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Hong Kong Hidden Gems Travel Guide

From cycling to hiking to seafood, a travel guide filled with Hong Kong hidden gems.

By traveling with locals in Hong Kong, we discovered Hong Kong hidden gems that we know true travelers want to experience. These are adventures that those who are “in the know” love in Hong Kong. Our top picks for things to see, do and eat were recommended by Hong Kong locals and are a great addition to any itinerary. We know, because we did them in Hong Kong and filmed them for our PBS TV series.

Check out our “Hong Kong Hidden Gems Travel Guide” and get packing.

#1 Biking the New Territories

New Territories of Hong Kong

On a guided tour of the New Territories of Hong Kong with Mountain Biking Asia.

Head away from the skyscrapers into the residential New Territories for a cycling tour with Mountain Biking Asia. A walled city, Hong Kong greenery, intriguing temples and historic sites are just some of the sights you’ll see. On our tour, we biked to Nam Sheng Wai , which is where avid cyclists from Hong Kong like to exercise. It’s also a popular spot for wedding photographers and those seeking to take in Hong Kong greenery.

While many walled cities have been turned into tourist attractions, on this biking adventure, you can visit a walled city where locals truly live- the Kam Tin Walled City. This adventure in general is non-touristy, including the final stop where we enjoyed dim sum with the locals.

#2 Gallery Hop

With Raymond Huang, who collects art himself, and leads guided gallery hops through Accidental Art.

With Raymond Huang, who collects art himself, and leads guided gallery hops through Accidental Art.

Hong Kong’s art scene has never been stronger, especially in the world of contemporary art. Whether you’re a collector or culture buff, taking an organized gallery tour or creating your own is a fun way to spend the afternoon. Many galleries are located in Central or just nearby, so put on comfortable shoes and get hopping. For an organized tour, which is a great idea to hear about the art scene from passionate locals, try Accidental Art.

#3 Neighborhood Exploration

Visiting the Kwong Wah Printing Company to learn about traditional letterpress printing. What an art!

Visiting the Kwong Wah Printing Company to learn about traditional letterpress printing. What an art!

From hip cafes to unique places to shop, Hong Kong has some new cool neighborhoods on the rise. Soak in the vibes in PoHo, centered around Blake Garden. This up and coming neighborhood is where old and new Hong Kong collide and you can always find something unexpected to enlighten your day. From yoga studios to a rare traditional letterpress print shop to made from scratch baked goods at Po’s Atelier, this is one cool neighborhood. To make the most out of your adventure, consider taking a guided walk with Walk In Hong Kong. Our guide, who we also filmed, was Paul Chan, who we recommend.

#4 Hong Kong Trail

Panoramic view from the Dragon's Back Trail in Hong Kong.

Enjoying panoramic views from the Dragon’s Back Trail in Hong Kong.

Hiking trails are not the first thing that come to mind when you think about Hong Kong, but the Hong Kong Trail, at a little over 30 miles in length, has some knockout places to soak in nature. Don’t miss the Dragon’s Back Trail, where stunning coastal views are just some of your exercise rewards. A short commute from busy Hong Kong East, the trail offers up spectacular views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanley, Tai Tam, and the South China Sea. Walk Hong Kong offers guided day hikes.

#5 Sai Kung

Fresh seafood at Sing Kee in Sai Kung.

Fresh seafood at Sing Kee in Sai Kung.

Spend the day in Sai Kung soaking in the sun, seafood and all that Hong Kong’s back garden has to offer. Start out at sea, exploring Hong Kong’s Global Geopark. Designated by UNESCO as an area of great geological significance, you’ll want to have your camera ready to photograph the spectacular formations and the variety of islands that dot the sparkling sea. Enjoy lunch on Seafood Street, one of the top places for fresh seafood in Hong Kong and where you can pick what looks tasty right from the tanks. We ate at multiple Michelin-starred Sing Kee.

#6 Tai O

Filming with Mr Wong Loi Man, the tenth generation of his family to live on Tai O Island. He welcomed us into his home thanks to Seatiger, my guide from the Tai O Heritage Hotel.

Filming with Mr Wong Loi Man, the tenth generation of his family to live on Tai O Island. He welcomed us into his home thanks to Seatiger, my guide from the Tai O Heritage Hotel.

To learn more about Hong Kong’s history with seafood, head to the western edge of Lantau Island to Tai O, which has been called the Venice of Hong Kong. Home to one of the last remaining large communities of stilt homes in Hong Kong, generations have resided in this historic fishing village. Make sure to taste Tai O culinary specialties, including shrimp paste and local sweets and if you need a break, the Tai O Heritage Hotel will transport you back in time with modern flair.

#7 Big Buddha

Climb the stairs to the Big Buddha and then dine at the vegetarian restaurant at the The Po Lin Monastery, one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums, dubbed “the Buddhist World in the South."

Climb the stairs to the Big Buddha and then dine at the vegetarian restaurant at the The Po Lin Monastery, one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums, dubbed “the Buddhist World in the South.”

While on Lantau Island, you have to visit the iconic Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. A fun way to get to the Big Buddha is by taking the scenic, 25 minute Ngong Ping 360 cable car, whose crystal cabins allow travelers to see just how green Lantau Island is, as well as an alternative route up to the Big Buddha, hiking trails. Spend some time at the top marveling at this feat of engineering and special pilgrimage site for people from all over the world.

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Travels with Darley is a travel TV series broadcast on PBS stations and on digital networks, including the AOL On Network. Host Darley Newman of "Equitrekking" fame joins locals to showcase the top food, culture and adventure attractions in the USA and around the globe.

TravelswithDarley.com is the companion site with travel guides, videos and information so viewers can recreate the adventures seen on the series and beyond.

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