Share a dim sum lunch with friends
If it is raining outside, or you are here in the summer and prefer to eat at somewhere air-conditioned, a SoHo dim sum lunch might be the best option. This most Cantonese of cuisines started out as a way for people to have morning tea but has now expanded into full-on gut-bloating meals of everything from fried rice dishes to sliced pork belly strips, as well as traditional sweet items such as custard buns. Ding Dim 1968 on Wyndham Street is one of SoHo’s longest-standing establishments, and offers an extensive menu in both Chinese and English.
Shop at PMQ
A former dormitory for police officers and their families (the name stands for Police Married Quarters) has been reincarnated as a complex of 100 retail spaces and artistic studios. A decidedly cooler and more diverse alternative to Hong Kong’s malls, PMQ boasts galleries, designers, eateries and boutiques, many of which you will not see elsewhere.
Explore the corridors, and you may find a pop-up bookshop or a jeweller specializing in products created on site by a 3-D printer.
Spot vintage curios at Museum Context, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a macaron from Phoenix Sweets. If you tire of browsing art inside PMQ’s galleries, the outdoor courtyard hosts a rotating series of exhibitions.
Visit Pak Sing Ancestral Hall
Pak Sing Ancestral Hall, also known as Kwong Fuk Ancestral Hall, is worth visiting not just for its Instagrammable qualities, but also for the insight it provides into the lives of early Hong Kong settlers. When mainland Chinese who had come to Hong Kong in search of better lives died here, tradition had it that they should be buried in their home towns in China.
This temple was built in the 1850s to house the bodies of those awaiting repatriation. It also served as a public memorial hall for families who could not afford to send their departed home. Thousands of the memorial tablets made for these families can still be seen behind the altar.
Browse Treasures at Liang Yi Museum
Five minutes’ walk west from PMQ will take you to one of Hong Kong’s few private museums and arguably the best. Showcasing the personal collection of a local tycoon, this museum is home to priceless antiques from China. The entrance is deliberately obscure, hidden among the vintage shops that still reside along the so-called Antique Row, but a visit to the museum is well worth the search.
Enjoy a moment of calm at Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple is an iconic destination for tourists in Hong Kong, so much so that it even has a cameo appearance in the video game Shenmue II.
Built in 1847, the temple, now an official monument, meaning its architecture and decor must be preserved, comprises three main areas, one area to worship Man Cheong and Mo Tai (the Gods of Literature and War); Lit Shing Kung, for the worship of other Buddhist and Taoist deities; and Kung Sor, which acted as a kind of court to settle disputes between locals before the official judicial system was created. During festivals, the hanging incense coils, clouds of smoke and shards of sunlight combine to create one of the most atmospheric attractions in the city.