Cover When wanderlust hits, visit these Instagrammable spots in Hong Kong for a taste of escapism—from Sai Kung to Ha Pak Nai, Tai O, and more (Photo: @emily_0224/Instagram)

Miss travelling? We’ve compiled a list of beautiful Hong Kong Instagrammable spots that will make you feel like you’re enjoying overseas holidays—no passport required

As pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives, travel seems like a distant dream and we have no choice but to scroll through old photo albums to fanaticise about future getaways.  

But just because our travel wings are clipped right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t satisfy our wanderlust in our home city. With plenty of spectacular architectures, luxury hotels, gorgeous natural wonders and new restaurant openings to get excited about, there's no denying that Hong Kong is filled with beautiful sightseeing spots and fun activities to break your boring void. 

And if you’ve been seriously bitten by the travel bug and are itching to get away from it all, these Instagrammable spots in Hong Kong could be the perfect cure for the holiday blues. Featuring glorious landscapes and structures that look and feel like foreign countries, these places will not only have you temporarily imagine that you’re travelling abroad, but also offer you beautiful backdrops to frame some envy-inducing holiday snaps for the ‘gram—no passport required.

Read more: The Most Instagrammable Spots In Hong Kong’s Luxury Hotels

1. Shek O Village

Looks and feels like: Cinque Terre in Italy 

Lying in the southeast reaches of Hong Kong island, Shek O is a peninsula where brimming with quaint village charm, stunning natural scenery and laid-back restaurants that make for a perfect weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle.

Inside this lovely beachside neighbourhood, there’s a small village packed with colourful houses reminiscent of those you’ll find in Cinque Terre, Italy. Featuring vibrant colour combinations and unique murals on the walls, these structures will not only provide you with an aesthetically pleasing backdrop for your ‘gram, but also lift up your mood instantly and make your visit to the hood more enjoyable. 

How to get there: Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan and leave via exit A3 to the bus terminal. Then, take bus 9 to Shek O. 

Don't miss: 7 Seaside Towns to Explore in Hong Kong

2. Tai O

Looks and feels like: Venice, Italy 

Once a major fishing and trading ports in Hong Kong, Tai O today has transformed into one of locals’ most beloved day trip destinations and earned a reputation for being “Venice of Hong Kong”, with locals come far and wide to admire the traditional stilt-houses and soak up the village’s beautiful natural scenery for a relaxing holiday break. 

Whether you’re planning to go on a boat ride to catch a glimpse of those lovely Chinese Pink Dolphins, or spend a leisurely afternoon at a café resting on stilts for coffee and boat watching, every corner in this village is guaranteed to create lovely memories and picture-worthy moments. The blues rope-drawn ferry bridge is Tai O’s most popular and photographed landmarks, which gives off major Venice vibes for some beautiful holiday snaps. 

How to get there: Take the ferry to Mui Wo from Central pier, then hop on bus 1 to Tai O. Alternatively, take the MTR to Tung Chung, then take bus 11 to Tai O. 

See also: Neighbourhood Guide: What to Eat, Drink and Do in Tai O

3. Pineapple Mountain

Looks and feels like: Grand Canyon in the United States 

Pineapple Moutain, known affectionately as “Po Lo Shan” in Cantonese, is an unspoiled paradise famous for its rare geological rock formation and scenic hiking trail. The name of the mountain was inspired by its unique topography that closely resembles the yellowish, cracked crust of Hong Kong’s iconic treat—pineapple buns. 

From there, you’ll be treated to beautiful views of Tuen Mun, Castle Peak and South China Sea, as well as plenty of ‘gram-worthy spots and Grand Canyon-like rock formations you need for an epic photo. For the best shots, we recommend positioning yourself around the edges and posing for some back shots of you overlooking the ravines. The place can be crowded on both weekdays and weekends, and with so many rock formations, make sure to be extra cautious when taking photos and exploring the area. 

How to get there: Take the MTR to the Siu Hong Station (West Rail Line), then take either the 615 or 505 light rail to Leung King. Follow the signs to begin walking up to Leung Tin Au to reach Po Lo Shan.

4. Hoi Pui Reservoir Family Walk

Looks and feels like: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto 

You don’t have to leave Hong Kong to admire the beauty of Japan’s bamboo landscape—there’s a family-friendly walk around Ho Pui Reservoir in Tsuen Wan District where you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature for a taste of escapism from city life.

Situated in the middle section of the walk is the bamboo grove that will remind you of Kyoto’s Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The path is shaded by tall bamboo stalks and glowing with the reflected rays of the sun that makes for an idyllic backdrop for some artsy shots. This is an Instagram opportunity that involves a little more effort, but it’s definitely well worth the trek to explore the hidden side of Hong Kong and reconnect with nature. 

How to get there: Take public transport to Ho Pui Tsuen. Walk for around 30 minutes from Ho Pui Tsuen to Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk. Alternatively, you can take green minibus 71 at Yuen Long Tai Hang Street, Kam Sheung Road MTR Station or Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange to reach the walk.

Read also: 5 Lesser-Known Instagram Spots in Hong Kong for a Picturesque Escape

5. Tsz Shan Monastery

Looks and feels like: Temples in Japan

A grand project by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing with an aim to promote Buddhism, Tsz Shan Monastery is one of the most peaceful spots in the city that will make you feel like you’ve escaped to those ancient temples in Japan.

Spanning around 500,000 square feet, this monastery was built in Tang dynasty-style of architecture. It’s imbued with greenery, spacious gardens and elegant temple halls that are perfect for a relaxing walk and contemplation, where visitors can truly experience tranquillity and enjoy scenic sights.

Aside from the beautiful scenery and soulful atmosphere, it’s the giant statue of Guan Yin (goddess of mercy) that makes the monastery worthy of a visit. At 76 metres in height, the bronze-forged white statue is also the second tallest Guan Yin statue in the world.  

How to get there: Visitors are required to complete an online registration form prior to entering the monastery. The monastery is currently closed due to the pandemic, you can visit the official website here for the latest entry arrangement.

Don't miss: 8 Beautiful Temples to Visit in Hong Kong

6. Pak Lap Wan, Sai Kung

Looks and feels like: Flower farms in Japan and The Netherlands

If Sai Kung’s seafood delicacies, gorgeous beaches and scenic hikes aren’t enough to attract you to visit the peninsula for a day trip, the idea of enjoying views of a spectacular sea of tulip flowers should do the trick.

It’s no secret that the flower fields in Japan and The Netherlands have always been at the top of the travel bucket list for many, but this hidden gem, Pak Lap Village in Sai Kung also has a large flower garden that can rival the beauty of those places. A haven for those who are looking to add a splash of colour to their feeds, the farm alive with lush landscapes, cool breeze and tulips in white, yellow, red and many more colours to offer visitors postcard-like backdrops and memorable holiday breaks.

Make sure you also take advantage of the photogenic surroundings, including the rainbow-coloured houses and Pak Lap Wan, and use natural light for some stunning portraits.

How to get there: The blossoming season for tulips will arrive in March, but visitors can now also enjoy a beautiful landscape with yellow flowers. Take the MTR to Choi Hung and leave via Exit C1, then take the green minibus 1A to Sai Kung Town. Take taxi to reach the tulip farm. If you’re planning to visit on weekends, take minibus 9A at Pak Tam Chung Bus Terminus.

7. Ha Pak Nai

Looks and feels like: Mirror lake in Bolivia 

Frequented by nature lovers and photographers alike, Ha Pak Nai is one of the best, most secluded places to watch the sunset in Hong Kong. Boasting a sublime sunset panorama that completes with a mangrove wetland, this tranquil place will have you mistaken for thinking you’re at Salar de Uyuni—”Mirror of The Sky”—the world’s largest salt flat in southwest Bolivia. 

A large area of mudflats at Ha Pak Nai can be utilised for reflection photography to mimic the breathtaking scenery as seen at that unique tourist attraction, where you’re guaranteed to find numerous excellent photography spots to create your own interpretation of the sky mirror. Tatler tip: Stick around for a little longer for the sunset and make the changing hues in the sky as the backdrop for a few more postcard-perfect shots. 

How to get there: Take the West Rail Line to Yuen Long Station and leave via exit B. Then, walk to Tai Fung Street and take the green minibus No. 33 or bus NR941 and get off at Ap Tsai Hang. Continue walking along the path next to the river to reach Ha Pak Nai. 

Read more: 9 Unique and Beautiful Places to Watch the Sunset in Hong Kong

8. Stargazing platform in Shui Long Wo

Looks and feels like: Angkor Wat 

A hidden Instagram gem nestled between Tai Po and Sai Kung, Shui Long Wo is a secluded oasis of peace that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a magical forest. The area is filled with greenery and a scenic hiking trail—Kei Ling Ha Tree Walk—which features plenty of scenery to take in along the way.  

But the real draw is the ten-metre-tall stargazing platform—a photogenic structure that features a quaint design inspired by the ancient astrological observation tower in Dengfeng in Henan province in China. At first glance, the stargazing platform immediately conjures images of those temple structures we’ll find in Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Surrounded by tall trees and lush shrubbery, this spot has ample space for you to capture its beauty in panoramic shots that’ll leave your friends guessing where you've been.

How to get there: Take MTR to the Wu Kai Sha station and leave via exit B. Take bus 99 at the nearby terminus. 

Don't miss: The Best Stargazing Spots in Hong Kong

9. Art Lane

Looks and feels like: Ihwa Mural Village in South Korea

Hong Kong’s answer to the Ihwa Mural Village in South Korea, Art Lane in Sai Ying Pun is one of the city’s best spots to admire street art. Here, you’ll be surrounded by a wide collection of murals created by talented local and international artists—all featuring distinctive themes and characters that make for a photogenic backdrop for some stunning shots.

Art Lane, 8 Chung Ching Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

How to get there: Take MTR to the Sai Ying Pun station and leave via exit B3.

Don't miss: Where to Find the Best Street Art in Hong Kong

10. Long Ke Wan

Looks and feels like: The Maldives 

If you can’t make it to the Maldives for some sun and blue waves, a trip to Long Ke Wan in Sai Kung could be the next best thing. Located between the volcanic hills of Hong Kong’s UNESCO Global Geopark, the beach has long been a perennial favourite among sun-seekers for its turquoise waters and spectacular rocky landscapes. The natural beauty of the beach is unmatched, featuring all the holiday vibes and stunning backdrops you need for an amazing shot, beach picnics, sunset viewing and more.  

How to get there: Take a taxi from Sai Kung town to the East Dam of High Island Reservoir, followed by a 20-minute walk. Alternatively, you can hike the Maclehose Stage 2 trail from the East Dam to Long Ke village. 

This article was originally published on March 11, 2021 and was updated on January 28, 2022.


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