Fun fun fun — 10 things you cannot miss in Hong Kong

A mini guide to Hong Kong living (EPISODE V)

We’ve seen lots of aspects of Honky life. Where to eat, which hilltops to climb, where to get shit-faced. However, you haven’t seen Hong Kong, without having lost at least one bet at the horse races in Happy Valley. Nor without having hit the bays and beaches on Hong Kong island’s South Side. Nor without that one legendary Junk Boart party. Check these 10 things off your list, and you’ve truly experienced this crazy city.

1 Wednesday Night Horse Races @ Happy Valley: Happy Valley is a must if you’re in Hong Kong any time between September and July, which is the racing season. For lovers of betting, beers and horses, here you get it all in midst the HK skyscrapers. Starting 7.30 pm

2Stanley, Repulse Bay & Middle Island: the south side of Hong Kong island is an oasis from the city’s hustle and bustle. You can take a cab or a bus from Central (e.g., nr. 40) to Repulse Bay and go for a swim at the beach, have lunch at the Oceanfront and wander through Stanley Market. If you’re into sailing, look up the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. They have dinghies and larger sailing boats, and are located at the picturesque Middle Island between Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club at Middle Island

3 Wakeboarding in Tai Tam Tuk: if you’re the active water sports type, why not be even crazier and go to Tai Tam Tuk for some early morning wakeboarding, wakesurfing or wakeskating. To me, this was without a doubt the best way to start the day: take a cab to the south side of the island opposite the reservoir at Tai Tam Tuk, go for a 1-hour wake-session and then ask the boat to drop you at Stanley Main Beach, go for swim, and have a coffee on the seafront in Stanley (There’s Starbucks and Classified). For the wakeboarding, you need to contact one of the guys there: best is to first go through thei booking hotline and then get their personal contact

Saturday 9am at Tai Tam Tuk

4 Junk Boat party: if you move to Hong Kong, it won’t be long before you’re invited to your first junk boat party. And should this not be the case, GET yourself invited :-) You can rent the junks (some truly look like old junks, others are super modern and come equipped with paddle boards and speed boats) at various providers, but the best is not to be the one organizing. The boats normally leave from Central Pier 9 relatively early in the morning and drop you off — properly boozed up— in the late afternoon. Enjoy the party

5 Shopping: as the Chinese say, Hong Kong is retail wonderland, so why not indulge in some shopping while you’re there. Apart form the big malls (Sogo, IFC, Elements), here are a couple of spots that are worth stopping by. Definitely wander around PMQ in Soho for small (but expensive) fashion, accessories and cooking boutiques and nearby Gough Street for cute interior shops. Also take a tour around Tai Ping Shan Street for some small boutiques and tea shops. I also really like some of the tiny Soho stores on Staunton and Peel St, so-called “Cut-Label” shops, because they have the Chinese labels cut out of their unique pieces of clothing. I would also recommend a visit to Kowloon side, in particular Mongkok, not necessarily for the fake Bao Baos at the Ladies market but for some cool cheap Chinese fashion (e.g. Fa Yuen St) and the crazy selection of sneakers. If you’re in the area and into florals, do check out the Flower Market next to Prince Edward MTR stop. And finally, for the grocery lovers, City Super is the place to go to get all the high-end food products (one at IFC, Harbour City and at Times Square in CWB)

Hong Kong: Retail Wonderland (Haiphon Rd, next to Kowloon Park)

6Tailors: Why shop for a suit or shirt, if you can have one tailored? Hong Kong has loads of tailors that make great suits at decent prices. For the guys, I can recommend Lee Baron (Shop nr. 33 inside Far East Mansion, 5–6 Middle Road, TST). For ladies, Mr. Lee is not the best, but Irene Fashion (Welley Bldg, 97 Wellington Street) is the go-to address for super pretty Chinese and other dresses

7 Trampoline jumping: In case it’s pouring down with purple rain and you feel like jumping around a bit, head to this trampoline place called Ryze in Quarry Bay for an hour of flying around on the trampolines. Get one of the instructors to show you how to bounce of the walls of the professional trampoline (you’ll need the magic socks for that)

8Foot massage: after long hikes or trampoline sessions, head to any foot massage parlour for a nice little massage. A particularly friendly place with family atmosphere is Gao’s foot massage. The one I went to is on Caine Rd and there’s also one on Wellington St

9Po Toi O & fisher village experiences: Far off from the metropolis that is Hong Kong island, there are still some tiny villages in Hong Kong that take you back in time. You can visit the stilt houses at Tai O on Lantau. Or you can go to Po Toi O for deliciously fresh crab dinner at the Seafood Islands Restaurant (海鮮島漁港) — take minibus 16 from Hang Hau MTR or go by cab. Also (when coming back from the Country Park for instance) visit Sai Kung and go for seafood at Chuen Kee — 西貢全記

Catch of the day at 海鮮島漁港 — Po Toi O

10Ding ding tram. The ding ding trams that rattle through downtown Hong Kong are a local institution. You can charter your own ding ding tram for a party from 1300 HKD upward per hour and the tram will take you from one side of Hong Kong island to the other and back, while you enjoy drinks and music on board. If you can afford to upgrade, try to get one of the antique trams. Get the ding ding party starteeed

Ding ding tram party — June 2016

Check out all the Hong Kong posts:

Episode I: not entirely #shitwhite

Episode II: 6 Hong Kong trails to not miss

Episode III: Hong Kong eateries: the top picks

Episode IV: Living it up in Hong Kong bars & clubs

Episode V: 10 things you cannot not do when in Hong Kong (the one you’re on)

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