Hong Kong Milk Tea vs Taiwan Bubble Tea: Same same or different?

Hong Kong is known as a foodie paradise, and we are lucky to have some of the best examples of Asian cuisine in the city. Here in a fun side-by-side, we compare two of the most popular drinks consumed by Hong Kongers, the Hong Kong style milk tea, and the Taiwanese bubble tea.


Whilst the Hong Kong style milk tea (奶茶) can trace its history back further, the Taiwanese style bubble tea has arguable reached a more global audience, being known as boba tea, pearl tea or tapioca milk tea, and Cha_cheng_teng milk tea pineapple bunwith many variants and types of “bubble” the world over.

Hong Kong style milk tea is a recipe of strong black tea, passed many times through a fine sieve or stocking. The nicknames of “pantyhose” or “silk-stocking” tea are often used to describe it due to this unique filtration process. The more it is filtered, the smoother it becomes! Add evaporated milk and sugar to your liking, and it is complete.

Milk tea is said to have originated in 1952 at Lan Fong Yuen in Central. You can still call in for a visit next time you’re in town for a classic cup and a Hong Kong style breakfast (our favourite is the macaroni in soup and the scrambled eggs with corned beef).

It is now considered so close to our hearts that this humble cup of milk tea is listed as part of Hong Kong’s cultural heritage.

bubble teaTaiwanese bubble tea (珍珠奶茶) is also a black tea, but this time served with non-dairy creamer and the addition of large chewy tapioca balls or “bubbles”. There is some rivalry over who invented the recipe with two competing tearooms claiming the origins, Hanlin in Tainan and Chun Shui Tang in Taichung. Either way, it has reached its forty-year anniversary and we still love it!

It is a must have in Taiwan (and Hong Kong) with so many different varieties of tea now to chose: green tea, white tea, fruit tea, taro tea, Thai tea… the list goes on. And the bubbles don’t even have to be tapioca anymore, you can choose from: jelly, taro balls, fruit, red beans and popping candy balls. Personally I do draw the line at putting cheese in my cup, which is available at some outlets!!

Milk Tea vs Bubble Tea

Hong Kong milk tea is found in the local cha chaan teng cafes, known for a vast array of well loved comfort foods. Join us on one of our food tours to sample some more delicious treats that Hong Kong has to offer.

The Hong Kong Greeters Guide To The Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront

Our guide to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade starts and ends in Central and is bookended by ferry crossings. Tsim Sha Tsui offers the ideal viewing point to soak up those stellar views of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline completely free of charge, with plenty of other attractions along the way. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront – from the Star Ferry pier in the west, all the way to sundowners with a view in the east.

Star Ferry Pier

hong kong star ferryArrive at Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in style on the iconic Star Ferry from Central. Starting at the Promenade’s westerly point, alight the Star Ferry at its Tsim Sha Tsui terminus, built on reclaimed land at the Kowloon Peninsula’s southernmost tip.

The original pier opened in 1906 before being promptly destroyed by a typhoon in September of the same year. The current pier was opened in 1957, and features a number of small stores including the fabulous 80M Model Shop, whose extensive collection of Hong Kong transport models and toys is always a huge hit with younger visitors.

Ocean Terminal and Harbour City

Another stop at this end of the promenade is Ocean Terminal, a former wharf pier rebuilt in the 1960s as a cruise ship terminal, and home to Hong Kong’s first ever shopping mall.

These days, Ocean Terminal forms part of the two million square-foot Harbour City development, the city’s largest mall, with upscale shops, restaurants and bars galore to explore.

Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower

tst clock tower Tsim Sha Tsui waterfrontWith your back to Ocean Terminal, head towards the harbour and the clock tower. Built in 1915, it is the only remnant of the former Kowloon Station, which was once the terminus station of the Kowloon-Canton Railway.

The 1915 construction originally repurposed a single clock from the demolished Pedder Street Clock Tower, with a further three clock faces added in 1921. With the exception of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in World War II, they have continued to run ever since – eagle-eyed visitors may be able to sport some of the damage inflicted on the tower’s brickwork during that period.

The station was relocated to Hung Hom in the 1970s, making way for the Space Museum, Museum of Art and Cultural Centre to be built on its former site, however the tower was preserved and declared a monument in 1990.

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of ArtEstablished in 1962, the HKMoA was the city’s first ever public art museum. After a full refurbishment, the museum reopened to visitors in 2019 and is now home to over 17,000 curated artworks and installations across seven floors. Admission to the museum is free of charge, and you’ll find plenty here to keep art lovers of all ages busy.

Enjoy regular guided tours, an excellent bookshop and two restaurants – Hue, which offers fine dining with amazing views, and Ink, a casual alfresco café. If you prefer to grab-and-go, then check out the food trucks that dish up delicious Hong Kong snacks, such as pineapple buns and dumplings – trucks are typically located in Salisbury Gardens, close to the museum.

Symphony of Lights

Hong Kong Greeters Skyline at DuskHong Kong’s most original (and some might say, strangest!) attraction is its free musical light and laser show, performed nightly at 8pm. Featuring around fifty of Hong Kong’s most iconic buildings, including the Bank of China Tower, International Finance Centre and HSBC Main Building, the ten-minute performance beams lights across the city, accompanied by music and narration that is available to access via a free app.

The view from Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront offers a full view of the spectacle, with the upper deck of the promenade being the optimum viewing spot. Be sure to arrive before 7.30pm to guarantee a good spot.

Avenue of Stars

bruce lee statue avenue of stars Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront hong kong

Hong Kong’s answer to Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame, the Avenue of Stars, commemorates various luminaries from the city’s entertainment industry, including Chow Yun-fat, Jet Li, John Woo, Gong Li and Jackie Chan.

Arguably the most significant star featured is Bruce Lee ­– voted the greatest martial artist of all time ­– who not only features on a star, but who was also granted his own, 2.5-metre tall statue which sits along the promenade, which, alongside the statue of Cantopop diva Anita Mui, provides many a visitor with the opportunity for a celebrity selfie.

K11 MUSEA and Rosewood Hong Kong

Sculpture garden k11art mall Hong KongDescribed as “The Silicon Valley of Culture” (we’re not sure what this means either!), this vast mall-cum-gallery space threw open its doors in summer 2019, and now forms a key part of the new Victoria Dockside redevelopment. Featuring over 250 shops and 70 dining outlets, along with multiple art installations, a MoMA design store, and the “K11 Kulture Academy”, which runs a series of art, design, culinary and wellness programmes.

It’s fair to say that K11 MUSEA is a destination in its own right. Highlights include the Nature Discovery Park, which promotes urban biodiversity and sustainability, and the Donut Playground which features a three-storey slide. For a fancy foodie experience, head to Fortnum and Mason’s first non-UK location to enjoy afternoon tea with your pinkies out.

Legoland Discovery Centre Tsim Sha Tsui WaterfrontWith creative workshops, soft play and indoor rides, if you haven’t visited the land Discovery Centre yet, it is a must-do with kids. The Centre is easily accessed from the waterfront on level B1, and is easily 2-3 hours of interactive and educational entertainment for everyone.

Meanwhile, next door, the Rosewood Hong Kong is an uber-upscale addition to Hong Kong’s already swanky hotel scene. Opened in 2019, it also forms part of the landmark Victoria Dockside redevelopment and offers a huge variety of excellent dining options, including some surprisingly kid-friendly choices at Bayfare Social, Rosewood’s gastro-chic answer to a food court. Drop in for tea and beautiful cakes at Butterfly Patisserie, or indulge in some serious relaxation at Asaya, Rosewood’s spectacular spa.

Sundowners and a Landlocked Yacht

whampoa ship boat hong kongContinue along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade for another 20 or so minutes, passing the Hong Kong Coliseum music venue on your left, you’ll eventually arrive in Hung Hom.

Built predominantly on reclaimed land, this area is now home to the gleaming Kerry Hotel, which offers weary walkers the ideal spot to rest their legs and enjoy sundown cocktails on Red Sugar’s lovely alfresco terrace. Close by, in neighbouring Whampoa there is a huge ship,  disconcertingly nestled amongst residential tower blocks.

Hung Hom Pier

Hung Hom pier recently restarted direct ferry services to Central, after a lull of nearly a decade, although unfortunately services terminate relatively early each evening. Running until 7pm on weekdays and 6.20pm on weekends, we’d recommend swerving the air-conditioned cabin, in favour of an open-air top deck seat-with-a-view on your leisurely cruise back to Central’s Pier 8.

Hong Kong Quests: A New Way to Explore the City

Introducing Hong Kong Quests, Hong Kong Greeters’ new way to explore!

We’ve been wondering how we can still help you explore Hong Kong during a global pandemic and have been racking our brains at Hong Kong Greeters HQ to come up with some new and pandemic-proof outings. We’re delighted to announce that we are ready to roll out one of them: Hong Kong Quests.

What are Hong Kong Quests?

* Stocking Filler * Team Building Venture * Family Fun * Gift *

* School Outing * Birthday Party Activity *

Hong_Kong_Quests - Quest MapHong_Kong_Quests - St Johns

Set in Hong Kong, our Quests are treasure hunts combined with a self guided tour of a local neighbourhood.

Storytelling lies at the heart of our business, so each one has a unique backstory and we’ve also woven in a few interesting, thrilling, curious, creepy or slightly gross facts to keep you hooked.

Follow a series of directions and clues, to solve a mystery and complete your quest.

As well as being both pandemic proof and affordable, our Quests are family friendly and screen-free!

Once your Quest is complete, you will be able to unlock a secret page on our website, to download your certificate and access bonus content.

Hong Kong Heist in CentralHong Kong Heist in Central Quest Treasure hunt

Stop thief! There’s been a bank heist in Hong Kong’s Central district. An audacious thief has stolen a bag of diamonds and has gone on the run.

Your Quest is to follow the clues to identify the thief and recover the stolen goods. This route starts and ends at Central MTR. Link above to purchase.

ghost wan chai Hong KongCreeped Out in Wanchai

Hong Kong’s Wan Chai neighborhood is probably the city’s most famous supernatural hotspot. Normally it doesn’t bother anyone, but this week haunted Hong Kongers and terrified tourists have been completely creeped out. Why? Because the ghost of a young girl has been howling with anguish day and night.

Your Quest is to follow the clues to uncover her name and find out where she was going and what happened to her. Link above to purchase.

Hong Kong Quests_logoCOMING SOON! Time-Trapped in TST

Monty Horloge is a time traveler who is time-trapped in Tsim Sha Tsui. He landed at the old Clock Tower with a bump and has amnesia. He’s supposed to return home tomorrow, but he’s forgotten where he needs to go.

Your Quest is to find out where and when the time portal will open and which year he needs to get back to.

Alternatively, if  you would like to discuss a private tour or customised team building event, we’d love to here from you.

CONTACT US

Hong Kong Quests - the fun is real

Discover the Best Macau Gifts and Macau 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 Souvenir 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. Any of these would be fantastic Macau souvenirs.

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.

This post contains some affiliate links. Should you click through and make a purchase, we may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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

This post contains affiliate links. Should you click through and make a purchase, we may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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 Host Guide Star Ferry

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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