HK Magazine Archive

It's Getting Hot in Here: Hottest Things to Do in Hong Kong This Summer

We're celebrating the heat by checking out the hottest places in town.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 2:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:22pm

We're in the thick of Hong Kong summer this month, and instead of bemoaning the weather we're celebrating the heat by checking out the hottest places in town.

Ocean Park

34-35°C—pretty much an average summer day in Hong Kong, which means you can sweat even at the tiniest effort like bending over to tie your shoelaces, let alone stand in queue at Hong Kong’s sunniest amusement park.

Freeman Lai, Area Manager of the Rides and Attractions Operations team, is responsible for operating rides, managing the dancers and controlling the crowd. All in the outdoors, of course.

“It’s the worst when it’s around noon during the summer holidays, when the sun is right above our heads. The humidity is high and it becomes very stuffy. When it gets unbearable, we stand in front of our own water mist fan to cool down,” he tells us. Another quick fix is to slap a cold towel on the back of the neck, which effectively absorbs moisture (the sweat) and lowers the core temperature.

“Best part of the job?” Lai says, “Sometimes the managers will buy us cokes when it gets too hot!”

Signing up for Ocean Park’s Summer Splash 2016 party seems like the obvious answer, and rightfully so. This year, the annual event makes a comeback with SpongeBob Squarepants and his band of underwater friends. At the Waterfront, relish in an instant cooling downpour of a huge bucket of water and get a kick out of the sea of bubbles in the Wild Foam Zone. Or, hitch a ride on the good ol’ cable car and just enjoy the wind in your hair.

Pure Yoga’s Hot Yoga Room

Heated studios are kept between 38-41°C.

Tania Barton is an instructor at Pure Yoga who specializes in hot yoga: She leads students through different poses for lessons that last between an hour to 90 minutes. It’s a hot job, but if you’re gonna break a sweat, it’s better to do it through exercise...

“The basic form of yoga is hatha yoga, and most yoga studios do hatha-basic yoga postures in a heated room. The benefit is that anyone who has never done yoga, or any physical exercise in their life, can actually join in a class. The heat makes the body more malleable, so it’s safer for you to move your body, and you’re less likely to injure yourself.”

It’s not just all about the physical benefits, but working out in a hot room can help you detox your mind and regroup after stressful city living. “Coming into a hot yoga is mentally challenging, but it’s mentally challenging for yourself: the harder you work, the more benefits you receive,” says Barton. “It helps people feel more calm, have more clarity. Hot yoga helps to slow down the breath, and you’re slowing down your mind. It’s quite special to dedicate one hour of your life on the mat, to yourself, to the practice.”

As for beginners, Barton’s advice is to just dive into the yoga lifestyle: “Just do it. We’re all inflexible in this day and age. That’s why we do yoga. The health benefits far outweigh how you think you might be clumsy, or overweight, or maybe you’ve had an injury or have broken up with your boyfriend or your pet’s died or you’re just in a bad headspace—that’s when you have to come to the mat and do yoga, that’s the best time to start. In other words, there’s no excuse!”
Pure Yoga, various locations including 2/F, Asia Standard Tower, 59-65 Queen's Rd. Central, 8178-0000,

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Aiming to make some new fitness commitments? Browhaus’ Brow Resurrection treatment will leave you with one less thing to worry about when beads of sweat are rolling down your forehead. It’ll help you simplify your makeup routine by getting semi-permanent brows that last up to a year and a half.
Browhaus, 10/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 3950-3950,

Read More: Tried and Tested: Brow Embroidery at Browhaus

Moonshine And The Po’ Boys

The heat of sizzling skillets, hot sauce and cajun spice aromas in the air.

Seasoned restaurateur Tim Lau would know all about heat. The owner of establishments such as Ted’s Lookout, Shake Em Buns and Moonshine and the Po’Boys, Lau’s been in the restaurant business for over a decade. The Hong Kong-born chef grew up in North Carolina firing up extra large woks in his family's Chinese restaurant. Used to sweltering traditional kitchens, most of his restaurants have open-format ones instead. Lau says, "I like people to see what we do—there are no secrets. And because of the heat you have to deal with an enclosed kitchen, the heat is trapped in there, so I prefer to build open kitchens for my staff.”

Things stay physically cool at Moonshine, but Lau brings the heat in its cuisine, aiming to educate people what Cajun food is all about—including the experience and culture behind the food. Southern staples like barbecue take on the Tennessee style, but seafood and fried chicken takes a more tongue-tingling Cajun focus. “There’s some heat to Cajun food, but it’s more about the flavor of the spice, and not the heat where you start sweating.”

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As for keeping cool? Lau says, “There’s not really much that you can do, you just have to wing it. The best way, honestly, is to drink a beer and to take your mind off the heat. Why else do you think beer and barbecue go together so well? It’s quite a harsh environment, so I don’t mind my staff drinking one or two here and there.”
4 Sun St., Wan Chai, 2776-2668,

Newly launched at The Excelsior hotel in Causeway Bay is a range of “hot” ice creams, rotating between spicy flavors such as Sichuan spices, tom yum gong, black pepper, and sweet innovative flavors such as beer with bacon, French toast with maple syrup, and even tomato and basil. Get your hands on these icy treats at Café On the 1st.
281 Gloucester Rd., Causeway Bay, 2837-6781

Read More: Five New Dessert Joints for Icy Treats

On the road

Roadside temperatures during the day average at 35°C.

News reporter Miss R. Leung shared with us the hardest part of getting the scoop around town each day: “I was called to a fire scene, so there was smoke and heat in the area. I had to walk up and down the building to try to get footage and interviews with residents—while carrying a very heavy tripod!”

And how to stay composed and camera-ready? Leung tells us, “I always have to be made up for work, so I always opt for oil control makeup and make sure my skin is hydrated to limit the production of face oil. Still, I was sweating so badly that my hair, which I’d straightened that morning, was no longer straight because of all the sweat on my neck!”

You can’t go wrong with Hong Kong’s summer staple: Iced milk tea. Affordable and available practically anywhere, iced milk tea is your go-to quick fix.
Sing Heung Yuen, 2 Mei Lun St., Central, 2544-8368

Read More: Hong Kong's Iconic Milk Tea

Hot Spot Meter

Harlan’s Back
Celebrity chef Harlan Goldstein is back in town with a fiery force, opening up four restaurants at No. 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, all expected to be open for business by the end of September. On the third floor is rustic Italian eatery Ee Da Le, which has just opened end-July.
G/F-6/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

Read More: Harlan Goldstein Doesn't Need Gordon Ramsay's Anger to Run a Kitchen

The Feeling’s Right
Ladies looking to see and be seen out on the town can head up to Cé La Vi: their latest ladies night deal will have these hunks from Valley Butlers serving you complimentary cocktails.
Thursdays, 10pm. Cé La Vi, 24-26/F, California Tower, 32 D'Aguilar St., Central

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Tunes In Your Head
Balinese beach club import Potato Head’s got its swanky dining room Kaum for occasions where you want to heat up the atmosphere, but its newly opened Music Room is sure to deliver if you’re looking for a chill Friday night, especially aimed at vinyl connoisseurs.
100 Third St., Sai Ying Pun, 2858-3036,

Read More: Potato Head Brings Bali Beach Chic to Hong Kong's Sai Ying Pun

Cold Brew
For the ultimate chill weekend vibes, grab a cold beer freshly brewed on-site at Little Creatures, the Aussie craft brew brand’s Hong Kong gastropub set against Kennedy Town’s waterfront.
Shop 1, G/F, New Fortune House, 5A New Praya, Kennedy Town, 2833-5611,

Read More: Little Creatures Is Kennedy Town's Latest Microbrewery