HONG KONG is always the first place many Filipinos visit outside their country.
Fascinated by modernity, Filipinos want to visit the global city not just twice or thrice, but many times in their lifetime because of its proximity and affordability.
In addition to the memories created and the many discount offers for those who go shopping there, visitors will be amazed by the new experiences and developments that have opened up in the past three years that Hong Kong now offers visitors.
With the promise of “New Adventures at Every Turn”, it’s like playing a Rubik’s Cube where users can spin to create their own wonderful journey amidst its ancient heritage and 21st century modernity.
But unknown to many visitors, Hong Kong – originally a sparsely populated region of farming and fishing villages – has many “hidden secrets” for the adventurous and outdoor-loving.
Art and culture
M+. Highly anticipated by art lovers, M+ opened in the heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District in November 2021 and is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world. It exhibits the visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries, including visual art, design and architecture, and the moving image.
Located on the southernmost edge of Kowloon, overlooking Victoria Harbour. The M+ facade, with its huge LED light that can be seen across the harbor, has now formed the new harbor skyline and is among Hong Kong’s most famous landmarks.
Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM). The latest addition to Hong Kong’s vibrant arts and culture scene, HKPM opened its doors to great fanfare in July 2022. It showcases over 900 priceless treasures from the Palace Museum.
Xiqu Center. Promoting world-class traditional Chinese theatre, Cantonese opera and regional forms of xiqu, Xiqu Center was established with the aim of preserving, promoting and developing the heritage art of Chinese opera.
Murals. Hong Kong has some of the best mural villages in the world, with many local and international artists leaving their mark in the form of captivating wall art. From the streets of Peng Chau Island to the skyline murals of Wan Chai, there’s a surprise at every turn if you know where to look.
The murals are updated from time to time by famous street artists and various art groups such as HKwalls, a non-profit art organization that aims to create opportunities for local and international artists to showcase their talents.
West Kowloon Promenade. The sprawling beach promenade offers mesmerizing views of Victoria Harbor and the skyline of Hong Kong Island. Open-air performances, exhibitions and events at places like Freespace in the West Kowloon Cultural District make the West Kowloon Promenade the perfect place to rest and relax.
The promenade has a variety of eateries that offer refreshing cuisine and experiences from fine dining to bistros and cozy cafes.
Cycling from Tuen Mun to Sha Tin/Ma On Shan. The 60-kilometer New Territories “Super Bike Track” bike path connects Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan in new areas. The 11-kilometer middle section of the track connecting Yuen Long to Sheung Shui opened in September 2020, traversing Hong Kong’s longest cycle path.
Water and outdoor activities. Hong Kong is much more than just a concrete jungle, and the Hong Kong Unesco Geopark in Sai Kung is an undeniably great example of that. With exquisite volcanic rock formations and some of the clearest water in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Geopark is the perfect place for kayaking and paddling.
There was once a salt production village in Hong Kong that was abandoned in the 1990s. It is called “Yim Tin Tsai” which means “little salt pan” in Cantonese, an area where Hakka settlers developed salt farms on the island and made a living from selling it.
Today, the salt pans have been restored and are fully functional, making it an outstanding spot for day trippers.
Another place to explore is the once sleepy island of Peng Chau, which literally means flat island. It has been revitalized with the island’s new art enclave.
Located right next to Shenzhen’s Yantian district, Sha Tau Kok was once a closed border area that required permission and a guarantee from a local resident to visit. It has since gradually reopened and Sha Tau Kok Pier opened to registered local tour groups in June 2022.
Just a 30-minute boat ride away, the tiny Ap Chau and larger neighboring islands of Kat O are part of Hong Kong’s Unesco Global Geopark. Ap Chau – “Duck Island” in Cantonese – got its name from the shape of the island, which resembles a duck when viewed from the north.
For intermediate hikers, Tai Tam Reservoir Quarry Bay to Repulse Bay is recommended). For the more advanced hiking adventurer, the 10-kilometer high-altitude Wilson Trail Section 9 Hike (Hok Tau Reservoir to Pat Sin Leng) in the New Territories offers spectacular views of hillsides, forests, and the sea.
Shop and eat
One of Hong Kong’s attractions – then and now – is its delicious offerings. Over the past three years, there have been many additional establishments catering to all types of diners and leisure seekers.
Opened in 2021, Wing has received several accolades, including being ranked #34 on the prestigious Asia’s Best Restaurant list. Wing’s menu is highly seasonal, with a focus on local produce served on a tasting tour that includes dishes such as crispy-skinned sugar cane-glazed pigeon, as well as fish relish with morel mushrooms , abalone sauce on rice, chicken with crispy skin and king crab congee with chicken oil.
JAJA is a QTS accredited restaurant serving original and innovative vegetarian dishes. Must-try dishes include soup-er wontons, the vegan delights chia seed pudding range, the huge one meter red curry pizza and the colorful ‘Shake It Off’ range of milkshakes.
The first of its kind, KIN Food Halls is a new, immersive and exciting dining experience that transforms food into rolls that diners can order. Their “food playlist” features over 200 dishes from over 40 well-known restaurants across Asia. The KIN app is the first multi-channel food app that allows customers to eat whatever they watch.
The award-winning Penicillin Bar was founded by Indonesian bar veterans Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale in the middle of the pandemic, with the hope that every customer would become an ambassador for sustainability. Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, Penicillin is Hong Kong’s first closed chain bar with a focus on sustainability and zero waste.
As Hong Kong’s largest shopping mall, located right next to Victoria Harbour, Harbor City offers unique dining experiences with sea views and a full range of local and international cuisines. Harbor City’s food and beverage scene is constantly expanding, with more than 20 restaurants opening since early 2022.
Opened in late 2019, K11 Musea quickly established itself as a new cultural and retail destination designed to be the focal point of Victoria Dockside. It features a staggering 250 retailers, destination restaurants and art installations, including 250+ internationally renowned brands from fashion and beauty to lifestyle luxury, including Asia’s largest MoMA design store and Fortnum & Mason’s first store outside the UK.
618 Shanghai Street is a brand new revitalized shopping center in the heart of Mong Kok. Consisting of 14 listed historic buildings, the site was once a beachfront shophouse or tong lau selling sweetened fruit tobacco, electrical appliances, medicinal tea and leather goods. Today, it’s a haven for locals and travelers alike, with a variety of local independent thrift stores and restaurants, including Dignity Kitchen and Poach.
Central Market was Hong Kong’s first modern wet market and a Grade 3 historic building. Opened in 1842, the building was fully functional for more than six decades before the local authority handed the landmark site over to the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) with the aim of revitalizing the property.
Opened to the public in August 2021, the new and revitalized Central Market has been transformed into a vibrant community hotspot with 255 stalls restructured into a borderless spatial concept with open storefronts, a semi-open courtyard and two levels. malls, artisan eateries and event space for community building exercises.
Learn more at https://www.discoverhongkong.com/seasia/what-s-new/highlights/newadventures.html