Unusual & Non-Touristy Things To Do In Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a vibrant international hub that is often among one of the most visited cities in the world. This destination is very busy bustling with locals and thousands of international tourists at anyone time.
Hong Kong is home to some amazing tourists sights and has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world. But surprisingly this destination still has lots of cultural sites, hills, emerald hills, serene beaches, and volcanic landscapes.
If it's your first time in Hong Kong, or if you have been before and you are keen to escape the crowds and get an authentic experience, here are some of the coolest, alternative and unusual things to do in Hong Kong as a tourist:
1. Stay at Mingle Farm
Hotels in Hong Kong are usually crazy expensive and also very small. If you would like to visit, or stay somewhere totally different check out Mingle Farm, a Hong Kong hidden gem.
This is Hong Kong's take on glamping where you will find a bubble-shaped, half-transparent tents where you can watch the stars and the amazing Hong Kong night sky. You can also book caravans and foldable houses which come with air-conditioning for extra comfort.
For meals, you can rent a barbecue or buy food from nearby shops and supermarkets.
At Mingle Farm there are also lots of unique activities like a bouncy castle, zorbing and trampolining. Wether you have 3 days in Hong Kong, or are planning a shorter or longer visit, this is a really fun place to stay for travellers and families.
2. Check Out the Views from Victoria Peak Gardens
For amazing city skyline views most international tourists head to Victoria Peak.
This is one of the number one destinations in Hong Kong and at 552 metres high, and if you have never been to Hong Kong before then you really should go here just to get the iconic photo.
But one of the most underrated viewing platforms and somewhere which is a lot less touristy is Victoria Peak Gardens. This lesser know spot is quite difficult to get to, you will need a map or ask locals for help.
Roughly, from the Victoria Peak Observatory you need to walk for around 10-15 minutes and be on the look out for some stairs which lead to Victoria Park Gardens. Id you climb to the top you will be rewarded with an almost 360-degree panorama view of Hong Kong which most tourists don't get to see!
3. Non-Touristy Waterfront Views
If you would like to check out some of the best views of Hong Kong avoid the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade (this is very busy) and instead head to the Kwun Tong promenade, Ma On Shan promenade or West Kowloon promenade instead.
These are lesser known but offer equally amazing views of the city. To get here catch the ride boat from Sai Wan Ho to Kwun Tong or from North Point to Kowloon City.
4. Walk the Lugard Road Trail
Lugard Road is a trail located on Victoria Peak. The trail is located 400 metres (1,300 ft) above sea level and has some amazing views over Victoria Harbour
Lugard Road is a un-touristy road without hordes of tourists. If you walk the whole trail you can go in a complete circle which takes around 1-2 hours.
This is easily one of the best free things to do in Hong Kong.
3. Eat Like a Local
One of the biggest draws to this city is the divine traditional Asian dishes. Hong Kong eateries incorporate all manner of local delights with a wide variety of restaurants and street markets.
Get adventurous by sampling street food from the local food stalls. You can enjoy delicious street snacks including; Siu Mai (steamed dumplings), instant noodles, tofu, egg tarts, rice rolls, pineapple buns and much more.
The Lei Yue Mun district has more than 30 seafood restaurants. It is a favorite hunt for most local foodies and you can expect to be served delicious salmon, Squid, shrimp, tilapia, razor clams, sea urchin rice, crabs, and more.
For an exceptional Hong-Kong food experience, visit the Jumbo Kingdom, Aberdeen area This is the world’s biggest floating restaurant, which highlights local Hong Kong seafood and western cuisine such as fried rice, sweet and sour pork, spicy chicken, lobster soup.
If you are on a budget, try Tim Ho Wan which was crowned the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. The Tim Ho Wan is well known for their tasty dim sum and pork chops.
For the proper local experience head to Sham Shui Po. This district in Kowloon is one of the poorest locations in Hong Kong and is in huge contrast to the main central areas. You can find so many things here from tasty cheap food, clothes, decorations, electronics, crafts and jewellery and suitcases.
If you would like to indulge your sweet tooth with a desert head to Dundas Street in Mongkok. Here you can find everything from cupcakes, bubble tea, egg waffles and ice cream.
4. Hiking & Waterfalls
If you are keen to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Hong Kong offers an array of exciting outdoor activities that makes it surprising paradise for adventure junkies.
When you think of Hong Kong the first image you usually get is of huge skyscrapers but this city will all surprise you as there are spectacular islands, beaches, pretty countryside, stunning high mountains and volcanic landscapes.
For hiking enthusiasts, check out the Plover Cove country trail which is one of the best hiking trails in Hong Kong. By heading to this trail you will get to see nature, monasteries, temples, Hakka houses and ancestral halls. Those who really want to go off the beaten track should also consider visiting Po Toi and explore its striking rock formations.
Hiking at the Lantau and Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest peaks is not for the faint-hearted. Though tough to climb, the two peaks offer amazing views over a side to Hong Kong you rarely see if you stay on the tourist trail.
5. Canyoning & Rock Climbing
Looking for adventure? Thrill-seekers can river navigate the steep narrow canyons at the Ping Nam or the Ma Dai Streams. Here you will get to see stunning Hong Kong waterfalls and numerous plunge pools with crystal clear waters. The volcanic outcrops in Hong Kong have also given way to an increasingly popular outdoor activity- deep-water soloing. Challenge yourself with intensive rock climbing at the beautiful island of Tung Lung Chau.
6. Discover Art
You probably don't think about art when planning a trip to Hong Kong but there are so many artistic places to visit. SoHo and Wan Chai are two of the best places to check out and where you can find some amazing galleries.
There is also lots of street art and graffiti located throughout the city, head to Sheung Wan and explore Upper Station Street, Sai Street, Hollywood Street, and Oil Street and Victoria Harbour.
Other places to consider checking out include Cattle Depot, C&G Art Space, the JCCAC and Osage Kwun Tong.
7. Explore PMQ in Soho
PMQ is a historic venue with shops & eateries located in Soho. This is one of the coolest local hangouts and home to lots of hundreds of local artists & designers. PMQ is a fantastic place to wander around or buy gifts.
8. Wander Around Tai Kwun
Tai Kwun is an Arts and Heritage Centre which opened in 2018. Tai Kwun is where the former Central Police Station, the Former Central Magistracy and the Victoria Prison were located.
All buildings have been renovated and are now is a great place for exhibits & art. There are also lots of shops, bars and restaurants - perfect to visit during day or night.
9. Go Strawberry Picking
There is more to Hong Kong than skyscrapers, this city is also home to lots of organic farms and a lot of which allow you to visit and pick your own food.
Popular farms for strawberry picking include Rainbow Organic Strawberry Farm and The HKFYG Organic Farm and the best times to visit are from mid-December to April.
These farms are usually in rural locations but can be reached by public transport or taxis. This is a really unusual and fun day out - and something totally different.
10. Visit Cheung Chau Island
Taking a ferry to Cheung Chau Island is highly recommend for the ultimate local Hong Kong experience.
Cheung Chau is an island 10 kilometres southwest of Hong Kong Island. It is nicknamed the 'dumbbell island' due to its shape and is a great place to see a slower pace of life.
You will get to see lots of fishing boats, tranquil scenery and locals riding bikes which is the most popular form of transport here.
Ferries to Cheung Chau which depart from Central Pier 5. The journey takes around 30 to 1 hour depending on which ferry you catch.
11. Dolphins Spotting
Several companies offer trips to see beautiful pink dolphins in Hong Kong which are found off the coast of Lantau Island. If you love wildlife you will love this experience and seeing these animals up close.
12. Sunset Cruise
Cruise the Victoria Harbour in one of the city's last remaining traditional Chinese junk boats - the Aqua Luna. Tickets cost around £18 ($20) and include a complimentary drink. You will get to escape the city and see the famous Hong Kong skyline illuminated at night.
13. Party with Locals
Hong Kong locals know how to party all night and they do so visible and noisily. The city has been nominated severally as the world’s top night life destinations.
Party with locals at Lan Kwai Fong (LKF), Hong Kong’s main nightlife district with over 90 bars, clubs, and numerous happy hour deals. Another legendary debauchery spot in Hong Kong is Soho that has fancy pubs and boasts of trendy tourists, fashionable locals, and models looking for the ultimate night out. There are tons of night-life activities you can do from Karaoke to darts.
With cheap flights from Singapore to Hong Kong, many Singaporeans love to travel to Hong Kong to enjoy the great food & night life!
You can also buy a ticket for a boat party in Hong Kong. There are many junk boat companies in Hong Kong that can offer all-inclusive junk trips with skyline views and amazing parties.
Hong Kong is an amazing destination to visit for a short stop over or a longer stay. If you delve a little deeper away from the main tourist hubs you will be rewarding with amazing experiences and destinations. This city has something for everyone.