So, what is there to do in Hong Kong on a rainy day?

So, What is There to Do in Hong Kong on a Rainy Day?
Sheung Wan/Sai Wan/Central edition

By Elizabeth

Now that typhoon season is coming up, the question is – what is there to do in Hong Kong on a rainy day? When there is no junk boat party scheduled and you don’t have to work on the weekends, how can you make the most of your free time? Aside from aimlessly walking around the various malls in Hong Kong or eating your way through the city, we’ve gathered a list of fun things to do in our beloved city…

First stop: SHEUNG WAN/SAI WAN

1. PMQ
Located on No. 5 Aberdeen Street in lovely Soho/Sheung Wan district, PMQ is now a cultural
hub with exciting events scheduled all year round. An upcoming event that might pique your
interest is the annual Green Monday Summer Carnival happening on July 16 to 17. There will be
over 40 booths and various “green” events such as an eco-detergent workshop and clothing drive
that highlight the ways we can help our environment by reducing our carbon footprint and living
sustainably. In PMQ there are also cooking classes held in the building at ABC Cooking Studio
that offers trial classes if you don’t have the time to take on a full cooking course. This is a great
group activity and a nice way to spend an afternoon. If cooking isn’t your thing, just check out
the many stores inside the building that showcase not only HK original artistic pieces, but also
fashionable and functional items you can use in your daily life.

2. Have a drink and/or find a local eatery
One would not have guessed, given the exterior of Ping Pong 129 Gintonería, that it is actually a
spacious and cozy place to share a drink with dear friends and colleagues! Check this place out if
you enjoy gin and a retro urban atmosphere. In the area there is also a recently opened hot spot
Potato Head HK. Potato Head is definitely a place that feels “like home” with a super relaxing
environment. Another activity you can do is to find a local eatery. The western district has
become a lot more gentrified in the recent years. Along with the new MTR line and sky-high rent
prices, it’s really been a struggle to preserve the local culture and heritage of the space that
represents the identity of the district. Keeping this in mind, I propose for each of you to support a
local eatery in your area and just eat there. For Sai Wan, Tak Kee Restaurant offers yummy and
affordable Chiu Chow food that has withstood the test of time.

3. Go swimming
It might be raining, but that doesn’t stop one from taking a dive at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial
Park swimming pool. At a cost of $17 on weekdays and $19 on weekends, the pool offers a large
regular size pool and leisure pool with a pretty cool patio deck overlooking the harbour (though
you might want to save that for when it’s not raining). It’s also a great way to beat the heat!

Second stop: CENTRAL

1. Go for brunch
It’s nice to reset after a long work week with a wholesome brunch. One of my favourites is
Brunch Club on Peel Street. It offers classic brunch selections in a pleasant and friendly
environment. If you’re looking for something a little different, Taku is not your average brunch
place. This restaurant offers a wide range of all you can eat sushi and sashimi with free-flow
sangria…for BRUNCH. Need I say more?

2. Spa
If you’re feeling adventurous, try out an acupuncture massage. Otherwise, a safe bet would be
Halite! Halite is definitely one of the more affordable foot massage places in Hong Kong. The
chain offers a wide selection with outlets all across the city.

3. Sideways Driving Club
Sideways Driving Club is a virtual racing hotspot that mimics real life driving. If you’re like me
and haven’t driven a car in so long and you simply just miss driving, maybe give this place a shot.
Prices range from $300 for one hour during off-peak hours and up (according to the latest
information).

Summer may be coming to an end but it’s never to late to listen to the Sounds of Summer or join our End of Summer Party, a two-junk boat party with live music.  Also don’t forget All That Junk has a monthly newsletter where you can get updates on our events and parties as well as catch up on our articles on Hong Kong life! Sign up here – http://allthatjunkhk.com/all-that-blog-hk/

WORKERS OF CENTRAL! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHANGE!

WORKERS OF CENTRAL! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHANGE! . . . or like $100 . . .

 

By Philip White

Looking for lunch in bustling Central, bewildered by the choices? Still mourning the loss of Mr Bing? No fear! This is the first of many guides to some of the best lunch spots in Central.

1# Passion – 1 Lyndhurst Terrace
If you fancy sandwiches, mayo drenched salad and questionable pizza, look no further. This is a relatively newcomer to the Wellington street lunch scene, sporting an attractive glass fronted exterior that shows off its delectable range of sandwiches and breads, ranging from a wonderfully mustardy roast beef to zingy tandoori chicken, all for around HK$45 which for Central is a steal.

Alongside sandwiches are some great looking pastries and cakes all laid out around a central open kitchen. More confusing however is trying to get the actual food, you have to accost one of the staff somewhere along the side of the kitchen and tell them what you want before going to the till when the first staff member will shout to the one manning the till what you ordered. Passion also does a range of pick your own salads, each more mayo drenched than that last –this isn’t a bad thing, make no mistake, its great if you want to pretend to be healthy. A personal favorite is the tandoori chicken Caesar salad covered in cheese and bacon bits – hey it’s still a salad!

In the evenings they also do various stews and slow cooked dishes arranged attractively in pots, though I have yet to try them. As a side note the sourdough pizza was a tad soggy and probably best avoided but this is an unfortunate blip, so if you need a quick and quality bite to eat for a good price in Central check it out.

#2 – Shake ‘em Buns – 76 Wellington Street, Central

Writing this article is particularly hard for me as I’ve just submitted myself for a three month period of being “healthy” while I’m not sure what that entails, apparently eating burgers is not part of it, and much to my annoyance when living in Central you cannot take two steps without stepping on an artisanal burger of one description or another. As such I have decided to use this time of reflection to finally answer the age old question – which indeed is Hong Kong’s best burger hole?

Firstly starting with one of my favorites. Mocking me gently opposite my office is the ever popular Shake ‘em buns. Inside it feels like a crash between a 1950s American diner and a basement snooker bar. Although it is a little dark inside, the food is definitely worth staying for. The fare is typical deep fried nourishment but in the best sense of the concept. I opted for a classic cheeseburger, cash up front no nonsense. It arrived within a few minutes and gently steamed in front of me. The meat used in the sizable patty is of top quality, being juicy but not I’m going to have to lean over the table or stain my trousers kind of a way. The pickles were delightfully crunchy and the cheese adding a creamy smoothness, all sitting perfectly between a wonderfully soft bun. Aside from this I must also pay complements to the chili cheese fries which will give your heart the most wonderful calorific hug on a cold day. All of this and a drink is well within HK$ 100- 150, that’s only HK$20 more than a Mana wrap! Come on people!

New to Hong Kong: Where to Go in Central/Sheung

New to Hong Kong: Where to Go in Central/Sheung

 

By Lauren Codling

If you are new to Hong Kong, you might feel like you’re stuck on one big ever-spinning wheel. We know it can be very hard to know which way to turn and where to stop to get your breath back, so we have list of staple hot spots in Central and Sheung Wan, two of the best beginner neighborhoods. 

Take a sprinkle of Central and a tablespoon of Sheung Wan, mix it together and what do you get? A combination of hipsters, graffiti and some ace opportunities to dine and drink in style.

We take a look at some of the best places to hang out in one of our favorite districts.

1. 208 Duecento Otto (208 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan)
From its super amazing lunch buffet (all you can eat cheese boards!) to its intricate illustrated interior, 208 will make you feel like you’ve stepped into an Instagram post. Get your filters at the ready.

2. Brickhouse (20 D’Aguilar Street)
Hidden up a darkened side alley, not far from the bright lights of LKF, Brickhouse is ace for a cheeky tequila shot after a hard day at the office.

3. The Globe (Garley Building, 45-53A Graham St, Central)
We dare you to try their gravy and not weep with pure joy. A great place for a Sunday catch-up after a crazy LKF induced weekend.

4. The Spot Bar (11 Staunton Street, Central)
Primarily marketed as a sports bar, The Spot is also notorious for its strong $35 happy hour house cocktails. Beware: you will get drunk.

5. Salon 10 (10 Arbuthnot Road, Central)
Salon 10 is a chic, chilled out drinks venue that transports you straight onto the set of a Wes Anderson movie. We can’t promise that Steve Zissou will be around, but it’s definitely worth a look.

6. Masala (10 Mercer St, Sheung Wan)
A small Indian restaurant located minutes away from the Sheung Wan MTR, Masala is a great find for its authentic food, great value and large portions. The butter chicken, especially, is to die for!

7. Ivan The Kozak (G/F, 46-48 Cochrane Street, Central)
A Russian/Ukrainian themed restaurant, Ivan the Kozak is a hilarious and unique venue that boasts a variety of Eastern European dishes and some of the finest vodka around. Tip: Visit the ice room. You won’t regret it.

8. Little Beer Room (The Bottle Shop) (15 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan)
A must-see for hardcore beer fans, Little Beer Room has 20 craft beers on rotation that means you can have some fun with experimenting. Combined with some ace food and a team of extremely friendly staff who are always keen for a chat, where can you go wrong?

Don’t forget All That Junk has a monthly newsletter where you can get updates on our events and parties as well as catch up on our articles on Hong Kong life! Sign up here – http://allthatjunkhk.com/all-that-blog-hk/

Expat Problems: To Stop Living Expensively in Hong Kong

Expat Problems: To Stop Living Expensively in Hong Kong

 

By Alicia A. Beale

Hong Kong can be an extremely affordable city. Now I’ve heard all the complaints about it being too expensive and a drain on savings but these complaints generally come from the sphere of Midlevels/Central/Sheung Wan so I’m writing this article to offer another perspective.

When I was living in New York City, it was impossible for me to find a meal outside for under $10 USD (roughly $80 HKD) unless that meal came from McDonald’s. Also the affordable eating atmosphere was primarily chain restaurants albeit delicious ones such as Shake Shack and (please come to HK) Chipotle. Rent was ridiculously high for a small bug-infested apartment which was a 45 minute subway ride from Manhattan and where I had to keep pepper spray in my bag for walking home at night. In New York, you don’t really get to choose where you live so much as rental prices dictates to you where you can actually afford to live. Another dictate was on my lifestyle. Any bar with drinks costing more than $10 USD was an anathema. Going to clubs with a door charge was impossible and definitely not because I wasn’t cute enough to get pass the bouncers.

Living in Hong Kong has been dramatically different as I have found much more choice over my finances and spending habits.

You choose where you live

If you don’t choose to live in Sheung Wan or Midlevels, you can cut expenses quickly. With neighborhoods like Kennedy Town and Quarry Bay offering the convenience of a 20-minute ride into Central as well as great restaurants and easy access to casual hiking trails like the Quarry Bay Tree Walk or the trail from Ktown to the Peak. Even Wanchai, with the hottest and most feel good new bars like Ophelia and Thaiwan, still has offerings of two-bedrooms for under $15, 000 a month. Some people can still find a studio walk-up with a rooftop for $10, 000 in Kennedy Town and what you could find on Lantau is a better deal. Places like Mui Wo  or Lamma have a tight knit and low-key community which is great for finding playdates for kids and Lantau has the biggest kid’s playground called the beach where you can let the kids loose while enjoying a chardonnay. In terms of rent, you can find a whole renovated 3 bedroom house with a rooftop on Lantau for $36, 000. You might be the first of  your circle of friends to step out of the bubble around Central but once you burst it, you’ll find others and a larger wallet.

Thank you spacious.hk and my guy from Fortune Reality for the info.

You choose your own adventure

Some of us are indeed quite removed from our backpacking days and most certainly do not want to be that old dude in the hostel so the expense of travel has risen with our more necessary need for comfort. Single guys, I know you’re thinking but not only a decent hotel, I need to take selfies of me in business class to post on Tinder. Yes, yes, there are a few creature comforts that should come with the disposable income of mid-career but still no need for staying at the Le Meridien in Bangkok just for Instagram photos. The cost of the superficial in our lifestyle can be easily cut out. Hong Kong is extremely transient for expats but if you are looking for a long-term solution to saving money here. Make a set of good friends. Good friends will hang out with you even if there is nothing to do. Now end FOMO. Yes, everyone from introverts to extroverts appear to be out from Thursday to Sunday, but just because Bob is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to do it too especially if deep in your heart all you really want to do is be at home flipping through Netflix. Host a dinner party. Have a movie night. Be with people in a space without loud music or menus.

You choose what you eat

Hong Kong has one of the cheapest McDonald’s in the world. Plus now you can build your own Angus burger! What a $100 Butcher’s Club burger that comes with no sides isn’t the only burger to eat in HK? Gourmet burgers have become the in-crowd of fast food recently in the 852 but amongst the higher end places you should find sets such as at Burger Circus and Beef & Liberty. Sets are always the best deal. Never order lunch on the regular menu if you’re looking to save a penny or two. Order from the lunch set to get at least an iced lemon tea with your meal. Not paying an extra $30 – $50 for a drink can make a huge daily difference. Also not ordering any lunch outside is super super cost-cutting. Making your meals at home is the ultimate in making Hong Kong inexpensive. The wet market is dirt cheap and it’s dirty too. Yes, there are pools of blood on the floor but don’t you buy organic so you know where your meat has come from? Well at the wet market you can look your meat directly in the eyes. If it’s fish you’re shopping for, then those eyes will be alive before the end comes and it’s placed in your canvas grocery bag. If you’re vegetarian, the wet market is your buffet. In the Graham Street market, I’m pretty sure I’ve come across 7 different types of tofu. Tofu is so cheap. You can have a pound for $10. Most vegetables are very affordable. One time I bartered heavily over a $20 head of broccoli. Your utter lack of Cantonese keeps you from entering the domain of the most affordable and fresh food in Hong Kong? Just learn “gei do chin a” and point. An elderly person will come from behind the stall and show you prices on a calculator.

Acknowledgment: If you have moved to a predominately Chinese city and do not like Chinese food then your food costs will probably just be high. But try looking at our list of awesome caterers who do Western food. 

Don’t forget All That Junk is presenting A Double Junk Boat Party. We welcome you to join the Good Life. Get tickets at Ticketflap!

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