Header image courtesy of @d_patanapol (via Instagram)
Yuen Long offers a nice respite from the impersonal glitz of Hong Kong’s city centre. Still blessedly ungentrified and far enough away from Hong Kong Island that you can feel like you’re going away on a day trip, this local New Territories neighbourhood offers surprisingly much to explore and even more to fill your bellies with. Here’s your friendly guide to visiting Yuen Long.
This wetland area in San Tin is an ecologically important patch of land in Hong Kong because it is the resting place of choice for various migratory birds that make their way through the territories every year. Some of these species include northern pintails, yellow-nib ducks, and black-faced spoonbills, making this area popular with birdwatchers. You can rent a bike and cycle around here, too! And if you need a small respite, there are plenty of spread-out grassy areas for kite-flying and a cheeky picnic. Check out our piece on Hong Kong’s nature walks for a little guide to Nam Sang Wai.
Ping Shan Heritage Trail is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, with many of the historic structures located along the route built by the Tang clan—one of the Five Great Clans of the New Territories, and who have resided in the area since the Tang dynasty. Some points of interest that the trail brings visitors past include traditional ancestral and study halls, the old walled village of Sheung Cheung Wai, and the Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda. Click here for more information on the heritage trail.
Despite its name, this expansive farmland actually also offers a variety of other fruits and vegetables to pluck from the branch yourself. Depending on the season, you’ll find strawberries, grapes, watermelons, bitter melons, maize, and more. The farm is also home to some friendly goats which you can pet and feed, making these fields the perfect spot for a wholesome family trip.
Long Ping Strawberry Farm, Tai Tong Road, Tai Tong Village, Yuen Long | (+852) 9251 8926
This glamping experience is one of Hong Kong’s most unique, with bubble-shaped, semi- or fully-transparent tents that look like something out of a sci-fi movie to spend the night in. If the idea of stargazing in these snug little blobs is not your cup of tea, they also provide inflatable mushroom tents, small bungalows, and caravans to choose from. Mingle Farm will surely be a staycation option that sets you apart from your friends’.
Mingle Farm, 154 Nim Wan Road, Lau Fau Shan, Yuen Long | (+852) 2891 8263
Located in a natural woodland area in Shui Ngau Leng, this 7.5-hectare park has been designed to preserve as much of the original landforms as possible. Alongside features like an artificial lake, various ball courts, and a sloping lawn to have picnics on, the main focal point for Yuen Long Park is the seven-storey pagoda on the hill, which also houses an aviary at its base. From the lookout at the top, you can see all the way north to Shenzhen’s skyline.
Yuen Long Park, 1 Town Park Road North, Yuen Long | (+852) 2473 6511
At a total of 6,100 square metres, this library in Yuen Long (not to be confused with Yuen Long Public Library) is one of Hong Kong’s largest, second in size only to Hong Kong Central Library at Victoria Park. Interestingly, it is the only public library which has outdoor reading areas, and we’d love to curl up with a nice tome or two in their courtyard or roof terrace.
Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Public Library, High Block, Ping Shan Tin Shui Wai Leisure and Cultural Building, 1 Tsui Sing Road, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 2126 7520
Derived from the French word for “addiction,” Accro Coffee is a siphon coffee specialist café. While it may not look particularly outstanding, it is actually home to award-winning baristas, with customers visiting from all corners of Hong Kong. They serve a dizzying selection of coffees, with the beans roasted in-house. If you can’t make up your mind, go for the Hong Kong Brewers Cup Champion coffee ($120) made from world-exclusive beans, and which won these guys both the World Brewers Cup and the World Siphonist Championship back in 2016.
Accro Coffee, G/F, Kam Shing Building, 162–164 On Ning Road, Yuen Long | (+852) 9430 1433
This is a local dessert shop famous for its massive portions and cheap prices. One of their signatures is the B-zai leung fun ($89), a sizeable fruit boat which comes spilling over with fresh fruits and other toppings over cooling grass jelly. It might sound a bit excessive to fork out that much for a dessert, but trust us when we say this portion can fill up at least four people after dinner. Kei Kee Dessert’s mango & cream pancakes ($26) are fantastic as well. Should you prefer savoury stuff, we hear their steamed rice rolls ($10) are also fantastic.
This is a top-notch omakase (お任せ; chef’s choice) restaurant where the majority of their ingredients are imported fresh from Japan, including delicacies such as otoro (大とろ; fatty tuna) cheeks. The most accessible choice of omakase with 10 different kinds of sushi and sides will set you back by $340, while a more premium option at $800 will include four kinds of sashimi, seven kinds of sushi, and a cup of sea urchin. Omakase ranges all the way up to $1,900, but there are also teishoku (定食; set menus) available. We like the tuna teishoku ($450), which comes with steamed egg, two types of sashimi, a fatty tuna rice bowl, soup, and dessert. A fantastic “treat yo’self” restaurant to visit.
Sushi Man, G/F, Lee Fat House, 5 Yan Lok Square, Yuen Long | (+852) 2285 9477
What looks like a regular cha chaan teng (茶餐廳; Hong Kong-style cafés) on the outside is actually home to some fantastic Taiwanese food. Apparently, the couple who opened this little eatery were such fans of the traditional luo dong rou geng (羅東肉焿) soup that they specifically went to Taiwan in search of a chef who would teach them the recipe, then came back to Hong Kong to set up shop with their master’s blessing. When here, you must try the number one set meal ($78), consisting of the famous rou geng soup served with Taiwanese minced pork rice.
Luo Dong Rou Geng Fan (羅東肉焿番), G/F, Kin Fai Building, 69 Fung Cheung Road, Yuen Long | (+852) 6112 5353
Another specialty Japanese restaurant, Aya only serves tsukemen (つけ麺; dipping ramen), in a range of different flavours to choose from. We would recommend going for the black garlic tsukemen ($88) or the prawn miso tsukemen ($93). You also get to choose your preferred type of noodles, from your normal wheat noodles to black pepper or a daily special. Look out for the yuzu noodles, which give the umami-laden tsukemen broth a refreshing and appetising kick.
Aya, G/F, Yick Lee Mansion, 26 Kin Tak Street, Yuen Long | (+852) 6350 8637
The lactose intolerant and animal product-free among us will likely very much appreciate this funky little shop selling soy milk. Made from Canadian non-GMO soybeans using a traditional Japanese method, Beanlab ups the soy milk game by introducing a wide range of interesting flavours. Purists will enjoy their original soy milk ($20) or the richer expressoy milk ($22), but we like the wheaty flavours of the oat soy milk ($26) and the purple rice soy milk ($28). They’ve also got a pumpkin soy milk ($28) which fits right into the autumnal season.
Beanlab, G/F, Comet Mansion, 63 Fung Cheung Road, Yuen Long
Yet another speciality coffee shop in the Yuen Long neighbourhood to wash down all the food with. This is a hip little joint fairly new to the game, and though they do serve food such as sourdough toast ($78) with toppings to choose from, the main draw here is their coffee. Their espresso tonic ($65) and cold brew ($55) look promising, and although we have no idea what a yuenyeung (not exactly) ($60) is, we have a feeling we won’t regret finding out.
OneThird, Shop 63B–D, G/F, Ho Shun Lee Building Block 2, 9 Fung Yau Street East, Yuen Long | (+852) 9546 7921
Step into a tropical paradise at 8cm Coffee, a mural-bedecked coffee hole in Yuen Long. Instagram and cameras will no doubt have loads to feed on within its pastel-green décor, as an attractive shopfront gives way to speckled granite counters and a menu of bevvies made with Australia’s Melba Coffee & Tea. Opt for a well-balanced flat white ($48) with a side of 8cm Coffee’s signature Happy Breakfast ($128) that offers a modern take on the classic full English breakfast platter, avocado, quinoa & scrambled eggs on sourdough ($88) or a raisin scone ($38) for a fulfilling start to your day or late afternoon pick-me-up.
8cm Coffee, Shop 14, G/F, Ho Shun Lee Building, 9 Fung Yau Street South, Yuen Long
Yoho Mall is the one-stop retail destination for locals around these parts. While most of the shops and restaurants are your standard high-street chain options, they do have a great eight-screen cinema featuring a 400-seat iMAX theatre and a fantastic food and beverage kiosk that will make you never want to go back to plain old popcorn and soda. This is a mall that also welcomes pets if they’re in pet prams, and even have these carts available to borrow for shoppers.
Yoho Mall, 8–9 Long Yat Road and 9 Yuen Lung Street, Yuen Long | (+852) 2479 2208
What used to be Citimall in the middle of Yuen Long town centre has since been renovated and revamped into Kolour. While not nearly as large as Yoho Mall, they have still got a wide variety of retail boutiques, including the Citistore department store spread across two floors, stocking pretty much everything a home needs. Pick up computer parts, slurp up a bowl of handmade knife-cut noodles, and shop for everything from jigsaw puzzles and hiking gear to leather bags and accessories!
Kolour, 1 Kau Yuk Road, Yuen Long | (+852) 2475 4745