Things to do in Hong Kong

BubbaBanker's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,114

Figured there are a lot of monkeys in Hong Kong so reaching out for ideas: this fall I'm visiting a friend in HK. For those who've been, what are some recommendations for things to do/see/places to eat/etc.? I'm a big fan of obscure food and lots of drinking, but open to walking around and exploring during the day as well. My friend will be staying with his family, so what's a good neighborhood to get an airbnb in?

Also, I'd be down if anyone is interested in getting a drink or if there's a WSO group that meets regularly like in some other cities.

Comments (50)

Jun 27, 2019

Speaking from limited experience but Lang Kwai Fong (HK version of Bourbon St) and Wan Chai for drinking. We ate at Ruth's Chris but that's not very adventurous since we have those in the States (it was better than any RC I've been to here though). Victoria Peak and The Peninsula hotel are cool but kinda touristy.

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

Thanks for the rec. I'll be staying close to LKF. Heard good things about taking the tram up to Victoria Peak. Really interested in checking out good dim sum spots.

Jun 27, 2019

The view from the Peak is stunning. I'd recommend doing it during the day though so you can really take it all in. Enjoy HK. One of my favorite cities in the world.

Jun 27, 2019

For really good dim sum, try a chain called Din Tai Fung...incredible pork buns and Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings)

Jun 27, 2019

Eat: Char Siu Pork (a bbq dish over rice).

See: Touristy but still highly recommend Victoria Peak and taking a ferry (e.g. Star Ferry or other)

Drinking: not high end but get grimy in Wan Chai

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019
Synergy_or_Syzygy:

Drinking: not high end but get grimy in Wan Chai

That's my style.

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

training day

    • 1
Sep 25, 2019

Don't get grimy in Wan Chi-great way to get drugged by a prostitute and robbed. I've seen it happen to plenty of clueless gweilos and I don't think the police will have the time or patience to really help you too much.

Jun 27, 2019

Depends on your age and what your idea of fun is, but everyone always enjoys drinking in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai...good clubs are Volar, DragonI and Drop (not sure if it's still open, its been a while), and pregame at Red Bar on top of IFC Mall (BYOB)

Going to happy valley on wednesdays to bet on the horses is always a fun pregame before Wan Chai

During the day time, there are lots of places to go on hikes...Dragon Back, Sai Kung, any of the islands (Lamma island, Peng Chau)

Walking around Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok there's always plenty of interesting places to stop and eat. Use the OpenRice app to find good restaurants, food in the city is amazing and you can find any cuisine you want.

If you can find it on facebook, join a group called Bunker Club or Rewind HK...both are groups that organize big parties in weird locations around the city and announce the location last second (sometimes up in the mountains in old WWII bunkers, speakers and lights set up, hundreds of people)...always a great time

    • 3
Jun 27, 2019
Vincent Adultman:

Depends on your age and what your idea of fun is, but everyone always enjoys drinking in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai...good clubs are Volar, DragonI and Drop (not sure if it's still open, its been a while), and pregame at Red Bar on top of IFC Mall (BYOB)

Have heard generally good things about nightlife there. Are prices at bars generally comparable to the US?

Vincent Adultman:

Going to happy valley on wednesdays to bet on the horses is always a fun pregame before Wan Chai

My friend there hyped this up, and it looks like a lot of fun. I'm always down to lose a lot of money very quickly.

Vincent Adultman:

big parties in weird locations around the city and announce the location last second (sometimes up in the mountains in old WWII bunkers, speakers and lights set up, hundreds of people)...always a great time

Fuck that sounds like a great time, will definitely check that out.

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

As far as prices at the bars go, it varies quite a bit...at the more student-aimed bars in wan chai, prices aren't bad, whereas at the more "clubby" spots or rooftop patios, you're paying US$20 for a beefeater and tonic

If you want to save a buck, there are 7/11s and Circle K's on every block of the city with really cheap beer...drink in the street on your way to the bars...and even then, most people just hang outside the bars drinking all night anyways

Most Helpful
Jun 27, 2019
Vincent Adultman:

Depends on your age and what your idea of fun is, but everyone always enjoys drinking in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai...good clubs are Volar, DragonI and Drop (not sure if it's still open, its been a while), and pregame at Red Bar on top of IFC Mall (BYOB)

Going to happy valley on wednesdays to bet on the horses is always a fun pregame before Wan Chai

During the day time, there are lots of places to go on hikes...Dragon Back, Sai Kung, any of the islands (Lamma island, Peng Chau)

Walking around Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok there's always plenty of interesting places to stop and eat. Use the OpenRice app to find good restaurants, food in the city is amazing and you can find any cuisine you want.

If you can find it on facebook, join a group called Bunker Club or Rewind HK...both are groups that organize big parties in weird locations around the city and announce the location last second (sometimes up in the mountains in old WWII bunkers, speakers and lights set up, hundreds of people)...always a great time

I've spent a long long time living in HK. The above is pretty good (and @mitchymoreguap has posted some stuff as well).

I'm a touch older so my take. In short, HK has changed a lot (and for the better). There is more to do now than before.

Central: LKF - standard touristy fully of kids (like high schoolers). Not as fun as it used to be as it's gone upscale. Still good for a few. Better yet, go above it to Wyndham Street where there is a lot of drinking to be had. If you keep walking along Wyndham, you will hit the Midlevels Escalators. Alongside this amazing thing (which connects IFC to the midlevels) are bars and restaurants. Two main streets with food and drink ate Elgin Street and Staunton Street. Past the escalators and Wyndham Street becomes Hollywood Road which means you are getting into Sheung Wan. Note: IFC is where one of the Batmans was filmed and is a huge (another) glitzy mall with bars and restaurants and of course high priced offices of banks law firms etc. Some of the places on the patio are a place to pre-game or for a few early ones with colleagues/bosses before going elsewhere. IFC is also where HK Station is so it's where the Airport Express train ends (Airport to Central in 24 minutes). Someone mentioned Tim Ho Wan, the original 1 star Michelin Dim Sum for cheap. They have an outlet just above the Airport Express. Confused? Just ask people. For what its worth, Tim Ho Wan is now in NYC and Singapore and I think soon to be in London. How does it compare? I don't know. I think its delicious. I have friends who are much more picky and disagree. Your mileage may vary. Other places in Central. Stockton for cocktails, I like Roundhouse for its list of craft beers. Yung Kee, a touristy place that's ok but I think the roast meats are still delicious. There is also Wang Fu for Northern Chinese which I really like on Wellington St. near the Escalators, and Mana if you want to go vegan (great hummus wraps and perfect women/MILF watching). It's mostly a takeout joint but very fresh and perfect for a quick lunch). Sevva is a bar in Prince's building with a phenomenal view and prices to boot. Go when MD takes you or for client drinks. I hate the clientele and atmosphere (corporate and showing off), the drinks are expensive and unimaginative, but that view...More on IFC, near the Four Seasons hotel but also in the Landmark is Cafe Robouchon. You read that right. I've never eaten at the proper restaurant but the sandwiches are fantastic and the croissants easy to grab and go and a bargain compared to NY and delicious (they import the butter, flour etc from France).

Sheung Wan: More hipster now and quieter but just west of Central as you walk west along Wyndham, which becomes Hollywood Road or on Staunton St. There is PMQ (Police Married Quarters) which is a cool renovated place that has a lots of cool and pricey local shops with kitcsh as well bars and restaurants. Abredeen St, near it has some cool stuff, as does Peel Street (closer to Central and bisects Elgin and Peel). Gough Street is another cool place with some interesting restaurants, my favorite being Kau Kee for the brisket noodles. There is always a line. The curry e-fu noodles are nice as well. In short you can't go wrong. There is a nice local gelato place at the end of the street. The areas are Man Mo Temple and Cat Street are great to wander during the day. You'll find some cool cafes and spots. I like Teakha.

Going further west you'll end up in more edgy/hip Sai Ying Pun and then Kennedy Town. Lots of cool places to check out as well one of them in the latter being Sun Hing which is a local dim sum joint that opens at 3am.

Wanchai: Originally seen as more down, dirty and casual (Lockhart Road still can be), Wanchai is now pretty yuppy. On Johnston Road there is the Pawn which has a great terrace overlooking Wanchai and Southorn Playground and has nice drinks, a solid whiskey selection and overpriced food (which is not uncommon in HK). Motorino (the same guys as in NY) is good pizza in Wanchai, and there is the Back Bar nearby for Sherry and Ham. Star Street is quiet and has some interesting places (Near 3 Pacific Place). Swatow and Amoy Street which connect Johnston Road and Queens Road East have a plethora of cafes, bars and restaurants most of which are pretty good. La Rotisserie is great french roast chicken and takeout, but there is also some excellent Ramen and solid Thai. LQV is the place to go for mostly French wines and a great list with potentially reasonable prices. As for Cafes most people like Cupping Room but I prefer Manson's Lot. Bread and Beast probably makes the best sandwiches in HK. Lee Tung Avenue nearby is Disneyfied non-sense but also has restaurants and bars. I like Passion for its croissants and other pastries.

Causeway Bay: Glitzy but much more local. Lots of great places to eat. Some solid local dessert places on Yiu Wa Street. The Bartlock Center has one of my favorite spicy Sichuanese places, Si Jie (cash only) and on the top floor a Japanese Whiskey place that's fantastic Bar Executive. Wandering Causeway is well worth.

Tsim Sha Tsui: If you want to be more touristy (think more mainland Chinese), it's just across the harbor. Worth taking Star Ferry. To see globalization in progress, wander through Chungking Mansions which has IndoPak and African food, and all kinds of random shops/hawkers and is fascinating. And some cheap booze/beer. The Peninsula Hotel is nearby if you want to be 5 star and old school and afternoon tea there is pretty cool.

That doesn't even scratch the surface but I'll stop there. Someone else mentioned hiking.. The Dragons Back is great and pretty easy. The Twins are tougher but shorter. Both great views. I like Mount Butler a lot. Someone also mentioned islands. Taking ferries out to islands like Peng Chau and Cheung Chau shows you a different side of HK that you may not realize exists. Slow paced, quiet, local not super pricey. Going to Lantau for some hikes is well worth it as well, such as Sunset Peak (best to go to Tung Chung via MTR than a ferry). No one has mentioned beaches. There are actually decent beaches in HK and even if its not hot outside you can get a chair and just chill or throw a ball with friends. I like Big Wave Bay but Shek O is bigger. Stanley on the South Side of the island is an option and ok to walk around but its usually crowded with people going to the market and the restaurants there.

I haven't even gotten into history and stuff to do in the New Territories (biking in Tai Mei Tuk, or water/hiking in Sai Kung), but I will stop there. I hope this is helpful and apologies if anything is closed/out of date. HK changes very quickly. Enjoy

Good Luck

    • 8
Jun 27, 2019

God damn I'm excited for this trip. I'll be staying in Sheung Wan. Also huge fuck yeah for a Robuchon lite.

The beaches and hiking both sound great. A coworker of mine mentioned Stanley and had good things to say about it.

Jun 27, 2019

FYI on HK - Typhoon season is from May to early November. I have never been to HK but heard they can be deadly.

Jun 27, 2019

Thanks for the heads up. I'm going in October, I read that it's generally mild and shouldn't be humid.

Jun 27, 2019

just spent 5.5 months there. unreal city.

Happy hour:
Fini's - All you can drink Peroni's and all you can eat wings for about 13 USD. blackout.

Ce La Vi - boujee rooftop with 2 for 1 drinks before 8pm on weekdays - sick view

Mr Wongs - a weird dingy place that resembles an american chinese takeout spot. The owner (Mr Wong) is absolutely insane and a ton of fun to be around. ~8 USD all you can drink shitty beer and all you can eat shitty Chinese food. Come here to blackout with international exchange students. So much fun.

other cool rooftops are Sevva and on the Kowloon side "Eyebar" which might have the best view of hong kong. Also its not open air but the ritz has the highest bar in the world

Night-
Literally anywhere in LKF. Everyone dances in the streets. - the fancy boujee places are Dragon I, Tasmanian Ballroom, and Volar. Lots of models that they probably pay to be there.
Iron Fairies - one of the coolest bars I've ever been to. 10,000 preserved butterflies right over your head and live music most nights. crazy cool
Ophelia - Same owners as iron fairies, themed like some psychadelic bird cage. absolutely unreal

Food -
Any restaurant in the black sheep restaurant group. Ho Lee Fook is one of the best meals I've ever had. Chom Chom is also unreal and I've heard really good things about Le Petit Saigon. All are Western influenced so not the most authentic but they are amazing. Alternatively just wander through Soho. Every restaurant is crazy good because all the shitty ones go out of business immediately

Dim sum - literally anywhere. Get the steamed BBQ pork buns. Its like eating a cloud.

Daytime-
Dragons back hike is really cool its a half day hike. Twin peaks is also a great hike but a bit more difficult. Cliff jumping in Sai Kung was one of the coolest days I've had. Just wandering around central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Causeway bay are all fun. The farther into Kowloon you go the less western everything gets. Make sure you explore more than just Hong Kong Island.

sick country (yes country, fuck you), have fun

edit: lmao at everyone MS'ing me for calling it a country. Call a native HKer Chinese to their face and watch them tell you to go fuck yourself

    • 3
    • 3
Jun 27, 2019

Hong Kong is not a country it is CHINA

    • 2
    • 3
Jun 28, 2019

Technically yeah, but if you call a native HKer Chinese to their face they will rightfully tell you to fuck off. Culturally a night and day difference. HKer's have plenty of reason to dislike mainland and they were "given" to mainland without any kind of input on the decision

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

Watched a Rugby match. Actually more like, I drank enormous quantities of alcohol at a Rugby match and watched little of the actual game. Super fun. Was at some field level beer garden there. Great time with friends and met a few HK based finance folks.

Jun 27, 2019
odog808:

Watched a Rugby match. Actually more like, I drank enormous quantities of alcohol at a Rugby match and watched little of the actual game. Super fun. Was at some field level beer garden there. Great time with friends and met a few HK based finance folks.

Was it the (very fun) drunkathon known as the Rugby 7s? If so that's an annual gig..

Jun 28, 2019
Jamoldo:
odog808:

Watched a Rugby match. Actually more like, I drank enormous quantities of alcohol at a Rugby match and watched little of the actual game. Super fun. Was at some field level beer garden there. Great time with friends and met a few HK based finance folks.

Was it the (very fun) drunkathon known as the Rugby 7s? If so that's an annual gig..

It might have been although it could have been just a "friendlies" Match since I didn't pay as much attention.

Hong Kong vs South Korea

    • 1
Jun 27, 2019

you need to read Straight to Hell by John LeFevre before you go.

Jun 28, 2019

i second jamoldo's suggestions. if you're only staying for a few days stay on the hong kong island. kowloon (tsim sha tsui & mong kok) to hong kong island is like brooklyn to manhattan. i would suggest mid-levels or wan chai for a place to stay as these are where the actions are.

a few of my fave food spots:

  • mommy pancakes: you gotta try the HK-style egg puffs, these are so much better than waffles. this place actually has a slew of flavors you can choose from and it's literally the only food i miss when i'm away. the one i go to is between wan chai and causeway bay and they open at noon so get them as an afternoon snac
  • thai ginger @ pacific place mall in admiralty: this is the best thai food i've had anywhere & they're very consistent with their taste. their shrimp pad thai is to die for
  • Jiao Dian in wan chai for dumplings. i've never been a dumplings fan but i'm pretty sold by their truffle dumplings. there's usually a line at dinner time so go early. bring cash.
  • seafood pizza from PizzaExpress if you're hungry at 10pm. super thin crust & tastes very light. might get flak for being a fast food place but it's really good
  • watermelon juice from just any circle K

for touristy photo-ops head to lee tung avenue. ask your friend about their light installations.

if you're riding the mid-levels escalators, stop at the former central police station compound.

  • i think someone mentioned din tai fung. it's actually taiwanese. not a huge fan of their dim sum personally. go to tim ho wan
    • 1
Jul 2, 2019

Thanks, appreciate the recommendations. Is cash generally more prevalent (sort of similar to Japan), or do most places accept credit?

Jul 2, 2019

i'd say bring some cash and buy an octupus card at any subway station and fill it up. the card itself costs about HKD100 and is refundable. it's a contactless card and accepted almost everywhere (convenience stores / trams / restaurants / subway etc). super convenient, you tap the card on a card reader and that's it, no signatures/passcode required. the service counters in the subway only take cash though, so bring some cash

Jul 3, 2019
BubbaBanker:

Thanks, appreciate the recommendations. Is cash generally more prevalent (sort of similar to Japan), or do most places accept credit?

Depends on where you go. Unless its mom and pop, plastic will be fine. Otherwise carry cash (there are tons of ATMs everywhere). I typically keep the equivalent of 30-50 USD in my pocket (that's 250-400 HKD appox).

Have a great time!

Good Luck

Aug 5, 2019

Thanks to all for your responses. Have the protests affected tourism in the area? I'll be going in the fall so I hope it dies down a bit by then but I was just wondering if anyone felt unsafe there.

Aug 5, 2019

Spent a summer there freshman summer, it was a blast. All the recommended places below are solid, LKF has lots of fun finance professionals drowning their sorrow every night of the week. If you can afford it/have the time, would recommend going to Macau for a weekend with some friends.

You can take a 1-2 hr ferry and I think they just opened a bridge from HK to Macau. Its the Vegas of Asia and there's cheap hotels off the main "strip" that aren't so bad. Also a fun hike is the Big Bhudda, Happy Valley track, plus all the recommendations above. Enjoy your time, wish I could go back.

Aug 7, 2019

Was thinking of Macau, not sure if we'll have enough time to check it out but looks like a lot of fun.

Sep 24, 2019

It's getting down to the wire, wondering if it's still ok to go there. 2 days before I get there, the PRC is having their national day, does anyone know if there's any widespread protests scheduled?

Sep 24, 2019
BubbaBanker:

It's getting down to the wire, wondering if it's still ok to go there. 2 days before I get there, the PRC is having their national day, does anyone know if there's any widespread protests scheduled?

Go. I have a friend there now who is helping out the protesters. As a tourist, you'll be fine.

Array

    • 1
Sep 24, 2019

Hell yeah.

    • 1
Sep 25, 2019

My favorite thing to explore first wherever i go is the goods on tinder

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Sep 25, 2019

Business AND pleasure, perfect combo

    • 1
Sep 25, 2019

/

Sep 25, 2019

Definitely go to Mr Wongs on Wednesday in Mong Kok and horse races after

Sep 25, 2019

I get in Thursday so I'll be missing all the Happy Valley fun

Sep 25, 2019
Comment
    • 1