Hong Kong's 10 Best Early Entertainment: A Guide for Fledgling Night Owls

Never mind that old cliche about "The City that Never Sleeps." There's no need to party all night in Hong Kong if you simply want to head for bed not too long after dinner. And there are plenty of options to keep visitors entertained early in the evening.

Quite the best – simply because it doesn't cost a cent – is the Symphony of Lights, a spectacular sound and light show that flashes and reverberates around the skyscrapers on both sides of Victoria Harbour every evening at 8pm. Grab a good viewing spot, upload some shots to social media, and then you can make a beeline for your pajamas. Just as thrilling, an evening at Happy Valley Racecourse provides dual entertainment – horses galloping around the track, and thousands of spectators frantic with excitement. Again, things have pretty much wrapped up by 10pm.

There are lots of other options to while away an evening. Heading to one of Hong Kong's parks – or theme parks – is a local favorite. The grand parade and firework display at Disneyland caps the day perfectly. 

And as Hong Kong is pretty compact, it only takes a train, taxi or bus ride to get back to wherever you're staying in time for bed.

Lantau Island
Po Lin Monastery
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board


Po Lin translates to "precious lotus," and this monastery is one of the most famous of Hong Kong's numerous attractions. In addition to being one of the most opulent and grandest temples in the country, this is also home to the "Giant Buddha,"...  Read More

Wong Tai Sin Temple
Photo courtesy of Wong Tai Sin Temple


Wong Tai Sin winds down by early evening, so it makes a neat ending to a day's sightseeing. This well-known attraction was built in 1973 and is still one of the most active Buddhist temples in the city. The lush gardens, with their waterfalls,...  Read More

Southeast Hong Kong Island
Tai Tam Country Park
Photo courtesy of Tai Tam Country Park


Tai Tam Country Park sprawls over 3,249 acres, an amazing one-fifth of Hong Kong Island's total area. Tai Tam Valley, a verdant hollow surrounded by rocky cliffs, is a favorite destination. Also within the park's boundaries are four reservoirs,...  Read More

Happy Valley Racecourse
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board


Surrounded by a curtain of high rises, this downtown racecourse is one of the greatest stadiums on earth to enjoy a sweaty, noisy and adrenaline-pumping horse race at night. With a history dating back to 1844, the 55,000-seat racecourse is one...  Read More

Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy of HK Leisure and Cultural Services Dept


This combination zoo and botanical garden is the ideal place to while away the early evening. Popular among local families and visitors, the facility is divided into two sections. On one side, see plants and birds in simulated natural habitats....  Read More

Sheung Wan
Man Mo Temple
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board


The gods of literature and the military are celebrated here in one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong. Built in the 1840s, you'll find two unique chairs inside that were once used to carry these deities through the city during festivals....  Read More

Ocean Park
Photo courtesy of Ocean Park


This massive Chinese wonderland is a combination of amusement park, aquarium and zoo. It has enough activity to keep everyone in the family busy for an entire day. Built around several hills near the South China Sea, the 226-acre park is divided...  Read More

Kowloon Walled City Park
Photo courtesy of Kowloon Walled City Park


The Kowloon Walled City was famous for holding a unique distinction; it was the only district in Hong Kong that avoided British rule during the 1840 Qing Dynasty. So who ruled the walled city? No one! It was in a state of lawlessness and ruin...  Read More

Hong Kong Disneyland
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Disneyland


Escape the city center for a family day trip to fantasy by the overly cute Disneyland Resort Line from Sunny Bay metro station. Currently one of the smaller Disneylands, the 310-acre park is compact and easily navigated (like everything else in...  Read More

Symphony of Lights


The 15-minute light and sound show is the top free activity in Hong Kong, and just right for anyone who's ready for bed not long after an early dinner. Every night at 8pm, spectacular decoration lights, laser lights and digital fireworks shoot...  Read More


Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for most of his adult life, and counts Hong Kong as his second home. While he lives in a farming village on one of the outlying islands, getting to the city center...  More About Ed