Wong Tai Sin may be named after the god and the temple, but it is so much more than that. Amongst various other serene temples around the district, are traditional delicacies, hidden artisanal experiences, and local city-parks.
Here are some of our top picks.
If you think vegetarian cuisine is a new-age thing, think again — meat-free diets have been a staple of Buddhist practice for centuries. For a delicious vegetarian meal with a side order of tranquillity, head to, the Buddhist restaurant nestled behind the Silver Strand Waterfall in Nan Lian Garden. Classic Chinese cuisine with a contemporary touch is the order of the day, with seasonal vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and tofu always on the menu. The Zen-like atmosphere somehow makes every bite taste better, and well-priced lunch, dinner and tea sets are available. Reservations are advised, especially on weekends.
In Hong Kong’s ever-changing dining scene, restaurants that stick around for decades become institutions, as is the case with Wing Lai Yuen. This humble family-run diner started life in a squatter housing settlement, and while its location has changed, the classic Sichuan dishes that it’s famous for continue to draw crowds. Although the silky steamed chicken in chilli oil and mapo tofu are favourites, it’s the dan dan noodles, served in a fiery red soup, that are its chief calling card. Ask for the less spicy version if you can’t handle the heat.
CCDC has been a leading light in Hong Kong’s modern dance scene for almost 40 years, with their home in Wong Tai Sin. Its dance centre is home to the Jockey Club Dance Theatre, which regularly features productions showcasing both homegrown talent and international performers. You can catch open rehearsals and meet-the-artist sessions for CCDC productions here too. Got the dancing bug? Sign up for a dance course, with classes in anything from K-Pop and street jazz to contemporary ballet and belly-dancing on offer and for all levels. Check their Facebook Page for information on their one-day workshops from visiting experts as well.
With an explosion in Hong Kong’s coffee scene, it sometimes feels like China’s best-known tipple — tea — has been neglected, a situation thataims to remedy. This charming teahouse hidden away in an industrial building serves up an extensive menu of traditional Chinese brews, including da hong pao, bi lou chun and dragon ball flower tea, consumed from the shop’s own line of teaware. For a twist on tradition, try their range of homemade tea gelatos, they go down a treat on a sweltering summer day.
At 15.8 hectares,is one of the largest public parks in Hong Kong, an urban oasis filled with green space and landscaped gardens ideal for relaxed strolls, as well as a sports centre, swimming pool, skateboarding park, running trail and football pitches. Named after Sir Arthur Morse, the former head of HSBC who did much to revive Hong Kong’s fortunes after World War II, the park is split into four different sections; highlights include the arboretum, and Wong Tai Sin Cultural Garden, which includes a century-old well and tai chi square. The Chinese New Year flower markets are a lovely alternative to the more crowded festivities at Victoria Park.
(Tsz Wan Kok Temple) might not be the best-known temple, but it’s one of the most fascinating. In addition to the familiar statues of Asian celestial beings, you’ll find hallways lined with colourful murals illustrating the Taoist “18 levels of hell” — the stages it is believed your soul passes through after death to atone for your sins during life. You can also join worshippers in getting your fortune told via bamboo sticks (kau cim) or moon blocks (gao bui), alongside burning paper offerings for your ancestors.
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