There’s a lot that’s been said and written about Hong Kong, but it remains undeniably one of the favorite destinations on this side of the world. Sure the staples include Disneyland and Ocean Park, but a recent trip found the Zee Lifestyle editors exploring what’s in the city itself. Here are some stops we feel are worth the visit.
Three on Canton at the Gateway Hotel
The first question we had for Three on Canton was whether they had Marco Polo Plaza’s famed malicious cookies. The answer was an unfortunate no, although this outlet also has their own signature dessert—a light and fluffy chocolate cake that oozes melted chocolate when you slice it in half. It’s best paired with a scoop of Mövenpick ice cream, and it’s quite the dining experience, overlooking Hong Kong’s bustling Canton Road. Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Located off the Soho area of Central, Gough Street used to be home to many of the city’s printing presses. Now it is home to a diverse offering of establishments—fashionable furniture and lifestyle stores Homeless and mr Blacksmith are found along the stretch, as is an outlet of popular French dessert chain Agnès b., and bag boutique Timothy Oulton. Representing Hong Kong’s juxtaposition of the new and international with the low-key and traditional, Gough Street is also home to the Kau Kee noodle house, which has been on the location for 90 years and is one of the best places to get beef brisket noodles in clear soup in the city. Central, Hong Kong Island
Man Mo Temple
Tucked between the towering buildings of the nearby financial district, the Man Mo Temple’s unassuming façade on Hollywood Road leads into a small but beautiful shrine in shades of gold and red. The temple is a tribute to Man, the god of literature, and the god of war Mo—both gods were patrons of students who were studying for the civil examinations of Imperial China, the results of which found the administrative officials for the state. The temple is part of a complex that includes the Lit Shing Kung, where you could worship all the heavenly gods, and the Kung Sor, an assembly hall for community discussions. 124-126 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island
Stretched across 13.3 hectares, the Kowloon Park is the largest in Tsim Sha Tsui and is a stretch of greenery flanked on its side with Hong Kong’s towering modern skyscrapers. The park offers a number of different areas to while away the hours of the day—the Bird Lake and Aviary feature an impressive avian collection, the Chinese Garden is a peaceful setting, its water features teeming with turtles, and the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre and Health Education Exhibition and Resource Centre is in the park’s premises. A favorite is the Maze Garden—the short shrubs may not get you lost, but it sure makes for pretty photos. 22 Austin Road, Jordan
Hong Kong Science Museum
Granted, it’s an institution dedicated mostly for kids—but the interactive displays are equally enjoyable for the young at heart. The exhibits explain many scientific processes in the simplest of terms and have activities that allow visitors to physically experience said processes themselves. The World of Mirrors is incredibly enjoyable for its optical illusions, while the Telecommunications Gallery allows you to connect calls using a telephone switchboard. It’s easy to lose hours in here, especially once you sit down and try to tackle the challenges in the Mathematics Gallery. 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
It may be quite the tourist trap, but Victoria Peak is definitely one of the must-visit destinations when in Hong Kong. The splendid panoramic views of the city’s iconic skyline never gets old no matter how many times you go there, and the experience of riding the Peak Tram is always a thrill. While the Sky Terrace 428 is being advertised as having the best and unhindered views, it comes with an extra fee. We were thrilled when we discovered the Green Terrace, an observation deck on the top floor of The Peak Galleria, which allowed us to marvel at the sights at no cost at all. 118 Peak Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
Ebeneezer’s Kebabs & Pizzeria
Sure, you’re going to stuff yourself silly with all the crazy delicious Hong Kong fare, but if you’re staying there for more than a few days, you’re bound to want a break from it all. Ebeneezer’s Kebabs & Pizzeria proved to be quite the discovery while we were looking for somewhere to drink in the bustling Lan Kwai Fong district. The restaurant claims to be the best place to have a kebab in Hong Kong, and we can see why! The Donar bursts with the flavors of roasted lamb and the spicy dressing of our choice, and it’s perfect with an ice-cold bottle of beer. 5 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong Island
Nan Lian Gardens
Take a break from the dizzying buildings in Hong Kong, and enjoy some lush greens at the Nan Lian Gardens. Okay, so maybe not quite a break as you can still see buildings in the background, but a 30-minute sojourn while being surrounded by the Buddhist Pines in this Chinese classical garden is quite a refreshing escape. The garden is said to follow the rules of Chinese traditional landscaping techniques, interspersed by old-fashioned buildings that provide a stark contrast to the city. In short, everything here is picture-perfect. 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill, Kowloon
by Shari Quimbo and Patty Taboada
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, April 2016. For back issues, subscribe via Magzter.