Picture Hong Kong, and your first thought is likely to be twinkling skyscrapers. But just beneath the skyline, you’ll find colour, culture and the best dim sum of your life.
Ask any local, and they’ll tell you: the metropolis may be dazzling, but Hong Kong’s beating heart is on the ground. Everyday life is all about the bustle of eclectic street markets, sizzling local cuisine, and buzzing communities.
Each area has its own distinct personality, and there’s no better way to get to know them than by living like a local.
Here’s five of the very best Hong Kong neighbourhoods to explore:
1. Wander through Old Town Central
This is the best place to start any trip to Hong Kong! It’s a perfect part of town to wander by foot, visiting historical sights like Possession Street and browsing the markets as you go.
You’ll find Hong Kong’s past blending seamlessly into its present, with authentic herbal tea houses sitting right alongside modern cocktail bars.
For lunch, pull up a street-side plastic chair alongside the locals and enjoy a noodle soup at Sing Heung Yuen.
2. Shop til you drop at Causeway Bay
Love shopping? Causeway Bay is for you, here is where you’ll find the peak of Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan buzz.
Here, Hong Kong’s crowds head for the high-end labels on Fashion Walk. It’s a great place to shop — and when you’re ready to drop, there’s plenty of great hotel choices nearby. As the sun sets, chase the city lights to one of Causeway Bay’s many rooftop bars for sweeping panoramic views.
3. Slow it down on Lamma Island
Head to the Islands District to see Hong Kong’s origins as a series of humble fishing villages.
Take a half-hour ferry from downtown, and you’ll arrive at Lamma Island – where a paradise of water sports, alfresco restaurants, beach BBQs and delicious seafood awaits. You’ll find no cars, and no tall buildings. Life slows down, and everyone’s a little more laid back. In no time, you’ll know the locals by name.
4. Soak up the culture in Sham Shui Po
Back in the city, but keen to hang onto a slower pace of life? You’re looking for Sham Shui Po. This is authentic, everyday life in Hong Kong, where you’ll be amongst working families running errands, relaxed locals picking up goods at the markets, and young creatives setting up shop.
You’ll also find one of the most affordable Michelin-starred meals in the world, Tim Ho Wan, a restaurant revered by locals and travelers alike. For less than $50, you’ll eat like kings and queens.
5. Quirky Kowloon City
This is one of the edgier areas in Hong Kong, in area of the city recently transformed by revitalistation. To truly understand the history of the area, don’t miss Kowloon Walled City — now a beautiful garden. From here, the rest of the city is easily accessible — so it’s a great place to snag luxury accommodation for great prices.
While you’re in the area, head along to the market district in nearby Mong Kok. Here, you’ll find a market for every niche, including Flower Market Road, a whole half-mile of blooms and blossoms.
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Where in Hong Kong do you want to explore?
- READ: It’s open! The worlds longest bridge connects Hong Kong, Macao and China
- READ: New & untapped tourist area in Hong Kong
Written by KARRYON contributor Kelsey Cooke
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