North District’s indigenous communities lived here long before the city of Hong Kong emerged. Today, it is still a great place to experience the rural side of Hong Kong. From organic farms to traditional rural cuisines and stunning hikes.
Here are some of our top picks.
For local Hong Kongers this is a famous foodie destination. Kwan Kee is a 40-year-old, family-run shop that serves up some of the freshest, most tender beef ball noodles in the city, handmade daily. The delicious bowl of soup comes with your choice of rice noodles or Hong Kong-style wheat noodles. Make sure to try some of their homemade roasted chilli pepper sauce on top. Cheap and cheerful, there’s usually a line at Kwan Kee, but it moves fast.
Although there is a free shuttle bus running from the nearby MTR Fanling Station, the best way to arrive at this hidden Buddhist temple is on foot, climbing a hill that leads from the Lung Yeuk Tau Trail. Once there, you can enjoy the solitude and quiet of the temple and its grounds, which includes a pond with an old water wheel. Join the temple staff and other visitors for a simple vegetarian lunch upstairs in the canteen. Lunch is a HK$100 donation.
Yes, it is difficult, but, which is part of the Wilson Trail, is one of the most rewarding and scenic hikes you can take in Hong Kong. The name refers to the Eight Immortals of Chinese folklore, and this trail threads up and down across the top of the eight peaks. With the highest summit at 600 metres, you are guaranteed spectacular views of the surrounding country park, and a sense of accomplishment. Start your walk from the mini bus stop at Hok Tau Wai village.
With so many Hakka villages in North District, it is not surprising that one of Hong Kong’s most famous Hakka restaurants is up here in Fanling.serves up exceptional versions of hearty dishes like mui choi kau yuk (slow-braised melt-in-the-mouth pork with pickled vegetables) and delicious oyster pancakes with local oysters from nearby Starling Inlet. This informal and popular restaurant draws a crowd that ranges from locals to well-known politicians and celebrities. Reservations are recommended for dinner.
Bee cultivation is a common activity among the farmers of North District, and Po San Yuen is Hong Kong’s first commercial bee farm, over 90 years old. They produce made-in-Hong Kong artisanal products like honey from local longnan fruit flowers, comb honey, and bee pollen. While you can purchase their wares in Hong Kong supermarkets, it’s a treat (especially for children) to visit and tour the farm in person, to learn more about this traditional Hong Kong practice. Advance booking is needed to arrange the tours, and the farm is closed on Sundays.
During the months of December through to April, the North District is awash in fresh strawberries. Locals in the know head to this valley farm to self-pick these luscious beauties. At Rainbow, you’ll be handed a basket and a pair of scissors, and you’re off — then pay by the weight when you are done. Out of season, you can also pick peanuts, cherry tomatoes and corn on Sundays. A great day trip for families, a visit to Rainbow also makes a pleasant finish to a day of hiking.
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