From delectable delights to larger-than-life displays of creationism, Hong Kong is the place to be for visitors looking for an adventure they can call their own.
1. Noah’s Ark
In the late 1990s, in an effort to connect Hong Kong Island to its newest airport, the government came up with a plan to construct a large suspension bridge across Ma Wan Island – an undeveloped piece of land just itching to be brought to life. Leave it to an eight-year-old to design one of the most outrageous theme parks in Asia, Noah’s Ark. Her design – a massive ark overlooking the water – satisfied the views of creationists everywhere.
As outrageous as it is accurate, the design is built precisely to the biblical dimensions (450 feet) and contains 67 fiberglass animal couples. It opened to the public in May 2009, making the park’s centerpiece the world’s first full-size simulation of the biblical tale. The park boasts an array of attractions, from a solar observatory telescope tower to a seaside cafe. Though it is marketed as a “family-friendly destination,” the park is sure to satisfy the child in everyone.
2. Atum Desserant
Located on the 16th floor of The L. Square building is Atum Desserant, a popular specialty dessert bar that effortlessly integrates art and food in a one-of-a-kind sensory experience. Take a seat at the pristine white marble counter as your personal chef takes you through an engaging hour-long demo, customizing everything from plate color (black, grey, or white,) to the fusion of Asian-inspired ingredients, such as taro sauce, mandarin jelly, dragon beard candy, and liquid nitrogen ice cream. As your edible masterpiece is being created, take a look at the desserant’s interiors which boast abstract paintings and an open-air terrace that overlooks the entirety of Causeway Bay.
If the sensational views don’t entice you, the ever-changing menu will surely encourage you to return. Depending on the availability of ingredients, most plated desserts are on a seasonal basis with a quarterly rotation.
The most popular menu item is the “Improvisation” (HK$328+/ S$60.25+) that features a one of a kind dish created by the pastry chef according to your preferences. As its name suggests, “Improvisation” doesn’t follow a specific set of rules, allowing the chefs to work their magic and create a beautiful piece of edible artwork for each lucky guest.
3. Kowloon Walled City Park
Kowloon Walled City Park sits on the very site of the former Kowloon Walled City, which also happens to be the most densely packed city in world history. With over 3,300,000 people per square mile at its peak, every inch of the city’s mid-rise buildings was inhabited, making it difficult for police and public officials to venture inside. These buildings also let in little to no natural light – instead, the city ran on neon lights that shone brightly into the alleys 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The old city had a rich history, being passed between Chinese and British during the 19th and early 20th century. It wasn’t until after World War II when the Chinese reclaimed their rights to the city. It’s growth in the years thereafter was massive, with the city nearing overpopulation and an influx of fugitives and other criminal elements. Drugs, prostitution, and gang influence reached an all-time high during the late 1950s and 60s and Hong Kong police grappled to gain control over the city-state. As a result, the city was slated for demolition in 1987. Today, a park sits on traces of its former walled city and allows visitors a chance to walk the same path that once inspired opium dens, triad bars, and gambling parlors.
4. HA Cube
Half restaurant, half recreation spot, this no-frills indoor fishing shrimp farm invites visitors to catch and fry their own dinner. Ha Cube is Hong Kong’s first and only indoor venue where visitors can fish for lobster, shrimp, and well, fish, before barbecuing their catch straight afterward. Don’t worry about bringing your own gear – the venue provides everything from start to finish, including a fishing rod and bait. All you need to do is sit back and wait for your catch to take the bait… and if things start to take a little too long, they’ve got you covered with darts and a board game area for families. If you’re on the hunt for an out-of-the-ordinary meal surrounded by locals, this is your spot.
5. Quarry Bay ‘Monster Building’
In case you haven’t realized it yet, Hong Kong is known to be quite the concrete jungle. With a serious lack of space and an overcrowding of people, it’s not uncommon to see mammoth-sized buildings. But the Monster Building in Quarry Bay is actually a complex composed of five connecting structures, taking “mammoth-sized buildings” to another level. These colorful structures – Oceanic Mansion, Fook Cheong Building, Montane Mansion, Yick Cheong Building, and Yick Fat Building – were built during a population boom in the 1960s and served as government-subsidized housing for low-income residents.
On the lower level, expect to see shops selling tea, fish, and other groceries and household goods. It’s the perfect spot to capture aesthetically pleasing pictures or to simply appreciate the architecture of another era. The area has been used as a set of multiple films, including Ghost in the Shell and Transformers.
If you’re looking to see everything Hong Kong has to offer, these spots are non-negotiable on your travel itinerary!