Slurp some noodles
There are very few places in Causeway Bay where you’ll get a tasty, filling meal for less than HK$50 - but Tam Chai Yunnan Noodles (or 譚仔雲南米線) is one of them. There are more than 50 branches of Tam Chai all over Hong Kong and the New Territories, but we love the branch on the lower ground of Circle Tower on Tang Lung Street for being right in the heart of the shopping district. For HK$34, you get a heaping big bowl of noodles (at your preferred level of spiciness) with one topping. The more toppings, the pricier, naturally - but we’ve found we can comfortably add an extra topping or two and still not have to break out a HK$100 note. We’d eat here every day, if we could.
The Tai Po Waterfront Park is a great little getaway from the stifling mess of buildings in the main city areas. The air is cleaner, the views are nicer and you can relax for the whole day strolling around the grassy paths. You can also rent a bike and ride along the waterfront, and it’s a great place for a picnic. Overall a nice spot to spend a lazy day with nature.
If you like Northern Chinese food, but have no plans for a holiday on the mainland right now, head to Beijing City in Quarry Bay (G/F, 4A-6 Hoi Kwong Street, Phone: 2597 4182; there isn’t an English name on the sign). This tiny place only has about six tables, but they’ll squeeze you in, and slap down some of the best dumplings south of Wangfujing. Popular during weekday lunchtimes with workers from nearby Taikoo Place, and with families at dinner after work, you might have to queue for a while, but it’ll be worth it. (Of course, you can just avoid the queue by visiting outside of peak mealtimes.) A $50 bowl of their silky-skinned goodies will make all your troubles melt away.
Take a break from city life
Chi Lin Nunnery is a monastery complex in Diamond Hill, Hong Kong built in the style of a Tang dynasty temple. This little green paradise in the city of skyscrapers is an easy five minute walk from Diamond Hill MTR station, and includes a nunnery, temple halls and gardens with beautifully landscaped trees – there’s plenty to explore. The main temple hall houses several golden Buddhist statues that are a marvel to look at. There is also a vegetarian restaurant (Chi Lin Vegetarian) inside the Nan Lian Garden that is next to the nunnery where you can feast on delicious Chinese vegetarian dim sum while looking out over a waterfall.
Nom nom at cha chaan tengs
Our city is known to be a melting pot of cultures that offers a wide array of international cuisines, but for some truly local cuisine you must head to one of Hong Kong’s old cha chaan tengs. These often crowded cafes are iconic to the city, and while they wouldn’t be rated for cleanliness or friendly service, you can’t fault their food. No other city can do butter-stuffed pineapple buns and condensed milk-saturated milk tea better than us.
Food tour in a mall
Kwai Chung Plaza is the all-in-one place where you can taste Hong Kong’s trending street eats and get a good bargain of clothes and accessories. In this maze-like mall you will find various yet creative food stores serving the hottest street food, such as egg waffle with fancy toppings, shredded chicken soba noddles, roasted pudding, crispy milk curd, tofu pudding with taro and sweet potato balls.... Foodies will not be disappointed! Also right after the #sougaai, you may shop around and get some affordable cool clothes for the new year!
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