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Diving Adventures Ltd.
Photograph: Courtesy Diving Adventures Ltd.

Unexpected things that you can do in Hong Kong

Fireflies? Paragliding? Skiing? Surprise yourself with some unexpected things that you can do in Hong Kong.

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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After a year of being stuck in the city, we are all definitely looking forward to that epic post-pandemic adventures abroad. While we wait to travel again, here's a roundup of some of the most unexpected things you can do in Hong Kong to escape the norm for a few hours. If you've already visited Hong Kong's picturesque beachesepic hiking trails, and have conquered most of the adrenaline-pumping activities in the city, these activities are perfect for your next adventure. By Hoi Man Yau

RECOMMENDED: Looking for exciting new trails to hike in the city? Check out this roundup of alternative hikes to try in Hong Kong. 

Unexpected things you can do in Hong Kong

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Get ready to feel the adrenaline rush at Hong Kong’s first e-sports stadium. AME E-Sports Stadium recently opened in the city offering five main e-sports facilities, including skiing, where you can experience being part of the US national skiing team; boxing with smart punching bags loaded with sensors; rowing across Victoria Harbour; horse racing, and cycling that mimics the famous Lung Wo Road cycling competition route. All of them are AME self-developed games incorporating VR multiplayer systems and professional sports simulators. 

Get your squad together and have the chance to play championship matches and win major spending discounts at the stadium.

Do some paragliding

Most Hongkongers have hiked the picturesque trail of Dragon’s Back, but perhaps not so many have taken flight from this famous spot. Soar through the skies and wave at hikers before gently gliding down to a soft landing. Regulations and limitations are constantly changing surrounding paragliding, so we recommend doing extensive research before trying it out. The Civil Aviation Department advises hobbyists to stay in the eight most popular areas for paragliding to avoid unwanted intrusions in Hong Kong’s crowded airspace. 

You can book a paragliding experience with Ascendia Sports.

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Go firefly spotting

Many have seen these critters on TV, but few Hongkongers have had the chance to see them with their own eyes. Surprisingly, many of these luminous creatures inhabit Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful natural sanctuaries. The best time to try and spot fireflies starts at around 7pm during the summer months. You can find them near the creek, particularly in the bushes as you walk along the bank. While you are there, keep an eye out also for barking deer, turtles, and even porcupines. During winter, you will  spot owls perching on branches and a plethora of colourful butterflies.

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Go wreck diving
Photograph: Courtesy Diving Adventure Ltd.

Go wreck diving

Hong Kong has its fair share of sunken boats – and even cars – the fate of which is sometimes shrouded in mystique and unsavoury rumours. Experienced divers can travel to Yin Tsz Ngam, famous amongst divers for the ruins of a sunken cargo ship dating back to the 60s. Though the ship has suffered the ills of erosion, the cement packages it once held remain largely intact, and some have become artificial reefs that host an abundance of aquatic life.

Alternatively, travel to Bluff Island, a diving spot where you can find a sunken car – said to have been purposely sunk by evidence-destroying smugglers – along with a magnificent coral reef teeming with aquatic critters.

You can book a wreck diving experience through companies like Diving Adventure.

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Get toasty around a campfire
Photograph: Unsplash/Chuttersnap

Get toasty around a campfire

We’ve all indulged in many a cliché movie where the protagonists huddle around a campfire and tell ghost stories, sing cheesy songs, or pour their hearts out to their fellow campers under the stars. Whether you are hoping for an intimate moment or just looking to roast a few marshmallows, one thing is for sure, a campfire is quintessential to any camping experience, and you can do all this right here in Hong Kong. There are many beautiful campsites in Hong Kong, but we recommend the Wan Tsai West Campsite, as its location by the sea affords campers a pleasant view of the sea by day, and the gentle sound of the oceanic currents by night. It's also easily accessible via a relatively gentle trail that even children won't have a problem traversing – just in case you want a family singalong.

Snap a picture of the Milky Way
Photograph: Shutterstock

Snap a picture of the Milky Way

Most of us city dwellers only ever see one or two stray stars on a clear night – and a dazzling, starry sky is definitely not what comes to Hongkongers' minds when we think about the view after dark. Though Hong Kong’s most famous night view is of its illuminated skyline, travelling to the more sparsely populated regions of the city can be incredibly rewarding for stargazers. Armed with a proper camera, you can snap your very own picture of the Milky Way right here in Hong Kong. Who’d have thought?

We recommend Cape D’Aguilar as a fairly accessible stargazing spot. Try to visit in the summer as it is the prime season for taking pictures of the Milky Way. Before you go, check the weather conditions to see whether the night will be suitable for stargazing; otherwise, your journey might end up being for nought.

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Experience virtual reality
Photograph: Courtesy Sandbox VR

Experience virtual reality

If you don’t feel like shelling out on your own personal VR headset, there are options in the city which allow you to have virtual reality fun with your buddies without breaking the bank. Whether you are looking to cooperate with your party to quell the next zombie apocalypse, smoke some errant aliens, or put wiley pirates to the better end of your musket, you can live out your fantasies in an immersive virtual experience for a reasonable price at VR spots around Hong Kong including Sandbox VR in TST and VR Arena in Causeway Bay.

More fun things to do in the city

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