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6 unusual night-time experiences to try in Hong Kong

By Annette Chan 17 September 2021 | Last Updated 12 October 2021

Header image courtesy of Encompass HK (via Facebook)

They say Hong Kong is the city that never sleeps—but that doesn’t just relate to nightlife. While we love spending a night at our favourite bars, restaurants, and clubs, there is a plethora of alternative evening activities that are just as worth your while. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to educational excursions and peaceful pastimes, experience a different side to Hong Kong with these unusual night-time activities.

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Night safari

Who says you have to go to Singapore to attend a night safari? Take advantage of Hong Kong’s incredible (and wholly underrated) biodiversity by attending a night safari right here in our backyard. Snake expert William Sargent often hosts night-time snake safaris around Tai Mo Shan and Kadoorie Farm, while Encompass HK hosts regular “mystery tours” and biodiversity excursions. Of course, nothing is guaranteed—that’s why it’s a mystery!—but you can often expect to see frogs, butterflies, and interesting insects. Summer is the best time to spot snakes, but they are much harder to spot after bouts of heavy rain, so your mileage may vary.

Email Sargent directly at [email protected] to join one of his snake safaris. To join Encompass’ excursions, keep an eye on their Facebook and Eventbrite pages.

Scrambling

If you are an avid trekker, you will have probably tried a night hike already—but have you tried scrambling up the side of a mountain at night, relying only on the strength of your own grip and some ropes left by previous hikers? If you’re a confident hiker and like the sound of something a little more challenging—and quite literally off the beaten path—then get in touch with the HK Outsider team, who regularly host technical hikes during the day and night. While you may well have tried the various trails leading to the Peak, we bet you have not tried scaling up it yet!

For more details on how to join a night scramble, check out HK Outsider’s calendar of upcoming events and book your spot on their website.

Photo: Klook

Night kayaking

One of the best things about Hong Kong’s abundance of islands and long summers is the number of opportunities there are to go kayaking. While kayaking during the day isn’t exactly an unusual activity, having a little paddle at night sure is. Not only is the weather cooler and more pleasant at night, but you may also be able to see stars and beautiful blue bioluminescent algae!

Click here for more information on night kayaking around Cheung Chau.

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Photo: @wklvicky (via Instagram)

Firefly-spotting

While the time to go herping (searching for amphibians and reptiles) is winding down, September and October are prime firefly-spotting months in Hong Kong, which seems awfully fitting since Lantern Festival is right around the corner. Hong Kong is home to a whopping 29 species of fireflies—remember what we said about biodiversity?—so there are plenty of places where you can marvel at these little creatures.

Click here to check out our full guide to seeing fireflies in Hong Kong.

Photo: @coni_jin (via Instagram)

Squid fishing

Yes, night junks are fun—but you know what’s even more fun? Going on a night-time boat tour where you can catch and eat your own dinner. Summer is squid fishing season in Hong Kong, and the act of “squidding” is so popular that boat operators run dedicated squid tours that come with complimentary buffets and dinner packages. The crew will know where the best squid are to be found (and how to prepare them!) so all you have to do is get fishing.

Click here for our full guide to squid fishing tours in Hong Kong.

Photo: @alvischui_ (via Instagram)

Stargazing

While we love the twinkling lights of our cityscape, our bright and beautiful skyline unfortunately causes too much light pollution for city-dwellers to properly see the stars. Venture away from the city centre, however, and you should be able to see your fair share of stars among the dark night sky. From mountaintop lookouts to dedicated stargazing bubble tents and remote beaches, there are plenty of great places to stargaze around Hong Kong.

Click here for our guide to the best places to go stargazing and here for our guide to the best hidden stargazing spots.

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Annette Chan

Senior editor

Annette is an editor and copywriter with a lifetime of experience in hunting out the most interesting, odd, and delightful things about her beloved home city. Having written extensively about everything from food and culture to fashion, music, and hospitality, she considers her speciality to be Hong Kong itself. In her free time, you can find Annette trying out new dumpling recipes or playing Big Two at her favourite local bars with a cocktail in hand.

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