Dim Sum in City Hall
Given that most people will be eating plenty of great local food, going for Dim Sum is an essential experience. Try Maxim’s Palace in City Hall, Central. Get there early, as you will likely have to queue after 12pm, but once you have your table you can order your dishes directly from the many waitresses who push trolleys around the floor.
For a place so renowned for its urban density and sheer number of people, Hong Kong has surprisingly many options for getting back into nature, often just a few minutes out of the city center. Anyone who has lived here will have their own preference for weekend hiking trails, of which the most well-known include the Dragon’s Back, the Maclehose Trail, or the Twins.
Hiring a tram
As you wander around the streets of Hong Kong, you will regularly see trams still trundling up and down the middle of the street. Surprisingly efficient and useful, less than 3HKD will get you a ride to wherever you need to go. Similarly, there are also sightseeing trams like TramOramic Tours that will take you back and forth between Western Market and Causeway.
Going out very late
Start with some decent Chinese food, then beers outside Stormy Weather’s in Lan Kwai Fong, moving on to cocktails in the classier establishments just above on Wyndham Street, or at one of the city’s many hidden bars, such as Jaa Bar or Feather Boa’s. As midnight approaches, next stop is Wanchai for one of the bars with live bands that play until the early hours, such as Dusk ‘Til Dawn, or the legendary Joe Bananas.
Hong Kong History Museum
The Hong Kong History Museum provides some interesting background as to just how Hong Kong ended up the way it did. Starting back in the prehistoric times, then picking up from the British colonization after the Opium Wars, through the Japanese invasion in WWII, the handover back to China in 1997 and right up into Hong Kong’s recent history.
Ryze has an indoor field of 40 linked trampolines, including angled wall trampolines, allowing you to bounce across the whole room and off the walls to your heart’s content. There’s an obstacle course, slack line, a trapeze, and a whole host of other ways of having fun. They even have theme nights, including an 80s music event.
Ryze, 3/F Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay, HK, +852 2337 8191
Horse Racing at Happy Valley
Even if you are not a gambler, it is worth a visit to one of the world’s largest horse racing courses on a Wednesday evening race night. See the local punters poring over the form papers, before putting down staggering amounts of money on every possible combination of riders.
Boat ride and seafood dinner
There are many great seafood restaurants on Hong Kong’s outlying islands. Of course, to get to the outlying islands you’ll need to take a ferry from Central, which is half the fun. From the ferry piers outside IFC2, enjoy the boat ride through Hong Kong harbor, particularly at night as the lights kick in, before then heading out into the sea. The most well-known of these island spots is the famous Lamma Rainbow restaurant on Lamma Island.
Monastery of 10,000 Buddhas
For a moment of calm in Hong Kong life, visit the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery near Sha Tin station. Once you have hiked up the hill to get there, the monastery, consisting of five temples, four pagodas and a pavilion, is filled with golden Buddhas on every wall; each with their own look and characteristics.
Get a suit made
Hong Kong is a great place to have suits, or indeed any other clothing, made to your specifications, often within 24 hours. Having a tailor formally measure you up for a bespoke suit, whilst often not cheap, is still more affordable than in many other parts of the world, and is a very luxurious experience. There are plenty of places to choose from; the most famous is probably Sam’s Tailors in Kowloon.
Go for a foot massage
Sit back and let the stress and chaos of Hong Kong be soothed out of your system with a sensual foot massage. There are many places where you can go, some more reputable than others, but Gao’s Foot massage is one of the best.
Tai Mei Tuk
If you are comfortable on two wheels, Tai Mei Tuk provides rental shops with bikes of all shapes and sizes, and then 100 miles of bike paths to ride them on. The area is also popular for BBQs; sit around and watch the sun go down as you cook alfresco.
A conservation facility set up to preserve green areas under threat from new urban development, the wetlands provide another oasis out of the city. Apart from getting some fresh air, you also get a chance to see local celebrity Pui Pui, the crocodile. The park is also popular with birdwatchers. Take your binoculars or camera with a suitably long zoom lens to catch some great shots.
Tin Shi Wai Village, Yuen Long District, HK, +852 3152 2666
Visit Nine Pins & Tung Lung Pirate Fort
The little-known, or seen, Nine Pin Islands are a development of columnar hexagonal jointing, which means they resemble Giants’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Go out by boat to circumnavigate the picturesque islands, and then take time to also wander around the scenic Tung Lung Fort, designed to defend the coast from pirate attacks. The Royal Geographic Society occasionally runs guided tours.