You could easily spend days in Causeway Bay, one of the busiest neighborhoods on Hong Kong Island. Jam-packed with restaurants and shops, but also featuring Hong Kong’s main library, as well as the Island’s largest public park, there truly is something for everyone. For those who don’t actually have days to spare, we’ve come up with the top 10 things that should be on your Causeway Bay to-do list.
Hong Kong Times Square area at night
Not as big as the other Times Square, or as famous, but it’s a sight you should not skip when exploring Causeway Bay. Interestingly, the square wasn’t previously part of Causeway Bay, but due to some merging and moving of imaginary borders. most guidebooks will now agree that it’s part of the area, if not a prime attraction. Why go at night? Easy – because the glass-walled malls and high-rises filled with shops look so much prettier all lit up. Plus, where else are you going to find a place where some shops welcome you until well after midnight?
1 Matheson St, Causeway Bay
Shopping in SOGO
For many, Causeway Bay represents one thing, and one thing only: shopping. From gigantic shopping malls to local retailers, and from high-end fashion to affordable chains; Causeway Bay has it all. Visit SOGO, Hong Kong’s largest Japanese-style department store or check out some local designers at Fashion Walk. It’s not just about clothes either; those looking for electronics or household items are sure to find their fix too.
Noonday Gun, Houston Street
A stone’s throw away from Houston Street is one of Hong Kong’s more peculiar tourist attractions. Every day at noon, a small crowd gathers to watch an employee of multinational company Jardine Matheson fire a 3-pounder naval gun. Historians can’t quite agree what started the tradition, but the fact is you can witness it in action. As they only fire it once, the whole ceremony doesn’t take up much time, leaving you with plenty to take some photos of the nice harbour views. You won’t stumble across the gun by accident, as you have to walk through a tunnel to get there. You can find the entrance underneath the World Trade Centre.
221 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay
Ride the Ding Ding, Hong Kong’s Ancient Tram
Causeway Bay is by no means the only place to enjoy a ride on one of Hong Kong’s ancient trams. It is, however, a neighborhood where the number of pedestrians per square meter of pavement can make you a little claustrophobic. The Ding Ding offers relief. Its slow pace and many stops will give you plenty of time to admire your surroundings. Make sure you get yourself a seat on the upper deck, so you have a good view of the crowded sidewalks beneath you. It won’t get you to your destination any faster than walking, but it does give you the chance to have a proper look around. So hop on, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
Get Lost in the Causeway Bay Markets & Side Streets
Put your map away and just explore. With Hong Kong being one of the safest cities in the world, you can feel comfortable wandering off into the unknown. Step away from the main roads, head into the side streets and find out what lies around the next corner. Top tip: go up! Take a lift, a set of stairs or escalators up and you might suddenly find yourself in a 4th floor nail salon or a Korean BBQ restaurant nine floors above the ground.
Market, Chinese, Street Food
Whether you’re hungry or not, Houston Street – or Food Street – is a great place to check out. Tucked away in the crowded shopping area, it’s a little street with some of the nicest al fresco dining options in the city. Cuisines range from Italian to Thai, with most places open for both lunch and dinner. If you’re not quite ready for food yet, just stroll through and peek into the side streets. You might catch groups of fashionable girls using the nicely painted walls as backgrounds for their Instagram photoshoot.
The Coffee Academics
Cafe, Pastries, Tea
Coffee lovers enjoy this place for its great, well, coffee. But it’s also a wonderful spot to rest your feet, have some food and relax. One of the perks of this particular location (you can find them in a few other places in Hong Kong) is the inside-outside vibe they manage to create. A row of windows opens up right onto the street, leaving you with a terrace feeling while being safe from any unexpected rain. Too hot for coffee? They also serve a mean iced tea.
Hong Kong Central Library
Lovers of literature can flock to this building. Featuring an innovative overhead book carousel that automatically catalogs hundreds of books and transports them to their rightful sections, the establishment redefines the essence of libraries, infusing technological advancements so as to appeal to the younger generation. With a designated area for children to enter a fantasy world of castles, faraway lands and mythical creatures, families can come and enjoy the company of a thrilling novel. The first mode of conveying morals, thoughts and quirky characters, the Hong Kong Central library evokes nostalgic memories that can be forever treasured. Watch out for: Arts Resource Center
Named after the former British Queen herself, Victoria Park is the largest public park on Hong Kong Island. It features a fountain, some ponds, large grassy areas and plenty of benches dotted around its windy paths. Depending on the time of day, and of course the weather, you’ll find people having a picnic, practising tai chi or doing a lap on the dedicated jogging trail. It won’t top the list of the world’s most beautiful parks, but it’s a welcome bit of green in the middle of Hong Kong.
Tin Hau Temple
The Tin Hau temple in Causeway Bay is a fully functional temple and a declared monument. It’s one of more than 100 temples dedicated to Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea. The small structure dates back just over 150 years and stands out between the neighboring skyscrapers. A small garden offers some peace and quiet, a nice contrast with the hustle and bustle of daily Hong Kong life. The Tai family who built the temple still manages it today.