You would think that Hong Kong is already very busy during the day. But in fact, Hong Kong is a city that doesn’t slow down during the night. Hong Kong’s nightlife is vibrant. From nighttime horse races to bars, discos and night markets, there is almost no shortage of liveliness.
Below, let’s have a brief look at the nightlife in Hong Kong.
Clubbing in Lan Kwai Fong, SoHo and Tsim Sha Tsui
If we were to talk about the most popular location to experience proper nightlife in Hong Kong, you’ll have to go to Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo. Lan Kwai Fong is near the Central MTR station, and the SoHo district is not far away from Lan Kwai Fong. Although the two places are separate locations, you should find a variety of bars and nightclubs around both of these areas.
At midnight, these places will be filled with local white-collars hanging out with their friends. You will also find foreigners and tourists alike. It is the place for people to have a drink while flirting, joking, sometimes even dancing, and, in general, chilling and having a good time here.
In places such as Stanley Street, Wyndham Street, and Arbuthnot Road, you can find world-class nightclubs. Social Rooms, Mihn, and Acadana are some of the hottest nightclubs for you to start looking.
It is worth noting that, when talking about nightclubs in Hong Kong, it could mean a couple of things. It could definitely be referring to a Western-style club. And there is a different kind of night club in town. It is the KTV hostess bars, also known as ‘Nightclubs’ (夜總會).
KTV hostess bars originate from Japan. As the name implies, a KTV Hostess bar is mainly about singing KTV. When entered, you will be accompanied by a hostess, while singing karaoke, drinking, or playing drinking games in a lounge setting. KTV hostess bar has died down due to it losing touch with newer generations, but remains as a slice of vintage Hong Kong. If you are looking to enter one, you can find some KTV Hostess bars operations in tourist districts such as Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan and Mong Kok.
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Those who are not interested in either of the above might consider going to the night market. Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei are not only the best places to take photographs of the neon signs In Hong Kong. It becomes vibrant once the night starts.
One of those night markets you must visit is the ‘Temple Street’ night market near the Yau Ma Tei MTR station. Temple Street is a flea market divided into sections on several streets and it mainly targeted tourists. The stalls here sell all kinds of Chinese antiques including jade pendants, Chinese jewelry, crystals and stones, pipes, Mahjong Sets, as well as many quirky items like sex toys, Chinese DVDs and CDs, or even lighters. Of Course, there are stalls selling lookalikes and knockoffs here. Many, in fact.
On the sidelines, you will find ’Dai Pai Dongs‘, or, in English, ‘open-air street stalls’, serving Hong Kong Style Stir-Fries and Seafood. You might also find some Chau-Zhou Style food here.
The other night markets are in Mong Kok. It is like one MTR station or roughly 15 minutes’ walk from Temple Street. It could be further divided into two sections: ‘Ladies Street’ and ‘Garden Street’.
The ‘Ladies Street’ section is actually named ‘Tung Choi Street’. Ladies Street starts operation in the afternoon, but it is generally regarded as a night market because people usually come at night. The stalls here usually sell clothes and accessories. Some also sell mobile phone accessories, such as mobile phone cases and protective glasses. If you are looking for your ‘I Love Hong Kong’ T-shirt, look no further than here.
Not far from Ladies Street is the ‘Garden Street’, which is less than a kilometer long. It’s less of a night market but more of a place for locals to shop for all kinds of daily necessities (such as clothes, vegetables, fruits, accessories, etc.).
Like every night market around the world, you can haggle in any of the three Markets. Generally, you can knock the price down to roughly half of the original price. The Hawkers here speak some simple English, so there’s little to worry about the language barrier.
Hong Kong’s views at night were once known as one of the world’s top three night scenes. You are missing something great if you don’t at least take a picture of the night.
There are several great options to see at night in Hong Kong. The first option is to go to Victoria Peak or to one of the many rooftop bars operating in Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui. Victoria Peak is often flooded with visitors, but the view here is so stunning that you can’t afford to miss. Even if you don’t plan to visit The Peak Tower, Madame Tussauds, or ride the tram, you should nonetheless visit Victoria Peak.
Another common option is to enjoy the Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui. A glance toward the other side of the harbor will always be striking, as even the locals don’t realize how beautiful Hong Kong can really be.
If you would like to avoid the crowd, consider taking a boat tour of Victoria Harbour or go to Tsim Sha Tsui East. The views at these places are actually as glorious as what you will see in Tsim Sha Tsui and Star Ferry, but there are much fewer tourists.
Horse racing in Happy Valley
If there has to be one most popular night time activity in Hong Kong amongst the locals, it has to be horse betting. One way to experience that would be going to Happy Valley and watch nighttime horse racing.
It usually starts in the evening during the Wednesdays (Sometimes weekends) and ends till midnight. The racetracks are filled with middle-aged males that have bet on one of the races. Hence, you will hear them screaming and cheering like nuts.
Unlike in other parts of the world, where gambling and betting are usually considered a leisure activity or some form of entertainment, gambling in Hong Kong (and in China) is serious business. If you are looking to experience the rave of gambling in Hong Kong, this will be a good way to do so.