Business travellers will find a variety of places to explore and things to see in Hong Kong, even on the shortest of trips. If you want to add a little local know-how to your business trip, check out our 10 recommendations to include in your itinerary.
Take a coffee break
As Hong Kong’s coffee culture grows, local entrepreneurs are beginning to provide a more sophisticated coffee experience. Increasing numbers of neighbourhood cafes are popping up, like The Cupping Room, promoting java junkies and a new wave of coffee counter culture.
The Cupping Room, Shop LG/F, 299 Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan
Visit a traditional temple
The ornate, beautiful Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the most-visited landmarks in all of Hong Kong, and it isn’t difficult to see why. The historic temple is home to three different religious (Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism), and was built in 1921. The shrine commemorates 4th century monk Wong Tai Sin, and those who visit the site are said to have their wishes granted.
Take away some milk tea
Originating from the British colonial practice of adding milk to black tea, milk tea is a quintessential Chinese beverage, which can be served hot or cold. Many local restaurants serve variations on milk tea, but the traditional Hong Kong-style is strained over sackcloth to produce a velvety texture and fragrant aroma. Another style (commonly known as bubble tea) originates from Taiwan and is served with tapioca pearls. Get yourself a cup at Gong Cha, which has locations all over the city.
Visit an experimental art space
Although it’s squeezed into just 800 square feet of space, Para/Site Art Space is fast becoming Asia’s most progressive contemporary art organisation. Hosting a number of international exhibits, including pieces from the revolutionary artist Ai Wei Wei, architect and installation artist Vito Acconci, and Serpentine Gallery chief Hans-Ulrich Obrist, this is a great place to get a quick dose of culture.
Para/Site Art Space, G/F, 4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan
Wander around Hullett House
Former Hong Kong Marine Department headquarters, Hullett House is a magnificent example of local colonial architecture (it dates back to 1881), and is a monument to the city’s past. Also housed here is the elegantly appointed Hullett House Hotel, which features 10 individually designed luxury suites, each with a private terrace. It also comprises five restaurants and bars, souvenir shops and a performance area.
Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, No. 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Take a yoga class
Stretch those muscles and calm the mind at Pure Yoga, located in Central, Causeway Bay and Quarry Bay in Hong Kong Island, and in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok in Kowloon. For those who prefer smaller classes, the boutique studio Yoga Room is another great option.
Pure Yoga: Various locations; Yoga Room: 3, 4 & 15/F Xiu Ping Commercial Building, 104 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
Take a trip to Victoria Peak
The most iconic views of Hong Kong’s vertical cityscape can be taken in from the top of Victoria Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Several different observation decks provide sweeping city vistas (best appreciated on sunny days, when the mist has blown away from the Harbour). A historic tram trundles visitors slowly up to the top. Afterwards, save some time for a wander around the adjacent Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
The Peak Tower, 126 Peak Road, Hong Kong
Do some junk sightseeing
The days when red-sailed junks would regularly sweep across Victoria Harbour have long since passed, though it’s still possible to hop on the few token boats that still circle the waters. AquaLuna offers 45-minute rides that show off some of the best Harbour views, and are perfect to squeeze in during a between-meetings break – particularly as the tours also serve up tasty beverages.
Boats depart from Pier 1 in Tsim Sha Tsui and Pier 9 in Central
Dip into some local history
For those who want to learn a bit more about this city’s fascinating history, the Hong Kong Museum of History provides a perfect, manageable window into its past. Exhibitions look at the city from its prehistoric origins right up to the modern day, with emphasis on rule by Chinese dynasties, traditional folk culture, the Opium Wars, and the growth of today’s megalopolis.
Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Dine at a traditional cha chaan teng
Cha chaan teng can be found all over the city, and are quaint relics of mid-century Hong Kong. Literally translating to ‘tea restaurants’, these old-fashioned eateries serve no-fuss, Western-inspired comfort food. With menus offering a variety of dishes ranging from instant noodles and stir-frys to sandwiches and omelettes, there’s plenty to choose from. The Australian Dairy Company in Kowloon is one popular option.
47 Parkes St, Jordan, Kowloon, +852 2730 1356
Header photo: Victoria Peak © iStock/Thinkstock
Written by Apple Mandy
What are your favourite things to see and do in Hong Kong in between business meetings?
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About the author: AppleApple Mandy
Apple Mandy started her career as a journalist covering a wide variety of topics including fashion, music, health, arts and travel. Having worked in Shanghai as a Food Writer, she later moved to Hong Kong to manage some magazines. Gripped by a ranging passion for all things food related, she continues to eat her way around town and drink in the city's gastronomic trends. When not interviewing, researching or writing, you'll find her dragon boating or windsurfing on the shores of Stanley or Cheung Chau, respectively.