December 20, 2013
As Hong Kong’s coffee culture grows, local entrepreneurs are beginning to provide a more sophisticated coffee experience. Increasing numbers of neighbourhood cafes are popping up, like The Cupping Room, promoting java junkies and a new wave of coffee counter culture.
The Cupping Room, Shop LG/F, 299 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan
The ornate, beautiful Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the most-visited landmarks in all of Hong Kong, and it isn’t difficult to see why. The historic temple is home to three different religious (Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism), and was built in 1921. The shrine commemorates 4th century monk Wong Tai Sin, and those who visit the site are said to have their wishes granted.
Originating from the British colonial practice of adding milk to black tea, milk tea is a quintessential Chinese beverage, which can be served hot or cold. Many local restaurants serve variations on milk tea, but the traditional Hong Kong-style is strained over sackcloth to produce a velvety texture and fragrant aroma. Another style (commonly known as bubble tea) originates from Taiwan and is served with tapioca pearls. Get yourself a cup at Gong Cha, which has locations all over the city.
Although it’s squeezed into just 800 square feet of space, Para/Site Art Space is fast becoming Asia’s most progressive contemporary art organisation. March 2016 sees the arrival of the Afterwork exhibition, an exploration of class, race, labor and migration issues in Hong Kong and beyond. It’s one of a number of exhibits taking place throughout the year, making the Para Site a great place to get a quick dose of culture.
Para/Site Art Space, G/F, 4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan
Former Hong Kong Marine Department headquarters, Hullett House is a magnificent example of local colonial architecture (it dates back to 1881), and is a monument to the city’s past. The elegant Hullett House Hotel features 10 individually designed luxury suites, each with a private terrace. It also comprises several restaurants and bars, souvenir shops and a performance area.
Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, No. 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Stretch those muscles and calm the mind at Pure Yoga, located in Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Quarry Bay in Hong Kong Island, and in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok in Kowloon. For those who prefer smaller classes, the boutique studio Yoga Room is another great option.
Pure Yoga: Various locations; Yoga Room: 3, 4 & 15/F Xiu Ping Commercial Building, 104 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
The most iconic views of Hong Kong’s vertical cityscape can be taken in from the top of The Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Several different observation decks provide sweeping city vistas (best appreciated on sunny days, when the mist has blown away from the Harbour). A historic tram trundles visitors slowly up to the top. Afterwards, save some time for a wander around the adjacent Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
The Peak Tower, 126 Peak Road, Hong Kong
The days when red-sailed junks would regularly sweep across Victoria Harbour have long since passed, though it’s still possible to hop on the few token boats that still circle the waters. AquaLuna offers hop on, hop off rides during the day (Monday to Friday), and 45-minute trips in the evening. They show off some of the best Harbour views and are perfect for squeezing in between or after meetings.
Boats depart from Pier 2 in Tsim Sha Tsui and Pier 9 in Central
For those who want to learn a bit more about this city’s fascinating history, the Hong Kong Museum of History provides a perfect, manageable window into its past. Exhibitions look at the city from its prehistoric origins right up to the modern day, with emphasis on rule by Chinese dynasties, traditional folk culture and the growth of today’s megalopolis.
Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Cha chaan teng can be found all over the city, and are quaint relics of mid-century Hong Kong. Literally translating to “˜tea restaurants’, these old-fashioned eateries serve no-fuss, Western-inspired comfort food. With menus offering a variety of dishes ranging from instant noodles and stir-frys to sandwiches and omelettes, there’s plenty to choose from. The Australian Dairy Company in Kowloon is one popular option.
47 Parkes St, Jordan, Kowloon, +852 2730 1356
Header photo: Victoria Peak © iStock/Thinkstock
Written by Apple Mandy
What are your favourite things to see and do in Hong Kong in between business meetings?