12 sweat sessions locals love in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a fast paced fashionista’s town primed for partying tourists and locals alike. You’ll notice right away though, that everyone must also be making time to sweat it out. Take this wildly loveable city on like a local and you will find why so many come to visit and stay a lifetime.
1. VICTORIA’S PEAK - MORNING TRAIL
The Peak is generally the first activity a tour guide will mention on a Hong Kong must do list. Lucky for us, it can and should be an active tour. Take the tram up and get camera ready for the Peak Circle Walk, a 3.5km (2.2 mile) stroll around Hong Kong’s most popular summit, offering some of the best views of Hong Kong Island and beyond. The sight is equally stunning at night, so after your walk, grab a bite at one of the many restaurants and go it again to see the city light up.
Extra points and pints for running up the peak…
2. MARKETS - JADE, BIRD, FLOWER
Again, you cannot visit HK without a stop at one or many of the famous markets! This walk covers some of the top Kowloon markets in 5.4km (3.4 miles), though we would allocate a full afternoon to allow time for compulsory wandering and haggling.
3. WAKE BOARDING
Wakeboarding in Tai Tam on Hong Kong Island will have you breathless in more ways than one. You will see the southside of the island, where the other half lives. Don’t expect glamour, but do expect a fun full body workout with some killer views. Check out our favorite spot, here.
4. ONE-OFF CLASSES
Are you a fitness class junkie? Ya, us too. If you need a class fix on your holiday, you can find plenty of options in Hong Kong! From barre to cycle to intense core workouts - you can find what you’re looking for here.
5. DANCE - CLUBS
Heard on the street: “My UP band reads I danced five miles in LKF last night.”
Now that’s workout worthy. Hong Kong is home of an amazing club scene. You’ll find the highest concentration of tourists and locals partying in two spots: Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) and Wan Chai. Our favorite dance floors are found in Socialito, Boujis, and Dusk ‘til Dawn (for the night owl who loves a cover band), but for the full rundown this sassy guide has you covered.
6. BIKES - CHEUNG CHAU
Hop on a ferry and take in the scenery on your way to the motorless island of Cheung Chau. The boat ride is about 45 minutes and on arrival you’ll see bikes for rent street side. Your coastal ride will lead you to pirate hideaways and temples alike. Details here.
7. HAPPY VALLEY TRACK
The Happy Valley track is great place to work it like a local. The track and fields are filled with runners, walkers, trainers and sports teams alike - specifically from 6-8pm weekdays and all weekend. Get creative with self-enforced boot camp or go for a casual jog on the track’s 1,400 meter outer ring or the 1,000 meter softer (read: knee friendly) inner ring.
NOTE: On Wednesday night the track is closed - please proceed directly to the Happy Valley Racecourse Beer Garden, where you’ll find Hong Kongers pouring out of trams and into the stadium to socialize, gamble, drink and be merry as the city’s famous stallions whiz by.
Hong Kong has a surplus of golf courses, though most are private with open days booked for exorbitant greens fees. But don’t fret! The only true public course, Kai Sai Chau Public Golf Course, is one of the best and most beautiful in the region. Set on an island just off of Sai Kung in the New Territories, golfers are surrounded by kodak moments framed by a picturesque South China Sea. It might be a bit of a hike getting to your destination, but well worth it for the casual sweat and scenery the excursion brings.
Note: Non-HK residents can book on weekdays only. Bring sunscreen and water in hotter months. You want to make it to dinner without a red face and light head.
9. HIKE TO BIG WAVE BAY
Dragon’s Back, stage 8 of the Hong Kong trail, is one of Hong Kong’s most beloved hikes. This (~3.5 hour) scenic and relatively flat trek begins on Shek-O Road, taking you over ridgetops with breathtaking views of the South China Sea. Take the trail toward Big Wave Bay and finish off with a dip in this local surfer hotspot. After soaking in the new ground level scenery, we suggest you go through town, grabbing a water on the way, across the Big Wave Bay parking lot, and straight down Shek-O road to Shek-O Village. Here, you’ll find the best restaurant on the southside of Hong Kong.
Note: Look out for paragliders catching wind from the trail down to Shek-O beach.
Check out more Hong Kong hikes here.
There are plenty of courts for the booking in Hong Kong as the locals love this city sport. We like the Hong Kong Tennis Centre, $42hkd/hr, for its peaceful mountain views, which remove us from the Hong Kong hustle. Still, the facility’s proximity to Happy Valley eateries make for the perfect fit and fed affair.
Note: From the courts, hail the no. 5 green mini bus and let the driver know you’d like to get off in “pow ma day,” just 2 minutes down hill.
11. ICE SKATING
Are you a crossfitter? Hong Kong has you covered with numerous xfit facilities around town. Check out the Sai Ying Pun location and take a wonder around the hood while you’re at it! This up and coming neighborhood is host to some fantastic eateries and now has Hong Kong’s second significant outdoor escalator, which should be consoling to those tired post crossfit legs.
Our favorite spot in Sai Ying Pun: Metropolian. Just be sure to shower before sitting down on the terrace for some rosé and delicious french fair, as people watching does go two ways…