Hong Kong Buzz List: Lin Min-chen’s choice of authentic local experiences
If you ask actress and pop star Lin Min-chen what Hong Kong means to her, chances are she’ll tell you it’s much more than her favourite shopping spots, iconic viewpoints or her go-to local joint for egg tarts and milk tea. For the Malaysian entertainer, Hong Kong has become a home away from home, a city where she’s found success and carved a new pathway for herself.
Lin has plenty of insight to offer when it comes to exploring the city like a local. The actress, who found a large following in Hong Kong thanks to her role in the 2022 film Table for Six, counts popular hotspots like Goldfish Street and Temple Street Night Market among some of her favourite places in the city ― many of which are actually recommended by locals to visitors. Here, she shares her pick of places and experiences that showcase the most authentic side of Hong Kong.
Sample cha chaan teng delights
No culinary journey to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to a cha chaan teng (or ‘tea restaurant’). It’s also a must for Lin, as these local joints serve up her favourite nostalgic treats, such as egg tarts with flaky pastry and rich milk tea, both topping the list of Foodie Pleasures of the ‘Most-liked Hong Kong Experiences’.
The satay beef noodles and French toast are also not to be missed.
One cha chaan teng with a menu full of local delights and a retro vibe is Cafe Match Box, along Causeway Bay’s Fashion Walk Food Street. The colourful tiled walls and vinyl booth seats set the scene to transport diners to the 1980s ― don’t forget to snap that perfect photo for Instagram in one of the minibus booths!
Hunt for fresh seafood at the Ap Lei Chau Market and Cooked Food Centre
For the true foodie who isn’t afraid to get up close and personal when hunting down an authentic dining experience, Lin suggests hitting up Ap Lei Chau Market and Cooked Food Centre.
The seafood here can be bought and cooked on the spot, so fresh and full of flavour.
Be it a live whole fish steamed to perfection or the Malaysian pop star’s personal favourite, lobster with e-fu noodles, diners can request the food stalls to prepare fresh seafood in a myriad of ways.
Capture the moment on Goldfish Street
If an Instagrammable moment is what you’re after, do like Lin does and head to one of the most unique markets in the city ― Goldfish Street. Located along an entire block in Kowloon’s Mongkok, Goldfish Street has a concentration of, you guessed it, shops selling goldfish. Despite what the name suggests, visitors will also catch glimpses of other pets like turtles and reptiles.
Goldfish Street was also voted as one of the top five City Checkpoints of the ‘Most-liked Hong Kong Experiences’, and an excellent locale for an inside look at how locals work and shop on the day-to-day.
Sing your heart out at Canton Singing House
Be it Chinese opera or 1990s hits from the ‘Four Heavenly Kings’ of Cantopop, if you want to test your chops or simply enjoy a unique musical performance with a drink, head to Canton Singing House for an unforgettable evening that’s sure to beat any ordinary karaoke experience. Like Lin Min-chen, don’t be afraid to challenge the house band to play just about any Cantopop tune you can think of ― chances are, they’re well-versed in music of all genres and eras.
Take a walk down Temple Street
Lined with neon signs and vibrant street stalls, it’ll feel like you’re walking down a film set when you take a stroll down Temple Street. Lin, too, likens a visit to the famous shopping street in Yau Ma Tei to being transported onto the silver screens.
Also among the top five City Checkpoints, Temple Street represents a part of the city that’s a little rough and raw around the edges but wholly authentic.
The cinematic neon lights here, together with the traditional stalls, make for a different side of Hong Kong that’s not often seen.
Enjoy the harbour view from the Hong Kong Observation Wheel
There are a few spots around the city you can hit up for that million-dollar Victoria Harbour view. It’s equally stunning from either the Hong Kong Island or Kowloon side. Catch the famous ‘A Symphony of Lights’ multimedia light show or one of the emblematic wooden junks sailing along the harbour; Lin, however, favours the additional element of fun when taking in the skyline from the Observation Wheel just outside the IFC on the island side.
“After getting off the ferry [from Tsim Sha Tsui], you’ll see this giant Observation Wheel,” she says. Having been on the Ferris at least four times, the breathtaking views never cease to captivate her. “It’s so beautiful every time I look at it,” she savours.
In fact, she believes it is one of the most iconic facets of the city. “This view is worth every penny. This is the most moving side of Hong Kong."
Information in this article is subject to change without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.