I will be the first person to put their hands up to say “I’m not a city girl”. I love exploring them, I love visiting them, but I’m not a city girl. Especially when we’re talking about a city like Hong Kong.
You might be thinking I’m not making much sense right now since I’m based in Hong Kong, but I actually don’t live in “urban” Hong Kong. I live out in New Territories where it would be suburbia/ rural areas.
It’s not 24/7 and there are no neon lights near me. The air is clean and there’s a lot of trees and nature surrounding me.
Doesn’t sound like Hong Kong, does it?
Well, it is Hong Kong and not enough people know this beautiful side of the city.
SO, let me share 5, off the beaten track things to do in Hong Kong. Save this post to Pinterest to share these well-kept secrets.
Bride’s Pool Waterfall Hike in Tai Po
This waterfall pool is one of many in Hong Kong, but this one has a legend attached to it. The story goes, a bride to be fell into the pool and drowned while being carried in her bridal sedan chair. She never made it to her groom and people say her ghost lingers around the pool.
I don’t know how true that is, but the waterfall is stunningly beautiful and worth a visit.
The waterfall is located in Plover Cover Country Park which has a lot great trails to explore as well, but most people make the bride’s pool the highlight of their country park visit.
How to get there
Get to Tai Po Market MTR station and take the 75k or 20C bus to Tai Mei Tuk. Once there, you can grab a taxi to the bride’s pool.
Tung Ping Chau Day Trip
This secluded island is closer to Mainland China than the mainland of Hong Kong. It’s that secluded.
In fact, you can only visit the island on weekends and public holidays. There are no other public modes of transport available to you during the week.
But it wasn’t always like this, the island got abandoned in the 70’s during Hong Kong industrial rise to power and many of the inhabitants relocated to the mainland or even overseas.
The island is still inhabited by a few remaining villagers that cater to the weekly tour groups and hikers. My advice is to not go with a tour if you want to appreciate the beauty of the island.
Tung Ping is home to some of the best scuba diving waters in Hong Kong, with coral life, clear waters and weird stone formations. Bring your own gear if you want to scuba dive, because you won’t find any services here.
How to get there
Get to University MTR station. From there it’s a 15 minute walk to Ma Liu Shui Pier. There are only 2 ferries that leave from this pier. My advice is to take the 9am ferry to Tung Ping Chau.
There’s only one ferry that goes back to the Mainland at 5pm. If you miss it, you’ll have to stay the night!
Which is what many people like to do at the campsite on the island.
This island is just a 30 minute ferry ride from Central and is home to a lively enclave of hipster expats. Find cool cafes, small art galleries and seafood restaurants.
It’s a nice break from the city without needing to plan a whole day out because of it’s convenient location.
Visit the beaches, go on the trails and visit ghost villages or explore the many small shops. Going to Lamma island will feel like you’re in a small South East Asian Town than a massive metropolitan city.
I really love Lamma island because of the small town, tight knit community vibe it never fails to provide.
How to get there
Get to Central pier #4 to catch a ferry ride to either ports on the island. You’ll want to catch the Yeung Shue Wan ferry to land in the more populated end of the island.
But it’s okay if you catch the wrong ferry because it a quick 20 minute hike to get to the other side.
Tai Long Wan
This list wouldn’t be complete without a beach. There are many beaches in Hong Kong and the harder they are to reach, the more beautiful they get.
The hiking culture in Hong Kong has gained popularity in recent times, but you can still find this beach all to yourself if you go on a weekday.
However, like most things in Hong Kong, there is a convenient alternative if you don’t want to do a 2hour hike from Sai Kung. Grab a ferry that will take you to the beach directly, or even ask to go to a more secluded beach in the area.
You’ll be rewarded by a bit of Thailand like paradise in Hong Kong. Maybe even better if you time it right to avoid the weekend crowds.
How to get here
Get to Sai Kung Pier and grab a speed boat to the beach. OR, get yourself to Sai Kung and grab a taxi to Sai Wan Pavillion. You can walk your way to the first beach, keep going to find the more secluded beaches.
Cycle or Skate along Ng Tung River
I’m a little hesitant to write this one down, because a part of me wants to keep this secret place to myself for as long as possible. It’s where I go to cruise on my skateboard most of the time. And it’s where many cycling groups like to visit on the weekend.
The river goes through Pak Sin Leng, Sha Tau Kok, Fanling, Shueng Shui and into Shenzhen. It’s a vital river that helps feed the city water ways. It’s also home to an upcoming development project to create a new satellite city.
In 30 or so years, this quiet little corner of Hong Kong will be unrecognisable. That alone is already worth the visit.
But the reason I put this river on the list is because this river has a promenade that runs along it. And it’s virtually unused.
It’s perfect for cycling and cruising on your skateboard. If you’re visiting and you don’t have your own bike, then just rent one of the many dockless bikes with your phone.
Take your drone out without fears of no-drone zones and witness the amount of greenery here. Fields upon fields of crops and just green everywhere!
How to get here
Get to Fanling MTR station and take the 56C minibus to the last stop. You’ll see the start of the promenade when the minibus passes over a bridge.
Tip: bring some bread and feed the fish in the river. If you’re lucky you’ll see massive turtles and koi fish come to the surface. A lot of the animals living in the river were released by the nearby buddhist monastery as offerings. They grow to amazing sizes due to the lack of natural predators present.
Other resources to checkout:
- The easiest way to get a China tourist visa guide
- 15 things you need to know about China before you go
- Digital nomad guide to Hong Kong
- Learn how to save money on your travel effortlessly