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Hong Kong Reopening Guide: Outdoor Venues

After months of strict social-distancing restrictions, Hong Kong has finally reopened. Restaurants can now trade until midnight, masks don’t have to be worn in country parks, and pools and beaches open just in time for summer. Here’s our roundup of outdoor venues to get you back into the swing of things. Check latest vaccine pass requirements on media and government websites.

West Kowloon Cultural District

Occupying more than 40 hectares of reclaimed land, the West Kowloon Cultural District is the perfect place to count your steps. Admire Hong Kong’s stunning skyline while walking or jogging along the two-kilometre-long harbourfront promenade, or immerse yourself in one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Chinese contemporary art at the new M+ museum. Entry is free, but be sure to register as numbers are capped to minimise crowding.

Violet Hill

Hong Kong has no shortage of fantastic walking and hiking trails, and one of the best is the nearly 5-kilometre hike from Violet Hill to Stanley. The trail starts at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and is easy at first. About half-way through however, come the steep and challenging steps of the infamous Twins. The reward is spectacular views of Stanley after the summit. Plenty of buses go to Stanley from the end of the trail, where you can enjoy an alfresco lunch or sunset drinks.

La Rambla

For a harbour city, Hong Kong Island has few good outdoor venues to enjoy the view. Thankfully, there’s La Rambla, in the IFC mall in Central. Its expansive terrace seats up to 140 guests, and sports terrific views of the Tsim Sha Tsui skyline. The contemporary Catalan cuisine is excellent too, courtesy of executive chef Rafa Gil, who you might have seen on Netflix’s The Final Table.

Cat Street

Fancy a bit of retail but don’t want to be stuck inside a mall? Then head to historic Upper Lascar Row, more affectionately known as Cat Street. Less busy and cramped than Hong Kong’s many other outdoor markets, Cat Street is a treasure trove of Chinese antiques, faux-tiques, bric-a-brac and souvenirs.

Water World

One of Hong Kong’s newest attractions promises a wet and wild adventure for kids and the young at heart alike. Water World at Ocean Park features a range of rides and attractions that includes a giant wave pool, children’s wet zone, rainbow-coloured slides that whoosh you head-down into water, and a heart-stopping free-fall drop. Chills or thrills, you decide.

Tsz Shan monastery

We can’t think of a gentler way to get your steps up than a visit to the beautiful Tsz Shan Monastery in Tai Po district. From the moment you pass through its gates you are immersed in a world of calm and spirituality. The standout feature is Guan Yin, a 76-metre-tall bronze statue of the goddess of mercy and compassion, although its halls, courtyards and landscaped gardens are impressive too. Registration for entry is required as numbers are tightly capped.

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