During the coordinated Symphony of Lights , Hong Kong skyscrapers flash a wide array of neon-colored lights, all happening at 8 pm. The next 3D show is running in August —check the website for times and dates. You can also call to hear the music and narration on your phone. Just a few blocks west is a vibrant flower market that brims with exotic blooms, colorful cut flowers, succulents, and houseplants year-round.
Taking its name from a former Hong Kong governor, the enchanting dome is home to over types of birds. You can spot them from the wooden bridges suspended within the trees, which overlook small ponds and waterfalls.
Forsgate is the largest greenhouse in Southeast Asia and home to all kinds of botanical beauties. You can cover a lot of ground with an afternoon saunter down Hollywood Road. Visit in the afternoon when many galleries offer guests a complimentary glass of wine or champagne while they browse.
Aimed at bringing together like-minded people, the organization meets up every Wednesday at 7: Each run is about 5 miles long and you can go at your own pace. This workout group is about exercising your body and mind, as much as it is about having a good time.
Free for everyone, the groups meet every week at various times and locations, so check out the website for the most up-to-date information. Most public parks in Hong Kong are equipped with free metal gym equipment. Basic as it may be, it should help you work off all that dim sum. The best place to experience it all is tucked away in the unlikely neighborhood of Sai Wan Ho: The five-story building regularly hosts exhibitions and screenings, which are usually free, ranging from new director spotlights to morning matinees, retrospective series, seminars, and anniversary exhibitions.
Check the website for the current screenings schedule ahead of your visit. A Wednesday night staple on the Hong Kong social circuit, the races date back to the s when they were enjoyed by British and Chinese elite. The racing season runs from September to July, with races typically taking place on Wednesdays and weekends. To enjoy some of the greenery without trekking out to the New Territories, head up to Victoria Peak Gardens in the center of town.
To get there, take the short hike up the Morning Trail, starting at Hatton Road. Head left at the junction and up the small stone steps into the hillside, following the trail until you come upon a beautiful Victorian-style garden. Once the summer home of the Governor of Hong Kong, Victoria Peak Gardens is now a public park with an inviting lawn and a unique vantage point overlooking the western side of the city. If you prefer not to hike, take a taxi or Bus 15 to The Peak and walk from there.
Even today, there are many old-school tea houses around town, some of which offer complimentary Chinese tea ceremonies to potential customers. Usually guests are invited to sit on stools around a wooden table as a shopkeeper brews the tea leaves and explains the tasting process. Hop on bus 9 and hop off at Shek O, a buzzing beach town with cheap outdoor bars and friendly Thai restaurants. But the best part is the food: Indian, Pakistani, African, and Middle Eastern restaurants are tucked away in the upper floors and along the ground floor.
In Sheung Wan, at the Cat Street Market on Upper Lascar Row there are plenty of bargain finds among the historic prints, antiques, and vintage memorabilia. Down on the Southside, the Stanley Market is a little less chaotic, making for a nice change of pace. After World War II, poverty-stricken squatters moved into the vacant fort and created makeshift camps and homes.
Although the government bulldozed the infamous complex in , today a picturesque park commemorates the infamous building that tens of thousands of Hongkongers called home. You can actually still find a few relics in the park, including remnants of the South Gate and the Chinese-style Yamen , which was built in the early s to serve as military offices.
The highly anticipated Dragon Boat Festival evolved from the ancient Chinese Tueng Ng Festival, which takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month which typically falls in May or June. Dating back to the third century, the festival is rooted in the legend of Qu Yuan, a poet who, disillusioned with a corrupt government, drowned himself in a river. Local fishermen raced into the river, paddling and banging drums to scare away spirits, but failed to rescue the poet. Today the jubilant festival has evolved into an international event, but some ancient traditions still exist, such as the elegant long boats and rhythmic drumming.
For this three-day event, dragon boat competitors from around the world descend on the city. Watching from the sidelines, fans, travelers, and bon vivants head down to the Central Harbourfront to enjoy the races. Hong Kong has a festival nearly every month. From the 43rd floor of the I. To make the most of it, buy some craft beers or a bottle of wine at the grocery store inside the mall beforehand.
Instead, follow the escalators to the rooftop of The Peak Galleria mall for free panoramic views of of Hong Kong Island. Built during the Qing dynasty, around , the temple is one of the oldest in Hong Kong. Also in Kowloon, but nowhere near as old, the Chi Lin Nunnery offers a different take on Chinese temples.
Built in —and rebuilt in without using a single nail—the exquisite temple complex mimics Tang Dynasty style by incorporating interlocked wooden beams, high ceilings, and gold details. The neighboring Nan Lian Garden offers a rare sense of tranquility thanks to waterfalls, greenery, rock formations, and meticulous landscaping. Across the water in Sheung Wan, the quaint but historic Man Mo Temple has vibrant green roof tiles and mesmerizing incense coils.
Devoted to the god of literature Man and war Mo , this temple was built in and has been declared a monument and Grade I historic building. If you happen to visit the Chi Lin Nunnery around lunch time, stop into the vegetarian dim sum restaurant located right behind the waterfall in Nan Lian Garden for one of the best Cantonese meals in town.
For all things locally made, head to PMQ , where artisans showcase their wares in small stores and workshops.
There are four beaches in the area—each more pristine than the next. To get there, you first need to make your way to Sai Kung. From there, you can take a green taxi to Sai Wan Pavilion and hike 90 minutes to Ham Tin Beach, which is home to a couple of casual restaurants.
But come prepared with a few Cantonese phrases or enlist a Hong Kong friend to help communicate with the boat drivers. For free access to the major museums, visit on Wednesdays, when most offer complimentary entry to the general exhibitions, and some even provide free guided tours.
The Hong Kong Space Museum is also getting a facelift, but should reopen by the end of