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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Top five romantic spots in Hong Kong


By on Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yesterday during my lunch break, I passed by a church in Central where there was a piano recital being held. The music reminded me of romantic scenes from movies like Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and Serendipity, which were all set in New York. Then I thought, is there ever a place in Hong Kong which has the same romantic appeal as the Empire State Building, Central Park or Rockefeller Center? Hong Kong is such a noisy and crowded busy place, which may be what New York actually is in real life. Nevertheless, I tried to think of at least five romantic spots in Hong Kong (with the help of my husband), and here is what we came up with:

View of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel from the pier
5. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

No, not just the theme park. The theme park is small and crowded with mainland Chinese tourists; even the nightly fireworks which I do find 'magical' could minimise its romantic appeal with such rowdy crowd. What I'm talking about are the areas just right outside the theme park – the pier, the hotels and Inspiration Lake.

By the pier, you could take a romantic walk along the waterfront, where – on a clear day – you could catch a view of Hong Kong island (Central) and Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui). The walk would also lead you to the gardens of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, where you could spend time getting lost in the maze of shrubbery with your special someone.

At the opposite direction, towards north-east, is Inspiration Lake, which is a man-made lake park where you can rent a paddleboat or a Surrey Bike, or just lay a mat on the grass and have a romantic picnic with the hills as your backdrop.

View of the 1881 Heritage grounds from above
4. 1881 Heritage

If old, historical buildings are what appeals to you, then the former marine headquarters, presently known as 1881 Heritage, is a good romantic spot. Conveniently located at Tsim Sha Tsui, it is just a few steps away from the Star Ferry pier and the Avenue of Stars, which could also be romantic spots if you don't mind the crowd. Although the building now houses luxury brands and fine dining, a few artefacts from the Victorian era were preserved and are kept at a small exhibition room within the grounds. The romantic spot could be a few climbs to the top, where the big tree stands, or at the courtyard, where they occasionally display elegant and elaborate decorations depending on the season.

Bridal photo shoot at Hong Kong Park
3. Hong Kong Park

Right next to the Central business district is a spot that serves as a respite from the stressful environment of the office – much like what Central Park is for Miranda of Sex and the City. A quick picnic lunch at the park is good, a walk along its pathways is better, but doing both with your special someone is the best – much like a scene from Maid in Manhattan and countless other romantic Hollywood films.

Hong Kong Park also has an al fresco restaurant right by the artificial waterfall, which adds to its charm, so it's no wonder why many couples like to have their wedding photos taken at the park. The park also has a museum, an aviary, a greenhouse and a sports centre.

Large as it is, the park is relatively clean and there is no sign of threat to your safety. There are no beggars, homeless persons or muggers. The only weird thing I experienced there was when a man with a turban approached me and offered me something, I couldn't remember what. But that was just once and I never saw him again. In other days, Hong Kong Park is still romantic.

2. Tai Pak beach, Discovery Bay

It may only be just a beach but it is a romantic spot for me and my husband. First of all, it isn't as crowded as any other place in Hong Kong yet the closest bar or restaurant is just a few steps away. You won't even hear the noise from the bars; what you will hear is the sound of the waves. Secondly, the view on a clear night is spectacular. I'm not talking about the usual Hong Kong skyline, but of the view of Tsing Ma bridge from the distance. You could even watch the Disneyland fireworks from the beach. Lastly, Discovery Bay is an expat community so you will not feel lost in translation. In fact, you will feel as if you are not in Hong Kong at all!

Tai Pak beach during the Mid-Autumn Festival – is there anything more romantic than the full moon?

1. Victoria Peak

In the end, we still consider the Peak as the most romantic spot in Hong Kong. Yes, there are less crowded areas in this popular tourist spot, and yes, it is more romantic to visit during the early evening. If you'd like to go for a stroll, take a circular route along Lugard Road and Harlech Road, or head down to Findlay Path. If exercise is your thing, go there early and hike up to Victoria Peak Garden, or hike down through Old Peak Road or Barker Road. Choose your own romantic adventure!

Iza A.

Iza A. is a former writer and freelance editor in the Philippines. She now lives in Hong Kong and works in an office. She enjoys blogging during her free time, which explains why she doesn't blog as frequently as she used to anymore.

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