Let’s be honest here. Apart from Hong Kong’s action-packed drama series (which I absolutely love), Hong Kong is just another city similar to Singapore. Living in Singapore in my 24 years, I can say I am sick and tired of the city life (with the exception of NYC <3). I adore mountains (like Mount Titlis in Switzerland), rather watch hot air balloons fly up the sky, or explore the old European streets of Ronda, Granada and the likes.
That was not until I came across these secret spots in Hong Kong which look so good in pictures. These are some of the coolest and Instagram-worthy locations that I never knew existed in Hong Kong!
From breathtaking night views from rooftop bar at Causeway Bay to hipster local diners at Sham Shui Po and unique Hong Kong landscapes on the southside, let’s go on a visual journey!
Here are 30 irresistibly beautiful and Instagrammable locations for you to rediscover the beauty of Hong Kong and leave your Instagram followers green with envy.
1. Causeway Bay
Bustling Causeway Bay is the perfect consumer-friendly district for an epic shopping spree. And when you need a break? There is a diverse range of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to kick back and relax at. Between major shopping centres like Times Square and Hysan Place, and upscale fashion streets like Festival Walk, take your pick from quirky boutiques, celebrity-run restaurants like Jamie Oliver’s, and rooftop bars with spectacular harbour views like Seafood Room and SKYE.
Rooftop bars take on a whole new meaning in Hong Kong — and you will see why when you take the elevator up to SKYE, the newly-renovated restaurant and lounge at The Park Lane Hong Kong (a Pullman Hotel). Take your pick of the bar seat or laid-back couch at the outdoor terrace — either way, you will be treated to uninterrupted views of the famous Hong Kong skyline, complete with skyscrapers and the Victoria Harbour. Today, the bright and bold building makes for an eye-catching Instagram photo!
3. Food Truck
Feeling peckish while touring Hong Kong’s many attractions? Keep a lookout for the food trucks! There are 14 of them on rotation, cooking up everything from local street foods to international classics. Find them at visitor hotspots including Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, the Central Harbourfront Event Space, Ocean Park, Salisbury Garden, Art Square, the Energizing Kowloon East Venue 1, Wong Tai Sin Square, and Hong Kong Disneyland.
4. Pineapple Canteen
Every HongKonger knows and loves a bo lo bao — literally, “pineapple bun” in Cantonese — a sweet pastry bread topped with a pineapple-patterned sugar crust that’s sold in Hong Kong-style bakeries around the city. At the Pineapple Canteen food truck, the proprietors take the concept to a whole new level by adding actual pineapples to the iconic pastry. The signature item is a bo lo bao stuffed with fresh pineapple chunks and pineapple cream: a treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Other fillings are also available, including savoury ham and egg; or a large and simple slab of butter.
5. Princess Kitchen
Dragon fruit bowls are the name of the game at Princess Kitchen, one of the first batches of food trucks to be granted a working license from the Hong Kong government. The vibrantly hued fruit is turned into a sorbet, and then sprinkled with fresh fruits like banana and strawberry slices, blueberries, as well as granola bits on top. A refreshing summer treat for the sweltering Hong Kong heat — and a photogenic one at that.
From the bustling activity of the wholesale fruit market in the wee hours of the morning and the buzz of trendy shopping centres like Langham Place during the day, to the nonstop grind of night-time pubs, Mong Kok is vibrant 24 hours a day. Be surprised to find tranquil alleyways and cozy cafes that contrast dramatically with the district’s otherwise hectic pace.
7. Flower Stairs
A bit of colour can truly brighten up a whole street. Case in point: the Floral Stairs in Yau Ma Tei, close to the Yaumati Kaifong Association School. The concrete steps in this pedestrian corner are painted in beautiful flower motifs, from red roses to sunflowers, tulips and lavenders. From afar, the stairs form a coherent and beautifully bright floral-themed mural. No wonder it is such a popular photo-taking spot for amateurs and professionals alike!
8. Old Town Central
From colonial buildings that reflect the city’s heritage; to eclectic lifestyle shops like WOAW; and cool bars and international restaurants including Sevva and Amber; Old Town Central is a fascinating medley of East and West, traditions and innovation — just like the city itself. The contrast is also apparent in the presence of newly-painted murals on the walls of old-school buildings around the area.
9. Leaf Dessert
Enjoy a bowl of Chinese dessert soup at Leaf Dessert in Old Town Central while admiring the beautifully painted mural that serves as backdrop.
10. Sing Heung Yuen
Chow down on a delicious outdoor meal at the popular Sing Heung Yuen dai pai dong.
11. Madera Hollywood Graffiti Wall
It might not be Hollywood, but Hollywood Road at Old Town Central has got a giant mural dedicated to the stars of eras past, including this profile of American crooner Frank Sinatra.
Read: 7 Incredible Photography Locations In Busan, South Korea
12. Tsim Sha Tsui
From world-renowned harbour view vantage points at the Star Ferry Pier, to vast shopping complexes, Tsim Sha Tsui has an exciting mix of attractions for locals and visitors alike. In this busy and popular district, you will also be able to find creative shops on smaller streets like Granville Road, as well as charming restaurants and bars that are hidden from the bustling thoroughfares.
13. Sunset at Harbour City
When there is just the right mix of clouds and clear skies, Hong Kong’s sunsets become dramatically spectacular. For one of the best places to catch a glimpse? Make a trip to the Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, a unique location for a shopping destination — right by the Victoria Harbour. There are many vantage points from Harbour City to capture the approaching dusk.
14. Zaha Hadid’s Innovation Tower
Fluid lines and soft curves grace the distinctive Innovation Tower at the PolyU School of Design in Hung Hom. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the “tower” is actually a multi-functional academic building.
15. Sai Wan
Located on the west side of Hong Kong Island, Sai Wan is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Since the opening of the West Island MTR stations, which connects the area to Central, Sai Wan has transformed into an up-and-coming hipster hangout. Apart from new craft beer bars like Little Creature and chic restaurants such as Mama Malouf, you will also find many reminders of a classic and traditional Hong Kong.
16. Forbes Street Wall Trees
Beautiful banyan trees wrapping their roots around imposing masonry walls are a sight to behold. “Majestic” would be how most would describe this otherworldly species.
Stone masonry walls like these were commissioned by the colonial government between the 19th and mid-20th century to prevent landslides. Today, we get to appreciate this natural tapestry by Forbes Street. After getting your instagram shot, visit some of the trendy restaurants and bars just across the street to unwind from the summer heat.
17. Sai Wan Swimming Shed
Hoping to catch a gorgeous, dramatic orange-red sunset? Then head west — all the way to the Sai Wan Swimming Shed. This tranquil Kennedy Town spot is marked by a defiant jetty that juts out from a rocky mountain-side base and right into the waters. Swimming sheds like these were built in the 60s and 70s as a stationary post for people to drop off their things before embarking on swims and dips. Want to take swoon-worthy photos of the impending dusk?
18. Sham Shui Po
One of the earliest developed areas in Hong Kong, Sham Shui Po is seeing an increasing number of creative youngsters injecting new life into this old neighbourhood. The result: an intriguing district where graffiti art, textile stalls, modern cafés and art spaces thrive alongside traditional eateries and shops.
19. Mei Ho House
At the spacious House 41 cafe in Mei Ho House youth hostel in Sham Shui Po, the intense green corridors and vintage signs on the walls are reminiscent of a much earlier era. Matched with handsome black couches as well as patterned tile floors, the café oozes quirk and charm. It’s also a fantastic setting for Wong Kar-wai-style photos. Two classic drinks-with-a-twist from the menu not to be missed – iced red bean milk, and iced grass jelly milk, both made with local Vitasoy-brand of soy milk instead of evaporated or coconut milk.
20. Nam Shan Estate
There is something mesmerising about Hong Kong-style buildings where the blocks are built symmetrically, forming a spectacular view. As such, Nam Shan Estate, the public housing estate in Sham Shui Po, emits a haunting yellow-green glow at night, and the grid-like units give the building a highly geometric structure. The estate is also home to some fantastic local restaurants and food stalls, including an egg waffle shop called P76 that sees queues every night. .
21. Leslie Cheung Graffiti
In an inconspicuous alleyway off Wong Chuk Street in Sham Shui Po, stands a lone pasted portrait of the beloved late Cantonese pop star Leslie Cheung. He was one of the most famous Cantonese pop exports to Korea, and so it is no surprise that this iconic visual was created by Korean street artist GR1.
Cheung was an actor as well as a singer, and his films and songs had an incredibly wide appeal beyond the borders of Hong Kong. He died in 2003, and is still mourned by faithful fans from around the world today.
22. Southern District
The Southern District, which encompasses the scenic southern coast of Hong Kong Island, was mainly once an industrial area. Since the opening of the South Island MTR line, more and more visitors have been coming here to discover its hidden gems – galleries, private kitchens, artisan cafes, traditional shops and eateries, and outlet stores. The beaches are also just a bus or taxi ride away. Kayak and windsurf in Stanley, or just relax and take a dip in the calm waves of Repulse Bay. After a day of fun in the sun, remember to wind down with a relaxing meal at one of the many beachside restaurants on the south side.
23. Cape D’Aguilar
Located south of Shek O, Cape D’Aguilar is the type of photo-friendly destination worth making a journey for. Here, you can snap an ethereal photo of jagged rocks forming a natural frame over pristine blue skies on a crisp and sunny day. At the right angle, you will also catch a beautiful reflection off the clear shallow waters.
24. Cabana at the Pulse
Chill out in an onsen bath while looking onto the sand and ocean below — that is the daily mantra at Cabana rooftop bar at The Pulse. The 10,000 square-feet alfresco terrace is one of Hong Kong’s most coveted beach bar destinations. The space is decked out in chic white sun loungers, luxurious private cabanas, and dozens of wooden onsen tubs that easily fit a group of six. Pop a bottle of Champagne, and you are good to go for the day!
25. Repulse Bay
Hong Kongers are blessed with gorgeous beaches in every corner, and generously sized Repulse Bay is one of the most well known. During summer, tourists and locals alike would get away from the city and enjoy a swim in its emerald blue waters while admiring picturesque mountain-scapes in the distance.
26. Wan Chai
Wan Chai is characterised by the juxtaposition of the old and new. Stroll along both sides of the tramway and you will find historical East-meets-West architecture, local grocers-turned-specialty stores, and even a bar that was formerly a 19th century pawn shop.
The fusion of the traditional with the modern has given this old neighbourhood a new charm. Wan Chai is also known to be a vibrant hub for restaurants and bars. Find trendy tapas bars on Ship Street and cozy Italian bistros tucked away in St. Francis Yard, to glamorous steakhouses at the top of commercial buildings on Johnston Road.
27. Colourful Buildings
Wan Chai is a district full of multi-coloured cultural landmarks. One of the most famous is the Blue House on Stone Nullah Lane, a four-storey tenement building painted in the same shade as the bright summer sky. The building is currently home to the Hong Kong House of Stories museum.
On the intersection of Johnston Road and Wan Chai Road stands the Chung Wui Mansion, painted in pastel shades that span the colours of the rainbow. The 16-storey residential unit was built in 1964. Today, the bright and bold building makes for an eye-catching Instagram photo.
28. Yuen Long
Spend a day exploring the natural beauty and charming villages of Yuen Long District. Here you will see Ping Shan, a walled village dotted with historical buildings. Nearby is Tin Shui Wai, a modern satellite town that is also home to an ecologically rich habitat for migratory birds. At dusk, head over to Lau Fau Shan for a beautiful sunset scenery and fresh seafood.
29. Pedestrian Subway Tunnel
The ridged pedestrian subway that links Yuen Long with Tai Kei Leng Village is a visual treat for the camera. Painted a vivid shade of green, the underground tunnel is lit with warm yellow light, making it feel like a surreal scene from a SCI-FI movie. The tunnel is long and narrow — perfect for action shots and selfies.
30. Ha Pak Nai
Visiting Yuen Long on a sunny day? Catch the beautiful sunset scenery at Ha Pak Nai beach. Capture the romantic glow of the day’s final rays reflecting off mangroves, fishponds and the nearby waters. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for the mudskippers and fiddler crabs that call Ha Pak Nai home.
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