Ahh Hong Kong, often referred to as the Oriental Pearl of Asia. Hong Kong wonderfully mixes ancient Chinese cultures with a modern and westernized attitude to business. The hustle and bustle of the city-state can be a little overwhelming for the inexperienced traveler, but once you have scratched below the surface you will find a number of stunning hidden gems that will live long in the memory.
Below are a few awe-inspiring spots that are off the normal tourist track. Some may seem a little whacky or even mundane, but trust us, they are well worth a visit and will show you a side of Hong Kong that many travelers to the region are not privileged enough to have seen.
Located around 10km southwest of Hong Kong, this island isn’t as crowded as Lantau and has an historic feel. It is home to the Pak Tai Temple – one of the oldest in the whole of Hong Kong – and boasts the stunning Tung Wan and Kwun Yam beaches, which have crystal clear waters and are good for surfers who wish to avoid the hordes.
Seafood lovers will adore the island’s restaurants. The fish is caught locally and you can guarantee freshness as you’re able to select the one you want as it swims around a tank.
One of the busiest periods on the island is when the annual Bun Festival takes place. Here you’ll see Taoist celebrations, dragon dances and a competition involving people scouring a tower of buns.
Dai Pai Dongs
Street food is a must for any Hong Kong visitor and the Dai Pai Dongs provide the best and most exotic cuisine imaginable. Many travelers are put off tasting the foods available because the Dai Pai Dongs often look shabby and there are language barriers to overcome, but we couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
By visiting these stores, you can avoid the crowds found in the large shopping centre food courts as well as obtain a true taste of the Far East.
Man Cheung Po Infinity Pool
Its name might suggest it is a modern swimming pool, but this is actually a natural expanse of water located close to Tai O. It’s not the easiest place to find and the hike involves an incline taking over 20 minutes to ascend, but once you’re there, you won’t want to leave.
The pool is fed by a number of magnificent waterfalls and there’s even a natural Jacuzzi for you to kick back and rest your weary limbs in – perfect after that uphill climb.
Hong Kong is a place with many hidden depths. A break to the city-state is sure to be memorable and people often break up their holiday by spending sometime seeking out hidden gems and the rest visiting more touristy spots such as Hong Kong Disneyland.
Canadian expat Carrie Kellenberger has kept a home base with her husband in Asia since 2003. A prolific traveler, Carrie has funded her travels primarily as a writer, editor, travel blogger and photographer, but she has also worked as an educator, voice over artist, model and nightclub singer. She draws upon her 15+ years of travel experience to write about travel-related issues and the countries she has visited on her award-winning web site, My Several Worlds.
Her photography and travel articles have appeared in both print and online publications around the world, including Travel and Leisure Asia, Unearthing Asia and Hip Compass Escapes.