Nestled between bustling Causeway Bay and the tranquil hills of Tai Tam reservoir, Tai Hang is a vibrant neighbourhood worth a visit. From humble beginnings as a Hakka village perched on the pre-reclamation Hong Kong harbourfront, Tai Hang now fuses a charming mix of old school Hong Kong with a gentrified and edgy vibe. Whilst not particularly large in terms of actual square mileage, its densely populated streets, and cosy alleyways are home to a wide variety of restaurants, quirky shops, insta-worthy cafes, and grade-listed Hong Kong buildings!
How to get to Tai Hang?
Tai Hang is well served by public transport. Located a stone’s throw away from Tin Hau MTR station, hop on the Island Line and use exit A2 upon leaving. A 10-minute walk from the station, go along Causeway Road before turning left, just past Queen’s College, down Fire Dragon Path. Alternatively, ride one of the many buses that stop at Tin Hau Public Transport Interchange (next to the MTR station) or take a tram and get off at Victoria Park (Westbound) or Hing Fat Street (Eastbound).
What to do in Tai Hang?
Be mesmerised by the “Fire Dragon Dance”
Held yearly during Mid-Autumn Festival, this is a not-to-be-missed spectacle of fire, light, dance, and sound. Led by a 300-person strong team of Tai Hang residents past and present, the star of the three-day parade is a magnificent 67-metre-long dragon lit up by incense sticks. Legend has it that this dance became a yearly ritual after it miraculously warded off a plague in the 19th century. If crowds are not your thing, immerse yourself in this piece of cultural heritage by visiting the Fire Dragon Heritage Centre, a 3-storey Grade III listed building, located on School Street.
Fire Dragon Heritage Centre, 12 School Street, Tai Hang | +852 3513 7772
Browse contemporary art at The Shophouse
Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene has been abuzz lately with the recent opening of M+. Less known is this hip art space that showcases modern exhibitions curated from home-grown and overseas artists. Steeped in architectural history, The Shophouse is a restored Grade III listed pre-war Tong Lau boasting 4000 square feet of gallery space spread across different floors and themed rooms. Whilst perusing the art within its walls, do also spare a moment to admire the “Shanghai plaster” facade and the wrought iron that frames each window from the outside.
Get your fortune read at Lin Fa Temple
Tucked away on the edge of Tai Hang is a beautiful temple dedicated to the goddess of mercy, Kwum Yum. This temple which translates as “Temple of Lotus” has a unique semi-octagonal facade adorned by wooden windows with intricate carvings. Visitors flock to this popular site to marvel at the murals of Phoenixes and flying dragons on the inside of the roof and whilst there why not take a glimpse into your future with a Chinese Fortune Teller reading.
Lin Ka Fung Temple, Lily Street, Tai Hang | +852 2578 2552
Admire Chinese Renaissance architecture at Haw Par Mansion
This mansion and its surrounding gardens, remembered fondly as Tiger Balm Gardens, once housed Hong Kong’s first amusement park. Whilst the majority of the land has now been redeveloped, the mansion remains and is now home to Haw Par Music, a social initiative aimed to promote music, heritage, and art in the community. Visit this Grade I listed building to admire the unique architecture and vintage furniture or take a walk in the private garden and spot some tiger figurines from days past.
Haw Par Music, 15A Tai Hang Road, Tai Hang | +852 3165 1212
Learn a new skill
If doing is more your thing, become a candy master at Papabubble. Book into either their rock candy or lollipop workshop and learn the art of combining 5 simple ingredients – water, sugar, glucose, colour, and flavour – into customised colourful little sweet bites. Another fun thing to try your hands at is the floral workshops and flower jamming classes available at van der Bloom LAB located in Little Tai Hang.
Papabubble, 34 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang | +852 2367 4807
van der Bloom LAB (by appointment only), 1/F, Little Tai Hang, The Garden House, 15A Lin Ka Fung Street East, Tai Hang | + 852 6513 5723
What to eat in Tai Hang
A foodie heaven, there is no shortage of restaurants serving a plethora of cuisines in Tai Hang. On a stroll around the neighbourhood you won’t be amiss to see people enjoying Hong Kong classics on plastic stools and foldaway tables at Cha Dongs such as Bing Gee, located next to upscale restaurants serving modern plates of food.
Bing Kee, +852 5619 9369, 5 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang
If you are in the mood for comfort food, head to Chin Jor Fan Tong. Recognisable from the outside by its traditional wooden shophouse doors and kitsch neon lighting, at this noodle house you can create your own bowl of noodles by choosing the broth, spiciness level, type of noodles, and toppings.
Chin Jor Fan Tong, +852 5118 1869, 39 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang
For a more sophisticated dining experience, Elementary does not disappoint with its friendly service and contemporary sharing dishes that fuses Asian, European, and Middle Eastern flavours. Plan your visit to coincide with one of their themed weekday dining nights and enjoy $10 oysters on Wednesdays and 2-for-1 steaks on Tuesdays.
Elementary, +852 2362 2812, 15-16 School Street, Tai Hang
Also worth a mention is the exquisite plates of sushi and sashimi at Sushi Shin. The food at this highly revered restaurant is always fresh and the vibe is reminiscent of Tokyo with minimalist wooden decor and a sushi counter.
Sushi Shin, +852 2398 8000, Shop 1-2, G/F Wing Hing Court, 110-114 Tung Lo Wan Road, Causeway Bay
If your visit to Tai Hang doesn’t allow you time to dine in, take-away delicious sweet treats from Artisanal bakery Plumcot (G/F, 10A Sun Chun St, Tai Hang), or try one of the interesting cookie flavour combinations at Cookie Vission (Shop D, 6 Wun Sha St, Tai Hang).
What to drink in Tai Hang
From lattes to fancy cocktails, you won’t go thirsty in Tai Hang! This little neighbourhood has fully embraced cafe culture with independent coffee shops that serve freshly roasted coffee dotted along its streets. Whilst you cannot really go wrong, Aussie-inspired Fineprint is worth a mention. Located along Lily Street, watch the world go by whilst sipping some of the best coffee in Hong Kong. If coffee is not your thing, try their famous masala chai which is a delicate blend of sweet spices to provide a perfect balance of warming notes to your black tea.
Fineprint, +852 5503 6880, 1 Lily Street, Tai Hang
For something stronger, grab a drink at Buddy Bar & Cafe. Favoured by local residents, this street corner hangout is always bustling with people catching up with friends or having drinks after a hard day’s work. With its selection of craft beer in addition to the standard bar offering, this intimate spot has a loyal following of regulars who keep coming back for friendly service and laid-back vibes.
Buddy Bar & Cafe, +852 2882 9780, G/F, 22 School Street, Tai Hang
Another watering hole worth a visit is Maka Hiki, located on the second floor of the Little Tai Hang. Step into this tropical-inspired hangout and be transported to an island paradise where you can sip on classic cocktails such as Pina Colada or if brave, try one of their interesting sounding signatures such as Bikini Girl which is a delicious blend of tequila, lychee, cucumber, rose water and cranberry. With a cosy roof terrace, this spot is perfect for a sundowner.
Maka Hiki, +852 2155 1777, 2/F Little Tai Hang, The Corner House, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang
Where to shop in Tai Hang
Fashionistas should make a beeline for One Of A Kind (9A Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang), a boutique selling fashion-forward sustainable jewellery at affordable prices. Stop by and check out their Crystal & Enamel collection, as seen at Lane Crawford, a playful and fun collection of sparking crystal encased in bright neon accents that is perfect for layering or wearing on its own.
Step into The Plant of Devil (4 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang) and you could mistake it for a gallery with its chic grey stone floors and contemporary art. This shop specialises in exotic caudex plants that come in all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes. These plants are distinctive for their swollen roots and would add an interesting touch of nature to any home.
If browsing is more your thing, spend some time at Moon of Silence (36 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang) where each item is specially curated to tell a story. From incense sticks to Japanese ornaments and vintage crystal glassware, this shop is home to an eclectic mix of interesting finds. Proudly Hong Kong, many local items such as handcrafted Conspiracy chocolate and Hong Kong Distillery toiletries can be sourced there. Another couple of treasure troves for one-of-a-kind vintage finds worth visiting are Kanamoto Hardware (G/F, 30B Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang) and The Minimal (38 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang).
Header image credits: gionnixxx via Canva