If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need convincing that Hong Kong is an absolute treasure trove of entertainment! That’s why we (not to mention the world) can’t get enough of this vibrant metropolis, right?
If you’re an expat you’ve probably done your fair share of sight-seeing; playing tour guide to the myriad of family members and friends who’ve popped over to the orient for a taste of the Fragrant Harbour. And I’m assuming you’ve done your best to partake in much of the city’s incredible offerings over the years? But, just to be sure you haven’t missed a thing, we’ve put together a list of everything you should do (at least once) before you leave the mighty Kong.
Some of these things are the obvious like a night out at the Happy Valley Races, but you’d be surprised at how many people suddenly find their time in Hong Kong cut short, and are horrifyingly left with that feeling, there’s so much more to see!
Don’t let that be you! As well as the obvious attractions, we’ve also got some of Hong Kong’s best kept secrets to share with you.
What to do
Hike Hong Kong’s mountain trails. By now you know Hong Kong is not just a concrete jungle, step away from the noise of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings that make up Hong Kong’s stunning back drop. From the famed Dragon’s Back to Lion’s Rock and Bride’s Pool Hike or the top of Tai Mo Shan, there are plenty of options to suit your trekking tastebuds.
Learn to play Mahjong. You can’t leave Hong Kong without playing (tinkering with at least) the city’s official sport! The Chinese multiplayer tile game has been around for thousands of years. This game of skill, strategy and calculation with a healthy degree of chance, is a favourite pastime for many locals, who can be seen clicking their Mahjong tiles up and down alleyways across the city. If it’s all a little daunting to pull up a chair beside them, don’t be dissuaded, there are Mahjong ‘schools’ all over town!
Join a Dragon Boat team. Dragon Boating is an age-old Chinese tradition that has transformed itself into a fiercely fun modern day water sport. It also culminates in the city’s biggest end of year international party and the whole city’s invited! Be part of the festive revelry and get fit at the same time! Dragon Boat clubs are all over the city.
Take a Tai Chi class. The ancient and graceful art of Tai Chi is a timeless tradition one can see being practiced in parks across the mighty Kong as the sun rises each day. These fluid movements are said to be healing for both the body and mind. Before your next move, perhaps it’s time to exhale and learn how to balance your inner Yin and Yang from the experts.
Take a Kung Fu lesson. Thanks to the high flying antics of Bruce Lee, Hong Kong is synonymous with martial arts. If you ever wanted to learn the skill, Hong Kong is home to some of the world’s best training schools and most accomplished masters.
Learn Mandarin or Cantonese. The majority of expats have the very best intentions when it comes to mastering the local language, but unfortunately for many of us it flies out the window as quickly as you can say N goi! There will never be a better time than now. Take the plunge and enrol in one of many available classes. You can even do it online!
Chinese cooking lessons. If you’ve grown quite the appetite for Chinese food, you’re going to miss it when you’re gone, but while you’re here, why not learn from the very best and have a few lessons. Next time you’re craving Dim Sum or a succulent Chinese seafood feast, and there’s no local hole in the wall in site, you’ll be able to knock up your own tasty version.
Join a beach clean up. If you’ve enjoyed basking in the sun at many of Hong Kong’s serene and beautiful beaches, why not leave a thank you note and join in the annual Hong Kong CleanUp Challenge from September to November. Grab some friends or your family and sign up now.
Take a walking tour. Even if you’ve made Hong Kong home for several years, there will always be hidden gems that you’ve missed along the way. The good news is that the city has some excellent tour guides that specialise in getting you off the beaten track to discover parts of the city that you’ve missed along the way. We’ve got plenty of ideas to inspire you here.
Bungee jump from Macau Tower. A boat ride away and you’ll find the world’s highest bungee jump at Macau Tower. Plunge from a 233 metre high platform and free fall at a speed of 200 kilometres per hour. Yes it’s the ultimate extreme sport and just a stone’s throw from Hong Kong!!
Bounce at Ryze trampoline park. A little tamer but potentially just as much fun, this new kid in town is a wall to wall bouncing paradise for the entire family!
Cycling around Hong Kong. There are plenty of bike routes around Hong Kong that will allow you to explore the city’s fresher side. Tai Wei to the picturesque Tai Mei Tuk is a popular 20 km stretch that will take you through parks, past temples and along a stunning harbourfront. Ride through sleepy villages in Mui Wo or you can even take a guided tour through the city’s back roads up to the New Territories. A great way to really ‘see’ Hong Kong.
Have suits tailored. Hong Kong has a plethora of tailors dotting the city, so before you say goodbye, don’t miss the chance to get your own shirts/suits/dresses made to measure. One of the best tailors in town is W.W. Chan, but there are other options for a variety of budgets. We’ve got some ideas for you here.