If you’re coming to Hong Kong in the summer, then our apologies. It’s hot, it’s humid, and you sweat pretty much 24/7. The air sits on you like a wet cloud. People walk around constantly fanning themselves, and you’ll find yourself wanting to bathe twice a day because your clothes stick to you like glue.
Summer is so sticky that people take solace in any place that is air conditioned—malls, supermarkets, libraries, even IKEA, which has become a popular place for people to ‘try out’ couches and recliners, often for hours at a time.
However, there are ways to escape the heat, at least temporarily, without squatting in IKEA. If you’re just visiting, use this as a handy list of things to do during Hong Kong’s summer. And if you live in Hong Kong, this can be a time to catch up on your bucket list of things that you’ve been meaning to go do, but never got around to.
Cool down at Disney
If you’re planning on visiting Hong Kong Disneyland, then pack a bathing suit, because this summer Disney is holding a special event: the Pixar Water Play Street Party. Floats will be parading down Main Street U.S.A. spraying crowds with much-needed cool water and mist (park admission required). You could also stay a night at one of the park’s hotels, with awesome outdoor pools, perfect for hot summer days.
Have a water battle at Ocean Park
Hong Kong’s popular marine-themed amusement park, Ocean Park, has its own cool-down event in the hot months: the Summer Water Battle 2019. Running from July 13 to September 1, the park’s Waterfront Plaza will become a battle zone with water guns, water cannons and a super-sized fountain. And it’s all based on the popular Japanese anime series One Piece. Those with little kids can head to the Little Pirate’s Splash Zone for fun in the foam.
Get artsy fartsy
The annual International Arts Carnival runs from July through August, with an impressive line-up of world class performances, including plays, live music and dance. While many of the shows are geared towards families (think The Very Hungry Caterpillar), a number of them are great for adults, particularly the incredible acrobatics in À Ố Làng Phố out of Vietnam.
Join a junk trip
Summers and junk trips go hand in hand in Hong Kong, with boat loads of people ready to get the cool wind in their hair and some ice cold cocktails down the hatch. People usually gather up a group of friends and charter a junk, but if you’re a tourist, what do you do? Thankfully, on Meetup.com, there are a number of junk boat trips that anyone can join. The boats typically head east to park up in pretty bays where you can swim and cool down in the South China Sea.
Take a cooking class
From dim sum to cakes and pies, cooking classes have recently become popular in Hong Kong, with more popping up all the time. To make something quintessentially local, head to long-time cooking instructor Martha Sherpa, or the Towngas Cooking Centre, both located in North Point. Viator has a long list of cooking classes, some of which include a trip to a local market to buy ingredients.
Try scuba diving
So it’s no comparison to, say, a liveaboard in Palau, but Hong Kong still does offer some decent diving, especially in the far-eastern waters of Sai Kung and beyond. If you’re certified already, then you’re all set. If not, this is a great opportunity to get dive ready. Splash HK, Pro Diver and Mandarin Divers are but a handful of the many dive companies offering PADI courses and fun dives, with instruction in English.
Check out the museums
And there are a lot of them! Cool off at the expansive Museum of History, Museum of Science, or Museum of Space, all conveniently located in Tsim Sha Tsui. Or head a bit further out of town, to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin. Hong Kong has a long list of interesting museums, so read more at our Guide to Hong Kong’s Best and most Unique Museums to decide which one to visit.
Cool down at a public pool
Public pools might not sound glamorous, but you’d be surprised to learn that Hong Kong has some pretty awesome public pools which they do keep impeccably clean. Some are straightforward lap pools, while some are family-friendly with splash pads and kids areas. The recently built Kennedy Town Pool is especially scenic with views of Victoria Harbour, while the Kowloon Park Pool has great waterfalls. All public pools have showers, change rooms, and amenities. You can even pay the entry fee with your Octopus Card.
Hit the beaches
Pools not your thing? No worries, because Hong Kong has loads and loads of beaches to choose from. From the popular Repulse Bay and Stanley Beach, and further to the more remote and untouched hidden bays around Tai Long Wan, a day trip to the beach can be as easy as a bus or taxi ride. And always carry lots of water.
Taste a local brew
Nothing beats the heat like a cold, cold beer, and there are many noteworthy local craft beers in Hong Kong. Tour guide company Humid with a Chance of Fishballs is one of the companies that runs a craft brew tour, where you visit three different breweries and get to taste more than a dozen different beers. Light snacks are also provided at each stop, to make sure you don’t overdo it.
Party from dusk till dawn
Hong Kong has an incredible nightlife scene, including live music. Head out in the evening when the temperature dips a bit to find the city’s best jazz, reggae, rock and more. Dusk till Dawn and The Wanch, both in Wan Chai, are long-time patrons of the local band scene, with a raucous all-night party vibe. Gecko and the Fringe Club in Central are a bit more laid back, as is Peel Fresco, with different performers every night.
Visit the Outlying Islands
Whether for a day or a night, Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands are a great break from the sweltering, crowded city. A 30-minute ferry ride can get you to the likes of Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau or Peng Chau, all of which have quaint B&Bs, sandy beaches and interesting villages. Stay overnight at a hotel with an outdoor pool, such as Silvermine Beach Resort in Mui Wo, The Auberge in Discovery Bay, the Warwick Hotel on Cheung Chau, or the Novotel in Tung Chung.
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