Entertainment & Nightlife in Hong Kong

Life in Hong Kong moves a thousand miles a minute. The traffic creeps along as you suffer in the tropical, humid heat that sucks every bit of energy out of you. Home is the size of a postage stamp, and there is no place to go and sit in the grass to watch as people walk by. Somehow, though, it is all worth it. If you made a list of the pros and cons of Hong Kong, the pro’s side would out-weigh the con - by a lot. Some of the major factors in that weight difference are the amazing amount of activities in Hong Kong, for both day and night.


Cinema

Because Hong Kong is a former British colony, they had much more freedom than mainland China and Taiwan, so Hong Kong developed into the film making hub of the Chinese world. The film industry there has been thriving since the early 1900s, and in 1949, the business really started to grow. Then came the martial art films of the 1970s, and when the US became interested there was no stopping the Hong Kong film industry. Oh, and do not forget the thriller, Godzilla.

The best cinema for movie goers is probably the AMC Pacific Place. It is a leading stadium-seating cinema that serves food, wine, and drinks while you sit in French leather seats. You can view current movies or the old classics at any of the cinemas around the city. They are everywhere.


Chinese Opera

Every year in February and March, Hong Kong holds an Arts Festival where for three weeks artists from around the world perform. Performances are with orchestras, dance troupes, opera companies and chamber ensembles. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Hong Kong at that time, you can find out more information about getting tickets from the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Out of all these performances, the most popular are the Chinese Operas. With the amazing costumes and elaborate make-up, the acrobatics and swordsmanship, it is easy to understand why it is popular with the people. The opera features clashing cymbals, singers in shrill, high-pitched voices, and loud drums. Unlike the operas in the western nations, Chinese Operas are very informal and loud.


Karaoke

Karaoke has been a big draw for the nightlife in Hong Kong since its inception. On any given night you can walk into a bar or pub and see both natives and tourists sharing their talents (or lack of them). Large groups of rowdy Asian businessmen usually are in private rooms in a bar, singing into the microphone. This is not an inexpensive activity, so be prepared. A couple of favourites of the local crowd are The Neway, and Favorite Bar. Not for any particular reasons, except that the Neway is established so they are familiar and comfortable. Favorite Bar is popular because, well, it is the Favorite Bar.


Shopping

Another activity you could do during a day and at night in Hong Kong is to go shopping. There are many malls or stores that stay open until midnight, clamouring over your credit cards until you allow the card to slip through your hands and into theirs. Many people find it restful and a lot less crowded to shop at night, and it gives them a reason to go out and do something. Night markets are popular in Hong Kong, where you can go to bicker for a great deal on an item. Temple Street Market sells clothing, accessories, pirated goods, and almost anything you could possibly want.


Nightlife

There are three major areas in Hong Kong that have the reputation of being party places: the Central District where the trendy people go, Wan Chai District, which includes the Causeway, and Tsim Sha Tsui District where locals and tourists do not mix.


Restaurants, Bars, Pubs

There are too many great restaurant and bars to mention them all, so we will just look at the most popular ones for tourists and expatriates, and the first one of those is the Nomad Restaurant. It is one of the least expensive places with great Mongolian food and atmosphere. The chairs have sheepskin hanging from them, lampshades are made of rawhide, and animal skins and tribal weaponry are hung on the walls. Could it get any more Mongolian? Another factor that makes this restaurant popular is that you are allowed to pick your own raw ingredients for your main dishes. Kids love it here. You will, too.

The Coyote Bar and Grill is our next pick, and they specialise in Mexican food. Why go to Hong Kong for Mexican food? Although the food is great, it is the atmosphere and the fun and the margaritas that should drive you here. They make a left-handed margaritas that will keep you from ever dropping another drink again.

However, Cantonese-style cuisine is amongst one of the best in the world. You can find street-side vendors selling meatballs on skewers, noodles, and more at any time of the day and night – just perfect for a midnight snack!


Nightclubs/Discos

There is a huge amount of nightclubs in Hong Kong and most of them in the Central District, which is considered the after-hours fun spot on Hong Kong Island. Some will have live music and others will have a DJ spinning some vinyl. You will have to pay a cover charge to get into a few nightclubs, but most of them are walk-in places with no basic charges. Dusk Till Dawn is always full of people and noise from bands belting out the latest hits. Across the street is the legendary Joe Banana’s disco, and if you cross the street again, there is Amazonia. This disco also features bands but they play music more from the 90s then current music. Most discos shut down by 4 am, but a few like the Galaxy come alive at that time and will let you keep partying until mid-morning.


Cruises and Attractions

One of the most beautiful sightseeing tours you can take actually happens at night. The Hong Kong night Cruise and Dinner are an exceptional addition to your activities. The beauty of the harbour lighted up by the city of Hong Kong is breath taking. After your cruise through the harbour, you are taken off the traditional Chinese sightseeing boat for a short walk through Lei Yue Mun Seafood Village and then taken for dinner at the Hoi Tin Garden Restaurant for a 9-course meal.


Symphony of Lights Show

At 8 p.m. every evening, you can experience waterfront buildings coming alive with dancing lights set to music. This is called A Symphony of Lights. It all happens at the beautiful Victoria Harbour, where your best view is in a boat in the harbour. You can choose to go on a dinner cruise to see this 2-hour performance, or do a cruise only. However you see it, you cannot go home until you do.


Other

If you are one of the beautiful people, and do not want to bother with those of us who like to move among the tourists, or eat fish balls in the street with sauce dripping down our face, then Hong Kong has some hotspots just for you. Liberty Private Works is an elite restaurant where you can watch a professional chef prepare a seven-course meal. On the other hand, take a ferry to Kowloon’s Nanhai No, where you will find tea-smoked chicken and pork belly.

For later, after dinner you could enjoy the speakeasy-like Lily & Bloom, for drinks and food, or sit in a leather rocker while a DJ spins tunes at the alfresco bar, Sugar.

Beautiful women people who love to shop can spend their money pretty easily at Forest Bird for fashion and jewellery, and the beautiful men can shop at Moustache for their men’s-wear.


Safety and Security

The Government in Hong Kong states that crime is very low in the city, but pick pocketing and other random street crimes can occur. They warn you to take care of your passport, credit cards, and money when you are in a crowded area and when you are checking in and out of hotels. If you are going to go hiking in Hong Kong’s Country Parks, you should always stick to the marked trails and do not carry credit cards or large amounts of cash.

Many of the locals also say it is safe to go out into the streets of Hong Kong at night, as long as you stay in crowded areas, and Hong Kong’s streets are always crowded, especially at night. So make sure you experience the nightlife while you are in Hong Kong, just do not do anything silly that you would not usually do and your time spent in Hong Kong will be a great one.


Hong Kong, being the perfect host has something for everyone.