icon
icon

Your 2019 Guide To 8 New Things To Do In Hong Kong

AvatarName

Cheng Sim  •  May 28, 2019

icon

An island of bustling street culture, shopping paradises and delicious local food, Hong Kong is unlike any other places you’ve been. Lively and exciting, it’s no surprise why travellers would plan countless vacations to Hong Kong. Credit: Giphy If you’re looking for another reason to visit this destination, there are eight new surprises that await you! While some attractions are Instagram-worthy, others are infused with heritage, arts and cultural experiences that you know and love. Are you ready to see what’s new in Hong Kong? Let’s start with this one!
1. Hold hands with Jackie Chan at Avenue Of Stars
Credit: @dewips0805 on Instagram The chances of spotting Jackie Chan hanging out in Tsim Sha Shui are slim, but it doesn’t stop any ‘Rush Hour’ fans from ‘holding his hands’ at Avenue of Stars. Yes, you certainly can at Hollywood of the East. Spot his copper-coloured handprint on the wooden handrail neighbouring the handprints of John Woo, Chow Yun Fatt and Jet Li. When you do, look up to the Victoria Harbour for a glimpse of Chinese junk boats cruising by Hong Kong’s cityscape. Credit: Hong Kong Tourism BoardBruce Lee would have been 79 years old today, but his fighting spirit lives on thanks to the two-metre-tall bronze statue.Only true fans can recognise the powerful pose from his 1972 film, ‘Fist of Fury’, but did you know it was chosen based on an online poll? More than 57,000 votes were cast worldwide, and it was certainly a great pick to immortalise his influence in the world of martial arts. The best part is you can take a selfie with it using Augmented Reality technology too.Address: Avenue of Stars, Waterfront Podium Garden, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Operating hours: 24 hours Directions: Alight at MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui and head towards Exit P1. Then, use the staircase or the escalator adjacent to Tsim Sha Tsui East (Mody Road) Bus Terminus Website Halal food nearby 27 Kebab House Credit: @yeezyfoodie on Instagram If you’re feasting on a shoestring budget, 27 Kebab House provides quick yet hearty bites for foodies on the go. Experience a burst of Turkish flavours when you sink your teeth into lamb shish, beef donor roll and salad with chicken donor. Address: 27 Kebab House, Ground floor, 18 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Operating hours: Sun-Thu, 10AM-1AM; Fri-Sat, 10AM-3AM Halal status: While the restaurant is halal-certified, do note that cannedbeers are served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your discretionDirections: Alight at MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station and take a 5-minute walk to 27 Kebab House.
2. Watch Cantonese opera in a lantern-inspired Xiqu Centre
Credit: @gweestero on Instagram The guidebooks will tell you to visit the Sunbeam Centre to catch the long-standing, century-old Cantonese opera, but millennials would say Xiqu Centre is worth visiting too. Meaning ‘traditional Chinese theatre’, West Kowloon’s impressive arts hub resembles a traditional Chinese lantern with an entrance that mimics parted stage curtains. Credit: @sintarobusta on Instagram Take five steps into this cultural sanctuary and you’ll see why Instagrammers made their presence known on the wavy staircase, in front of the golden traditional house, and below the curvilinear ceiling. The interior is spectacular! The stage may be set for the Cantonese opera, but Xiqu Centre gives you a moment to shine (on Instagram) too. Credit: @nianyiion Instagram Do more than getting the best seats to the century-old Cantonese opera performance. There are guided tours available for visitors who are interested in the traditional art form and building’s architectural design. Otherwise, book a seat at the Tea House Theatre Experience where you’ll enjoy a 90-minute performance by Tea House Rising Stars Troupecomplete with traditional tea and dim sum.#HHWT Tip: Do note that halal food options are not available at Tea House Theatre Experience, but you can request for a vegetarian dim sum at least three days before the show. Address: Xiqu Centre, 88 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-10.30PM Directions: Alight at MTR Austin Station and head towards Exit F. Walk through the pedestrian underpass for 5 minutes and you’ll reach Xiqu Centre Website P.S. Besides watching the Cantonese opera, here are 15 unique cultural experiences that will make you visit Hong Kong again!   Halal food nearby Hung’s Chinese Restaurant Anyone who has dined at Hung’s Chinese Restaurant will recommend the crispy and succulent roasted chicken. However, the restaurant also kept their diners well-fed with seafood fried rice, black pepper beef, stir-fried broccoli and more. Address: Hung’s Chinese Restaurant, Chungking Mansion, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong Operating hours: Daily, 11AM-11PM Halal status: Muslim-owned Directions: Alight at MTR Tsim Sha Tsui and head towards Exit E. Then, cross the road to Chungking Mansion where Hung’s Chinese Restaurant is located
3. Seek an alleyway adventure at Design District Hong Kong
Credit: Wong Wai PingonHong Kong Tourism Board If you’ve never imagined this destination as a thriving art scene, Design District Hong Kong will make a strong artistic statement. Breaking down the four walls of a regular art gallery, the Design District has transformed Wan Chai from a busy commercial district into an open-air gallery. Besides walking past larger-than-life murals, spot street art that depicts the stories of Hong Kong that has resonated with the locals through the years. Credit: @rabbit_o_ on Instagram For the road less Instagrammed, find your artistic adventure in the alleyways of Wan Chai. HKwalls, a non-profit arts organisation, has gathered local and international artists to magnify Hong Kong’s street culture through street art. Spot the mural above that envisions Hong Kong’s urban culture through a futuristic lens. There’s also a famous one that honours the martial art legend, Bruce Lee. Credit: @saisons2011 on Instagram While crossing the O’Brien Road footbridge, admire its ceilings and pillars which features Hong Kong’s colonial homes and shophouses amid colourful leaves. Then, look out for a bright green tram detailed with white calligraphy work, done by a local street painter called the Plumber King. #HHWT Tip: Guess what? There are more spots inHong Kong that’ll make you appreciate art (with nearby halal food)! Address: Wan Chai, Hong Kong Directions: Alight at MTR Wan Chai Station and head towards Exit A3. Then, walk along Tai Yuen Street to Queen’s Road East before turning left onto Stone Nullah Lane Website Halal food nearby Local Ginger Veggie Bistro Credit: Local Ginger on Facebook If the Blue House Cluster is too pretty to leave, grab a table at the in-house Chinese vegetarian restaurant named Local Ginger Veggie Bistro. Serving daily lunch menu, the veggie wonton noodle soup, dry noodles with ginger and scallions, and Shanghai stir-fried sticky rice cake are too tempting to resist. Address: Local Ginger Veggie Bistro, 8 King Sing Street, Wan Chai Operating hours: Mon-Sat, 11.30AM-5.30PM (Closed on Sun) Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, they serve an all-vegetarian menu. The menu may mention ‘meat’, but the mock meats are made entirely from vegetables Directions: Alight at MTR Wan Chai station and head towards Exit A3. Then, take a 7-minute walk to Local Ginger Veggie Bistro Website | Facebook
4. Save the day as a Marvel superhero at Hong Kong Disneyland
Credit: Hong Kong Tourism BoardAfter spending time at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Toy StoryLand at Hong Kong Disneyland, step into the shoes of your favourite Marvel superhero at their newest attraction calledAnt-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! Combining slow rides and thrilling spins, Iron Man will be counting on Ant-Man (yes, that’s you!) to protect classified S.H.I.E.L.D. data from the hands of the evil Swarmbots. It’s up to you to save the day! Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board While moving around in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s cool combat vehicle called the Dagger, your character will shrink down to the size of an ant. Then, you’ll fight off the Swarmbots using the state-of-the-art EMP blaster. The interactive Marvel experience will keep you at the edge of your seat, and it’s definitely worth the queue! #HHWT Tip: From halal food options to prayer spaces, check out our insider’s tips for the most epic trip to Hong Kong Disneyland! Address: Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands, Hong Kong Operating hours: Daily, 10.30AM-8.30PM Directions: Alight at MTR Disneyland Resort Station and walk towards the entrance of Hong Kong Disneyland Website Halal food nearby Explorer’s Club & Tahitian Terrace Restaurants Before you head out for the Flights of Fantasy parade, refuel with halal ginsengchicken soup, Japanese bento box and Korean deep-fried chicken at Explorer’s Club Restaurant (at Mystic Point). Next option is the Tahitian Terrace Restaurant (at Adventureland) that serves Southeast Asian delights such as Thai chicken curry, lemongrass chicken steak and Singaporean laksa rice noodle soup. #HHWT Fun Fact: Did you know that Hong Kong Disneyland is the only Disneyland in the world with halal-certified food? Address: Explorer’s Club Restaurant (Mystic Point) and Tahitian Terrace Restaurant (Adventureland), Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island, Hong Kong Operating hours: Daily, 10.30AM-8.30PM Halal status: Halal-certified
5. Take the High-Speed Rail for a day trip to Shenzhen
Credit: @karendlee on Instagram For a spontaneous day trip, all you need is a train ticket from Hong Kong West Kowloon station to anywhere in the Mainland. Connecting Hong Kong with 44 Mainland stations, imagine travelling to Futian, Guangzhou and Beijing without any interchange! If you’re looking for a day of theme parks and shopping sprees, we recommend taking a 20-minute train ride to Shenzhen. For Malaysian and Indonesian travellers, remember to apply for a visa in advance! Credit: @jh.yq_y30094on Instagram The moment you arrive in Shenzhen, take a taxi to the Window of the World, a theme park peppered with reproductions of world-famous attractions like the EiffelTower, Pyramid of Giza and Taj Mahal. Then, make the most of your day by shopping at COCO Park, riding the Space Shuttle at Happy Valley theme park and buy a new read from Shenzhen Book Mall for your trip back.#HHWT Fun Fact: Did you know that the High-Speed Rail is the fastest cross-boundary land transport in Hong Kong? Address: Hong Kong West Kowloon station, Kowloon, Hong Kong Operating hours: Daily, 6AM-12AM Estimated fares: Hong Kong West Kowloon station to Shenzhenbei station First class: HKD140 (per adult), HKD70 (per child) Second class: HKD88 (per adult), HKD44 (per child) Directions: Alight at MTR Kowloon Station and head towards Exit C. Then, walk through footbridges from the Element to reach Hong Kong West Kowloon Station Website Halal food nearby Curry Leaf Indian Cuisine Credit: @niesarun on Instagram Bringing spice-infused aroma to Kowloon, grab a table at Curry Leaf Indian Cuisine and savour tandoori chicken, mutton korma, and fish masala. Aside from the vegetarian menu, they also serve a humble selection of Chinese specialities, ranging from seafood fried noodles to chicken Manchurian. Address: Curry Leaf Indian Cuisine, G/F & M/F, Mau Lam Commercial Building, 16-18 Mau Lam Street, Jordan, Kowloon,Hong KongOperating hours: Daily, 12PM-3PM, 6PM-11PM Halal status: Halal-certified Directions: Alight at MTR Jordan station and walk for 5 minutes to Curry Leaf Indian Cuisine P.S. Planning a long weekend getaway? Here’s the only 4D3N Muslim-friendly itinerary you’ll need for your next Hong Kong trip!
6. Find a new Instagram spot at ArtLane
Credit: @neillhw on Instagram When the weather is good, it’s the perfect time to explore Sai Ying Pun, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. Thanks to the beautifully expressive murals that revitalised the neighbourhood’s alleyways, this trendy art spot called ArtLane has definitely brought the younger crowd to this side of the island - and you should too. When you step out from MTR Sai Ying Pun (next to Exit B3), start with the mural above and let the colourful walls lead the way. Credit: @mokcheryl on Instagram Walk further and you’ll notice the old residential buildings on Ki Ling Lane and Chung Ching Street being transformed into mega-sized canvases of street art splendours. Some hard-to-miss murals include a visual of a spacious park complete with tall trees and colourful floral patches. Credit: @artisdrugon Instagram Another must-see spot is a larger-than-life mural of a girl tiptoeing on a stoolto water the plants. Remember to take photos at the rainbow-coloured staircase next to it.Address: ArtLane, 8 Chung Ching Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Directions: Alight at MTR Sai Ying Pun Station and head towards Exit B3 that will lead you to Chung Ching Street Website Halal food nearby Chrisly Cafe (Bakery) Chrisly Cafe’s bakery does a great job in replicating the flavours of traditional egg tarts by replacing lard with peanut and vegetable oil. It’s so good that you’d say yes to everything else in the menu including a warm pineapple bun (bo lo bao). Come and get to know Martin Khan, a local Muslim who owns this authentic bakery in Hong Kong! Address: Chrisly Café (Bakery), Shop 3018, 3/F, Shun Tak Centre, 168-200 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong Operating hours: Daily, 7AM-7PM Halal status: While Chrisly Cafe is not halal, their bakery is halal-certified and Muslim-owned Directions: Alight at MTR Sheung Wan station and head towards Exit C. Then, walk towards Shun Tak Centre where the bakery is located
7. Step into Asia’s first TASCHEN store in Tai Kwun
Credit: @taikwun.hk on Instagram It’s surreal to see Tai Kwun’s transformation from a former central police station into a thrivinghub for arts and heritage. Thanks to its rich history, this space has hosted many activities and exhibitions that celebrate the culture and identity of Hong Kong. Sometimes you’ll spot heritage education programmes and other times, you’ll find yourself in a contemporary art event or performing arts showcase. Credit: @frankiehkh on Instagram Ever wondered how big is David Hockney’s SUMO-sized visual art book called A Bigger Book? Check it out at Asia’s first TASCHEN store in Hong Kong! Recognised as one of the leading art book publishers from Germany, you can find attractive coffee table books ranging from architecture to fashion and pop culture. Address: Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-11PM Directions: Alight at MTR Central Station and head towards Exit D1. Then, cross Wellington Street and Lyndhurst Terrace to Hollywood Road Website Halal food nearby LockCha Tea House Credit: @naddieflowers on Instagram Prepare to be served with bite-sized vegetarian dim sum at LockCha Tea House. Together with a cup of Chinese tea, try their red bean buns, vegetarian spring rolls, taro cakes and coconut cashew glutinous rice dumpling for a delicious Hong Kong treat. Address: LockCha Tea House, G06-07, Block01, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong KongOperating hours: Daily, 11AM-11PM Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, they serve an all-vegetarian dim sum menu. We recommend that you dine at your discretion. Directions: Alight at MTR Central station and head towards Exit D2. Then, take a 7-minute walk to LockCha Tea House
8. Shop at Hong Kong’s first museum-retail complex
Credit: K11 MUSEA on Facebook We’re counting down the months until the launch of Hong Kong’s first museum-retail complex called K11 MUSEA. Set to open in the third quarter of 2019, the ten-storey building will bring life to the art and design district at Victoria Dockside. Featuring a slew of international brands, K11 MUSEA is pulling all the stops to create a grand impression by promising one of the world’s largest living walls as well as rotating world-class art collection. You should definitely be excited for this one! Address: K11 MUSEA, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong Directions: Alight at MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station and head towards Exit D3, N3 or N4 Note: As of May 2019, K11 MUSEA is set to open in the third quarter of 2019 Website Halal food nearby CasablancaRestaurant & Cafe Credit: @instaudreyttt on Instagram Pop over to Casablanca Restaurant & Cafe for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern meal. Start off with falafel and Turkish salad before indulging further with lamb tagine, chicken shish, lamb curry and more. Address: Casablanca Restaurant & Café, 6th Floor, Ashley Centre, 23-25 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Operating hours: Daily, 12PM-12AM Halal status: Halal-certified Directions: Alight at MTR East Tsim Sha Tsui and head towards Exit L5. Then, take a 1-minute walk to Ashley Centre where the restaurant is located
BONUS! Explore Hong Kong with the Octopus Card
Since these attractions are accessible via MTR, this Octopus Card is just the thing you need. Convenient and value for money, head over to any MTR stations (or the airport) and get one for yourself. Remember to return the card before you leave Hong Kong to get HK$50 deposit back. For more money-saving tips, here’s how to explore the best of Hong Kong on a budget! Credit: GiphyIn the midst of the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, catch up with new and exciting surprises on your next arrival in Hong Kong. From watching the century-old Cantonese opera at the lantern-inspired Xiqu Centre to visiting Asia’sfirst TASCHEN store in Tai Kwun, there are many things to do on top of thisall-in-one Hong Kong bucket list guide. Now, are you ready to plan your next getaway to Hong Kong? We sure hope to see you there! This article is brought to you by Hong Kong Tourism Board.