6 Reasons Why Hong Kong Should Be Your Next Wellness Getaway
With more than seven million residents packed into a dense urban core, Hong Kong isn’t an obvious destination for a wellness-focused getaway. But its crowded sidewalks and towering buildings belie the presence of extensive undeveloped green spaces and countless tucked-away retreats.
The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong occupies prime real estate in Hong Kong Island’s Central District. Let Master William lead you through a sequence of tai chi poses aimed at harmonizing yin and yang, followed by a soak in the outdoor hot tub, with views of the busy harbour below. Treatments at the luxe on-site spa include the Chinese Wellness Ritual, which begins with a warming scrub of cinnamon, honey and rice and ends with a full-body massage.
The seasonal menu at Shanghainese vegetarian restaurant Kung Tak Lam (280 Gloucester Road) might include imitation dishes like sweet and sour mock pork and vegetarian shark fin soup alongside pan-fried noodles and stir-fried vegetables. Grassroots Pantry features superfood-rich dishes with local and global influences, such as kelp and mung bean noodle soup and teff and oats porridge with tamari sprouted seeds.
Best Green Space
Get your heart pumping on the rolling hills of Dragon’s Back, a popular 8.5-kilometre section of the 50-kilometre Hong Kong Trail that stretches across Hong Kong Island. Multiple vantage points give you views of beachside villages and the South China Sea. The route finishes in Tai Long Wan, or Big Wave Bay, a year-round surfing destination that makes a good spot to cool off with an ice cream or a dip in the ocean.
Hong Kong might have a pure-business exterior, but its regions are dotted with actively used temples dedicated to Buddhist, Taoist and local deities that make for peaceful retreats. On Hong Kong Island, duck through the decorative doorways of Man Mo Temple to breathe the scent of burning incense coils as locals make their offerings. On Lantau Island, the 34-metre bronze Tian Tan Buddha sits above the Po Lin Monastery, home to a vegetarian restaurant and flower-filled garden.
Leave plenty of time for tasting and browsing when you drop by one of Ki Chan Tea Co.’s two locations. In business since 1942, the shop sells a selection of more than 100 loose teas, many of which are roasted and packaged in-house. One standout is the smoky fermented pu-erh, which can be steeped multiple times throughout the day – the most sought after (and pricey) one has been aged for some 70 years.
Riding the downtown streets isn’t for the faint of heart, but the less-populated New Territories are well suited for exploring on two wheels. Follow your guide from Mountain Biking Asia past ancient walled villages to learn more about the history of Hong Kong. After a dim sum lunch, you’ll continue pedalling toward the Hong Kong Wetland Park. Bring your binoculars to camp out in the hides and spot local bird species, with the Chinese towers of Shenzhen in the distance.
Want more info? Check out discoverhongkong.com