Master

Fitness Studio

Hong Kong is stressful. Take some time to chill out with a tai chi class led by a master. Tai chi, also known as shadow boxing, integrates the mind and body and enhances one’s qi (vital life force). Here, overlooking Victoria Harbour, you’ll learn all about the history of this ancient martial art and go through a series of motions to stimulate your qi and strengthen your body. This is great for beginners, but not suitable for children.

9. Hong Kong Helicopter Tour

Historical Landmark

Once you see the Hong Kong skyline, you’ll understand why Hong Kongers are so obsessed with it. Of course, you can check it out from a rooftop bar or ogle it from the top of a mountain, but the coolest way to take it all in is with a helicopter tour. Soar higher than the skyscrapers and see the mountainous, tropical coastline and myriad islands dotting the clear waters. Tours range from 18-45 minutes long, and you can opt to reflect on the experience over the Peninsula Hotel’s famous afternoon tea.

10. Chinese Painting Class

Art Gallery

Instead of trawling through markets for the perfect souvenir, make a totally unique one for yourself at this Chinese painting class. Learn what it takes to craft your own work of art under the watchful eye of a talented artist and while sipping on copious amounts of tea. You’ll experiment with Chinese paintbrushes, rice paper and collage techniques before making your final masterpiece. Chinese art is typically inspired by the natural world, so look around you and find the beauty in the everyday, like graceful stalks of bamboo, elegant flowers or colourful fish.

11. Experience the Art of Tea Tasting

Market

Courtesy of Cookly

Awaken your senses with a tea tasting at MingCha Tea House. Spend a few hours in the company of tea masters who will take you through four unique teas that are little known outside Asia. Not only will you learn about the distinct production processes, but you’ll delve into the flavour profiles and learn how to expertly brew your own at home. Smell, taste, touch and see the differences between tea leaves and find your perfect blend. This is a great option for families with young children, too.

12. Reflexology Foot Massage

Spa

After days of exploring, you deserve to treat yourself, and how better than with a quintessential Hong Kong experience? Do as the locals do and opt for a relaxing foot massage. Ten Feet Tall offers one of the best experiences in the city. Head to one of their two branches and spoil your sore feet with a reflexology massage. It might hurt a bit at first, but when it’s over you’ll be walking on air. They offer pressure point, aromatic and lymphatic drainage massages as well, if the rest of your body is craving a reset.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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