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tin hau temple road garden no. 3
Photograph: Joshua Lin

Explore the city: Travel abroad without leaving Hong Kong

Where we're headed, you won't need your passport.

Tatum Ancheta
Edited by
Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Time Out Hong Kong

Many cities around the world are reopening borders to more international visitors. Yet with flight costs, the probability of flight cancellations, and the mandatory quarantine when you return to the city, travelling is still a luxury for Hongkongers. So, to cure your wanderlust without ever leaving the city, here are places that you can explore to make you still feel like a globetrotter. From a hidden Japanese garden, a colourful village reminiscent of Taiwan's Rainbow Village, and a peaceful nature reserve in the scenic mountains, get ready to explore some under-the-radar places in Hong Kong. 

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Watch this short video for a preview of the city's hidden gems:

RECOMMENDED: Whether you're looking for a short relaxing getaway, a cultural experience, or thrilling adventures in Hong Kong, check out our ultimate guide to planning your next city adventure. 

  • Things to do
  • Tai Po

Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden is a nature conservation centre located on the northern slopes and foothills of Hong Kong's highest mountain Tai Mo Shan. The area covers 148-hectare land with vegetable gardens, greenhouses, terraced fields, and a wildlife sanctuary perfect for day trips with family and friends.  

How to get there: Take the train to Tai Po Market or Tai Wo. Hop on the 64K bus heading towards Yuen Long and alight at the Kadoorie Farm bus stop. The ride will take about 15 minutes.

Things to do: Visit the farm's lush vegetable gardens and orchid greenhouse to learn about organic farming and endangered plants. At the wildlife sanctuary, you’ll get to see rescued wild animals like hawks, owls, deers, and even leopard cats. Other nearby attractions include the Ling Wan Temple. Built during the Ming Dynasty, it is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Hong Kong with over 600 years of history.

Photograph: Luke I VW Vegan Café 

Where to eat and drink: You can get some delicious vegetarian dishes at Kadoorie Farm's Sun Garden Cafe, or head back to Tai Po and grab a seat at VW Vegan Café to sink your teeth into plant-based meals as well as vegan cakes and desserts.  

Tip: Admission tickets are available at Kadoorie Farm's entrance. The best way to explore the area is via a guided bus tour that takes you all the way to the mountaintop, where you'll enjoy lush scenic views of the territory.

  • Property
  • Tsuen Wan

Known as the Hong Kong version of Taiwan’s famous Rainbow Village, Kwong Pan Tin is a quiet neighbourhood located on the foothill of Tai Mo Shan. Residents and volunteers turned the area into a colourful village filled with wall murals and rainbow staircases. Its Instagram-worthy appeal breathes new life into the area. 

Photograph: Joshua Lin I Kwong Pan Tin Mural Village

How to get there: You can take bus 51 at Tsuen Wan Nina Tower Bus Terminus or minibus 80 at Chuen Lung Street and alight at Kwong Pan Tin Tsuen (Section 2), where you'll see the colourful stairs and walls by the village entrance. 

Photograph: Joshua Lin I Kwong Pan Tin Mural Village

Things to do: Once you're done taking a stroll in the area, visit the Western Monastery located in the nearby Lo Wai Tsuen in Tsuen Wan. Here you can spend an afternoon exploring the 200,000sq m Buddhist temple established by the Hong Kong Budhi Siksa Society in 1970. If you intend to return via Discovery Park, drop by the revitalised art hub, The Mills, to see art at the gallery, shop at creative stores, and refuel at different cafes and restaurants.  

Photograph: Courtesy The Mills

Where to eat and drink: When you're at The Mills, satisfy your burger cravings at Honbo or enjoy ice-cold beers from some of the wildest and most notable breweries across the world at Tap The Ale Project

Tip: Don't forget to lather up on sunscreen to stay sun-safe while strolling through the village; a mosquito repellent will also come in handy in case you're prone to mosquito bites.

  • Property
  • North Point

Located just a 10-minutes walk away from the Fortress Hill MTR Station is a quiet Japanese-themed garden at Tin Hau Temple Road Garden No. 3. Its surrounding foliage, complete with a little stone bridge and a small structure resembling a Japanese house with shoji screens, will make anyone who stops by feel like they're in Kyoto. 

How to get there: From Fortress Hill MTR Station, head towards Exit A and walk up to Comfort Terrace on Tin Hau Temple Road. Cross the road once you see the long staircase where the garden is located. 

Photograph: Joshua Lin I Tin Hau Temple Road Garden No. 3 

Things to do: Oil Street Art Space, a former Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club clubhouse turned community art centre, is just a 10-minute walk from the Japanese garden. Visit the Grade II historic building to view the latest contemporary art and architecture exhibitions. 

Where to eat and drink: Refuel with an order of roasted pork belly char siu rice at traditional Cantonese siu mei restaurant Chop Chop. Their specialties are made according to chef Dai Lung's (one of Hong Kong's top Cantonese chefs) long-perfected recipe.  

Photograph: Ann Chiu  I Chop Chop

Tip: If you keep walking towards the waterfront, you'll reach the newly opened East Coast Park Precinct. Enjoy the sea breeze while people-watching or taking pictures of the Instagrammable outdoor views. 

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