If you’re planning a trip to Hong Kong then you will already know all the go to places. Take the Peak tram to see the amazing Hong Kong skyline. Walk along Nathan road to get your shop on, and haggle like your life depended on it at ladies market in Mong Kok. But that can get a bit boring for anyone well traveled. You can smell the tourist trap a mile away.
So, after you do all of that it’s time to get some authenticity into your trip with these 15 non-touristy things to do in Hong Kong to make your trip one to remember.
Chill at a café
Hong Kong people love their cafes and there’s plenty dotted around the city. Find yourself walking into a themed café or a single person manned establishment. You’re bound to find something you enjoy.
Most of these places are not easy to find if you’re not a local, since many don’t advertise in English and are located on the 2/F of old buildings, but here are a few to get you started on your own café adventures.
Moni Stand – 1/F Tak Lung Back St. Sai Kung, NT
A little hard to find, but well worth it for coffee lovers and music lovers. Put a record on and enjoy the in house roasted coffee.
Tai Wo Tong – 24 Nga Tsin Long Rd, Kowloon City, Kowloon
This café was once a famous Chinese doctor clinic, but the doc passed away and the person who took over kept the name but changed it into a café in 2017. A place with great coffee and rich history.
Urban Coffee Roaster – 7 Bristol Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Urban coffee roaster isn’t just a café, they have their hands in every step of the supply chain. Sourcing coffee beans all over the world and providing coffee equipment to other retailers in the city.
Discover the local craft beer scene
Hong Kong holds an annual beer festival every year in October called Beertopia. So it’s no surprise the city has a thriving craft beer scene with many home grown breweries creating distinctively Hong Kong style ales.
You can find these local brands in some restaurants, supermarkets, bars and of course at the brewery. If there’s a specific brand you want to taste then the best thing to do is to visit the brewery for a tasting menu or tour. Otherwise, why not go to one of the follow craft beer bars in the city to meet your curiosity and thirst.
T.A.P – 15 Hak Po St, Mong Kok, Kowloon
One of the earliest craft beer bars in the city, tucked in corner. Their menu changes ever so often so it’s always nice to visit. You want to try what the latest brews are, come to T.A.P
Kowloon Taproom – 24-38 Ashley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
A must go for any serious beer lover who just wants to drink good beer. Find a huge selection on tap and get served by enthusiastic and knowledgeable bartenders.
Forget about dim sum (ok, don’t. Dim sum is too good to ignore), and grab yourself some hotpot. Hotpot is different in every city you go to in China and hot pot in Hong Kong is distinctively Hong Kong.
So if you think you’ve had hotpot before, then you most likely had a boiling pot of spices and chilies that made you want to rip your face off. Not in Hong Kong. Cantonese cuisine is all about fresh ingredients. A.K.A you won’t find very strong flavors masking the natural tastes of quality produce.
Him Kee – 408-412 Jaffe Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
You can’t go wrong with Him Kee, great broth and fresh ingredients. If you want a positive introduction to Hong Kong Hotpot then just come to Him Kee
Go hiking and see monkeys, wild boar and buffalo!
Not many people outside of Hong Kong are aware of the amount of greenery and nature Hong Kong has to offer. The island is actually 70% untouched wildlife or nature reserve, with hiking trails never too far. You could be in the center of the CBD area and still find yourself on a hiking trail within 40 minutes!
Discover this hidden gem, most visitors never see by hiking one of these trails to not only get beautiful scenery but to also get up and personal with Hong Kong wildlife. Though, do stay away from the wild boar, monkeys and buffalo. They’re not scared of humans and will try to steal your food if they see it.
Monkey Hill, Kam Shan Country Park
If you want to see monkeys, a lot of monkey then this hiking trail will not disappoint. The views available along the trail are also picturesque Instagram worthy as well.
Visit a beach that looks like it belongs on a postcard
If inland nature isn’t your thing, then how about relax at the many beaches Hong Kong has to offer. The best ones are the ones you need to work a little to get to. Be it a 2 hour hike, or a boat ride, the best ones are always the ones most people can’t be bothered to put the effort to discover.
Here are a few to check out if you’re interested.
Tong Fu beach – Lantau NT
Never crowded because it’s rather far out of most people’s way, but well worth the visit if you want the secluded island feel.
Tung Ping Chau – New Territories
I featured this island before on another post. This beach is closer to mainland China than Hong Kong and is only made accessible on weekends and public holidays by boat. Steeped in history with the half abandoned village, Tung Ping Chau makes a great adventure out of the city.
Visit a UNESCO Global Geopark
I’m not done with Hong Kong’s nature. Visit an actual UNESCO global geopark in this metropolitan city. You can’t do this anywhere else. Located in Sai Kung, you can join a tour or easily grab a taxi to the site from Sai Kung center.
Indoor entertainment like you’ve never experienced before
If you find yourself in Hong Kong during the rainy season of typhoons and torrential downpours, then you might be thinking there’s nothing to do but the shopping malls.
Hong Kong’s industrial area in Kwun Tong is home to many indoor play spaces. And I don’t mean the ones for kids, although there are those as well. How about VR play spaces, human size billiards or indoor go-carting.
Find a whole bunch of various novel activities within these industrial areas in Kwun Tong and have fun for a whole day. Locals love these places because homes are too tiny to gather a group together so these indoor activity places are something many do for parties, get together or just to burn time.
HK Best Box – 181 Wing Yip St, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
One of the most comprehensive party room companies in the city with almost every activity you can think so, from Japanese style game show games to the run of the mill board games.
Traditional Hong Kong desserts
We all know Asian desserts are out of this world delicious, from bubble tea to shave ice cream sundaes, but all of these are relatively modern desserts. How about try some traditional Hong Kong desserts that are nothing close to what you’ve eaten before.
From glutinous rice ball soup to tofu pudding and mixed taro soup. Traditional desserts are making a come back in the city.
Check out these famous spots for the most authentic experience.
Yuen Kee Dessert – 32 Centre St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
You’ll find most of the classics no one else is serving because it takes too much prep work for most dessert places to even consider placing it on the menu
Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong – 118 Pei Ho St, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Some of the best Hong Kong style Tofu pudding in Hong Kong.
PMQ is this hub for local brands and designers. The whole building use to be the old living quarters for married police officers because it got repurposed for it’s current use of supporting local creativity.
It’s a nice spot to spend the afternoon and it’s a great place to see a different side to Hong Kong other than the many big banks and rich bankers walking in Central.
For more information, head over to http://www.pmq.org.hk/?lang=en
Get your fortune told
Fortune telling is so deeply ingrained into Chinese culture that it’s still a common practice til this day. Of course there’s many forms of fortune telling, from face reading to tarot card reading, but the one you must try in Hong Kong is Bazi.
By gathering the time, date and location you are born, the fortune teller will gather your eight characters that will reveal your life from 0 – 60 years of age. Bazi is specifically a Chinese form of fortune telling and people in Hong Kong still use it for many things.
From picking which day to get married to which year to buy a house. Bazi is very prevalent in Chinese culture.
If you’re curious about your own life and you don’t want to spend crazy amounts of money then head over to Temple street to find pop-up tents of fortune tellers gathered at the top of the street. Some of these fortune tellers have been working for several decades with many famous clientele.
Breakfast Hong Kong style
Hong Kongers are famous for being on the go and constantly busy from the second they wake up to the moment they fall asleep. So it’s only fitting for this city to have a unique breakfast culture.
Believe it or not, but the breakfast for champions in Hong Kong is macaroni with ham and egg. It doesn’t sound special or out of this world amazing, but if you go the right place then it’s actually very yummy.
Try this famous local spot if you’re willing to wake up early for the breakfast menu.
Australian Dairy Company – 47 Parkes St, Jordan, Kowloon
Famous for their milk puddings and creamy scrambled eggs.
A day in Sai Kung
Sai Kung is this small seaside town located in New Territories. Super popular with the locals on the weekends or holidays because it’s the perfect place to get out of the city and slow things down.
Hiking trails, Nature parks are all around, but the best part about this small town is the many food spots in the town center. Spend a day eating in Sai Kung and you wont regret it. Enjoy the slower pace of life, the friendly locals and great food.
Explore Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po is a working class district in the city with a lot to offer. Once upon a time it’s the place tourist went to buy cheap electronics, now it’s the place to experience a thriving hub for arts and crafts, small cafes, and just a place where small businesses are surviving.
Explore the different areas that specialize in various products and rummage in the many street stalls selling random wares to exploring the upper floor stores in old buildings. It’s just an interesting place to explore if you’re up for the adventure.
Prepare your Instagram with street art
There’s a lot of Instagram worthy photo spots in Hong Kong, the city’s style, and landscapes are one of a kind, but not everyone wants to venture every corner of the city for a few snaps. So instead, why not head to Central Shueng wan area to get countless snaps of street art.
Fill your Instagram feed with countless shots that will make all your friends and family want to go to Hong Kong as well.
Experience the speakeasy scene
Everyone knows if you want to experience the nightlife in Hong Kong then you should head over to LKF, but there’s an alternative if you want to do something different.
Dotted around Central and Sheung wan are hidden speakeasies, each with it’s own style and unique experience to offer. Try to find these local gems and discover the delicious drinks they have to offer.
Missy Ho’s in Kennedy Town
The Old Man in Central
Boroski in Central