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Uniquely HK

Feature Story

Quintessential Hong Kong Fun Outings

We suggest a potpourri of cool things to do in Hong Kong, ranging from the fun to the eccentric, but all showcasing Hong Kong’s unique charms and characteristics!

 

We are always eager to share with visitors things  todo that reflect the charm, culture and vibrancy of Hong Kong. Given the city’s unique development history, the choices are many. This month, we have chosen a few activities that we believe best reflect that spirit – so join us for a selection of quintessentially Hong Kong adventures!

 

Horse Racing

Horse Racing, the city’s favourite sporting pastime for more than 130 years, remains a big part of Hong Kong’s British colonial heritage. The non-profit Hong Kong Jockey Club operates two world-class race tracks – in Happy Valley and Shatin, respectively. The racing season, from September to early July, normally features two race days weekly – Wednesday night and a weekend afternoon, usually Sundays. The locals love to punt on horses, and that is reflected in the average handle (i.e. amount of money bet) on each race, which amounts to almost $150 million, easily one of the highest in the world.

Attending a horse race in Hong Kong is an experience like nowhere else – perhaps it’s a combination of the intensity of the action, the love of gambling, the state-of-the-art facilities and the party atmosphere. It has become a fashionable social event attended by all stripes of society. It doesn’t hurt that a large part of the income earned by the Jockey Club goes to various charitable causes – at least you know your losses are doing someone some good. Be sure to take in a day or night of horse racing action as your quintessential Hong Kong adventure – it’s an experience not to be missed!

 

Live seafood dinner

Hong Kong has arguably the world’s best Cantonese seafood cuisine. The city is full of seafood restaurants catering to customers of all ranges. But none beats the experience of ordering your live seafood from fish tanks and have it cooked right away. Half the fun is staring at a dizzying array of tanks swimming with garoupa, fish, clams, mantis, crabs, and you name it, and trying to figure out what to order.

There are several locales famous for live seafood ordered from the tanks. Many of them are open air, lending a more informal but festive ambiance, and the prices are generally reasonable. Sai Kung, in the northeast New Territories, is a popular destination famous for its seafood restaurants – in fact you can even order from the little sampans loitering off the public pier – they’ll bring it to the restaurant of your choice. A day trip to Sai Kung to explore the great outdoors and enjoy a delicious seafood meal is a great Hong Kong experience. Other excellent locations include the seafood restaurants at Lamma Island, and, closer to the city, the village of Lei Yue Mun in Eastern Kowloon.

 

Thriving Street Markets

Street markets are common in almost every city and typically provide a concentrated dose of the character of their locality. Hong Kong’s street markets stack up well against those of any city. The street markets in Mongkok and Yau Ma Tei – Ladies Market, Jade Market, Temple Street, Goldfish Market and Flower Market are world famous and totally worthy of a visit. On Hong Kong Island, the street markets in Wanchai and the alleys of Central offer a kaleidoscopic shopping experience of their own. If you want real local flavour, we recommend visiting Sham Shui Po, an older local area in north Kowloon. Sham Shui Po is home to the Ap Liu Street Market, often described as Hong Kong’s ultimate flea market, as well as other street markets selling fabrics, buttons and threads, toys, plus the famous computer centres. It’s also a fascinating neighbourhood to catch a glimpse of how the locals really live.

 

Harbourfront Stroll

The famed Victoria Harbour is the heart of Hong Kong, offering spectacular views from all angles. Thanks to continuing harbourfront beatification efforts there are now many attractive and pedestrian-friendly waterfront promenades from which to take in Hong Kong’s stunning skyline. For a night view, the waterfront from Tsim Sha Tsui East extending to Hunghom offers a panoramic view of Hong Kong side. We also enjoy the promenade along the Central Harbourfront – the feeling of being surrounded by colourfully lit skyscrapers at night is utterly mesmerising. If you want a relaxing stroll, head to the waterfronts on either side of the eastern harbour – Kwun Tong in Kowloon, and Quarry Bay and Sai Wan Ho in Hong Kong. We particularly like the promenade in Quarry Bay Park, teeming with joggers and tai chi practitioners, crowds of
long-time residents watching open-air chess matches and fishermen, and with
a dog park to boot.

 

Squid fishing

Yes, you can go squid fishing in Hong Kong if you wish! At night, that is. It’s not the squid itself that makes it a fun event – although eating freshly prepared squid that you caught yourself is a delight in itself – but the social camaraderie of being out with a group of people fishing for cephalopods. Sai Kung is the best place to try squid fishing. Boats which accommodate 15 to 25 people and will take customers out to known fertile squid fishing areas at night. You try your luck using primitive hook, line and sinker and any catch can be prepared right on board to be shared. It’s another great Hong Kong summer experience that you don’t want to miss. Head to the area around the public pier in Sai Kung and there should be boats ready to take you out.

 

Locally Made Craft Beers

Craft beers are all the rage these days among beer aficionados. So, one would expect Hong Kong, ever on the edge, to have its share of craft beer outlets. What surprises though is that the city also boasts many of its own craft beers – “made in Hong Kong”, so to speak. A microbrewery is not hard to set up but making a beer – IPA, ale, wheat beer, whathaveyou – that people will buy is another matter. Some of the better known brands include Yardley’s Brothers Brewery, Gweilo Beer, Lion Rock, Young Master Ale and Hong Kong Beer Company. More and more bars are stocking local craft beers, especially in the popular bar areas. They include: Kowloon Tap Room (G/F 24-25 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui); Tap: The Ale Project (G/F 15 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok); The Beer Bay (Central Pier 4, Central), Roundhouse Tap Room (62 Peel Street, Soho, Central). As the weather warms, there is no better time to sample Hong Kong’s own collection of cold, thirst quenching craft beers – go for it!

 

 

 

(Edited on 8 May 2018)

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