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Time In: The best things to do while social distancing

A roundup of the best things to do (while keeping safe) in Hong Kong

Hong Kong skyline
Photograph: Shutterstock

Staying in and working from home is becoming the world's new normal until the current outbreak is contained. In our city, the tension and panic have eased up, but many people are still spending more time indoors. 

If you're staying in or looking for things to do while social distancing, we've rounded up some recommendations for virtual workshops, home exercises, movies to watch, live streams, delivery options, and even what hand sanitizers and masks to buy to keep the virus at bay.   

RECOMMENDED: Stay up to date with the latest travel guidance and developments from Hong Kong. 

Virtual workshops and online classes

Best home workouts and fitness programs to follow online
Sport and fitness

Best home workouts and fitness programs to follow online

Sticking to a regular exercise regime has become a much harder task without the physical space. Even so, we have to understand that these are some interesting times we live in. Maintaining healthy habits and a fitness routine in any way possible is more important than ever, especially for staying sane while staying in. There are a handful of fitness studios in Hong Kong that are adjusting and continuing to offer — from a distance — community and guidance, encouraging daily movement and helping people stay healthy. Here are our top five Hong Kong-based home workout programmes to suit every age and interest that you can follow remotely right now and in-studio when they reopen! While we're not sure how long this will go on for, we also know that this isn't forever. As we near the end of the city's second week of gym closures, we encourage you to show support and love for local businesses in whatever way you can, these guys are the heart and soul of our communities.RECOMMENDED: Wanna get out while keeping your distance? Check out these Hong Kong jogging spots.

The best online dance classes in Hong Kong
Dance

The best online dance classes in Hong Kong

Since fitness centres and dance studios are not allowed to open, for now, it looks like living-room choreography will be the hottest trend of the moment. From hip hop, belly dance, Zumba, to ballet, take these online dance classes and learn choreography from the best dance instructors in Hong Kong. RECOMMENDED: Feet aren’t made for dancing? Try these online fitness classes instead

25 best online classes you can take for free
Things to do

25 best online classes you can take for free

Are you just about done watching all the K-dramas on Netflix and ready to do something more productive with your time? Instead of stressing about when you can finally go out to eat and have a drink at your favourite bar, why not divert your energy to something you can actually use in the future. Use the extra time you have now to learn something new, gain a few skills, and take your mind off of all the stressful things happening outside of the house.  We've rounded up online classes you can take today. Whether you like to learn a foreign language, practice to become the next culinary gem, the next wine connoisseur, master of photography, fashion, and design, or just impress your boss, or simply learn how to manage your stress – we've got it all for you. We also included some learning tool recommendations for moms with kids currently stuck at home. Read on to get you started, most of the classes are free, so you don't have to spend a dollar, but the full courses with certifications allows a 7-10-day free trial enough for you to learn the basics. RECOMMENDED: Just want to chill while at home? Check out these recommendations.

Things to do to keep you sane

How to stay sane at home (according to Hong Kongers)
Things to do

How to stay sane at home (according to Hong Kongers)

"How did that crack on the ceiling get there?", "Has this chair always been so squeaky?", "That patch of mould definitely did not just grow overnight..." – all these random questions and thoughts may start popping into your head as cabin fever kicks in. But fear not! As we're here to help. Well, you guys are. We took to Instagram and asked all you beautiful people out there what kind of things you're doing to stay (relatively) sane at home, here are the results: RECOMMENDED: Working from home? Here are some top tips on how you can stay productive throughout the day.

How Hongkongers are keeping love alive during these tough times
Sex and dating

How Hongkongers are keeping love alive during these tough times

Across the globe, city life has drastically changed, causing disruptions in couples’ relationships and challenges for singles who are currently dating. In Hong Kong, the city is not in complete lockdown, but people have not been going out as often because of the social distancing restrictions, and fear of the current outbreak in the city. Most couples spend time cooped up in their tiny Hong Kong apartments, weddings have been postponed, and singles are not going out for dates.  We have spoken to Hongkongers about the state of their love life and interviewed psychologist and relationship counsellor Astrid Merkt to shed light on how people can cope with the current challenging situation in the city. Whether you're single or in a relationship, read on to get some insights on how to keep your love life alive. RECOMMENDED: If you're looking forward to that romantic date once everything goes back to normal, read about the best things to do on a first date and plan to take your other half on these romantic places in Hong Kong

What Time Out Hong Kong editors are looking forward to when everything goes back to normal
News

What Time Out Hong Kong editors are looking forward to when everything goes back to normal

While processing social changes and accepting that for the time being, staying in, working from home, and not being able to socialise outside is our new normal, we can't help but daydream about the things we are excited to do once everything goes back to regular programming. Looking forward to the future with a positive outlook helps keep us all sane. Check out the things that Time Out Hong Kong editors are missing and are excited to do once everything blows over.   Tatum Ancheta, Editor-in-Chief "These challenging times made me think about the mundane experiences I always took for granted – like walking my pomeranian outdoors, going to the market, eating with my friends and family, not wearing a mask outside, or just being able to walk on the sidewalk and not be paranoid if someone will sneeze in my direction! I live alone, so I sorely miss socialising with people. When things finally go back to normal, I'm excited to meet up with friends and drink at Hong Kong's neighbourhood bars and discover new places to get the best tipple in town. I will book all the wine tasting and mixology sessions in the city! And to burn off all the alcohol, I will join hiking groups and trek the highest peaks and longest trails that outdoor HK has to offer. I can't wait to shop in the malls and actually try clothes on before buying. And finally, as soon as it's safe to travel, I will book a vacation outside of the city and visit my family and spend time with my partner as I have not seen them sin

Time Out Hong Kong editors share what's keeping them sane while staying in
News

Time Out Hong Kong editors share what's keeping them sane while staying in

For now, social distancing and working from home has become our new normal. Like you, we are looking for ways to keep our heads straight and not go berserk during these challenging times. Here's what our editors are doing to help us stay calm, sane, and collected while we wait for the pandemic to be over.  Tatum Ancheta, Editor-in-chief, Hong Kong   In Hong Kong, it is already our second time to work from home since the outbreak started in February. So, based on our first experience, we created these useful tips on how you can stay productive (and sane) while working from home. Now that the government implemented stricter regulations and advised everyone to work from home again, this time we have accepted that for the time being, it is our new normal. Hong Kong dwellings are a bit smaller than in other cities so it can get a little cray cray cooped up in a tight apartment. Stretching is very important and adding home exercises in the morning keeps me energized. I also stay connected with my family and friends around the globe through video calls. We would have our e-cocktail nights and have a few laughs while online to keep our social lives. I actually feel more connected with so many people now; we spend more time reaching out to each other compared to before. Cooking also relaxes me; these grocery delivery services in Hong Kong are very helpful in keeping my pantry well-stocked. I also stopped watching the graph on coronavirus Worldometer every hour as I realize it will giv

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Food and other deliveries in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's best delivery services
Things to do

Hong Kong's best delivery services

Whether you need some delicious food, coffee, bubble tea, groceries, alcohol or cocktails, books, or some lush plants to beautify your homes, these delivery services are riding to your rescue.

Make these recipes at home

Drink This: Cocktail recipes to make at home
Bars and pubs

Drink This: Cocktail recipes to make at home

We've asked our readers what's their favourite cocktails are so we can teach them how to make it at home. They asked for G&T, old fashioned, whisky sour, Bees Knees, Moscow Mule, and Dirty Martini recipes.  Now, get your hands dirty and get crackin' on these drinks.  Tips: If you have no bar tools at home, you can easily use readily available tools from your kitchen.    Bar spoon = regular spoonShaker = use your metal water tumblers Strainer = get your mom's kitchen strainer, it will doMixing glass = any glass or jars will do   RECOMMENDED: Need supplies? Check out these liquor delivery services. Click here to know how you can help Hong Kong's bar industry during the pandemic

Ask the expert: sweet peas and razor clams recipe by chef Ferran Tadeo
Things to do

Ask the expert: sweet peas and razor clams recipe by chef Ferran Tadeo

Recreate the delicious recipe of sweet peas and razor clams by La Rambla's Executive Chef Ferran Tadeo as demonstrated during Time Out Hong Kong's Ask the expert series.  How to make sweet peas and razor clams (serves two people)   Photograph: Tatum Ancheta Ingredients: 2/3 cup sweet peas5/8 cup shallots1 cup diced carrots1 clove chopped garlic1.5 tbsp Sherry vinegar6 razor clams (may be replaced with clams, prawn, squid, pork, or chicken) 1/2 cup fish stock2 tablespoons butterchopped chives for garnish 1/2 cup olive oilsaltblack pepper Directions: 1. Leave the razor clams in salted water overnight. (Not applicable if using prawn, squid, pork or chicken)2. Cut all the vegetables.3. Heat the pan and start to cook the garlic in low heat. When the garlic changes in colour, add the shallots and the carrots. Wait until it's cooked, then add the vinegar and reduce until evaporated. Turn off the heat and set aside the dish for later use.4. Take out the razor clams from the water and cook in a pan until they fully open. Optional: You may add some white wine for extra flavour5. Once the razor clams are cooked, take out the meat from the shell and set aside. 6. Turn on the heat and sauté the vegetables in the pot together with the sweet peas. Sauté for one minute and add the fish stock.7. Wait for the mixture to boil then turn off the heat and add the butter.8. Move the pot until the butter is fully melted. Season the dish with salt and pepper. Add in the razor clams.9. Plate t

5 quirky viral recipes you should try at home
Restaurants

5 quirky viral recipes you should try at home

From viral TikTok challenges to toilet paper cakes, people can get really creative when they're stuck at home. If you don't have the patience or upper arm strength to whip up your own Dalgona coffee (are people still doing that?), perhaps these bizarre recipes would interest you instead.  RECOMMENDED: Get serious with cooking with the help of these online cooking channels in Hong Kong.

Drink This: Classic cocktail recipes to make at home
Bars and pubs

Drink This: Classic cocktail recipes to make at home

With bars closing for two weeks, we will miss our go-to cocktails from our favourite bars in the city. While we wait, for now, turn to your kitchens to whip up some drinks to quench your thirst. Click here for the first round-up of cocktail recipes requested by our readers, or stock up with supplies from these liquor delivery services. RECOMMENDED: Now that some bars and restaurants are temporary closing, find out how you can support your favourite bar or restaurant during these challenging times.  Tips: If you have no bar tools at home, you can easily use readily available tools from your kitchen.  Bar spoon = regular spoonShaker = use your metal water tumblers Strainer = get your mom's kitchen strainer, it will doMixing glass = any glass or jars will do  

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Watch these online

New shows and movies to watch on Netflix Hong Kong this May
Film

New shows and movies to watch on Netflix Hong Kong this May

Oh yes, we're back again with another month of great Netflix roundup. This month, expect award-winning writers and producers with their own Netflix Originals, as well as the arrival of some of Hollywood's biggest stars to the platform. So, grab the popcorn, settle down on the couch, and let's run through some of the best new shows and movies to watch on Netflix Hong Kong this month. RECOMMENDED: More into local shows? Check out these 16 best Hong Kong TV dramas of all time.

5 most iconic movies starring Hong Kong music legend Leslie Cheung
Film

5 most iconic movies starring Hong Kong music legend Leslie Cheung

April 1. Many of you may know this day as April Fools Day, but to Hongkongers, this day also marks the anniversary of one of our city’s greatest music legend Leslie Cheung’s death. It’s been 17 years since the singer slash actor passed away, and to pay homage to ‘Gor Gor’ (a loveable nickname Leslie Cheung is often referred to), here are five of the most iconic films he has played in over the years. RECOMMENDED: More of a bookworm? These 11 best books set in Hong Kong ought to get you going.

Best YouTube cooking channels for budding chefs in Hong Kong
Things to do

Best YouTube cooking channels for budding chefs in Hong Kong

We’re all living in stressful times right now, but thank god we have the internet. From streaming the latest shows and movies on Netflix to oddly satisfying ASMR videos, you can easily wallow away an afternoon at home with all sorts of online entertainment. That being said, where do we begin? Well, we're all about online cooking channels these days. Pancakes, fried chicken, noodles, bubble tea, sushi, or even dragon's beard candy – whatever you're craving, there's a video out there teaching you how to do it. Can't wait to get started? Check out some of our favourite YouTube channels for inspiration. RECOMMENDED: Stock up on all the ingredients you'll need with the help of these grocery delivery sites in Hong Kong.  

Hong Kong art galleries offering virtual tours and online viewing rooms
Art

Hong Kong art galleries offering virtual tours and online viewing rooms

Like many establishments in our city, Hong Kong's art galleries have been hit hard due to the ongoing pandemic. Many shows have cancelled, postponed, and galleries have temporarily closed or have limited their on-ground visits to private viewing only. Some local galleries have turned online to deliver the viewing experience straight to your home.   RECOMMENDED: Read about five burgeoning artists to watch in Hong Kong 

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Stay fit and healthy

Everything you need to know about Hong Kong-made face masks
Shopping

Everything you need to know about Hong Kong-made face masks

We hate to sound repetitive, but with COVID-19 continuing to take its toll on our city, surgical masks are still highly-sought after items these days. Luckily, Hongkongers are a truly innovative bunch. Taking matters into our own hands, Hong Kong now has a handful of manufacturers and start-ups who recently began mass production of face masks. We're no experts when it comes to mask-making, but we want to do every bit we can to help. Who, what, where, and how – here's everything you need to know about these Hong Kong-made masks.  RECOMMENDED: Check this page if you want to see a review on some Japanese-made masks. Or if you’re staying indoors? These binge-worthy Korean dramas will keep you happily entertained.  Before we start, here are some lingo you need to know: BFE - Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 3 microns upwards)PFE - Particulate Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 0.1 microns upwards)VFE - Viral Filtration Efficiency (can filter particles from 0.1 to 5 microns upwards)ASTM - An ASTM standardised face mask can be categorised as level one (low protection), level two (medium protection), and level three (high protection).

Six killer workouts you can do at home
Sport and fitness

Six killer workouts you can do at home

Staying at home may reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus, but it also means that we're not getting the proper fresh air and exercises that we need to stay fit. Luckily, we enlisted the help of Stephanie Cuvelier, owner and fitness trainer of Calibrate Studios, who shares with us six easy and efficient workouts that you can do without leaving the comforts of your own home.RECOMMENDED: Don’t want to be stuck at home? Why not hit one of Hong Kong’s best hiking tails instead? 

5 hand sanitisers you can actually buy in Hong Kong
Shopping

5 hand sanitisers you can actually buy in Hong Kong

Running low on hand sanitisers? Don't have time to wait in line for a bottle of bacteria-killing potion? Worry not, because there is a handful of alternatives you can turn to. While some of these may be slightly on the pricier side, they are a perfect alternative to your usual hand sanitisers that tend to have an overpowering alcohol smell and leave your hands feeling dry like sandpaper. So, without further ado, here are our top five favs. RECOMMENDED: Hand sanitisers really damage your hands if you don't take care of them properly, here are 5 hand creams you need to keep your hands feeling silky smooth all day, every day.

The best cold-pressed juices in Hong Kong
Health and beauty

The best cold-pressed juices in Hong Kong

Juicing has been central to the diets of fitness fanatics and A-listers for years. Queen Bey opts for a lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper concoction, while Gwyneth Paltrow owes her near zero percent body fat to green juices. But which cold-pressed blends are the stars of our local market? We select five of the best.  RECOMMENDED: For more immune-boosting drinks, check out our list of Chinese herbal tea spots in Hong Kong

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Looking for ways to give back to the city?

How we can help Hong Kong's restaurant industry during these trying times
Restaurants

How we can help Hong Kong's restaurant industry during these trying times

It’s the most difficult time that many of our city’s restaurants have ever experienced, as the continued spread of the coronavirus means that tourist numbers are down to unprecedented lows, and those who live in the city are less inclined to eat out. The government introduced a new social distancing measure last Sunday at midnight that requires all restaurants to halve their capacity and separate groups of customers by at least 1.5 metres. While this is undoubtedly a responsible mandate in light of the current situation, it adds further obstacles to eateries trying to weather the COVID-19 storm. With this being said, it is now more important than ever to show support for our friends in the restaurant industry. Here are some important ways we can all do our bit to preserve the food scene we love so dearly.   RECOMMENDED: While we're on the subject of support, here's how we can do our bit for Hong Kong's bar scene, too.

How you can help Hong Kong's bar industry while social distancing during coronavirus
Bars and pubs

How you can help Hong Kong's bar industry while social distancing during coronavirus

Tightening government restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 are making people go out less and less. On April 2, the government ordered all of Hong Kong's bars, pubs, and clubs to close their doors from April 3 and extended it until April 23. With this recent development, Hong Kong's bar scene will suffer significant losses, and some may not survive or come out of it the same way as before. So, while everyone needs to follow social distancing and be responsible for their movements, it is also essential that we do everything we can to support our favourite local bars so that they too can survive these challenging times.   RECOMMENDED: Looking for spirits, wines, and beers on the go? These delivery services are riding to your rescue

6 Hong Kong charities and nonprofits that we can support
Things to do

6 Hong Kong charities and nonprofits that we can support

In the past months, face masks and hand sanitisers have become increasingly important as the spread of COVID-19 continues in our city. In trying times like these, it’s more important than ever for us to lend a helping hand to the most vulnerable in our society. Here are the efforts of some of the many organisations who are giving their all to help those in need right now. There are also opportunities to join forces with these charities too, should you be looking for a way to help. RECOMMENDED: Looking for more ways to give back to the city? Volunteer your time with these organisations, or check out our tips to sustainable living in Hong Kong.

11 places to donate clothes, books and food in Hong Kong
Things to do

11 places to donate clothes, books and food in Hong Kong

Whether you’re looking to de-clutter with the arrival of a new year, doing a bit of spring cleaning before Chinese New Year, or even moving homes, we often find ourselves faced with a mountain of unwanted junk at the end of a cleanup. So how to get rid of these goods without adding to the landfills? By donating to those in need, of course. There are many worthy charities and non-profit organisations in Hong Kong such as St James’ Settlement and Food Angel that can help redistribute unwanted goods to street sleepers and low-income families. Secondhand bookstores and shopping platforms can also collect and re-sell without wasting resources. If you’re planning to clear out your wardrobes and cupboards, here are the 11 best places and websites in Hong Kong to donate to.  RECOMMENDED: Done away with all the old stuff and in need of some new home décor? Pay a visit to some of Hong Kong’s best furniture and homeware shops and independent stores. 

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We're leaving this here, just in case you get cabin fever

10 best hidden upstairs cafes and coffee shops in Hong Kong
Restaurants

10 best hidden upstairs cafes and coffee shops in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an expensive city to live in, which means that for cafés and coffee shops in the city, they often have to take things to a new height – literally. Tucked away above ground and away from crowded streets, upstairs cafes provide sanctuary for city dwellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle. From trendy spots that offer seriously Instagrammable dishes and décor to joints like that double up as vintage stores, here are some of the best upstairs cafes our city has to offer.  RECOMMENDED: Prefer a home-cooked meal instead? Then check out these online grocery services in Hong Kong.

The best restaurants to eat at alone
Restaurants

The best restaurants to eat at alone

Got stood up on a dinner date? Can't bear to see another couple making out at the table next to you? Dining solo can feel awkward at times, but worry no more! There are plenty of restaurants in Hong Kong that offer great options for solo diners. From a pasta tasting menu to an all-you-can-eat meal, these are the best places in Hong Kong to eat and chill by yourself. RECOMMENDED: If dining alone has you down, go feel part of the pack in busy neighbourhoods like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui.

The best hidden terrace dining spots in Hong Kong
Restaurants

The best hidden terrace dining spots in Hong Kong

We all love terrace dining, whether it be tucking into some good grub with a side of sunshine, or feeling a breeze through our hair as we sip on our favourite cup of coffee. There are various cool, quirky terrace areas around our city that are perfect for a short escape from the bustle of the streets below. As the COVID-19 virus continues to leave its mark on our day-to-day lives, eating and drinking in an unenclosed space away from droves of people might be a safer choice as well as a more pleasurable one! Here are some of our favourite hidden terrace areas. RECOMMENDED: Want to get away from it all? Check out our list of the best cycling routes in Hong Kong.

The best places in Hong Kong for fresh air
Things to do

The best places in Hong Kong for fresh air

Whether it's to get away from the virus or to escape the urban jungle, sometimes, you just need to catch a breath of fresh air. Luckily, there are plenty of places where you can do that in Hong Kong. Don’t believe us? Let us show you where. By Olivia MaitreRECOMMENDED: Too far of a journey? Head to these urban green spaces in Hong Kong instead.

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