By Hong Kong Tourism Board on August 23, 2017
KUALA LUMPUR, 23 August 2017 – Summer is a bright and colourful time in Hong Kong. It is a time for the outdoors, whether it’s taking a stroll by the beach or hanging out at a chic hipster cafe. It is definitely the time to Shop, Eat, and Play in some of the coolest neighborhoods in town from local diners in Causeway Bay and Sham Shui Po, to uniquely Hong Kong landscapes on the southside or the city’s best shopping destination in Tsim Sha Tsui. Too many choices on your bucket list? We have created a list of 20 irresistibly beautiful, Instagrammable Hong Kong experiences catered for your photo taking enthusiasts.
From colonial buildings that reflect the city’s heritage to eclectic lifestyle shops like WOAW and Sevva and Amber, Central is a fascinating medley of East meet West; where traditions and innovation combine just like the city itself. The contrast is also apparent in the presence of newly painted murals on the walls of an old-school buildings all around the area.
Leaf Dessert – Enjoy a bowl of Chinese dessert soup at Leaf Dessert while admiring the beautifully painted mural that serves as a backdrop.
Sing Heung Yuen – Chow down on a delicious outdoor meal. What about a bowl of tomato macaroni soup perhaps, at the popular Sing Heung Yuen dai pai dong.
Madera Hollywood Graffiti Wall – It might not exactly be Hollywood, but Hollywood Road has got a giant mural dedicated to the stars of golden eras which include the profile of well-known America musician, Frank Sinatra.
Known for the amazing harbour view at the Star Ferry Pier to vast shopping complexes, Tsim Sha Tsui has an exciting mix of attractions for locals and visitors alike. In this busy and popular district, you will find creative shops on smaller streets like Granville Road as well as charming little restaurants and bars that are hidden from the bustling district.
Sunset at Harbour City – When there’s just the right mix of clouds and clear skies, Hong Kong’s sunsets become a dramatic backdrop. To catch a glimpse of the spectacular view, make a trip to Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui which is also a unique location for a shopping just right by Victoria Harbour. There are many vantage points at Harbour City to capture the approaching dusk.
Zaha Hadid’s Innovation Tower – Known for its fluid lines and soft curves which grace the distinctive Innovation Tower at the PolyU School of Design in Hung Hom. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the “tower” is actually a multifunctional academic building. Strike a pose in front of this futuristic building.
From the bustling activity of the wholesale fruit market in the wee hours of the morning and the buzz of trendy shopping centres like Langham Place; Mong Kok is a vibrant district at any time of the day. There are also tranquil alleyways and cosy cafes that contrast dramatically with the district’s otherwise hectic pace.
Flower Stairs – A bit of colour can truly brighten up a whole street, just like the Floral Stairs in Yau Ma Tei, close to the Yaumati Kaifong Association School. The concrete steps of this pedestrian corner are painted over in beautiful floral motifs, from red roses to sunflowers, tulips and lavenders. From afar, the stairs form a coherent and beautifully bright floral-themed mural. No wonder it’s such a popular photo-taking spot for amateurs and professionals alike!
One of the earliest developed areas in Hong Kong, Sham Shui Po is seeing an increasing number of creative youngsters injecting new life into this old neighbourhood. The result? An intriguing district where graffiti art, textile stalls, modern cafés and art spaces thrive alongside traditional eateries and shops.
Mei Ho House – At the spacious House 41 cafe in Mei Ho House youth hostel in Sham Shui Po, the intense green corridors and vintage signs on the walls are reminiscent of a much earlier era. Matched with handsome black couches as well as patterned tile floors, the café oozes quirk and charm. It is also a fantastic setting for Wong Kar-wai-style photos.
Nam Shan Estate – There’s something mesmerizing about identical Hong Kong-style buildings that repeat themselves and Nam Shan Estate is one of the most spectacular. This public housing estate emits a haunting yellow-green glow at night and the grid-like units give the building a highly geometric structure. The estate is also home to some fantastic local restaurants and food stalls, including an egg waffle shop simply called P76 that sees queues on a nightly basis.
Leslie Cheung Graffiti – In an inconspicuous alleyway off Wong Chuk Street in Sham Shui Po stands a lone portrait of the beloved late Cantonese pop star Leslie Cheung. He is one of the most famous Cantonese pop singers that expanded his career to Korea. So it is no surprise that this iconic visual was created by a Korean street artist named GR1. Cheung was an actor as well as a singer, and his films and songs had an incredibly wide appeal beyond Hong Kong. He died tragically in 2003 but it is still mourned by faithful fans from around the world. If you are a fan of his, do explore this quaint alleyway.
Why not spend a day exploring the natural beauty and charming villages of Yuen Long District? Surprise finds at Ping Shan include a walled village dotted with historical buildings. Within nearby walking distance is Tin Shui Wai where you can find modern satellite towns that are also home to an ecologically rich habitat for migratory birds. At dusk, head over to Lau Fau Shan for beautiful sunset scenes and fresh seafood to end your adventure.
Pedestrian Subway Tunnel – The ridged pedestrian subway that links Yuen Long and Tai Kei Leng village is definitely a visual treat for the camera. The tunnel is painted in a vivid shade of green and it is lit up with a warm yellow tone making it feel like a surreal scene from a SCI-FI movie. The tunnel is long and narrow, making it perfect for action shots and selfies.
Ha Pak Nai – If you’re visiting Yuen Long on a sunny day, you wouldn’t want to miss the beautiful sunset at Ha Pak Nai beach. Capture the romantic glow of the day’s final rays reflecting off mangroves, fishponds and nearby waters. Also be sure to keep an eye out for the mudskippers and fiddler crabs that call Ha Pak Nai home.
Located on the west side of Hong Kong Island, Sai Wan is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. Since the opening of the West Island MTR stations, which connects the area to Central, Sai Wan has transformed into an up-and-coming hipster hangout.
Forbes Street Wall Trees – Beautiful banyan trees wrapping their roots around imposing masonry walls are a sight to behold. “Majestic” would be how Singaporean blogger Eunice Lim, pictured, describes this otherworldly species. Stone masonry walls like these were commissioned by the colonial government between the 19th and mid-20th century to prevent landslides. Today, we get to appreciate this natural tapestry by Forbes Street. Bonus: across the street are trendy restaurants that are happy to receive your patronage after you’ve finished admiring the wall!
Sai Wan Swimming Shed – Hoping to catch a gorgeous, dramatic orange-red sunset? Then head west — all the way to the Sai Wan Swimming Shed. This tranquil Kennedy Town spot is marked by a jetty that juts out from a rocky mountain-side base and right into the waters. Swimming sheds like these were built in the 60s and 70s as a stationary post for people to drop off their things before embarking on swims and dips. Remember to arrive early, as lines are known to form right around the magic hour!
Wan Chai is characterised by the juxtaposition of the old and new. Stroll along both sides of the tramway and you will find historical East-meets-West architecture. The fusion of the traditional with the modern has given this old neighbourhood a new charm. Wan Chai is also known to be a vibrant hub for restaurants. You’ll find everything from trendy tapas bars on Ship Street and cosy Italian bistros tucked away in St. Francis Yard, to glamorous steakhouses at the top of commercial buildings on Johnston Road.
Colourful Buildings – Wan Chai is a district full of multicoloured cultural landmarks. One of the most famous is the Blue House on Stone Nullah Lane, a four-storey tenement building painted in the same shade as the bright summer sky (photo below). The building is currently home to the Hong Kong House of Stories museum. On the intersection of Johnston Road and Wan Chai Road stands the Chung Wui Mansion (photo on the right), painted in pastel shades that span the colours of the rainbow. The 16-storey residential unit was built in 1964. Today, the bright and bold building makes for an eye-catching Instagram photo!
Bustling Causeway Bay is the perfect consumer-friendly district for an epic shopping spree. And when you need a break there is a diverse range of restaurants and entertainment venues to kick back and relax at. Between major shopping centres like Times Square and Hyson Place, and upscale fashion streets like Festival Walk, you’ll find everything you need. Take your pick of quirky boutiques, celebrity-run restaurants like Jamie Oliver’s, and rooftop dining with spectacular harbour views. like Seafood Room and SKYE.
SKYE – Rooftop bars take on a whole new meaning in Hong Kong — and you’ll see why when you take the elevator up to SKYE, the newly renovated restaurant and lounge at The Park Lane Hong Kong (a Pullman Hotel). Take your pick of bar seat or laid-back couch at the outdoor terrace — either way, you’ll be treated to uninterrupted views of the famous Hong Kong skyline, complete with skyscrapers and the Victoria Harbour.
The Southern District, which encompasses the scenic southern coast of Hong Kong Island, was once a mainly industrial area. Since the opening of the South Island MTR line, more and more visitors have been coming here to discover its hidden gems: galleries, private kitchens, artisan cafes, traditional shops and eateries, outlet stores and more. Meanwhile, the beaches are just a bus or taxi ride away. Kayak and windsurf in Stanley, or just relax and take a dip in the calm waves of Repulse Bay. After a day of fun in the sun, remember to wind down with a relaxing meal at one of the many beachside restaurants on the south side.
Cape D’Aguilar – Located south of Shek O, Cape D’Aguilar is the type of photo-friendly destination worth making a journey for. Here, you can snap an ethereal photo of jagged rocks forming a natural frame over pristine blue skies on a crisp and sunny day. Shoot at just the right angle, and you’ll also catch a beautiful reflection of the clear shallow waters. Believe us when we say that the cave was made for the cameras!
Repulse Bay – Hongkongers are blessed with gorgeous beaches in every corner, and generously sized Repulse Bay is one of the most well known. In the summer, tourists and locals alike get away from the city and enjoy a swim in its emerald blue waters while admiring picturesque mountainscapes in the distance.
Cabana at the Pulse – Chill out in an onsen bath while looking onto the sand and ocean below — that’s the daily mantra at Cabana rooftop bar at The Pulse. The 10,000 square-foot alfresco terrace is one of Hong Kong’s most coveted beach bar destinations. The space is decked out in chic white sun loungers, luxurious private cabanas, and dozens of wooden onsen tubs that easily fit a group of six. Pop open a bottle of Champagne, and you’re good to go for the day!
Pineapple Canteen – Every Hongkonger knows and loves a bo lo bao — literally, “pineapple bun” in Cantonese — a sweet pastry bread topped with a pineapple-patterned sugar crust that’s sold in Hong Kong-style bakeries around the city. At the Pineapple Canteen food truck, the proprietors take the concept to a whole new level by adding actual pineapples to the iconic pastry. The signature item is a bo lo bao stuffed with fresh pineapple chunks and pineapple cream: a treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Other fillings are also available, including savoury ham and egg; or a large and simple slab of butter.
Princess Kitchen – Dragon fruit bowls are the name of the game at Princess Kitchen, one of the first batches of food trucks to be granted a working license from the Hong Kong government. The vibrantly hued fruit is turned into a sorbet, then sprinkled with fresh fruits like banana and strawberry slices, blueberries, as well as granola bits on top. It’s a refreshing summer treat for the sweltering Hong Kong heat — and a photogenic one at that.
HK20A Great Promotions
If you’re traveling to Hong Kong between now and 31 October 2017, you can enjoy a variety of fantastic deals in conjunction with Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) 20th Anniversary celebration. Smart deals include 20% off specific purchases or HK$20 attraction tickets for those born in a particular month, free special souvenirs from various attractions and more from participating establishments such as Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Disneyland, Madame Tussauds, and Ocean Park Hong Kong.
Get your 20th Anniversary Coupon Booklets from Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong Tourism Board visitor centres and various hotels upon arrival. For more details on where you can collect a copy and the list of participating partners, please visit:
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