Help me plan a great night out in Hong Kong
November 30, 2011 5:40 PM   Subscribe

You're in Hong Kong on 12/13 January. You want to take someone out for a fun night. Where do you go and what do you do? Definitions of fun and budget are inside.

I'm going to be in Hong Kong on the dates above. I'd like to take my travelling companion out for an evening (this is will be his Xmas present from me). Please give me ideas of places we could go or things we could do to make a memorable evening.

Things we both enjoy doing for a night out include:
- theatre
- music (jazz or classical preferred but open to other suggestions)
- drinking and talking
- comedy
- eating

Things that would not appeal include:
- musicals
- clubbing/dancing
- noisy bars
- sporting events

I wouldn't go as far as saying money is no object, but I'd be prepared to spend about $200 USD ($1500 HKD), possibly more for something really awesome.

There is no flexibility on dates, so I'm looking for events or acitvities that will be available on those nights.
posted by girlgenius to Travel & Transportation around Hong Kong (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That time between Christmas and Chinese New year makes it quiet in town - though that can be a bonus as well.

If it was my Thursday evening and I were a tourist?

After a ramble around HK's excellent History museum, I would start early (maybe 430pm) with tea at the peninsula. I have no idea how much that is but if you got out at $50 for 2 you would be doing well I think.

Then I would head over on the Star Ferry to Central - upper deck will give you the best photos. - About USD0.50 for you both.

Then I would head over to the Peak tram ( you could walk or take a USD 2-3 taxi) and go up (USD 8 for you both) and take a walk around at the top and take in the views.

You could then get the tram back down or if you dare take a minibus.....

I imagine you are then probably feeling peckish, but to really get the apetite going stop for a drink at Lan Kwai Fong - pick a bar with outside seating and watch the world go by.

Then it's time for dinner - there are hundreds of choices within 500 yards of where you are standing. Some sites to help your search. - it really depends on your palette and budget - personally I love street food and would google 'Dai Pai Dong' and see where that leads you....

Then its time for comedy and I have never been but just checked and they have a show.

A final late beer for me would be the raunchy end of town in Wanchai. Now that is some quality people watching.

Feel free to ping me if you want any further help.
posted by fatmouse at 6:32 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here are some event possibilities for a night out on those dates:

Daytime sailing tour around Victoria Harbor on the Duk Ling, Jan 12, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm leaving from Central Pier

Evening sailing tour around Victoria Harbor on the AquaLuna (caution, website has sound), watching the Symphony of Lights while on board, with dinner included afterwards, Jan 12 and 13, 7:30 or 7:45 pm, leaving from Tsim Sha Tsui or Central Pier

"Ya Gotta Swing" concert/festival at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre, Jan 13, 8:00 pm

Jazz, blues, and soul music at Bohemian Lounge in Central, Jan 13, 10:00 pm

The most glamorous option seems to be the AquaLuna evening sail followed by dinner, which hits both the 'delicious food' and 'great views' checkboxes. You could follow that up with a trip to the Peak (for more great views) or head over to one of the music events above.

Oh, and another good choice: have dinner at a private kitchen, where a star chef will personally prepare a dinner for you in his/her home. Expensive, but definitely a very special night out. You could still pair this with one of the later or earlier AquaLuna harbor cruises.
posted by danceswithlight at 7:09 PM on November 30, 2011

It's slim pickings that early on in the year, but there's a few concerts that you might like.

-The Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival is running January 11th to 19th.

-A Welsh soprano named Catrin Aur is singing with the City Chamber Orchestra January 13th and 14th at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts at Wan Chai.

- Jazz musician Michael Carillo performs every Thursday night in Central, though I don't know if that fits your dates? There's also a list of jazz clubs here - YMMV, I know nothing about jazz!

-Tea at the Peninsula is lovely and will probably run you around 280$HKD to 300$HKD per person with 10% service charge, so probably around $38USD per person.

- There's too much good eating to recommend a place in general, but if you're looking for fine dining, you can try the Frommer's restaurant list. Generally speaking, though, those places tend to run up the bill pretty fast. Personally, I like dai pai dong. It's a neat experience if you've not had street food before and it's cheap.

- For general activities, the street markets are always good for a interesting walkaround.
posted by zennish at 7:22 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Michael Carillo on Thursday nights is the same jazz event I mentioned, btw.
posted by danceswithlight at 7:30 PM on November 30, 2011

Nthing the History Museum.

Also, absolutely do High Tea at the Peninsula. Delicious and classy. Do dress up a bit, because it's a gorgeous hotel, and a fancy tea, and it's nice to be fancy once in a while.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:56 PM on November 30, 2011

Perhaps you could begin with Yum Cha at Maxim's Palace on HK Island. Silver teapots!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:01 PM on November 30, 2011

Can you tell me where you are going to be staying? I can map out a better night out for you that way. Also where are you visiting from and are you looking for more of a cultural experience or a big city experience?
posted by Yellow at 8:52 AM on December 1, 2011

Response by poster: Yellow, I'm not sure yet where we are going to stay.

I'm visiting from Australia and looking more for a big-city experience than a cultural experience, though a bit of both would be great.

Thanks everyone for the answers so far, lots there to check out.
posted by girlgenius at 4:49 PM on December 1, 2011

If you are looking for a nice place to stay that is not a lot of money, try checking out the YMCA Tsim Sha Tsui. It is next to the Hotel Intercontinental and across the street from the Peninsula. It sits by the water and you can watch the light show that the buildings do every night at 8pm. There is lots of shopping in that are and you would not go hungry! In walking distance is the cultural center, the art museum and the space museum. The MTR is right there so you can go anywhere you would like in a jiffy.

The Peninsula is known for their high tea so I think you might enjoy that one afternoon.

Getting on the MTR and then the ferry from Central or Aberdeen, you can go to Lamma Island during the day and stay into the evening and watch the sunset having dinner at one of the many restaurants right by the edge of the island. You can hop back on the ferry and back to the big city. Lamma Island is inhabited by many westerners now so there is a great mix of people there.

Please visit the Big Buddha. It is a time consuming ride when you compare it to anyplace else you might go in HK and Kowloon, but it is really an awesome experience. My mother had the honour of watching the Buddha built and was there to see them bring in the pieces and touch the Buddha's ear! Anyway, even if you are not religious, you will enjoy the views. You can stay there for a vegetarian meal if you are interested. If not, there is great small fare that you can have right around the area. Not a big meal or anything, but great local stuff!

Victoria's Peak is a must visit. Please make a reservation with any of the restaurants you would like to go to since it is quite crowded. Everyone wants to see the sun set from above! Hope you are not afraid of heights!

Most westerners like to go to Lan Kwai Fong. There are lots of small bars and intimate restaurants that cater to a mostly English speaking crowd. You might want to go to one place for a before dinner drink, another for appetizers, a third for dinner and yet another for coffee. That may be a long night, so don't go hiking that morning!

Is this too long? Let me know if you want more, I feel like I am overloading you here. Sorry for the delay in responding!!

Have a great time!!
posted by Yellow at 12:18 PM on December 3, 2011

Please visit the Big Buddha.

There is an excellent cable car ride up to the Buddha as well.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:33 PM on December 4, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all for the ideas - for the record, we did a sunset cruise on the Aqua Luna, had a magnificent dinner at a place called Chairman in Soho, and finished off with a cocktail at the Penninsula - fantastic views, suitably overpriced and an excellent opportunity to roll ones eyes at Phillipe Stark.
posted by girlgenius at 8:30 PM on January 19, 2012

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