HONG KONG is always the first place many Filipinos get to visit outside their country.
Allured by its modernity, Filipinos want to visit the World City not just twice or thrice but many times in their lifetime for its proximity and affordability.
Besides the memories created and many bargains for those who go there for shopping, visitors will be amazed by the new experiences and developments that were opened in the last three years that Hong Kong offers to visitors at this time.
With the promise of “New Adventures At Every Turn,” it is like playing Rubik’s cube where users can twist and turn to create their own wonderful journey amid a backdrop of its old heritage and the modernity of the 21st century.
But unknown to many visitors, Hong Kong – originally a sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages – has many “hidden secrets” for the adventurous and those who love outdoors.
Arts 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 20th- and 21st-century visual culture encompassing visual art, design and architecture, and moving image.
Located at the southernmost edge of Kowloon overlooking Victoria Harbour, the M+ facade with its huge LED that can be seen across the harbor, has now formed the new harbor skyline and is among Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks.
Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM). The latest addition to Hong Kong’s vibrant arts and culture scene, HKPM opened its doors to much fanfare in July 2022. It presents over 900 priceless treasures from the Palace Museum.
Xiqu Centre. A world-class performance venue promoting Chinese traditional theater, Cantonese opera and regional forms of xiqu, Xiqu Centre was established with the goal of preserving, promoting and developing the heritage art of Chinese opera.
Mural Villages. Hong Kong has some of the best mural villages in the world, with many from local and international artists leaving their mark in the form of captivating wall art. From the alleyways of Peng Chau Island to murals hiding in plain sight at Wan Chai, there are surprise at every turn if you know where to look.
The murals are refreshed from time to time by famous street artists and various arts groups such as HKwalls, a non-profit arts organization that aims to create opportunities for local and international artists to showcase their talent.
West Kowloon Promenade. The sprawling waterfront promenade offers mesmerizing vistas of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong Island skyline. Open-air performances, exhibitions and events at venues like Freespace within the West Kowloon Cultural District, also makes West Kowloon promenade an ideal location for recreation and relaxation.
A diverse range of dining venues dot the promenade, delivering refreshing cuisines and experiences, from fine-dining to bistros and cosy cafés.
Cycling on Tuen Mun to Sha Tin/Ma On Shan route. The 60-kilometer New Territories “Super Bike Track” cycling track connects Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan in the New Territories. The 11-kilometer middle section of the track connecting Yuen Long to Sheung Shui opened in September 2020, completing the longest cycling route in Hong Kong.
Water and outdoor activities. Hong Kong is so much more than just a concrete jungle, and the Hong Kong Unesco Geopark in Sai Kung is arguably the perfect example of this. Featuring exquisite volcanic rock formations and some of the clearest waters in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Geopark is the perfect retreat for kayaking and stand-up paddle.
Hong Kong once had a salt producing village that was abandoned in the 1990s. It’s called “Yim Tin Tsai,” which translates to “small saltpan” in Cantonese, an area where Hakka settlers developed salt farms on the island and made their living from its sale.
Today, the saltpans have been restored and are fully functioning, making it a prominent site for day trippers.
Another place to explore is the once-sleepy island, Peng Chau, which literally means flat island. It has been revitalized with the new arts enclave on the island.
Being right next to Shenzhen’s Yantian district, Sha Tau Kok was once a Frontier Closed Area which required a permit and a guarantee from a local resident to visit. It has since gradually reopened, and the Sha Tau Kok pier was open to registered local tour groups in June 2022.
Just a 30-minute boat ride away, the tiny Ap Chau and larger neighbor Kat O islands are part of the Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark. Ap Chau – “Duck Island” in Cantonese – got its name from the island’s shape which resembles a duck when viewed from the north.
For the intermediate hiker, the Tai Tam Reservoir Quarry Bay to Repulse Bay) is recommended. For the advanced hiking adventurer, the high-altitude 10-kilometer journey into the Wilson Trail Section 9 Hike (Hok Tau Reservoir to Pat Sin Leng) in the New Territories rewards you with spectacular views over hillsides, forests and the sea.
Shop and dine
One of Hong Kong’s attractions – then and now – is its gustatory offerings. There had been many additional establishments that cater to all types of diners and leisure-seekers the last three years.
Opened in 2021, Wing has racked up numerous accolades including the prestigious Asia Best Restaurant list at No.34. Wing’s menu is highly seasonal, with a focus on local produce that is served as a tasting journey that features dishes such as crispy skin sugarcane glazed pigeon, as well as fish maw with morel mushroom, abalone sauce on rice, crispy skin chicken and king crab congee with chicken oil.
JAJA is a QTS-accredited restaurant where originative and innovative vegetarian delights are served. Must-try dishes include soup-er wontons, vegan delights chia seed puddings series, the whopping one-meter red curry pizza and the colorful “Shake It Off” milkshake series.
A first of its kind, KIN Food Halls is a new, immersive and exciting dining destination that turns dishes into reels that diners can order. Their “food playlist” has over 200 dishes from more than 40 established restaurants around Asia.The KIN app is the first omnichannel food app that allows customers to eat everything they watch.
Award-winning Penicillin bar is founded by bar veterans Indonesians Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale, in the midst of the pandemic, with the hope that each customer will become ambassador for sustainability. Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, Penicillin is Hong Kong’s first closed-loop bar, that focuses on sustainability and zero waste.
As the largest mall in Hong Kong located right next to the Victoria Harbour, Harbour City offers unique dining experiences with sea view as well as a full range of local and international cuisines. The F&B scene of Harbour City is continuously being enriched, with over 20 restaurants introduced since the beginning of 2022.
Opened in late 2019, K11 Musea quickly claimed its position as new cultural-retail destination envisioned as the centerpiece of Victoria Dockside. It features an astounding mix of 250 retailers, destination restaurants and art installations, including 250+ internationally renowned brands from fashion and beauty to lifestyle luxuries, including Asia’s largest MoMA Design Store and Fortnum & Mason’s first store outside the UK.
618 Shanghai Street is a brand-new revitalized mall in the heart of Mong Kok. The site, which comprises 14 protected historical buildings, was once a strip of waterfront shophouses or tong lau selling sweetened fruit tobacco, electrical appliances, medicinal tea and leather goods. Today, it is a retreat for locals and travelers with a range of local, independent, second-hand stores and restaurants including Dignity Kitchen and Poach.
The 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 government handed over the landmark site to the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) with the aim of revitalizing the property.
Open to the public in August 2021, the new and revitalized Central Market was transformed into a vibrant community hotspot with 255 market stalls have been reconstructed into a “boundary-less spatial concept” with open storefronts, a semi-open courtyard and two levels of shopping, artisanal dining and events space for community building exercises.
Discover more at https://www.discoverhongkong.com/seasia/what-s-new/highlights/newadventures.html