A global business hub with a kaleidoscope of cultures, Hong Kong has always been everybody’s favourite neighbour. Wherever you are in the world, Hong Kong is within reach, calling to you with promises of dumplings, nightlife, shopping, and more. A lot may have changed since you last visited, but it’s still every bit as colourful and exciting as it was, if not more. Here are the different ways you can rediscover the city on your next visit.
Visit Old Favourites: Central Market and Mong Kok
These two iconic, well-loved destinations were recently revitalised and transformed into vibrant communities. Now, locals and tourists of all ages can enjoy Hong Kong’s traditional allure, but with a modern twist.
Central Market was opened in 1842 and was Hong Kong’s first modern wet market. It went on to operate for over six decades until it was eventually renovated. It reopened in 2021, transformed into a hotspot of dining and retail shops, with the building exteriors retaining their nostalgic charm. Visit Central Market for homegrown brands and small businesses.
Meanwhile, Mong Kok’s vitality is perfectly captured in the new Shanghai 618, a strip of restored waterfront shophouses for local products and businesses. Sporting modern architecture, the lane stands out right in the heart of old Mong Kok—yet not a brick feels out of place. Aside from shopping, explore the murals that pay homage to the street’s rich history and, of course, sample the bites you come across along the way.
Explore Hong Kong’s Natural Wonders
Beyond Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan cityscapes are lush mountains and islands waiting to be explored. Even if you’re not outdoorsy, hiking is one of the most enchanting ways to fall in love with Hong Kong again. Beginner-friendly Lau Shui Hueng Reservoir trail takes you to the famous “sky mirror.” Intermediate hikers can take the Tai Tam Reservoir hike, which goes from Quarry Bay to Repulse Bay. If you’re up for the challenge, try the Wilson Trail, a 50-mile hike from Stanley Gap in Hong Kong Island to Nam Chung in the New Territories.
If you don’t fancy the idea of an intense leg day, you may want to check out the villages and islands from Sha Tau Kok, the longest pier in Hong Kong. It restarted operations in mid-2022 and now takes visitors to various islands from the easternmost point. One of the many destinations from this point is Lai Chi Wo in the northeast of the New Territories. Explore the island’s mangrove forest, fung shui woods, and well-preserved 300-year-old Hakka village.
Feel Like a Kid Again at The Peak and HK Disneyland
Nothing brings back memories quite like these two classic experiences. If the task is to rediscover the beauty of Hong Kong, then a ride on the recently upgraded Peak Tram is essential. During the day, marvel at the sight of skyscrapers interspersed with green mountains. At night, enjoy the cool breeze while enjoying an unobstructed view of the iconic Hong Kong skyline. While you’re there, check out Madame Tussauds, Peak Galleria, and Monopoly Dreams at The Peak Tower.
If you’re up for more HK adventures, spend a day at Hong Kong Disneyland. This well-loved destination recently launched its newest attraction, the Castle of Magical Dreams, inspired by Disney Princesses and Queens. Relive how your favourite heroines followed their dreams with a tour and large-scale projection show “Momentous,” which illuminates the castle at night.
Embrace Local Culture
Sipping a cup of coffee al fresco is a front-row ticket to the Hong Kong slice of life. If you’re intrigued—and you will be—take a more proactive approach and visit locations that literally enshrine local culture.
The recently opened Hong Kong Palace Museum is a prestigious addition to the West Kowloon arts scene. It joins the likes of M+, the Xiqu Centre for Chinese Opera, Freespace, and the newly renovated Hong Kong Museum of Art in offering diverse collections from various artists. If you love rare artefacts, it is a must-visit. It houses one of the world’s best collections of Chinese ceramics and over 900 pieces on loan from the Palace Museum in Beijing. It also holds 13 pieces borrowed from the Louvre.
Another way to soak in culture is through temple hopping. Quietly admire the architecture, keeping in mind that these are places of worship. Breathe in the familiar scent of incense and be calmed by the sounds of hushed shuffling and prayer. In the city, visit the Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, a tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). People visit the temple to pray for peace and success.
If you’re up for another adventure, trek up 268 steps to The Big Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island. It took 12 years to plan and build and is one of the largest outdoor seated Buddha statues in the world. You can reach Lantau Island via a 25-minute Ngong Ping cable car ride from Tung Chung.
Relax in the City with a DayAway
Hong Kong has no shortage of luxurious destinations. Between shopping, hiking, and exploring, escape into a relaxing DayAway at Rosewood Hong Kong. Cap your evening with a Darkside Cocktail Making Class led by world-class mixologists. Or enjoy a wellness daycation complete with a bespoke treatment and lunch.
Read also: A Perfect Day In: Rosewood Hong Kong