Christmas is just around the corner, and Hong Kong is one of the best cities in the region in which to celebrate this special season. With events and activities resuming and life returning to normal in this vibrant city, preparations for Hong Kong’s Christmas and New Year in-person celebrations are in full swing. There are myriad unique shopping, dining and entertainment experiences to be discovered in the festive season.
Christmas Town in the West Kowloon Neighbourhood
The site of the newly opened M+, in West Kowloon is Hong Kong’s new cultural hotspot. This year, it is the centrepiece of the WinterFest celebrations. With dazzling views of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline, this harbour-front park will be transformed into a storybook Christmas Town, with eight wooden lodges for photo-taking dotted around a 20-meter Christmas tree. This year, the towering, six-storey tree has been relocated from Central to West Kowloon for the first time, putting the cultural district under the spotlight.
Hong Kong has an enviable reputation as a shopper’s paradise, and with a burgeoning scene for independent artisans, it’s easier than ever to find stylish, creative and unique gifts, which you can also find online to remind you of your trip.
Decorate Your Tree, Hong Kong Style
A gift company inspired by Hong Kong, The Lion Rock Press began as part of a 120-year-old family business specialising in paper and printing. It offers children’s toys and Christmas decorations using Hong Kong as an inspiration for its quirky, humorous designs. For little ones, there’s a beautiful wooden dim sum set that will deliver many hours of imaginative fun; and for your Christmas tree, you will find beautiful heirloom ornaments inspired by local culture.
Besides this landmark event, there is so much more to do in Hong Kong over the festive period. In fact, now is the perfect time to sample some of Hong Kong’s winter delicacies:
Best Place To Get Claypot Rice
You can’t miss Kwan Kee, an iconic Hong Kong restaurant famed for its claypot rice, thanks to the line of hungry foodies snaking down the street on chilly evenings. This bustling, brightly lit diner serves up steaming bowls of claypot rice cooked on a real charcoal fire, with toppings such as spare ribs and black beans, Chinese sausage and egg, or white eel.
Roasted meat specialty restaurant Chop Chop currently offers eight varieties of claypot rice, including minced beef with egg, chicken with Chinese yam and shiitake mushroom, and minced pork with salted fish and water chestnuts.
A classic Christmas dish, roasted goose is a tantalising delicacy to enjoy with your loved ones. If you love Western-style roasted goose, why not sample the Cantonese version? Yung Kee is one of Hong Kong’s most iconic restaurants, with a history dating back to 1938. After undergoing a significant renovation this year, the interior was transformed, but their signature roasted goose – an item on many foodies’ bucket list – is comfortingly familiar. With a perfect blend of unctuous fat, tender meat and crispy skin, the goose is first smoked and then roasted in a real charcoal oven to retain its signature flavour. It’s served with a tart plum sauce, which perfectly complements the rich dish.
The Drunken Pot
A hotpot restaurant with the feel of a nightclub, The Drunken Pot caters for a younger crowd of hotpot enthusiasts. Known for its dramatic presentation, funky interior and the option of up to five soup bases in one subdivided pot, this fresh, modern hotpot restaurant has reinvented this quintessential Cantonese pastime for a new generation.
Yi Hung Yuen
Located in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, Yi Hung Yuen is an Instagrammer’s dream with its moody bordello vibe punctuated by dramatic neon signs, inspired by the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber.
What about you? What’s is your favourite thing to do during Christmas?