Discover the Best Macau Gifts and Souvenirs

Despite being a small place, it can be difficult to work out where to buy the best Macau gifts and souvenirs.

Overview of Macau Shopping

macau magnets gifts souvenirs

In the touristy historic centre, you’ll find plenty of shops and stalls selling inexpensive items such as magnets, postcards, t-shirts and other trinkets.

Meanwhile, glossy malls house plenty of international designer brands. Although lovely, many of these items can be found in just about any major city in the world.

However, if you’re looking for something a little more special or unique to take home with you, we’ve put together this handy list.

Macau Gift Shops

Mandarin House Gift Shop

Off Lilau Square, you can visit the historic Mandarin’s House. Their gift shop has some great offerings.

Address: No.10 Travessa de Antonio da Silva, Largo do Lilau, São Lourenço, Macau

Panda Gift Shop

Panda photo opportunity Macau

If you visit Macau’s pandas in Seac Pai Van Park, be sure to stop in at the onsite gift shop for lots of panda themed goodies, especially if you’re travelling with kids.

Overall, Seac Pai Van Park is a tiny attraction, but a very worthwhile and affordable way to see both pandas and lesser-known red pandas. You can learn about Panda conservation and also enjoy the flora and fauna. There are several resident primates and also a small aviary. Information boards are in Chinese, Portuguese and English.

You will also find a playground to keep the little ones happy.

Address: Macao Giant Panda Pavilion, Estr. de Seac Pai Van, Macao

Macau Creations

cuhna bazaar macauFind the Cunha Bazaar building in Taipa above the Choi Heong Yuen Bakery. Within this brightly coloured building, there are 3 entire floors of goods made by local artists and a gallery space.

Address: Rua do Cunha No. 33-35 R/C Taipa, Macau

Souvenirs and Gifts Ideas

Macau Starbucks Mug

These won’t be to everybody’s taste, but Starbucks mugs from around the world are highly collectable. The Macau mugs are available at Starbucks in the Venetian and also in Taipa.

Psst, if you forgot to buy one of these in Macau, some of the Hong Kong Starbucks also sell them.

T-Shirts

For Macau inspired T-Shirts, socks and keyrings visit Loving Macau.

Pandora

Check out this cute and quirky limited edition charm created for the Hong Kong and Macau market. It features and an egg tart, milk tea and a pineapple bun.

Macau Books and Films

globe and bookMacau may be tiny, but with an eclectic mix of influences from East and West, combined with a world class gambling hotspot, it’s an excellent backdrop for intrigue.

That being the case, we’ve pulled together a list of the best books set in Macau to give you a virtual Macau Bookshelf.
including guidebooks and fiction.

And for the movie buffs, we also have a list of Macau Movies and Films.

Macau Private Tour

Of course, experiences make the best memories to take home. To ensure you explore Macau in style, why not gift yourself and your travel companions with a private tour led by our guide Aubrey.

Book your guided tour of Macau here.

Other Information About Macau

Find out more about getting from Hong Kong to Macau (or Macau to Hong Kong) by bus here.

Discover the differences between Macau egg tarts and Hong Kong egg tarts here.

Discover Hong Kong’s Stained Glass Windows

If you know where to look, Hong Kong boasts several unique and beautiful stained glass windows, some of them in the most unexpected of places, including historic buildings, places of worship, a bank, an abandoned island, shopping malls and restaurants.

Our top three picks are Haw Par Mansion, Standard Chartered Bank and Yim Tin Tsai, but read on to decide which ones you’d most like to see.

Historic Buildings

We’ve found out that a few of Hong Kong’s historic buildings have very pretty windows.

Haw Par Mansion

tigers stained glass windowWe discovered that there are gorgeous windows inside the old Haw Par Mansion. Originally the mansion belonged to the Tiger Balm family, the gardens were home to a small theme park, the famous Tiger Balm Gardens. Sadly, most of the land was sold off several years ago for redevelopment. Nowadays, only a small section of the gardens remain.

However, the mansion is now home to a music school. and the great news is that free guided Tours are offered in Cantonese or English. For pre-booking click here. Alternatively, keep your eyes peeled for public open days.

King Yin Lei

A rare example of mixed Chinese and Western architecture, this mansion was at one point possibly slated for demolishment. Happily it has been preserved. If you want to visit, you’ll have to keep your eyes and ears open. It’s only open to the public several days a year and you need to secure tickets in advance. At time of writing, tickets are free of charge and available on a first come, first served basis from the Heritage Discovery Centre, in Kowloon Park, the Flagstaff Museum of Teaware in Hong Kong Park and the Heritage Museum in Sha Tin. Check for up to date information on any upcoming open days here or here.

Western Market Hong Kong

Western market hong kong with coloured windows

Hong Kong’s Western Market partially escaped the fate of many other older buildings in Hong Kong. Although the older Victorian South Block was demolished, the Edwardian style North Block, built in 1906 has survived the creep of skyscrapers. Preserved and restored, it hasn’t been a food market for many years, instead it houses a mishmash of cafes, curio shops, fabric vendors and restaurant and banquet hall.

Blue House

Eclectic neighborhood Wan Chai is home to the Blue House of Stories.

Places of Worship

Churches, mosques and other places of worship are often a great place to start looking for stained glass windows. Here are Hong Kong’s best.

St. John’s Cathedral

North Windows in stained glass at St. John's cathedral Hong KongThis cathedral occupies a once prominent position and is a regular fixture on our walking tours and also features in our Hong Kong Heist Quest. However, if you don’t know where to look, it’s easy to miss now that it’s surrounded by skyscrapers in the bustle of Hong Kong’s financial district.

The original church windows were destroyed during World War II and the newer ones are the work of Joseph Nuttgens.

Our favorite ones are the North windows. In addition to a traditional pane depicting Jesus calming the storm, the side panes are unique to Hong Kong. They depict a naval ship and officer on the left and a junk boat and fisherwoman on the right hand pane.

St John’s is generally open to the public, so unless there is a service, wedding or funeral in progress, you should be able to walk in and admire the windows.

Jamia Mosque

jamia mosque mid levels hong kongHong Kong’s Jamia mosque is beautiful inside and out.

If you want to find this bijou and pretty mosque towards the top of the mid-levels escalators. You’ll have to peak inside to appreciate the windows.

Take the Mid-Levels escalator upwards. The mosque is on your left and hidden behind a mint green wrought iron gate at 30 Shelley Street.

The White Chapel

White Chapel Hong Kong triangular glass

Despite not having stained glass, we’re including chapel this on the list. Why? Because, even thought the glass is plain, there is an abundance of it.

Consequently is also aesthetically pleasing and fantastically photogenic.

You can find this in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island.

Bethanie Chapel

bethanie chapelLocated in residential area Pok Fu Lam, this is the only example of a neo gothic church to be found in present day Hong Kong.

Currently the chapel is part of a complex that is home to Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.

Should you be interested in visiting the onsite BNP Museum and take a guided tour of Bethanie, check here for up to date availability.

Hidden Gems

We’ve encountered colourful glass windows in the most surprising Hong Kong locations.

Standard Chartered Bank

stained glass window by Remo Reva

Tucked away inside Central’s Standard Chartered Bank, you’ll find this pair of stunning stained glass windows.

This vibrant tribute to Hong Kong is the work of artist Remo Reva.

Luckily, these windows are in an area of the bank that is open to the public and there is no charge. Please note that with Covid19 restrictions, it may not be possible to enter the mezzanine area.

The bank is near to Central MTR and is also very close  to St John’s Cathedral, so you could kill two birds with one stone and visit both.

Shopping Malls

Surprise, we’re including not one, but two shopping centers on the list. Both Harbour City in Tsim Tsa Shui and Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill have stained glass ceilings.

Harbour City

harbour city stained glass ceiling hong kongClose to the Star Ferry in Tsim Tsa Shui, Harbour City is a huge shopping center housing many international brands.

As the centre is situated in one of the main tourist hotspots, close to the Star Ferry terminal, this one’s really easy to find.

Close by is the famous tree lined shopping street, Nathan Road. Also you can visit Kowloon Park, the 1881 Heritage Centre and the Avenue of Stars.

Plaza Hollywood

stained glass ceiling plaza hollywood shopping centre diamond hill

Slightly further afield, but more impressive, this one is just a little further off the beaten path.

Although, it’s probably not something you’d make a special journey to0 find, however, the easiest way to see the Plaza Hollywood ceiling, we’d suggest tacking it on as a brief detour when visiting Chi Lin Nunnery and/or Nan Lian Gardens, which we include on many of our tours and always on our Vegetarian food tour.

Diamond Hill MTR is the easiest way to get to the nunnery, gardens or mall.

Yim Tin Tsai Abandoned Island

I

Yim Tin Tsai stained glass window abandoned islandWe love taking guests to Yim Tin Tsai. This once abandoned island is being slowly revived as former inhabitants fix up dilapidated buildings. The island boasts a tiny church and several buildings have stained glass windows depicting life on the island.

To get there you’d need to head to the seaside town of Sai Kung and catch a boat.

Bars and Restaurants

Visit the recently revamped Old Central Police Compound, Tai Kwun. Within the complex, you’ll find Dragonfly. This magical bar has beautiful stained glass ceiling lamps and a winged statue presiding over the bar, ensuring it’s as popular with instagrammers as it is with bar goers.

  • Dragonfly, Shop 10 – G1, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Rd, Central

Cafe Rivoli and Junon sport glass ceilings, in fact Junon has two. Obviously, you should be visiting these places for the food and atmosphere, but pretty glass is a nice bonus.

  • Cafe Rivoli is at the Regal Hotel, 88 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
  • Junon 2/F Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

For other lesser know Hong Kong hotspots, you can follow in Bruce Lee’s footprints, discover Hong Kong’s coolest and quirkiest wedding venues or visit the Sky Full of Gods and Buddhas.

Follow the Bruce Lee Way in Hong Kong

Bruce Lee is one of Hong Kong’s most famous sons and many visitors to Hong Kong are keen to follow the Bruce Lee Way. Despite his lasting worldwide fame as Kung Fu film star, it can be difficult as there are few reminders left in Hong Kong even though he grew up here. However, we’ve done the dirty work and tracked down the best Bruce Lee legacy sites for you.

Bruce Lee Statues

Avenue of Stars

bruce lee statue avenue of stars hong kongHong Kong’s Avenue of Stars is a similar idea to the Hollywood walk of fame, only it has the amazing backdrop of Victoria Harbour and the famous Hong Kong skyline. After being closed for an extensive refurbishment, it reopened to the public in 2019. Along the waterside railings are handprints of Hong Kong stars past and present.

Previously, the Bruce Lee statue was protected by ugly metal fencing, however after extensive refurbishment of the Avenue of Stars, his statue is now raised above a water feature, with Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong’s famous skyline as a backdrop. Note that the fast moving water of the water feature is meant to represent his lightning fast moves. There is an augmented reality app, but it’s all in Chinese, so good luck with that.

Nearest MTR is East TST on the West Rail Line, exit J.

Heritage Museum

bruce lee statue hong kong heritage centreThere has been a long running Bruce Lee exhibition on the top floor of Hong Kong’s Heritage Museum.

The exhibition was due to close at the end of 2020, however,  we’ve just read that the exhibition, is set to continue. At time of writing it’s closed for a revamp, but is due to reopen later in 2021 and due to its popularity, has been extended until 2026! This is great news for Bruce Lee fans.

You can see movie props, costumes, footage and personal possessions of the late great Bruce Lee.

In the meantime, there are souvenirs available in the onsite gift shop and a large statue in the courtyard outside. Many people don’t know about this second statue, so it tends to be far less crowded and although the backdrop is less exciting, the pose is pretty awesome.

Visits to the Heritage Museum are free, although there are often special exhibitions which carry a charge.

Nearest MTR station is Sha Tin on the East Rail Line. If you want to turn this into a days’ outing, you could combine it with a trip to the nearby 10,000 Buddhas Monastery.

Madame Tussauds

bruce lee waxwork hong kongThe third likeness of Bruce Lee on display in Hong Kong is at Madame Tussuards Wax Work Museum at the Peak. As the waxworks are geared to the local market. So if you’re visiting from overseas, there will be plenty of celebrities you’ve never heard of. However, we thought it was worth mentioning for all you Bruce Lee aficionados. Additionally, waxworks of Kung Fu icons Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh are also on display.

Make the most of your trip to the Peak with our Peak Guide and check opening times for Madame Tussauds here.

Our favourite way to get there is by Peak Tram. The Wax Work Museum is in the same building as the Peak Tram terminus, so you can’t miss it!

Bruce Lee Hong Kong and Macau Film Locations

Tsing Shan Monastery Hong KongTsing Shan Monastery

Scenes from the 1973 film Enter the Dragon were filmed at the Tsing Shan Monastery. The location is off the beaten track and a little isolated. However, if you’re prepared for a short hike, you can visit for yourself. Online information is scant, but the monastery is thought to have existed in some form for around 1500 years. There is also a nearby cave housing some kind of vertebrae in a cage. Legend suggests it could be the bone of a dragon! There were Bruce Lee information boards and cutouts dotted about, but we’re unsure if they are still there.

Aberdeen

Enter the Dragon Virtual Tour

You will find another Enter the Dragon film location in Aberdeen, located on the South side of Hong Kong Island, including a shot of the iconic the Jumbo Kingdom, as seen in this panoramic shot of the typhoon shelter from the movie.

These days this location is very accessible by MTR, either alighting at Wong Chuk Hang station for the short walk to the Shum Wan pier for a sampan. Otherwise, you can alight at Lei Tung station to explore Ap Lei Chau and also flag down a sampan for a short tour on the water. We also are offering virtual tours of Aberdeen whilst on a sampan. Join us for for a very dynamic real-time movie experience! You can find out more about our virtual tours here.

grand lisboa macauJardim Luis de Camoes in Macau

If you pop over to Hong Kong’s neighbour, Macau, you can visit the Jardim Luis de Camoes. This location was used in the film Fist of Fury. According to a recent newspaper article, Bruce Lee fans have suggested this would be the perfect spot for a giant Bruce Lee statue. So, we will watch this space with interest. Macau has been the backdrop or film location for several other famous films. You can read more about them in our Macau Armchair Travel post.

Macau can easily be reached from Hong Kong by bus or ferry.

The Bruce Lee Way

Back in 2013 a series of Bruce Lee information boards were displayed across Hong Kong at prominent locations from Bruce Lee’s past, to form a memorial trail.

The trail was named The Bruce Lee Way. It takes in 6 locations, including schools attended, (Tai Kok Tsui school lavatory, La Salle Primary School, Tak Sun school), Bruce Lee film locations, one of which was the Tsing Shan Monastery as mentioned above, the other being at Ocean Terminal. Finally, the statue of Bruce Lee at the Avenue Of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui was part of the route.

There are no recent sources confirming whether or not any of the boards survive. Should you have any up to date information and/or images, we’d love to hear from you. That way we can provide an update for our readers.

Armchair Travel: Macau Movie Locations

While world travel has taken a backseat, discover Macau movie locations from the comfort of your armchair.

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We’re surprised Macau hasn’t been used as a movie location more often. It has a unique and colourful blend of architecture, with both Chinese and Portuguese influences. Additionally, you will find a cluster of glittering and unique modern buildings along the Cotai strip. And of course let’s not forget the iconic Golden Lotus shaped casino.

You’ve probably seen at least one of these films, but perhaps not realized where they were set/filmed. Nevertheless, here are our top Macau movie locations.

Macau/Macao Movie Locations

macao movie location posterMacao

Macao is a 1952 film noir. It is both the oldest film on our list and also the only where almost the entire story takes place in Macau. Starring silver screen legends Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell it’s filmed in black and white and looks a dated to modern audiences.

Three strangers meet on a boat trip from Hong Kong to Macau. Intrigue centres around a casino that is involved in some shady dealings and the two main characters played by Mitchum and Russell have a bumpy road to romance.

Now You See Me: The Second Act

Following the success of the original Now You See Me film, where a group of talented magicians team up to perform an impossible heist in front of a live audience, a second film reunited most of the cast for a second adventure.

Part of this film was set in Macau. Iong’s Magic Shop is an actual magic shop that has been in Macau for the last 30 years. You can visit the shop yourself and stock up on all sorts of equipment to help you practice sleight of hand.

The famous Sands casino, colorful and once infamous Rua de Felicidad and the Macau Science Centre were also used as film locations.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The opening scene of this family favorite film, supposedly set in Shanghai, was in fact shot in Macau. The hotel used as the Club Obi Wan was the Pensão Sun Sun Hotel, however, the Pensão no longer exists and a newer one stands in its place. In a nod to the film, the current hotel has called its bar the Obi Wan bar.

Harrison Ford stars as Indian Jones, the sometimes mild-mannered tweed jacketed professor of archeology, his alter-ego being the cocky, whip cracking adventurer who heads off on dangerous quests to find lost treasures.

This is the second film in the series, preceded by Raiders of the Lost Ark and followed by The Last Crusade and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, a fifth instalment is planned for 2022, but where will it be filmed?

The Man with the Golden Gun

James Bond is possibly the silver screen’s most famous spy. In The Man with the Golden Gun, Roger Moore stars as 007.

Sadly, the famous Macau Palace floating casino where the action took place, is no more. It was reportedly towed away in 2007.

Skyfall

Last, but not least, we have Skyfall. This is the second James Bond movie on our list, although its place is a little tenuous.

Here, Daniel Craig stars as James Bond and travels from ancient Istanbul to the glamour of Macau. However, frustratingly the Macau scenes were shot at Pinewood Studios in the UK rather than on location. Again, there is a (different) floating casino in this film, but don’t waste time searching for it, this one never existed in reality and was a studio-built film set.

Did any of those Macau movie locations surprise you?

Learn More about Macau

Armchair Travel Macau and Hong Kong

Check out our other Armchair Travel Posts

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Spotlight on Hong Kong’s Star Ferry

We are thrilled to help shine a spotlight on Hong Kong’s Star Ferry and iconic skyline, because we are Hong Kong superfans. When ITV approached our founder, Amy Overy, to live stream a short segment for their This Morning show in the UK, she jumped at the chance. Watch her star turn on the Star Ferry below.

Thank you to the Star Ferry team for generously hosting us onboard the Twinkling Star and to ITV’s This Morning for helping us to showcase Hong Kong so beautifully.

Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry is ingrained in people’s hearts and minds. As you can imagine, Hong Kong is a very fast-paced place to live. A trip on the Star Ferry offers people a wonderful opportunity to take things a little slower and admire the famous skyline.

History of the Star Ferry

wheelhouse star ferry Hong Kong
Here’s a sneak peek inside the Twinkling Star’s wheelhouse.

A merchant named Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala founded the Kowloon Ferry Company in 1888. His plan was to ferry guests arriving at the old railway station in TST across the harbour to his hotel on Hong Kong Island. Over time, they also started taking paying passengers.

Naorojee was inspired by Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem Crossing the Bar, the first line of which reads “Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me!” Within a decade he had four ferries in regular operation, the Morning Star, the Evening Star, the Rising Star and the Guiding Star. In 1898, in a further nod to this favourite poem, he renamed his company The Star Ferry.

Interesting Facts about the Star Ferry

  • spollight on star ferry with Hong Kong skylineOriginally, it took up to 25 minutes to cross the harbour on the Star Ferry. However, with land reclamation on both sides, the crossing time has been reduced to 8-10 minutes.
  • In normal times the Star Ferry carries around 70,000 passengers a day.
  • One of the main reasons that the Star Ferry remains so popular is the price. A trip on the top deck will set you back just HKD $2.7 (USD $0.35, GBP £0.26). Meanwhile, the lower deck is HKD $2.2 (USD $0.28, GBP £0.21). That’s quite a bargain when you consider the really spectacular views that are thrown in for free!
  • The quick turnaround time of the service is helped by the clever design of the reversible wooden seats. Passengers can just flip them backwards and forwards depending on which way they are heading across the harbour.
  • Today, the company runs two passenger routes. One between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. The other is between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui, which is where we filmed. Star Ferry also runs a fabulous Harbour Cruise service, which is a great tourist sightseeing route around Victoria Harbour.

Star Ferry Sailor

  • Charter your own Star Ferry if you fancy. In fact we think it’s such a lovely idea, that we’ve included it in our list of 7 Cool and Quirky Hong Kong Wedding Venues.
  • Today, there are ten Star Ferries in daily operation. They were all, quite remarkably, originally built in the 1950s and 60s and have been hard at work ever since.

Amy Overy

The Star Ferry is Synonymous with Life in Hong Kong

Finally, we’d like to leave you with this brilliant quote. It encapsulates the importance of the Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry.

“Hong Kong fast forwards into the future, but the Star Ferry is like a slow pendulum on the clock of history…back and forth….every 8 minutes.”  Bill Sievers of Streets of Hong Kong

We love helping our guests explore Hong Kong. When it’s possible again, we would love to put together a walking tour for you. In the meantime, find out more about our Virtual Tours. Alternatively, if you’re located here in Hong Kong and looking for a fun family friendly activity, discover our new Hong Kong Quests.

7 Cool and Quirky Hong Kong Wedding Venues

Hong Kong has so many stunning and classic wedding venue options, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique and unusual, here’s our pick of 7 cool or quirky venues for you to consider. These wedding venues range from the breathlessly chic to the uniquely bonkers. Options include a bohemian beach wedding, slightly cheesy themed wedding venues and iconic Hong Kong spots. Which one will you choose?

view from sky100 hong kongCelebrate your Wedding Day on Cloud 9

If you want to literally be on cloud 9 on your wedding day, how about a wedding in Hong Kong’s tallest building? Sky100 is located inside the ICC in Kowloon and offers floor to ceiling windows to take in the panoramic views of the city’s skyline.

They offer various packages including a wedding cocktail, luncheon or dinner. Contact Sky100 here for further information.

hong kong star ferryA Fairytale, or rather a Ferrytale Hong Kong Wedding

In a fast-paced, ever changing city, the Star Ferry is one of the few constants. So, we love, love, love that you can book one of Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry boats for your nuptials with Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong’s stellar skyscrapers as your backdrop.

Here’s to plain sailing and years of happiness!

Click here to find out more about our founder, Amy Overy’s star turn on the Star Ferry. She recently broadcast a live segment on UK’s This Morning.

snoopy world hong kong weddingHave you settled on a wedding theme….park yet?

If you’re a fan of Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown et al, then you’re might be interested in celebrating your big day at Snoopy’s World. This pint sized theme park is located at New Town Plaza in Sha Tin. Alternatively, if you’re not a Snoopy aficionado, you can instead make enquiries with Ocean Park or Disney World Hong Kong, as they also offer wedding packages.

macdonalds wedding hong kongSuper Sized Wedding

Go big or go home. At time of writing, Hong Kong is currently the only place in the world to offer a McDonald’s wedding.

Although this quirky Hong Kong wedding venue will perhaps not be to everyone’s taste, it is a cheerful and cost-effective option and it’s certainly unusual.

Find out more and make your booking here. Instead of a Happy Meal, perhaps you can order a Happily Forever After Meal?

White WeddingWhite Chapel Hong Kong triangular glass

If you’re looking for a nice place for a white wedding, consider the the beautiful White Chapel at Auberge. It is located in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island.

You’ll love its’ diamond shaped glass window panes, crisp white walls, clean lines and sea view backdrop. This is a pretty spectacular setting for you to tie the knot. For enquiries, click here.

cheung sha beach hong kong Life’s a Beach

Hong Kong is surrounded by water, so if you’ve always dreamed of a beach wedding, look no further. Bathers is located at 32, Lower Cheung Sha Village, South Lantau, Hong Kong

With this al fresco wedding venue, you can get married with the wind in your hair and the sand between your toes. And of course there’s always the possibility that a local buffalo may put stroll by and photobomb your wedding photos.

jumbo restaurant hong kong wedding venueHave a Jumbo Wedding – Maybe?

If a wedding out on the water floats your boat, then check out Jumbo. Although, at time of writing it is closed until further notice, we really hope that Hong Kong icon, Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant will get back on its feet eventually.

Established in the 70’s, this is an incredibly photogenic option, with a side order of nostalgia. Our fingers and toes are firmly crossed that Jumbo will be back in action eventually. Recent media reports suggest it will reopen. Here are links to Jumbo’s website and a recent news article suggesting they will reopen.

If you are interested in arranging a tour for any members of your wedding party in the run up to your wedding, we’d love to hear from you. Otherwise, if you fancy exploring one or two of Hong Kong slightly quirkier attractions, why not check out A Sky Full of Gods and Buddhas or 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

Ride a Magic Carpet: Hong Kong Children’s Books

These Hong Kong children’s books will transport your kids, as if by magic carpet, to the hustle and bustle of our great city from wherever in the world you are. Read on for our top pick of Hong Kong books for little readers.

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Hong Kong Board & Picture Books

goodnight Hong Kong childrens booksGood Night Hong Kong

Sleep deprived new parents, this one is just for you!

Good Night Hong Kong is a gentle book, designed to help lull your little ones to sleep, which sounds like a winning formula to us.

Along the way, they will ‘visit’ many of Hong Kong’s most famous landmarks treating your favourite younglings to moonlit tour of our city.

Hong Kong ABC

This sturdy board book has to be the perfect Hong Kong gift for the little people in your life and makes a refreshing change from the more standard Apple, Book, Cup kind of ABC books.

As you can see from the front cover, the A B C’s are Hong Kong. Didn’t you know that P is for Panda, J is for Junk Boat and D is for Dim sum?

colourful hong kong kids books

This is Hong Kong

This is Hong Kong is a classic volume that would be a welcome addition to any child’s bookshelf.

Late author Miroslav Sasek, released a series of This is books featuring various cities. The Hong Kong book was said to be one of his favourites.

In particular, we love the gorgeously nostalgic and colourful illustrations in this hardback.

The Mermaid and the Pink Dolphin

Did you know that Hong Kong’s waters are home to endangered pink dolphins? Although mermaids are nigh on impossible to spot, pink dolphins can often be seen playing in our waters, particularly around South Lantau.

The Mermaid and the Pink Dolphin was Written and illustrated by Theadora Whittington. This story introduces young readers to Hong Kong’s pink dolphins and their plight. As an added bonus, the book is endorsed by the WWF.

The Shadow in the Moon

Every year, Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated across China. The Shadow in the Moon follows a grandmother telling the legend of Chang-E to her grand daughter. Then they enjoy eating traditional mooncakes together. In case you’ve never heard of Mid-Autumn festival, you can read our guide to Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong.

Other children’s books that we love, which are not so widely available outside Hong Kong, included Sarah Brennan’s Chinese Calendar Tales with a hilarious rhyming tale for each zodiac animal and Lost in Hong Kong by Matthew Cooper. Newcomer Suzanne Younan has released two books about Willy the eco-friendly green dragon and last but not least, not to forget Ellen Wy Leou books about Lulu the Hong Kong Cat.

More Magic Carpet Rides to Hong Kong

We are now offering Virtual Tours or if you would rather stick with books, check out our Hong Kong coffee table book recommendations and also Macau book and movie recommendations.

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Take a Virtual Tour of Hong Kong with Us

Yes, you read that right. It’s now possible to take a virtual tour of Hong Kong with Hong Kong Greeters. We always like to think we’re ahead of the curve and in this case we’ve been working on getting this up and running since last year, pre-pandemic. Moreover, we’re thrilled to be offering this top drawer virtual experience through the brand new Amazon Explore. As Amazon Explore is currently only available to the US market, we are able to offer separate virtual tours via Zoom to our customers based elsewhere.

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The Amazon Explore Virtual Tour of Hong Kong

This is a live private tour. You will be able to see your guide, chat to them, indicate things that interest you along the way and also take photos.

However, your guide won’t be able to see you, so you don’t need to worry about what to wear! You also don’t need to remember to put on sunscreen or mosquito repellant. Equally, there is no need to carry heavy rucksacks through the humid streets of Hong Kong.

For an Optimal User Experience

  • Suitable for desktop or laptop (not for tablet or phone).
  • Internet speed 5 mbps minimum.
  • Headphone or speakers.

 

 

Hong Kong Virtual tours

What you’ll see and learn

Old Hong Kong: Where Trends meet Traditions

  • Virtually tour the Sheung Wan district and learn about the start of colonial Hong Kong
  • Visit the Pak Sing and Man Mo Temples
  • See the Mid-Levels Escalator and Tai Kwun complex

“Let’s show you where it all began on this old town Hong Kong tour. We’ll trace the steps of Hong Kong’s beginnings, where traditional Chinese temples and colonial era buildings have been repurposed, blending trends and traditions. Starting at Possession Point, where the British first landed and raised their flag to take possession of Hong Kong, we’ll move through the low-rise and leafy streets of Sheung Wan where you’ll enjoy learning about the cultural landmarks from the city’s colonial past. We’ll also visit bustling temples heavy with incense smoke, enjoy a few ghost stories, and see how Hong Kong has developed whilst stubbornly interweaving its traditions as it has moved forwards into modern day.”

US Customers

For the time being the Amazon Explore experiences are only available to the US market… That’s right, if you’re in the USA, you can now visit Hong Kong from the comfort of your armchair. Our private virtual tour lasts 75 minutes and takes you through the fascinating old neighborhood of Sheung Wan.

Booking

We can tell that you’re on the edge of your seat. Bookings for this experience are through Amazon Explore.

BOOK HERE

 

hong kong greeters tai o outlying island Lantau tours

Rest of the World

Although our tours via Amazon Explore are only available to US customers, we are able to arrange alternative Hong Kong Greeters virtual tour experiences for customers anywhere in the world via Zoom.

Bookings

BOOK HERE   Please note, times shown are Hong Kong time, so your will need to check how many hours ahead of/behind Hong Kong you are to find the equivalent time in your location. 

Enquiries

Our zoom-based tours are more flexible and can be customised in terms of location and length. Moreover, they are suitable for both individuals or larger groups such as schools. To discuss options, please get in touch with us directly. CONTACT US

 

Alternatively, you can armchair travel to Hong Kong with these gorgeous coffee table books, or to neighbouring Macau with our Macau Bookshelf.

This post contains an affiliate link.

 

Top Tips for Visiting Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak (or just “The Peak”) is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent tourist highlights, and a must-visit destination for visitors and locals alike. Towering over Hong Kong at 552 metres above sea level, people have been flocking to its summit for decades to capture one of the world’s most awe-inspiring cityscapes from Hong Kong Island’s highest point. We’ve picked our must-see spots on The Peak for those looking to enjoy a more in-depth exploration of the area with the whole family in tow.

The Peak Galleria

Peak GalleriaAs it also houses the bus station, most guests arriving at The Peak will enter the Peak Galleria shopping mall as they alight. Operated by Hang Lung Properties, the Galleria underwent a huge refurbishment in 2019 and is now (almost!) totally reopened.

It is well worth a visit – if only to use best public toilets available in the area! 

Peak Galleria Playground

boy on yellow slide at peak galleria playgroundThe state-of-the-art new Peak Galleria playground on level one features slides and climbing apparatus galore. Situated outside on level one, this play area boasts fantastic panoramas across to Cheung Chau and Lantau Island, with ample seating spots for parents to enjoy the views.

Suitable for children aged from four to 12, we’d recommend visiting earlier in the day, as the sun can be pretty ferocious after lunch. 

Build-a-Bear Workshop

This famous American toy brand now has its own Hong Kong outpost at the Galleria, where kids can create their very own friend or build a unique Hong Kong souvenir. The Workshop is open daily from 11am-8pm and no advance booking is required.

Observation Deck

Peak Galleria Observation deckThere are plenty of viewing points at Victoria Peak, but the Galleria’s newly refurbished rooftop is one of our favourites. Best of all, it’s completely free! Just keep following the escalators upwards. You can’t miss it.

Tai Cheong Bakery

This famous Hong Kong bakery has outlets all around Hong Kong; their newest is located on level two of the Peak Galleria. Their freshly-baked egg tarts really are melt-in-the-mouth and are an enticing pitstop for any visit to the Peak.

Egg tarts are a big deal in Hong Kong, find out more about them here.

Monopoly Dreams

monopoly dreams hong kongThis is a brand new attraction for Hong Kong and an Instagrammer’s dream come true!

You can read all about Monopoly Dreams here in our dedicated blog post.

Peak Tower

The Peak TowerThe Peak’s most-visited building is home to the Peak Tram station, along with many retail, and food and beverage outlets. You’ll find a Madame Tussauds waxwork museum and one of our family friendly Hong Kong restaurant recommendations. The Sky Terrace is another great viewing spot, however there is a charge to visit this. 

Walk a little further

Most visitors stick to the developed area near the bus and tram terminuses and don’t venture further. However, if you’ve got a little time and energy to spare, there are a couple of short strolls that are less crowded and well worth your while. Obviously if you have a lot of time and bags of energy there are more strenuous hikes to enjoy around Hong Kong.

The Peak Circuit

Leave the Peak terminus behind you and take a right onto Lugard Road. You’ll find that this circular walk is pleasant, easy, mostly in the shade. Approximately 4km long, this leisurely walk takes around 1.5 hours. There are several view points, some crazy banyan trees and you’ll also pass the supposedly haunted Dragon Lodge.

Mount Austin

Walking uphill from The Peak’s main piazza area, head up to Mount Austin for a family friendly picnic spot and playground. This area was redeveloped in 2007 and encompasses the gardens of the former Mountain Lodge, which was the Governor of Hong Kong’s summer house up until 1946. You’ll also find the excellent Mount Austin playground just here. 

Mount Austin Playground

Something of a rarity in Hong Kong, Mount Austin Playground features a safely enclosed space in which you can spend time as a family. The park has play equipment for children from two to 12 years, and plenty of paths for scooters and bikes. Another rarity – plenty of inviting lawned spaces that are perfect for picnics or even an alfresco birthday party!

Victoria Peak Gardens

Victoria Peak Gardens pagodaRight at Victoria Peak’s summit –  also known as Mount Austin – you’ll find Victoria Peak Gardens. These include beautiful landscaped gardens that once formed part of Mountain Lodge, the Governor’s summer residence which was demolished in 1946.

Some remnants such as steps and tiles remain from the 2007 refurbishment, and the striking Gatehouse is an original feature. 

Barker Road

If you fancy a change of scenery, a walk down Barker Road definitely offers an experience that is a little off the beaten path. Accessed via Findlay Path, which is next to the Peak Tower, descending via this road takes you past one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. Look out for Headquarters House, home to the head of the People’s Liberation Army in Hong Kong.

Next door to Headquarters House you’ll see Victoria House. Formerly a maternity hospital, it is now the official residence of the Chief Secretary for Administration – at time of writing, Matthew Cheung. Currently under refurbishment, is 22 Barker Road, Jack Ma’s Hong Kong property, which he paid in excess of HK $1.5 billion for back in 2015. 

Following Chatham Path, you’ll take a zig-zag route down to May Road where you can pick up the Peak Tram from its steepest station for a fast-track ride back down to Central.

Other Hong Kong Highlights

Check out our other Hong Kong guides.

Guide to Mong Kok’s markets,

Guide to Hong Kong’s Best Parks

Guide to Repulse Bay.

Alternatively, if you’d like a little help exploring Hong Kong, book a fabulous private tour with Hong Kong Greeters.

The Best Hong Kong Christmas Events 2020

Here’s our pick of 2020’s Hong Kong Christmas Festive Fun and Events. Our list is a little different to last year’s as many of the usual events have been cancelled or scaled back. Nevertheless, we have family friendly events, Christmas markets, charity fundraisers and also tips on where to buy your all important Christmas tree. Also, a sure sign of the times, is that for the first time ever, we have several virtual events on our list.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, events could be cancelled at short notice. 

Family Friendly Christmas Events

Bedtime Stories with Santa

This is the first virtual experience on our list. Let Santa read your children a bedtime story, on Fridays from 4-18 December 2020.

Prices range from HK$200-600 depending on the number of stories you book. Find out more here.

Nutcracker Ballet

In Hong Kong, Christmas almost isn’t Christmas without the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. At time of writing, this event is still going ahead. Enjoy this timeless Christmas classic, set to Tchaicovsky’s famous score, at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre from 17 December – 27 December 2020.

UPDATE 11.12.2020 VENUE HAS TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CORONA RESTRICTIONS. THE NUTCRACKER WILL NOT BE GOING AHEAD.

Ticket prices start at HK$180 and range up to HK$1000 per person.

Going Viral: The Online Pantomime

Hong Kong Players have been entertaining Hong Kong audiences with their Pantomime Christmas gold for years. This year, they’re going digital. 

If you’re unfamiliar with this seasonal genre, Pantomime is a completely family friendly, slapstick show based loosely on our favourite fairy tales, with plenty of audience interaction, smoke, mirrors and magic. The humour tends to work on two levels, with a combination of child friendly jokes and hidden double entendres for the adults to chortle at.

Tickets are available now and range from HK$150-500 and the show will be available 10-13 December 2020

Disney Christmas

Have yourself a Disney little Christmas

Obviously, The Magic Kingdom is already sprinkled with fairy dust, but with Christmas coming, there is even more sparkle. This year A Disney Christmas – Treasure your Traditions runs between 14 November 2020 and 1 January 2021. Plenty of Christmas fun is planned, but please check the official Hong Kong Disney website for up to date booking and event information.  UPDATE 11.12.2020 DISNEY HAS TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CORONA RESTRICTIONS

NYE Clock Tower TSTPacific Place Santa’s Grotto

Pacific Place in Admiralty is THE place in town to visit Santa. However, this year, this lynchpin of Hong Kong Christmas has also gone virtual. According to their website tickets go on sale from 11am on 19 November 2020. Normally, these tickets are like gold dust, so if you’re interested, we recommend booking as soon as it opens to avoid disappointment.

UPDATE 11.12.2020 THIS IS STILL GOING AHEAD, HOWEVER DUE TO CORONA RESTRICTIONS ONLY TINY GROUPS ARE ALLOWED TO UNDERTAKE THE EXPERIENCE WHICH MAY AFFECT YOUR PLANS

Hong Kong Christmas Lights

The annual Christmas lights on Hong Kong’s skyscrapers are free, just take an evening stroll along Tsim Tsa Tsui promenade for a spectacular view. Nearby Harbour City and 1881 Heritage are also known for impressive Christmas displays, so we suggest starting or finishing your promenade walk here. Alternatively hop aboard the Star Ferry for just a couple of dollars and see the lights from the water.  

 

Christmas Shopping in Hong Kong

Christmas Markets

Handmade Hong Kong

Christmas markets are mighty thin on the ground this year in these Coronatimes. Nevertheless, Handmade Hong Kong still has markets pencilled in for 22 November and 6 December 2020 showcasing many local vendors. We’re crossing our fingers that they will go ahead, please check their website for updates before setting off.   UPDATE 18.11.2020: Market on 22 November has been cancelled. Please check to the Handmade Hong Kong Facebook Page – links to vendors are provided so that you can shop online. Tentatively, the 6 December market may still go ahead.

Hong Kong Living Christmas Getaway

Currently, there is also a Hong Kong Living Christmas Getaway planned at the Pulse in Repulse Bay on 12 and 13 December 2020. For further details and ticket prices, check here.

Treasure Island Christmas Market

Visit Pui O on Lantau, for their annual Christmas Market Festival on 12 and 13 December. Find out more here.

 

hong kong giftsGift Suggestions

We’ve put together a Homegrown Hong Kong Gift Guide with plenty of ideas to help you with any last-minute seasonal shopping. This year in particular, we are keen to support local Hong Kong businesses. We’ve included, our brand new Hong Kong Quests, which make perfect stocking fillers and also our popular veggie food tour, which will run on selected dates during the Christmas holidays.

Charity Events

Christmas Concert

The Fayre of Maggie’s is going to be a virtual event this year and will take place on Thursday 10 December at 7pm. The event includes Christmas carols, festive readings and special performances. Additionally, there will be a “live” (virtual) auction and raffle. Individual tickets are HK$1500 and family tickets are HK$5000. Funds go towards Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre .

Secret Santa

Christmas is the season of giving and their are plenty of wonderful charities helping the less fortunate. You could give a Secret Santa gift which will go to an underprivileged child in Hong Kong, through local charity Angels for Children.

AWA Christmas Charity Bazaar

The usual physical bazaar cannot go ahead, instead there is a virtual Silent Auction, Lucky Lai See Prize Draw or you can donate to the Giving Tree. For further details, visit the American Women’s Association website.

Where to Buy a Christmas Tree in Hong Kong

With limited travel options over the 2020 Christmas period, be sure to order your Christmas tree well in advance.

  • Sophie’s trees has been supplying Hong Kong residents with Christmas foliage for 20 odd years.
  • Sai Kung’s Wah King Garden is ready for Christmas shoppers, supplying Christmas trees and a beautiful crop of poinsettia plants.
  • Head to Mongkok’s flower market for your Christmas tree and decoration needs.
  • Ikea sells affordable real and artificial Christmas trees and also supplies decorations, gift wrap and a few edible festive goodies. Outlets are in Causeway Bay, Kowloon and Shatin.

 

Skip the line at the Peak Tram Tours

Seasonal Offers

We love visiting Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak. Until mid December there are discounts if you have 1 or more of the following letters in your name  P E A K. Also, from now until the end of January, take ride up on the Peak Tram and receive vouchers to spend at the shops at the top. More details are here.

 

 

 

Christmas pandaOther Festive Fun

Santa Tracker

There are several great Santa Trackers to choose from in the lead up to Christmas Day. Check out the following to find out what Santa’s up to, where he is and to discover fun games and activities for younger kids. Google Santa Tracker, Santa Update and Norad are all great options.

Elf Yourself

After such a serious year, we all need a good laugh. In case you’ve never heard of it, the very silly Elf Yourself enables you to put the faces of you and your loved ones on the cartoon bodies of dancing elves. It’s childish, but weirdly hilarious.

 

If you know of any other special events taking place in Hong Kong during the 2020/2021 Christmas and New Year festive season, please let us know so that we can update our listings: CONTACT US.