Hong Kong is the city I grew up in, and I can proudly say that I know ‘parts’ of Hong Kong from the back of my hand. (I don’t dare say that the know ‘all’ of it, since it’s such a dense and completely packed city there’s always more to find) When I describe Hong Kong to my friends, I tell them it’s the Asian equivalent of New York. In the sense that; It’s has different nooks/hoods with completely unique vibes, it’s the main city for business and finances for the whole of Asia, and also it’s a city that never sleeps.
Hong Kong is broken up into three different areas: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories. I live on the Hong Kong Island and spend a bit of my time on the Kowloon side, so I’m little bit more familiar the two than the New Territories.
Here are a couple of places I hit up during my January trip as per requested to share my so called ‘hidden gems’. Though can they really be ‘hidden’ in a city with a population of 7.15 mill?
If you’re looking for the typical Hong Kong touristy things to do, google it. This is for the more refined travelers looking for a local edge.
Stationary and Design Things
The one and only Muji. I absolutely love this place and it’s organized minimalist lifestyle. I know it’s pretty world wide right now, but I think in Hong Kong they still carry more products than the stores in London/NY do. It’s the go to place for quality stationary and it’s whole range of rainbow colored pens is worth drooling over.
I got the following to do list (oh so very handy!) and those two blue pens there. There’s a couple of Muji stores dotted around the city so make sure to google it.
Places to Shop
Mong Kok, it doesn’t get more busy then this! It’s one of the prime parts of the city on the Kowloon side. Shopping is pretty awesome here, you’ll get a range of different streets: Sneaker Street (literally rows of stores filled with shoes), Fa Yuen Street (the trendiest cheapest fashion you can find) Ladies Market (cheap knock-offs, more touristy of a thing) there’s even a Goldfish Street (as the name suggests- fish and lots of them!)
Uniqlo, the go to place for basic tee’s etc. Like the above store Muji, Uniqlo is also pretty world wide, but it’s worth hitting up if you don’t live in a major city that carries their stores. Again there’s a couple store dotted around HK.
If you’re looking for something real local check out Shum Shui Po. I love this place, because it’s not your normal shopping retail experience. Let me try my best to explain, Ap Lui Street is a flea market like place, filled with the randomest things from second hand goods like the above vintage cameras, to a variety of iphone cases and electronic goods. I always loose track of time rummaging through the second hand things, I also get side tracked by the market sales techniques trying to sell me their latest gimmicks. Also try some street food while your there. The best part (at least for me) is behind Ap Lui Street there’s another street called Nam Cheong Street with just tons of crafty things like beads, fabrics and ribbons, diy sorts.
You can walk along the harbour side with this newly built park called Tamar Park that leads all the way from Wan Chai to Central. Instameet friend, auntiegold and I had a lovely day out here just enjoying the view.
And of course you must head up to The Peak, you can take the tram, or for a more adventurous, less touristy way, hike up from Mid Levels- Cain Road.
This photo was taken from a visit to my aunt’s place in South Horizons, just thought I’d throw it in, because it’s gorgeous.
Escaping the City
If the city is just a little hectic for you, there’s tons of little village islands around HK that you can escape to via boat. While I was there, we headed towards Mui Wo. When you visit these fishing villages it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time visiting the old Hong Kong. Another amazing village to visit is Tai O.
Get lost in this coffee shop Teakha for a quiet afternoon (though don’t go on the weekends because it gets crazy busy) it’s in this up and coming area called Tai Ping Shan Road which is also worth walking around as it has unique art galleries and up and coming designerly stores.
For places to eat, if your stomach is strong enough, go get some street food! Also make sure to get some Dim Sum, and have a meal at a local tea cafe (cha chaan teng) oh also get some little egg waffles.
I could go on, there’s just so much to share and say about my home! But I’ll leave it for now till my next visit. If you need any advice or travel tips to Hong Kong message me, I’d be more than happy to share!
Also if you happen to be in/ visiting Toronto check out my previous city guide: Toronto’s Hidden Gems.
Travel on, x. Bee