Some of the most interesting activities in Hong Kong happen at the break of dawn when shops are closed and streets are calm. If your early bird kiddos are up at sunrise, take advantage of the moment by exploring one of these cool, early morning outings in Hong Kong! Here are our top 20 recommendations of things to do in Hong Kong in the early morning.
Grab a couple of bagels on the go and head to the beach to build a sandcastle. R&R Bagels opens at 7:30am during the week and 9am on weekends in Central and offers a breakfast menu until 10am. Once you’ve got breakfast covered, catch the ferry to Mui Wo, where you can beach hop from Mui Wo Beach to Pui O and then onto Cheung Sha for a long walk along the water’s edge. Or, take a bus to Southside beaches and have a picnic.
R&R Bagels, 28 Li Yuen Street West, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2178 5168, www.facebook.com/randrbagels
Mount Austin Road, The Peak
Cheung Chau Island is packed on the weekends with hoards of day-trippers renting tandem bikes and pedaling around the island on the hunt for infamous snack stands selling everything from potato chips on sticks and fish balls to dessert soups. Weekdays are a lot more peaceful, and with regular early morning ferries every forty minutes, you have plenty of time to get there and take a stroll along the boardwalk before renting bikes from one of the many stands by the pier.
Cheung Chau Island, Ferry Pier, Pier 5, Central, Hong Kong. Click here to check out our guide and video on Cheung Chau Island.
For an easy morning adventure, make a beeline to Kowloon Park. The huge, lush park has ponds, beautiful birds, flowers and banyan trees in the many themed gardens, and even a maze. It’s also a popular spot to practice tai chi in the mornings, so take a seat and watch or join the fun. There are free guided birdwatching tours every Friday from 7:30am - 9:30am.
Tai Chi at Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk. Click here for the Little Steps' Tips to adventure in Kowloon Park!
Founded in 1913, the Yau Ma Tei Fruit market is the oldest in the city dedicated to only fruit. Though there are tales of kung fu masters hiding in the stalls back in the day, now 70% of all fruit that enters Hong Kong does so via this bustling market within walking distance to Elements. Get there between 2am-6am to see wholesalers at work selling the freshest fruits in the city, and be sure to sample a few!
Yaumatei Wholesale Fruit Market, Shek Lung Street & Reclamation Street, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong.
Ryze Hong Kong, 3/F and 1/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2337 8191, www.ryzehongkong.com
Once a Chinese imperial fort, the Kowloon Walled City remained Chinese territory during British colonial rule. However, the remaining troops were forced to vacate, and the city became an enclave for criminals. Kowloon Walled City Park is now a testament to Hong Kong’s history and the pristine Jiangnan-style gardens with its pretty pagodas and ponds are open to the public as of 6:30am everyday.
Kowloon Walled City Park, Tung Tsing Rd, Kowloon City, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk. Click here for the Little Steps' outing to Kowloon Walled City Park!
Lin Heung Teahouse, 160-164 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2544 4556, Website.
Long before there were skyscrapers, Hong Kong was a fishermen’s paradise. Get to the Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market early to see all manner of fish. This is an excellent way to teach your kiddos about marine life, and if you have the appetite for an early lunch, head to the Aberdeen Fish Market Canteen afterwards. Open from 4am to 2pm for business.
Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market, 102 Shek Pai Wan Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, Facebook Page.
For a short, brisk hike, take the lift inside Hopewell Center, then huff-and-puff for 15 minutes up a steep incline to reach Bowen Road. It's worth it when you see the prized city views! For a stroller-friendly walk, take a cab up to Bowen Road and take in the sights with your bub on wheels. There’s also an adjoining path that can take you up to the Peak, where you can enjoy a breakfast once there.
Bowen Road Hike, Kennedy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Click here for details.
Want more? Here are some inspirations for family hikes under 2 hours in HK.
Fuel up on chocolate croissants at Maison Eric Kayser’s Wan Chai location (opens at 7am during weekdays and at 7:30am at the weekends), and grab your latte to-go as you and your wee ones head up the steep Wanchai Gap Road to the Peak. Mommas and poppas looking to get back in shape are well on their way to buns of steel. Meanwhile, the little ones will love the views at Bowen Road and enjoy the leafy, yet well-paved, trail up. First one who reaches The Peak wins! For those wanting to take the Peak Tram without the long lineups, it’s open from 7am.
Maison Eric Kayser, 248 Queen’s Road East, +852 3107 1380, www.maison-kayser.com.hk
Chi Lin Nunnery, 5 Chi Lin Drive, Diamond Hill, Hong Kong, www.chilin.org. Click here for the Little Steps' trip to Chi Lin Nunnery!
Beat the crowds! If you're up early and you want to tire out your kiddos, do the challenging hike from Tung Chung up to The Big Buddha (the hike takes approximately 3-4 hours, up a flight of never-ending stairs). It is best to start the hike in the early morning, so you can arrive at the Po Lin Monastery, which opens at 9am, and The Big Buddha right when it opens at 10am.
Big Buddha, Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, www.plm.org.hk.
One of the most famous temples in the city, Wong Tai Sin is often packed with bus tours who flock to the temple claiming “to make every dream come true upon request”. The celebrated attraction is home to Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, with religious structures dedicated to each. Get here early on a weekday and appreciate the calm environment of the feng shui-friendly structures representing the five elements.
Wong Tai Sin Temple, 2 Chuk Yuen Village, Wong Tai Sin, Hong Kong, www.siksikyuen.org.hk.
Take advantage of the green surroundings of Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay by embarking on one of the many hikes in the area. For a smooth and refreshing morning hike past wooded areas, deserted Chinese houses, and arriving at a white sand beach, nothing beats Tai Long Wan. Follow up the hike with a taxi boat back to Sai Kung and brunch at one of the family-friendly restaurants in the town square.
Tai Long Wan, Sai Wan Road, Saikung, Hong Kong. Click here for details.
Want more? Here are more hikes with kids in Hong Kong!
There are numerous stroller-friendly walks around town with easy access to cute coffee shops and great views of the sea. For those on the Westside, we recommend popping by Open Door Café (pictured), which is dog-friendly and opens at 8am, for a nice cuppa, then head to Sun Yat Sen Park. There’s also the Cyberport ocean front walk and coffee at Recharge Cafe. And Southside-dwellers can refuel at the café options at The Pulse before taking a long walk along the promenade from Repulse Bay to Deep Water Bay. For more stroller friendly walks, click here!
Open Door Café, G/F 120 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, +852 3460 38880, www.opendoorcafe.hk.
Recharge Cafe, Portion of the Foyer Area Level 4 Cyberport 2 The Arcade, 100 Cyberport Road, Cyberport, +852 2668 3147, www.recharge.com.hk.
The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, +852 2815 8888, www.thepulse.com.hk/
Venture to Victoria Park and walk around the numerous gardens, play tennis or simply watch adults race their motorized miniature boats across the makeshift pond, plus there are several playgrounds for kids. Afterward, make your way to the Hong Kong Central Library (opens at 10am) and browse through the extensive children’s book collection with numerous English and foreign language books on offer. And for a sweet finale, head over to Elephant Grounds at Fashion Walk for a cup of coffee and ice cream sandwiches for all!
Hong Kong Central Library, 66 Causeway Bay Road, Causeway Bay, +852 3150 1234.
Elephant Grounds, Shop C, G/F, 42-28 Fashion Walk, Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, +852 2562 8688, www.elephantgrounds.com
Diving into one of the city’s many indoor and outdoor pools is a great way for your munchkins to get some exercise while having a blast! Hong Kong public pools are hygienic and cleaned weekly, so it’s best to check individual pools to see which day they’re closed. All public pools are open from 6:30am, though, to avoid the pre-office crowds, it’s advisable to arrive at 9am with your water-loving tribe ready to take the plunge.
Also, check out Little Steps guide on Top Outdoor Pools In HK!
Public Pools, www.lcsd.gov.hk
If you’re tired of your daily toast and cereal routine, spoil yourselves with an excellent breakfast in town at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants. Linguini Fini (opens at 8:30am) does an awesome breakfast for mommies at HK$49 for a bacon, egg, cheese sammy with a coffee. Wagyu (opens at 8am) and Oolaa (opens at 7am) both have multiple locations across the city and offer a plethora of all-day breakfast items including their signature eggs benny to go with your flat white.
Linguini Fini, 49 Elgin Street, Central, +852 2387 6338, www.linguinifini.com
Wagyu, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, +852 2525 8805, www.casteloconcepts.com
Oolaa, G/F, Centre Stage, 108 Hollywood Road, +852 2803 2083. www.casteloconcepts.com
Maritime Museum, Central Ferry Pier 8, Man Kwong Street, Central, +852 3713 2500, www.hkmaritimemuseum.org