Where to Find Relaxed Holiday Vibes in Hong Kong
Even the most loyal Hong Konger craves a summer getaway. It’s unfortunate, then, that this year’s events mean that instead of booking a trip abroad most of us will be staying put. So, where can we go to escape the feeling of the crowded metropolis and enjoy a much needed home-cation?
For Culture Seekers
10,000 Buddhas Monastery
If you’re normally a holiday culture vulture, this fascinating place will tick all of the boxes. Impossible to simply stumble across, this monastery is concealed down a narrow path and up a steep set of stairs in Sha Tin. Here you will find an abundance (not quite 10,000) of golden buddha statues. They’re all completely unique and will leave you pondering their quirky design for a long time after you leave.
Nan Lian Gardens
These gardens and accompanying monastery are the place to go if you’re looking for relaxation and culture. Within these walls, life’s pace seems to slow and it never feels too crowded. There’s shops, restaurants and photo opportunities aplenty. Placed somewhat oddly in the midst of high rises and overpasses, you can also appreciate the juxtaposition of serene nature against a city backdrop. This kind of unique beauty is one that Hong Kong does so well.
For Beach Lovers
Tai Long Wan – Sai Kung
For the ultimate holiday experience, look no further than Sai Kung. This district in the North East of Hong Kong is well known for its stunning beaches, scenery and nature. The area of Tai Long Wan in particular is famed for several picturesque beaches. They may take a little more effort to get to than most coastal spots in Hong Kong, but this adds to their secluded charm. All can be reached by taxi or bus, followed by a short walk/hike. A must-see if you’re craving a beach day!
Chun Hom Kok Beach – Hong Kong Island
If you’re a Hong Kong Island dweller and you wish to stay more local, perhaps Chun Hom Kok beach is the one for you. It may be in the vicinity of Stanley and Repulse, but unlike them it is a quiet, secluded hangout. It has modest facilities for guests including BBQ pits, in case you fancy a cooking session. Chun Hom Kok is easily accessible by bus from Central, or it is within walking distance from Stanley.
For Chilled Holiday Makers
Sometimes, a perfect day on holiday consists of pottering around whilst doing some shopping, eating and drinking. All of the important things! Luckily for us, down in Stanley that’s exactly what is on offer. Located on the South side of Hong Kong Island, this little town has holiday vibes aplenty. There is stunning seaside views, plenty of alfresco dining options and quaint market stalls. Here, every day feels like Sunday.
A short 20-minute ferry ride from Central Pier, Lamma Island is a great choice of day-out. The absence of cars and high-rise buildings offers a stark contrast to city life. The island has a community feel and folk are friendly and laid-back. Here, you can head to the beach, check out the plethora of tiny independent shops or simply relax in a bar and watch the sunset.
For Active Folk
Cycling in Tai Po/ Tai Mei Tuk
Active yet relaxing, cycling is the perfect vacation activity! A great spot for this is up in Tai Po, a residential area in the New Territories. Here, there are plenty of bike rental shops close to the MTR station. Bikes are a very reasonable price to rent for a day. Once you’ve got your bearings, head to the nearby Tai Po Waterfront Park which is a pretty coastal spot with plenty to explore. If you fancy venturing further, the nearby area of Tai Mei Tuk is great for enjoying beautiful views, both on the journey and when you arrive. Tai Mei Tuk is also home to plenty of cute eateries for when you’re peckish around lunchtime.
If you’re into hiking, then you may have already done some of the Lantau Trail. Popular sections include 1, 2 and 3 which are also known as Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak. Although these trails offer stunning views and a good challenge, they do become very crowded. As an alternative, the latter 9 sections of the Lantau Trail offer similarly stunning scenery and are great if you prefer a peaceful hike. Section 4, for example, begins at the Big Buddha. You’ll barely see any other hikers by the time you reach Tai O at the end of stage 6. The trail has 12 stages altogether for those who wish to conquer the whole thing!
Kindergarten Teacher, tea-obsessive and serial bruncher, Emily moved from the UK to Hong Kong 3 years ago. When she’s not working, you can find her planning holidays and hunting for books to read while travelling! She’s passionate about body image, wellness and ex-pat life – check out her other writing at emilymoulds.com