Quirky things to do in Hong Kong
With a new Star Wars movie coming out every year (the new trilogy and spin-off), lightsabers are now more popular than ever. Neon-light event space Crossfire Arena offers classes on how to handle a lightsaber, as well as on spinning and dueling techniques. It even does Hiit workout classes with the sabers too. Not a huge SW fan? Crossfire has a whole host of other fun neon-themed games, including bubble soccer, archery tag and dodgeball, that make for memorable party activities and badass photo ops. Starts from $225 per person.
Hongkongers are some of the most stressed people in the world and Ikari Area is the perfect outlet to let go of all your pent-up rage. The folks here encourage people to drop by, grab a bat and smash things up to purge any and all negative emotions. The rooms are filled with old washing machines, fridges and piles of breakable junk that make for a highly satisfying demolition job. Though it doesn’t come cheap – the charge is $300 for 15 minutes and $500 for 30 minutes – it's worth it for the catharsis.
Taking zombie games to a whole level, Tsim Sha Tsui’s Sandbox VR (formerly Glo Station) invites gamers to fight the disease-ridden undead while attempting to escape an abandoned mansion – all in immersive VR. Sandbox claims to be the world’s first ‘hyper-reality’ escape room, where a squad of three to four friends have the entire green room to themselves for an hour to run wild and kick zombie butt. After the game, players can also enjoy viewing footages of themselves shooting at virtual monsters. Expect plenty of screaming. See here for a taste of it. $160 (weekday), $180 (Friday to Sunday).
How about a quirky staycation on your next long weekend? Forget the Four Seasons, Mingle Farm is where it’s at. Go glamping (AKA glamourous camping) in Yuen Long in an aecosphere — a transparent bubble-shaped tent — and fall asleep under the stars. Take it a step further and stay overnight in one of Mingle Farm’s inflatable mushroom tents or rainbow-coloured houses if you’ve a group looking for a wacky sleepover. You’ll go to bed feeling like you’re a Smurf. Aecosphere starts from $800 per night and fantasy-themed tents start from $1,1100 per night.
What every city needs - an indoor fishing shrimp farm. HA Cube is Hong Kong’s first and only indoor venue where people can fish for shrimps, lobsters and all things crustacean, then barbecue your catch straight afterwards. The venue provides everything from fishing rods and bait, all you need to do sit back and wait for your meal to take the bait.
Hong Kong might be hard up for space but there are still several abandoned villages scattered across the city and outlying islands. Possibly the most famous is Ma Wan Ghost Town, where residents were forced to relocate from the once-thriving fishing town in 2011 due to the planned construction of a new luxury apartment complex. The abandoned houses, restaurants and community centres make for an eerie and quiet stroll that you won’t find anywhere else in town. You can get there by bus from Tsing Ma MTR Station or direct boat from Central Ferry Pier 2. Also worth checking out are Mau Wu Shan in Devil’s Peak and the allegedly haunted village of So Lo Pun found within Plover Cove Country Park.
Themed restaurants are not exactly rare in Hong Kong, where pet cafés and a Hello Kitty-themed dim sum are longstanding. But Crazy Car Café is the only place where you can take for a spin crazy carts — an electronic drifting go-kart — after fueling up on Western fusion cuisine and deep-fried snacks. Granted, the food isn't going to claim any Michelin stars, but pop along to this race-car-themed eatery for some exciting drifting, spinning and high-octane racing around the 15,000sq ft venue. It’s just like Mario Kart in real life. $69 for six minutes (approximately one lap) or $400 per person.
Think you can shoot like Katniss Everdeen? Combining dodgeball and archery, Hong Kong Battle Stadium brings Hongkongers an intense new combat sport and a chance to feel what it’s like to be a hunter. Sounds dangerous? Have no fear as all the arrow tips are replaced by foam plastic (like a giant marshmallow tip) The game challenges your dexterity, accuracy and team coordination, and is a perfect alternative for those sick of paintball or laser tag. Taking place at the beautiful open grass area in Yuen Long’s Natural Garden, Hong Kong Battle offers different party packages starting from $3,000 for four hours. So the more people you have, the cheaper it is.
Hongkongers have their pick of the crop when it comes to party rooms. One of the more gimmicky options is Ball Room, which has several branches that have installed everything from a giant pool table using volleyballs to four-way air hockey and a full-sized curling playing area. That’s not all. Ball Room’s latest addition is a large-scale escape room where players are tasked with 20 challenges and riddles before “defusing a bomb” to save up to 30 hostages. Expect adrenaline to be off the charts.
Hoverboards may not the coolest accessory anymore (except for the kind in Back to the Future 2), but Azzita Hoverland has created an ingenious indoor track for people to race around in. Doubling up as a hoverboard retailer and repair centre, Azzita’s 5,000sq ft indoor playground in Kwun Tong allows patrons to zip along a twisting, winding track on electronic balancing boards. Take it a step further and hop on a hover mat, a type of go-kart powered by a hoverboard.