7 Things You Have To Do: Hong Kong
From some of the best music festivals on the planet, to an incredible foodie scene, you have to get your Hong Kong on...
MTV headed over to Hong Kong to check out its biggest annual music and arts festival Clockenflap!
This year it celebrated its 10th anniversary and featured a stellar line up including Bristol Trip Hop legends, Massive Attack, Leeds lads the Kaiser Chiefs, Grime fave Stormzy and heroes The Prodigy to name but a few!
While here, we had two days to check out what Hong Kong has to offer and below are our 7 favourite picks....
1. OLD TOWN CENTRAL
This is one of Hong Kong's oldest yet trendiest districts packed full of local stores, shops and restaurants. Here you discover art and design mixed with culture and history. First stop Possession Street, the birthplace of colonial Hong Kong and where British soldiers first landed in 1841 to claim the city.
Possession Point (Tai Hang Hau) or ‘Big Puddle’ has been redeveloped into a chinese-style garden known as Hollywood Road park which is home to fish and turtles. Next you will hit Hollywood Road which is full of vibes and packed with hip shops, galleries, art, boutiques and restaurants. It was one of the first roads built in Hong Kong, with traders flocking to sell their goods and that spirit continues today.
The area is home to many traditional businesses serving local delicacies for over 60 years! Highlights include Tai Cheong Bakery which is famous for egg tarts, Lan Fong Yuen which offers Hong Kong style French toast and milk tea and Kung Lee, famous for producing Sugar Cane Juice using a traditional machine over 30 years old! Poho is known as the hipster district of Hong Kong.
It's a neighbourhood around Po Hing Fong and is made up of streets and buildings starting with 'Po' (which means treasure in Chinese BTW) and is packed full of galleries, cafes and boutiques. PMQ is a design hub with studios for people to work in and sell their goods in pop up shops. Its a historical site built in 1951 as the Police Married Quarters (housing for junior police officers) but by the year 2000 it had become derelict. In 2009 it was named as one of 8 development projects to preserve buildings in the central area and in 2014 it was repurposed to support the creative industry’s. Today it sells everything from clothes to house wares and is well worth a visit. LKF is the place to go for nightlife in the middle of Hong Hong.
It's technically a short L shaped street in central which over the last 30 years has expanded into neighbouring D’Aguilar Street, Wyndham Street and beyond. It’s packed full of entertainment and dining areas with loads of bars and restaurants to choose from. We had a cocktail at Ce La Vi a rooftop bar and restaurant which has 360° views of the skyscrapers. It’s busiest on Fridays and Saturdays so brace yourself for crowds!
2. THE PEAK & STREET TRAMS
Originally opened in 1888, The Peak Tram was used to transport residents and dignitaries to 'The Peak' one of Hong Kong's most spectacular areas and now a popular tourist destination. The journey takes 7mins and its the steepest funicular railway in the world! Passengers glide past sky scrapers taking in the sights of Victoria Harbour. For amazing views take a trip to the Sky Terrace. Standing at 428 metres above sea level, it’s the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong offering a stunning 360-degree panoramic views.
For an affordable way to explore the city, jump on board one of the historic trams to roam the north corridor of Hong Kong Island. Step back in time on one of these double-decker street cars which have been operating since 1904 and are a super fun way to get around. There also tram tours giving you historical information along the way.
3. AQUA LUNA EVENING BOAT RIDE
Aqua Luna is one of the last remaining red-sail Chinese junk boats. Take a 45 minute trip down Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour while chilling on a lounge bed soaking up the sights of the skyline.
The boat departs at various times throughout the day but we took the 5.30pm (sunset in November) so saw the best of day and night. A highlight of the trip, dreamy.
4. MAN MO TEMPLE
A tribute to the god of literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), the temple was built in 1847 and is an example of superb traditional craftsmanship.
Historically it's where the God of literature and God of martial arts are worshipped, and where the community met to resolve conflict and discuss urgent matters.
5. NGONG PING VILLAGE & 360
Ngong Ping 360 is one of the world’s Top 10 cable cars where you can enjoy 360-degree views over the 5.7km journey travelling between Tung Chung Town Centre and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. From the air you can see stunning panoramic views of the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, South China Sea and beyond.
A third of the cabins have crystal floors so try and grab one of those if you can handle it!
The cable car ends at Ngong Ping Village, one of Hong Kong’s top tourist spots. It is a cultural themed village with shops, restaurants and attractions.
Many people visit for a more cultural and religious experience, as the huge outdoor bronze Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha Statue) is a major centre for Buddhism in Hong Kong and is located next to the Po Lin Monastery which is only a short stroll away.
6. TAI O
Tai O is a small fishing town on the western side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong and a short drive away from Ngong Ping Village. Historically, stories suggest that Tai O may have been the base of smuggling and piracy but it’s more commonly known for the production of salt and fishing, though both traditions have now died out.
The village is made up of huts and stilt houses, many in poor condition due to a fire in 2000. Tourists bring trade to the area with locals selling traditional fresh and dried food from stalls and running local boat trips. If you are lucky you might get to see one of the rare pink dolphins who are thought to live in the area!
This year Hong Kong’s biggest music festival Clockenflap marked its 10th anniversary and they celebrated in style with a stellar line up! The three day festival kicked off on the Friday evening with performances from Kid Ink, Fiest & headliners Kaiser Chiefs who all took to the stage entertaining a packed crowd at Central Harbourfront.
On Saturday the biggest highlight was Stormzy who played his first ever gig in Hong Kong and was stunned by the crowd who sung hits ‘Big For Your Boots’ & ‘Shut up’ back at him. Blossoms brought their northern charm (and the rain – which they apologised for) when they played the FWD stage and despite the weather Saturday headliners The Prodigy played a hits packed set for fans.
Finally, Massive Attack closed the weekend’s events in spectacular style with a little help from Jungle, MØ, The Dandy Warhols plus many more.
Don't worry if you missed out, Clockenflap announced it will return to Central Harbourfront on November 9, 10 & 11, 2018 so plan your trip now!
MTV Travelled With... Rooms at the upscale Hotel Madera Hollywood Hotel, 53 Hollywood Road, Central - Hotel Madera Hollywood Hotel. Cathay Pacific flies direct to Hong Kong from London Gatwick & Heathrow, Manchester and more. For information on the itinerary, click here.