Guide to Hong Kong: Sleepless City
A series of stories, recommendations and tips on Hong Kong from people in the know. Explore our city based on the travel experiences that interest you and get itineraries for off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading cosmopolitan cities, which comes alive at night, abuzz with diners, revelers, theater goers and market traders still out plying their wares. The nightlife scene is rightly legendary: there is something to do at every time of the day in this city that never sleeps. The nightlife options are too numerous to mention, but below you’ll find just a sample of what’s on offer: from culture through to late-night party venues and midnight feasts.
24 Hour Fun
So you’re after a good time? You’ve definitely come to the right city! Hong Kong boasts entertainment galore and most of it kicks off after sunset. Whether you’re after a classy cocktail in a trendy bar, live entertainment that beats through the night or a late night snack, Hong Kong is the city to oblige.
Best Bar None
If you’ve already heard of Hong Kong’s crazy all-night vibe, then it’s surely because of the sheer number of bars of all shapes and sizes. Most first-timers head straight to the thoroughfares of Lan Kwai Fong in Central, which are packed full of bars and nightclubs, with revelers spilling out onto the streets at all hours. However away from this main draw, lots of trendy niche bars are opening up for a slightly more cultural experience.
Be sure to fill up on more than just cocktails at one of the city’s varied entertainment venues. Hong Kong has a happening live music scene, offering everything from Cantopop gigs to jazz recitals and karaoke. Full Cup Café is a hipster’s paradise, while the Fringe Club, one of the city’s foremost art spaces, that has been providing a platform for artists since 1984.
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Spotlight on: Wan Chai
Wan Chai has witnessed a rapid transformation over the past 150 years: from a mid-19th century fishing village into the buzzing social beacon of Hong Kong today. The district owes its bright lights and all-night entertainment to its maritime ties, being the destination of choice for war-time sailors. Although there’s a multitude of bars, restaurants and clubs to fill your night, there’s a lot more to Wan Chai that’s worth exploring, and whatever your inclination you’ll be sure to find something to suit your tastes.
Something for Everyone
For fascinating insights into Wan Chai’s community spirit, duck into House of Stories, a center that offers neighborhood tales and guided tours of Wan Chai’s historic streets. The district is preserving its historical and cultural character, with streets of old buildings being sympathetically redeveloped, such as Mallory Street, home to restaurant Ho Wah Cafe, a 60-year-old streetside restaurant that opened in the 1980s. Nearby Ship Street is another old road that now contains many of the district’s trendy restaurants and bars, including the distinctive Ham & Sherry tapas restaurant.
Well into the early hours of the morning, Wan Chai residents can always be found in one of the district’s many late-night restaurants. Joy Hing Roasted Meat is a time-honored tradition, having been serving up Cantonese char siu (barbecue meat) since the end of the Qing dynasty, using a special oven to achieve its rich flavors. Alternatively, follow the locals as they make an obligatory stop for dessert. Day or night, Chong Sao Star Dessert has throngs of people queuing outside for its tofu pudding, warm sweet soups and ices. Meanwhile, hit Wan Chai neighborhood Causeway Bay for amazing shopping no matter what the time of day, with shops often open past 10pm. Eslite Bookstore is a much-frequented evening spot away from the hustle and bustle of the streets, while a livelier time can be found along Lockhart or Jaffe Roads in Wan Chai, which are filled with bars and clubs. Billidart Bar & Restaurant is an American-style sports bar with pool tables, dartboards and international sports matches.
Head online to www.DiscoverHongKong.com/InsidersGuide to create your personalized itinerary for Wan Chai.
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