Cover Find a new hobby in Hong Kong with our guide (Photo: Getty Images)

Feel connected and make new friends by joining a niche subculture or society this year

If you’ve complained about a lack of events and opportunities to socialise during the pandemic, perhaps you need a new hobby. Bubbling beneath the surface of Hong Kong society is a cornucopia of clubs, societies and groups to suit all interests and personalities.

Platforms like Eventbrite, Meetup and Facebook are excellent sources of information on local events that connect like-minded individuals for all kinds of hobbies and pursuits. Here is an eclectic cross-section of the groups currently active in the city—with many more to be discovered.

See also: 10 Unique Hobbies To Try In Hong Kong

Off the beaten path

Hong Kong’s trail-running community encompasses at least three groups dedicated to organising runs that take on both urban trails and the territory’s stunning country parks. Lace up, grab a hydration vest and get stuck in with them.

Discover more at tgr.run

Screen Time

Who needs to tussle for an overpriced PlayStation 5 when there are video games to celebrate from the past? Spark nostalgia at one of Retro Game Lovers Hong Kong’s meets—currently online-only due to Covid-19—where gamers unite to chat, play together and celebrate classic and indie titles.

Discover more at meetup.com/retrogamesHK

Tiles and smiles

Scrabble, the fun family game you may remember from your childhood, is serious stuff in Hong Kong, where keen players can join a thriving and highly competitive community that has a championship and dedicated association to promote the tabletop favourite.

Discover more at hkscrabble.org

Check, mate

TV series The Queen’s Gambit sparked a revival of interest in chess last year. If the novelty hasn’t yet worn The Queen’s Gambit off, consider joining Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club, an organisation with three centres across the city and plenty of opportunities for all-ages training, tournaments and socials.

Discover more at caissahk.org

See also: 8 Of The Best Luxury Chess Sets To Add To Your Collection

Never be board

If your gaming interests are more analogue than digital, you’ll be in good company with Board Game Oasis, an international community of board game enthusiasts. Game-oriented bars and cafés, like Kennedy Town’s Wheat and Wood, have been popping up all over the city in the last few years—here’s where you’ll find friends to go with.

Discover more at meetup.com/boardgame-oasis

Movie magic

For fans of homegrown movie-making, there is a group of cinephiles dedicated to celebrating Hong Kong’s historic film industry and its many stars. As well as a platform for buying and selling physical media, the club also serves as a conduit for discussions and events. 

Discover more at Hong Kong Cinema Appreciation Society on Facebook

Go for a spin

In an era of streaming, vinyl record collecting is experiencing a resurgence from music lovers who value owning a tangible creation. After picking up LPs from one of the city’s many record shops, Hong Kong-based audiophiles gather online or in person to share their discoveries and devotion to music in a rapidly reviving format.

Discover more at Vinyl Lovers of Hong Kong on Facebook

The good fight

The last year has had many of us itching to give something (or someone) a good wallop. Harness that frustration and channel it into a mindful discipline like kung fu. Hong Kong is full of fitness centres, but Kungfu Culture is an inclusive and active group of martial arts practitioners who train in movement, fitness and self-defence.

Discover more at meetup.com/kung fu-culture

Bird is the world

Bird watching had a trendy makeover during lockdown. Now the secret’s out: birds are beautiful and fascinating creatures, and Hong Kong is an enviable location to spot a vast range of them. You don’t need much—some binoculars and a field guide are useful—and the Hong Kong Birdwatching Society has everything you need to know.

Discover more at hkbws.org.hk

See also: Birdwatching In Hong Kong: 5 Rare Birds And Where To Find Them

Do it for science

One of Hong Kong’s better-known clubs, the Royal Geographical Society has been inspiring the  curious for more than 25 years. From talks delivered by heavyweight speakers to field trips, dinners and quizzes, the science-focused society organises more than 120 events a year, warranting its modest membership fee.

Discover more at rgshk.org.hk

Into the sunset

Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of being a biker, getting a questionable tattoo and raising hell around town. Hong Kong doesn’t exactly have the open roads of the US or Australia to blaze a Harley down, but Outlaws Motorcycle Club make do anyway. This “brotherhood” meets to bike and drink—responsibly, of course. The only way to join is to find an Outlaw and ask them.

Discover more at outlawsmc.hk

See also: 9 Unique And Beautiful Places To Watch The Sunset In Hong Kong

(No) meat and greet

If documentaries like Seaspiracy, The Game Changers and Earthlings have shaken your faith in the meat and dairy industries, yet you lack the confidence to go plant-based alone, why not join one of Hong Kong’s vegan societies? Groups like the 4,000-member-strong Vegans Hong Kong are a great springboard into the lifestyle, with regular tips, socials and news.

Discover more at Vegan Hong Kong on Facebook

See also: Earth Day 2021: The Best Vegetarian And Vegan Tasting Menus In Asia

Thar she brews

In the male-dominated beer industry, societies like Pink Boots promote brewing among women. The Hong Kong chapter offers an avenue to gain skills while meeting fellow female beer enthusiasts. The group also produces its own branded beers, in collaboration with the city’s flourishing craft brewing industry.

Discover more at facebook.com/ pinkbootssocietyHK 

Roll up, roll up

Quad skating is one of the more exciting subcultures to have taken root in Hong Kong in recent years. What started as a group of rollerskaters frustrated at the lack of places to skate in Hong Kong has grown into a dynamic, female-led community that hosts regular practices, social skates and roller derby games.

Discover more at madamequad.com

Just keep paddling

Jump into a sea kayak to experience more of Hong Kong. Sea Kayakers and Friends is a near-3,000-strong group that welcomes everyone from beginners to pros. For a small equipment rental fee each time, participants have a calendar of training sessions and day trips (like dolphin-spotting or island-exploring) to look forward to.

Discover more at meetup.com/sea-kayakers-friends

See also: How Sneaker Collecting Evolves From A Niche Hobby To An Investment—Plus 5 New Sneaker Releases To Watch Out For