5 Lesser Known Attractions in Hong Kong
Hong Kong offers an abundance of fun activities, from contemporary art galleries and classical temples to vibrant nightlife. However, few lesser-known sights should also be on your must-see list when visiting this iconic city.
For instance, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel offers stunning views of Victoria Harbour and Central. Plus, you’ll have a chance to take some amazing Insta-worthy shots while riding this 60 metre high ferris wheel! You will surely have no problems with flights to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific so make sure to experience the following.
1. The Bethanie
If you’re searching for something special on your trip to Hong Kong, consider exploring some lesser-known attractions. Not only will these places give you a new perspective of the city’s landscape and heritage, but they can also teach you something about its colorful past.
One of the best places to begin is The Bethanie, a chapel and museum not often included on people’s lists of things to do in Hong Kong. This stunning gothic church offers an oasis from all the noise and bustle of city streets.
Pok Fu Lam’s Paris Foreign Missions Society built this building in 1875 as a sanatorium for missionaries recovering from tropical diseases. Reopened in 2006, it now houses the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ School of Film and Television as well as two performance venues, an exhibition hall, chapel, and museum.
The museum is an exciting learning tool about Hong Kong’s history, boasting an impressive collection of precious relics that will take you on an intriguing journey back in time. Here you’ll find items like a timetable from Kowloon-Canton railway, ancient Cantonese opera performers’ dressing table and beaded bands worn by woman boat dwellers – perfect for exploring this fascinating region!
2. The Xiqu Centre
The Xiqu Centre, one of 17 cultural venues within West Kowloon Cultural District, is an ideal destination for visitors interested in experiencing Cantonese opera productions up close and personal at its two theatres: Grand Theatre with world-class productions and Tea House Theatre offering more intimate introduction experiences.
The venue hosts a range of events and workshops, as well as restaurants and shops. Its spacious open atrium provides the ideal spot to socialize after a show.
Revery Architecture’s building is an impressive addition to Hong Kong’s cultural district. The curvilinear form echoes the “Qi” (meaning flow) of Chinese opera, a form of traditional theatre still practiced today across China and beyond.
To further emphasize Xiqu’s inherent “Qi” energy flow and to complement the Centre’s iconic imagery, lighting design studio HLB used layers of light to create depth within interior spaces. Lumenpulse Lumenbeam luminaires give life and presence to this landmark building, garnering glowing reviews from international publications.
The Xiqu Centre is a modern interpretation of heritage art form, with the flexibility to adapt as technology progresses and it moves forward. This vision is realized through an architectural configuration consisting of a 1,075-seat Main Theatre suspended 90 feet (27m) above ground and creating space beneath for 200-seat Tea House Theatre, eight professional studios/rehearsal halls and retail outlets on two floors overlooking its central inner courtyard.
3. Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. It also provides plenty of activities for those seeking some exercise – with lots of steps and hills that make it ideal for running, walking or even biking!
This park offers visitors plenty of activities and attractions, including the largest walk-through aviary in Southeast Asia – The Edward Youde Aviary. Here, visitors can get up close and personal with birds from all around the world while learning about their unique characteristics.
Visit the Forsgate Conservatory, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest greenhouses with pavilions featuring exotic flowers and plants from various climates.
Another fantastic place to visit is the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, which boasts an impressive collection of ceramic tea ware from around the globe. Although small, this museum is worth a stop; here, you can learn about tea ware’s history while getting an up-close view at these stunning pieces.
Finally, Hong Kong Park’s Vantage Point offers stunning views of the city. This 30-meter-high tower features 105 stairs that will give you a bird’s eye view of the entire park!
4. Happy Valley Races
If you’re searching for a fun sport to try in Hong Kong, Happy Valley Races should not be missed. As one of two horse racing venues in the city, it attracts plenty of tourists with capacity of 55,000 spectators.
From September through July, racing takes place Wednesday nights. On occasion, weekend races may also take place.
Happy Valley Races is a renowned racecourse with an illustrious past, hosting its inaugural race in December 1846. Owned by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, it can accommodate up to 55,000 attendees annually.
Sports enthusiasts from the region flock here annually, especially for its many top riders and horses. Additionally, the International Jockey Championship – an event that showcases world-class jockeys from around the globe – plays a major role in drawing visitors here each year.
At Happy Valley Races, there’s plenty to see and do besides racing. Check out the Hong Kong Jockey Club Archive and Museum for various exhibitions covering everything from track history to charitable organisations and community projects sponsored by the Jockey Club.
Aside from watching the horse races, you can also get in shape on the 1.37 km (0.8 m) paved track surrounding the main grandstands. It’s an ideal location to get your cardio in while admiring stunning views of Hong Kong’s skyline.
5. The Mills
Hong Kong is known for its constant regeneration, yet few of the buildings that once dominated its skyline remain. A recent example is The Mills, a former textile factory which has now become an urban space with retail shops, business incubators and various restaurants and coffee shops.
In 2018, The Mills opened as an adaptive re-use project of the Nan Fung Group. Formerly used to manufacture cotton yarn, these buildings have been meticulously renovated and now house retail shops, business incubators, as well as numerous cafes and restaurants.
Sweet Buns Bakery & Cafe, one of the newest additions to downtown, serves classic crossroads cuisine sure to please local diners. According to its owner Zhao Jianhuan, they will serve a range of HK-style dishes such as noodle soups, BBQ, spaghetti bolognese and French toast.
Joie Plant-Based Bistro is another restaurant worth exploring; it provides vegetarian and vegan dishes for diners in The Mills area. This establishment is perfect for those seeking meatless options on their plates.
The Mills also houses Fabrica, a fashion and technology incubator established by the Nan Fung Group. Still in its early stages, this brand aims to be the go-to solutions platform for speeding up techstyle and agrifood technology innovations with sustainability in mind for social good.