Hong Kong filter: Have I done all the things?
August 1, 2014 2:23 AM   Subscribe

I've been in Hong Kong since Sunday: help me find something to do tomorrow.

Having been here since Sunday, I'm starting to feel like I've run out of things to do in HK. What shoukd I do tomorrow?

Thus far, I have:
-taken the funicular railway to Victoria Peak and walked the park there
-taken the Star Ferry across to Kowloon for skyline viewing (day and night)
-walked the Avenue of the Stars/saw statue of Bruce Lee
-eaten Indian food at Chunking Mansions
-taken the cable car to Ngong Ping on Lantau and climbed up to the big Buddha
-eaten snake soup at that restaurant famous for it
-eaten the brisket at Kau Kee and dim sum at an acclaimed place
-taken that incredible series of escalators up the mountain
-shopped at the Temple Street Market (and a bunch of others)
-taken the bus to Stanley and drank a coconut on the beach
-taken the ferry to Macau, where I saw the historic sites downtown, got lost in some off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, spent some time at the Grand Lisboa, ate Portuguese food and saw the panda on Coloane
-visited the Chi Lin nunnery and their beautiful park next door

So what should I do next? I'd like to do something that's not too physically demanding, as a week in this heat has wiped me out (I've sweated thru my shirt 10+ times since arriving), and preferably not entirely outdoors (as there's a decent chance of rain tomorrow). I'll take suggestions big and small, from 'eat this here' to 'see this subtitled movie here' to a whole day activity.

Some relevant limitations: I don't have a visa for the mainland, so no Shenzen or Guangzhou. I'd be open to returning to Macau (loved it there) or checking out the New Territories if there are some really good suggestions for what to do there. Cultural things are what I prefer, and definitely no Disneyland or Ocean Park.

Thanks in advance!
posted by charlemangy to Travel & Transportation around Hong Kong (10 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Go to a local style tea house 茶餐厅 or "cha tsan ting" and drink a milk tea 奶茶 (hot or iced) and eat a pineapple bun 菠萝包 or pork sandwich. This is classic Hong Kong food and completely different than dim sum.

Hong Kong has the best milk tea -- if you've ever had the "bubble milk teas" made from powder this is nothing like that -- in Hong Kong they brew the tea very strong and then add evaporated milk. A sublime experience :)

I haven't tried this place yet but my Hong Kong colleagues recommended going to Lan Fang Yuan for milk tea. Otherwise just ask the concierge to recommend a local tea house for milk tea.
posted by duoshao at 3:12 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You've made it through a very thorough week here, especially given how hot it's been!

I have some suggestions but they may not be feasible depending on your circumstances.

- Take one of the ferries out to one of the smaller islands (Cheung Chau or Lamma Island), explore the beach and the small cities a bit, have some seafood at one of the boardwalks on either island. Relatively slow paced but you'll be outdoors for most of the day so dunno if you want to brave that.

- Have typhoon shelter style crab for dinner. Under Bridge is the slightly touristy but still very legitimate pick in terms of food quality. But typhoon shelter crab is not nearly as fun when you're a solo traveler, bit if you've got companions with you then I recommend it!

- Have you been to a divey cha chaan tang yet? Have the traditional HK "Western" breakfast of a pineapple bun (contains no actual pineapple) with a yeen-yeung (iced milk tea and coffee).

- If you don't mind going a little spendy, have afternoon tea at The Peninsula and enjoy some of that old colonial luxury. The Peninsula has had a long and interesting history here in HK (the Japanese Army used it as their headquarters during WW2) and retains much of its original shape and character. The high tea is the most traditional but is only done on Sundays.

That's all that comes to mind at the moment but I'll be sure to add on to this reply if I think of anything else.
posted by C^3 at 3:18 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding Cheng Chau island, as well as tea at the peninsula.

Hong Kong is also just a fantastic city to walk through for hours, stopping wherever your fancy takes you.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:31 AM on August 1, 2014

Nthing Cheng Chau or Lamma Island, just to walk the footpaths and be away from people for a while.

Head out to Sai Kung peninsula and the national park in the eastern part of the NT for more remoteness.

Take the tram from Kennedy Town to the other end; make sure you do the loop around Happy Valley. Sit upstairs in the front seat.

Or there's no shame in hitting up the cinema in the hottest part of the day.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:59 AM on August 1, 2014

There's a couple of michelin-starred dim sum places that might be worth checking out if you like dim sum.

Going back to the temple st night market for food is also fun.

If you want to see some of the 'ex-pat' side of HK you should wander around the mid-levels / SOHO area.

The newly renovated PMQ in Central is very nice, with a lot of boutiques and shops to wander in an out of.

If you want to try some local HK beers (or feel like some gastro-pub food) I recommend the Globe.

Tin Hau is nice neighbourhood to walk around, rivalling Sheung Wan for its HK hipster-vibe.

On Sunday you can walk around almost any area and see how the domestic helpers spend their one day off together - you could walk through Victoria Park in Causeway Bay if you've not been there yet.
posted by modernnomad at 6:10 AM on August 1, 2014

Oh, and there's a great vegetarian tea house in Hong Kong Park called "Lock Cha", after which you could explore the park and take a look at the aviary if that's your thing.
posted by modernnomad at 6:11 AM on August 1, 2014

Mostly just chiming in to add that at a similar point 15(!) years ago we went to a movie and hit up a few tea places, and had a very nice chill day. I have very fond memories of toast with condensed milk (and peanut butter? or that may have been elsewhere in Asia). Then we did a lot of indoor window shopping. Shopping malls aren't really on the radar as a tourist, but I enjoy the kind of parallel-universe experience of people watching in another country.

I regret not having done the tea at the Peninsula. At the time it seemed like a lot of money, but now it seems unlikely that I'll get back there anytime soon and I am also the sort of person who really enjoys tea, sweets, and atmosphere. (YMMV)
posted by chocotaco at 6:21 AM on August 1, 2014

Hong Kong is definitely condensed-milk-and-peanut-butter territory. The more modern cha chaang teng places will have it, possibly even on a waffle. Also, look for the cold lemon tea in those places. It gives US sweet tea a run for its money in delightfulness.

You mentioned eating Portuguese food in Macau. If you go back before you leave, try the Macau-style egg tarts. There are lots of shops selling them, and it's VITALLY IMPORTANT to try each of them. For Science. Alternatively, if you'd like a jaunt outside the city via cab or transit, you can go to lunch at Fernando's. It's touristy, but the locals know to hit it up, too, and had suckling pig so good that even my CHINESE FOOD IS THE BEST WHAT IS THIS PORTUGUESE-STYLE STUFF?????? father admitted it was the best he'd ever, ever had in his 50+ years of existence upon this earth.

Have you gone to any of the coastal villages outside of Hong Kong? They're not as heat-island-y as the City, many are accessible by bus or tram, and the older, less developed ones remind my parents of Hong Kong back in the 60's.

Also, any of these sound interesting? My expat friends say that the Guardian generally knows what it's talking about with HK.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:34 AM on August 1, 2014

Ok hombre: Go to the Felix bar (a Philippe Starck) at the top of the Peninsula Hotel > Have a drink or two. Go to mens room. Take a leak and meanwhile note you're standing facing floor-to-ceiling windows. Also note the weird feeling you're pissing down on Kowloon and you are, for a moment, King of the World.
posted by artdrectr at 1:44 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, particularly C^3. I ended up having a lovely day on Lamma Island and getting some tasty oceanfront food.

Artdrectr: I didn't see your comment in time, but you can also do this from the urinals at the top of Seoul's N Seoul (formerly Namsan) Tower.
posted by charlemangy at 6:00 AM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

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