All the pretty kitties
If you want to really relax, a visit to the Cat Store may be right up your alley. A casual meal with friends and some friendly felines will take your mind off that hectic summer school schedule.
Where: Flat D-E, 3/F Po Ming Building, Fu Ming Street, Causeway Bay
Shop those summer days away
The Pulse is a relatively new mall overlooking Repulse Bay. But it's not just shops and restaurants: until July 25, there will be a water carnival called Endless Summer. Activities include water slides, water soccer, photo booths, face painting, and much more, and it's open from noon to 8pm every Saturday. Anyone age five and up can take part - so I'm getting my ticket now!
Like a living room for learning
I like going to Life Thinktank, an upstairs workshop that provides a cozy, welcoming space for all kinds of activities. They've got an open kitchen with drinks and teabags, wooden furniture, tatami, cushions, plush toys, and DVDs. It's easy to idle away an afternoon without getting bored. You can even learn a new skill in one of their DIY classes, such as making soap or leather products, or even summer piano and harp classes.
You can book the place for birthdays or other events with friends and family. If you want to spend some time there, just Whatsapp the owner beforehand to see if the place is free.
Where: 10/F Capital Commercial Building, 26 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay
Phone and Whatsapp: 5184 7268
Water, water everywhere!
I absolutely love the Nu Tung Chai Waterfalls in Tai Mo Shan, which are the biggest falls in Hong Kong. There are large waterfalls and hundreds of smaller pools for swimming. It's very relaxing and not too hard to get to, but it is quite far away.
Shek O beach on Hong Kong Island is also pretty easy to get to. It has soft sand and warm waters with a beach cafe and places to BBQ. When the weather's really nice it can be busy though, so Big Wave Bay, which is just around the corner, may be better, plus it's great for surfers.
Swimming and snacking
On the east coast of the Sai Kung peninsula, Sai Wan is one of the nicest beaches in Hong Kong, with beautiful white sand, clear blue waters, and waves to keep any surfer happy. You can take a taxi there, but why not take the ferry from Sai Kung - or better yet, enjoy a rewarding hike along the MacLehose Trail.
Or if you're looking for secret snacking, head to one of the Eric Kayser Artisan bakeries. They offer high quality, traditional French bread, as well as delicious cakes and pastries. You can sit inside and enjoy your yummy, fresh baked goods with a relaxing coffee, hot chocolate or a cold, refreshing juice, and pretend you're à Paris!
A seaside alternative
St Stephen's Beach in Stanley offers die-hard swimmers, surfers, sunbathers and general beach lovers a few things that the popular Main Beach doesn't: peace; serenity. This coastal hideaway has an aura of untouched beauty about it.
Next time you head to Stanley, rebel, and tell your taxi driver to drop you at the calm, tranquil St Stephen's instead, where you can completely let go of all your summer holiday stress caused by internships or holiday homework.
Go discover Discovery Bay
If you hate busy city life, check out Discovery Bay! It's on tranquil Lantau Island, so you can enjoy the beauty of nature while hiking and cycling. If you are not an outdoors person, you can go to the mall!
There is also a gorgeous white chapel in Discovery Bay where lots of couples get married.
DB is definitely a relaxing hideaway. Like other islands in Hong Kong, you need to take a ferry there, but this is part of the fun.
The centre of the action - and inaction
Despite being right in the middle of Central, Hong Kong Park is one of the most un-Hong Kong places on the island. With flowing waterfalls, sun-basking terrapins and luscious greenery, this is a beautiful place to escape the concrete jungle.
Visiting the aviary is a must, but even just sitting on the benches and people-watching is great fun, and on hot days, standing in front of the spray of the waterfalls is heavenly. This little oasis right in the centre of Hong Kong's urban sprawl is definitely worth checking out.
Corporate coffee in disguise
The Starbucks at 13 Duddell Street in Central looks like a cha chaan teng. The inside is nice and looks very different from other Starbucks, although the menu is pretty much the same. Also, as it's up a hill, you get a mini workout climbing up to reach it. It is a nice place to spend time just reading alone or catching up with a friend.