Best things to do in Yuen Long
As evidenced by Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck installation from 2013, Hongkongers love rubber ducks. This restaurant, based on B Duck, the popular clothing brand, invites you to chow down on 3D rubber duck-shaped rice dishes, duck face-shaped cheesecake, and the popular local dessert mango pomelo sago. Except this version comes with rubber duck-shaped jelly in a foamy bowl – like a bubble bath, get it?
Hong Kong is home to several organic farms and Go Green Organic Farm (formerly a Hello Kitty-themed institution) doubles up as a family-friendly pineapple-themed park. Promoting the values of going organic, being environmentally-friendly and a low carbon lifestyle, visitors can check out the extensive pineapple farm, attend workshops on how to make fresh jam, pet the farm’s adorable resident goats and even camp overnight. The entrance fee is only $30 but you’ll have to pay extra (approximately $60-$80) for each activity.
After forays around the region including Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Taiwan, Godiva has finally brought its ‘lifestyle café’ to Hong Kong. The first of its kind in our SAR, the café offers a range of coffee and chocolate drinks, desserts, pastries, waffles, fondue sets and other indulgences to ravenous chocoholics.
The 61-hectare wetland reserve and ecotourism park is home to a whole host of rare plants and animals from birds to freshwater fishes. Promoting the importance of wildlife and nature conservation, the Wetland Park is great for bird watchers eager to catch migrations and for families looking to go on an educational day out.
Want a perfect date spot that doesn’t hurt your bank balance? We highly recommend Ha Pak Nai for couples seeking a romantic sunset that doesn’t involve a sweat dripping, mood ruining hike up Lantau’s Sunset Peak. Picture perfect, Ha Pak Nai is a shallow beach in the far northwest New Territories surrounded by mangroves where you can watch the sun go down over the shimmering water.
Long Ping is a massive organic farm in Yuen Long where the freshest and juiciest strawberries and grapes cover a huge 200,000sq ft field. The farm is free to enter but charges $80 for every pound of strawberry you pick. Aside from a solid variety of Japanese strawberries, the farm also plants plenty of grapes. Make sure you go at the right time – strawberry picking season lasts from December to April and grape picking season is between September in January.
How about a quirky staycation for your next long weekend? Forget the Four Seasons, Mingle Farm is where it’s at. Go glamping at Mingle Farm 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 $1,100 per night.
One of Hong Kong’s newest cinemas, this bad boy features eight screens, including a 400-seat iMAX screen, as well special F&B offerings such as Hong Kong’s ‘very first self-service soda machine’, a mixologist developing personalised drinks, wine and craft beer offerings, unique popcorn flavours (with toppings), and hash browns for anyone who missed their McDonald’s breakfast.
Located between the Shan Pui and Kam Tin rivers, the Nam Sang Wai wetlands are home to countless flora and fauna. A green dream, the area is the perfect place for anyone looking to reconnect with nature. There are corridors of eucalyptus trees, spots to watch migrating birds, fields of reeds, otters in the ponds and much more. Bring along homemade food and enjoy a rustic picnic. Rent a bike from the Nam Sang Wai for an incredibly picturesque cycling day trip.
One for the history buffs, this extensive trail winds past 10 significant landmarks and well-preserved heritage sites in the Ping Shan area. Take a journey into the past and see traces of the humble market village via centuries-old ancestral halls, declared monuments and historic temples.
Best restaurants in Yuen Long
Enjoy the best of both worlds at this street food store where you can get fluffy Japanese souffle pancakes from Bove and/or Modos’ sweet and savoury egg waffles. Super soft, bouncy and did we mention, seriously fluffy, Bove’s pancakes come in a variety of flavours including black sesame, earl grey, peach and three cheeses. Meanwhile Modos offers quicker yet no less tasty flavours like Russian borscht, Taiwanese pineapple and spicy meat floss. They’re all within the $25-$35 range.
Solid takeaway sandwiches are the order of the day at Couple and the Bao – let’s just ignore the fact that the name uses some artistic license as the bread in use is toasted ciabatta. With fillings of slow-cooked pork belly, fried pork chop and boneless chicken wings among others, these are some meaty baguettes. Priced at around $50 a piece they’re a decent choice for a lunchtime snack while you explore the ’hood.
Chef’s Stage Kitchen has moved from its original dingy digs in Yuen Long to a new larger space down the road but it continues to deliver great food and service. It’s a decent option for Western fare in an area dominated by traditional Cantonese eateries. The brunch is worth trying, with classics like eggs royale and Benedict lathered in hollandaise sauce. The rest of the menu includes steaks, salads and pasta dishes, all at very reasonable prices.
This unassuming congee shop will cure what ails you. Fat Kee is renowned for its steaming bowls of goodness and signature cheung fun – not to mention queues out the door that attest to its quality. The rice is cooked the proper way and the broth brims with flavour. You can order your congee with chicken, minced beef, pork liver, fish or the usual offal parts like pig’s stomach. The prices are ridiculously low and the portions generous, so it’s hard to go wrong!
Many Hongkongers have memories of making family day trips to Yuen Long back in the day, particularly to hit up Hang Heung and sample its fresh-out-of-the-oven thousand-year egg pastries and wife cakes. With branches now on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon, Hang Heung has become a citywide institution but many swear that the Yuen Long outlet remains a cut above. It certainly offers up a generous portion of heritage and history, as well as homely baked goods.
Homura serves ramen made from authentic broths simmered for an appropriately long time to render them lip-smackingly delicious. The tonkotsu ramen comes with roasted pork belly, pulled noodles and the obligatory soft boiled egg in standard, seafood or spicy miso versions. If you’re after something more special, Homura also offers a truffle-laced version of its broth and a spicy ‘volcano homura’ for those who can handle the fiery eruption. This is one of Yuen Long’s pricier options but you can still grab a meal for under $100.
A local institution, Ho To Tai has been banging out steaming bowls of noodle soup for more than 70 years. The noodles, soups and wontons are all handmade on the premises and are among some of the best in the territory. Its low prices and quality cooking have earned Ho To Tai Bib Gourmand status in the Michelin Guide, especially for its wonton soup with fish skin dumplings and tossed noodles with shrimp roe.
When you think about a good place to grab a hot dog, Yuen Long doesn’t immediately spring to mind, but Hotdog Brothers are changing up the food scene with their signature meaty ’dogs. You can’t go wrong with the Brother’s Signature ($56), which comes with double cheese, bolognese and barbecue sauce. Other options worth trying are the barbecue pulled pork ($48) and the Mega Cheese ($46), melted from four different cheese. Make it a full meal and order up some mozzarella sticks and onion rings.
Another Yuen Long favourite, Kai Kee is best known for its desserts, especially the ‘B Boy’ grass jelly – an eminently Instagrammable large bowl of grass jelly under a mountain of fresh fruit, topped with giant sago pearls. They also serve savoury dishes and the chicken wing tips are popular, too. Expect to queue down the street for access to this famous dessert spot.
Many a noodle shop in Hong Kong claims to serve authentic Guilin rice noodles, but Luk Kee is about as close as you’re going to get to the real deal without hopping across the border. The eatery has its noodles ordered to a special thickness and length to mimic the original which results in a satisfying chewy and bouncy texture. Try their signature fried pork belly noodles, freshly made on the premises. They feature soup-soaked meat, which miraculously remains crispy and piping hot.