Hong Kong is not all neon signs and luxury shopping malls; there are also hidden treasures worth discovering throughout its streets that you could overlook otherwise. If you know where to look, these may prove worthwhile discoveries!
From an idyllic swimming shed to an abandoned hospital, here are five Hong Kong gems you should include in your itinerary this summer. Cathay Pacific flights can now be bought fast on several routes, including Melbourne to Hong Kong flights.
Tin Hau Temple
Tin Hau Temple (translated “Heavenly Empress”) in Hong Kong is dedicated to its maritime patron goddess, Tin Hau. For generations, she has represented Hong Kong’s deep-seated traditions, with her birthday being one of the city’s biggest festivals honoring individual deities. Although technically just an urban legend, her legendary help in shipwreck rescue operations as well as healing diseases makes her a beloved figure in Hong Kong society.
Tin Hau is one of many Chinese deities venerated in Hong Kong, but none has more followers than she. Due to her immense significance, more than 80 temples are dedicated to Tin Hau across Hong Kong; some graded historic buildings even bear her name! Her birthday, or “Tian Hou Dan”, is celebrated across the city with colourful parades featuring Kung Fu troupes, marching bands, lion and dragon dancers as well as floating tributes of colourful flowers from Faa1 Pai4. Cymbal-claps scare away evil while drumming beats scare away malignant spirits while bringing good luck for the year ahead!
Tin Hau temples, like those throughout the city, tend to be situated near the sea. Any that don’t are likely deprived of their waterfront locations through land reclamation. Tanka (daan6 gaa1 dan jia) boat people carry shrines of the Goddess as they travel around, making her patron saint for several coastal areas.
Tin Hau is a beloved deity of Chinese diaspora communities around the world, and her popularity in Hong Kong has skyrocketed with an influx of migrants over time. Tin Hau is especially beloved by fishermen who believe she will help protect them against turbulent sea conditions.
Tin Hau’s main palace is dedicated to the Goddess, and boasts cultural relics such as decorated gateways, standing tablets, stone or tin incense burners and ancient inscriptions that date back hundreds of years. Visitors can light incense while praying or having their fortune told, making Tin Hau an excellent place for exploring Hong Kong heritage or simply looking for respite from Causeway Bay shopping district’s hustle-bustle.
Cheung Shing Fans Factory
Cheung Shing Fans Factory on Shanghai Street was my introduction to Cheung Shing Fan Factory during Jacky Cheung’s groundbreaking “1/2 Century World Tour.” It was a massive success, featuring 146 shows across five countries and 77 cities; still the highest total ever held by any Chinese artist on one tour.
Since 1958, Cheung Shing Fans Factory is one of the last remaining survivors in Hong Kong’s vanishing sandalwood fan industry. Second-generation owner Lowell Lo Yip Keung remembers his father who founded it back in 1940s as an enterprising visionary who could adapt quickly with changing times – handcrafting fans as well as producing machinery to increase production were always among his goals – something his second-generation owner can attest.
Cheung Shing Fans continues to craft sandalwood fans and incense today, though its focus has changed from catering exclusively to wealthy clients to meeting local needs. Their incense sticks use natural fragrances instead of harsh perfumes or chemicals; these natural scents come packaged coiled, powdered or scented so as to be effective tools of self-soothing. Lo hopes incense can become part of people’s self-care ritual.
Hong Kong may be known for its skyscrapers and neon lights, but it also treasures its past. For instance, West Kowloon Cultural District hosts street artisans who produce fermented bean curd and sandalwood fans.
At an Instagram live sesh with Yes933 FM DAKA DJs, HK singer Vincy Chan suggested stopping by Block 18 Doggie’s Noodle in Jordan. Although unassuming from its exterior appearance, this nostalgic dessert shop is beloved among locals – offering springy pudding-like cakes and black sesame rolls along with delectable steamed white sugar cakes that should not be missed!
Now that border restrictions have been loosened, travelers can rediscover Hong Kong in all its splendour. Discover its charming neighborhoods brimming with tradition – from bookstores tucked inside temples to street vendors offering creative soybean creations. Throughout your West Kowloon Cultural District exploration be sure to stop at Freespace and Art Park where brand-new exhibits and performances await visitors.
The term beatnik refers to someone who rebels against society by expressing their individual perspectives and ideas through alternative expression. The term is thought to have first originated during the 1950s when the Beat Generation was at its creative zenith; influencers included Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, drugs, jazz music, and jazz musicians like Charlie Parker were frequent participants. Some experts speculate that suffix “-nik” came from Slavic languages (like Russian for satellite (sputnik)) for use as an adjective describing groups who shared similar ideology or lifestyles.
Although many assume the beatnik movement was the predecessor to the hippie movement, they must remember they are distinct movements. Beatniks celebrated creativity and individualism while hippies strived to reduce social issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia. Eventually, beatnikism led to hippism which promoted peace and love.
Beatniks were a subculture that sought freedom in an age when society appeared to be crumbling under repression and war. They frequented coffeehouses and bookstores, listened to jazz music, wrote poetry and wore black clothing (turtlenecks and berets included), spoke in hip slang language and often smoked marijuana which contributed to their rebellious attitudes and helped reject materialistic values such as materialism.
Beatniks were an unconventional group who rejected mainstream culture but were well educated and possess an eccentric sense of humor. Additionally, their sense of adventure saw some traveling extensively – male and female members alike often wearing long dresses with sandals for travel adventures – not unlike what might be found today! In coffee shops they could often be found sipping espresso while reading poetry or poetry from books they had purchased there.
The media and Hollywood greatly popularized the beatnik movement, depicting its members as shallow and immoral – leading to caricatures of real writers of the Beat Generation that became part of pop culture today. Additionally, today the term beatnik still serves to refer to those who reject societal norms and live unconventionally.