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The Best Alternative Things To Do In Hong Kong

The Best Alternative Things To Do In Hong Kong

Picture of Ian Mote
Updated: 9 February 2017
Hong Kong has everything you could ask for in a tourist destination, and the perfect mix of of East and West. That said, most visitors tend to tread the same tourist routes. There are many other activities beyond the obvious guide-book favorites though; we list some of the best.

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.

Maxim’s Palace Chinese Restaurant, 2/F, Low Block, City Hall, Central, HK, +852 2521 1303


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.

Image courtesy of Hong Kong Tramway

Image courtesy of Hong Kong Tramway

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.

Photo Courtesy of Joe Bananas

Photo Courtesy of 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.

Hong Kong History Museum, Science Museum Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, HK, +852 2724 9042

Image Courtesy of Hong Kong Science Museum

Image Courtesy of Hong Kong Science Museum

Go Trampolining

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.

Happy Valley Race Course, 6/F Grandstand, Happy Valley Racecourse, Happy Valley, HK, +852 2895 1523

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.

Lamma Rainbow, 23 – 25 First Street, Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island, HK, +852 2981 8100

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.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Tai Po Road, Sha Tin, HK +852 2691 1067

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.

Sam’s Tailors, G/F Burlington Arcade, 90-94 Nathan Road, Kowloon, HK, +852 2367 9423

Photo Courtesy of Sam's Tailors

Photo Courtesy of Sam’s Tailors

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.

Gao’s, Silver Fortune Plaza, 17/F, No. 1 Wellington Street, Central, HK, +852 2810 9219

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.

Tai Mei Tuk, Ting Kok Road, Wong Chuk Tseun, HK

Wetland Park

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

Photo Courtesy of Hong Kong Wetland Park of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

Photo Courtesy of Hong Kong Wetland Park of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

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.

Nine Pins, Kwo Chau Islands, Sai Kung, Hong Kong