Each year thousands of tourists, expats, and locals descend on Hong Kong Stadium with their friends and drinking teams for the three-day event lovingly know as the Hong Kong Rugby 7s. For some, the Rugby 7s is Hong Kong’s Premier sporting event. For others, the 7s is a chance for fancy dress. Then, for a few, it’s prime opportunity to fulfil their Hangover-esque fantasies.
For those who have outgrown their love of excessive alcohol consumption and/or organised sport, however, Hong Kong Stadium, Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai become the “It” places to avoid for the weekend. But where should you go? Read on for what else you could, and probably should, be doing this weekend.
#1 Go for a hike on the ‘dark side.’
The MacLehose trail, especially stages 1 and 2, deserves your consideration. Starting in Sai Kung the 10-kilometre long stage 1 and the 13-kilometre stage 2 make up some of the most beautiful hiking you’ll find in Hong Kong.
The first stage starts at the High Island reservoir and is full of rolling hills, jungle scenery and stunning ocean views. The second stage takes you to Tai Long Wan – Hong Kong’s most famous beach. Here you can grab a bite at one of two local restaurants, have a couple of beers and maybe camp out for the night. Camping here is great if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. It’s so still at night that you can only hear the waves lapping at the beach and the roaming herds of cows ripping out the grass. This means no Rugby 7s noise, unlike at Dragon’s Back!
If you need another reason to go, the MacLehose has been called one of National Geographic’s 20 Dream Trails.
#2 Just float
If you live in Hong Kong (or any city, really), you’re probably stressed out a fair bit of the time, and the ensuing insanity that will come from the Rugby 7s takeover might make it worse.
Sometimes, there is nothing better than just dunking yourself in calm waters. After all, being in water has been shown to relieve muscle pain, stress, and anxiety. And no, you don’t have to go for a swim in Repulse Bay to feel refreshed (although there is nothing wrong with that!).
There are fully dedicated floatation therapy spas in Hong Kong, like FLOAX in Tsim Sha Tsui, for you to take advantage of. At these spas, you can fully recharge your batteries as you float in a silent pod. An hour in one of these pods is said to have similar effects on your body to that of 4 hours’ sleep!
#3 Enjoy some art
Art Basel might be over, but that doesn’t mean Hong Kong’s art culture has gone up in smoke for the year.
Over the Rugby 7s weekend, you can head over to the Blue Lotus Gallery in Sheung Wan. There, the final works of the nearly 300-award-winning Hong Kong photographer, Fan Ho is being showcased. The exhibition entitled ‘Portrait of Hong Kong’ features forty of Fan Ho’s pieces showcasing Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.
And, if you’re still loving some KAWS, the artist’s solo exhibition, KAWS: ALONG THE WAY is open at PMQ.
#4 Embark a new yoga journey with an Ashtanga Beginner’s Workshop
A modern form of yoga that is based on ancient teachings, Ashtanga yoga is similar to vinyasa yoga but is considered to be much more rigorous. With Ashtanga, you follow a specific sequence of postures in an exacting order, and each movement is linked to a breath. It is a sweaty and physically demanding practice, so it’s great if you’re trying to get stronger.
And on April 7, Pure Yoga will be hosting a workshop covering the fundamentals of Ashtanga yoga, as well as techniques for improving posture which will correct breathing and alignment.
#5 Go B-A-N-A-N-A-S with Gwen Stefani
Just because you’re not going to the Rugby 7s, doesn’t mean you can’t partake in all their events. And since dancing is excellent stress relief, why not take a Sweet Escape to Central and check out Gwen Stefani in concert? The Grammy Award-winning ain’t-no-Hollaback Girl (the double negative is really confusing) is headlining the inaugural Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Festival.
She’s performing on Friday, April 5th at the Central Harbourfront event space! You can find tickets on ticket flap.
#6 Live your ninja warrior dreams
Speaking of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens Festival, there are a ton of Rugby 7s themed, but super family-friendly events going on in Causeway Bay over the weekend.
So head on over to Lee Gardens and try out the State-of-the-Art Ninja Course (and don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve lost the ability to kill it at the monkey bars). We promise the course will not be as hard as the American Ninja Warrior one (pictured above). Regardless of whether or not your upper body can support your weight, the endorphin rush will be good for you!
Once you’ve tired yourself out on the course, watch the plethora of street performers and eat all the food you can find!
Read also: Guy’s Guide: So You Want To Be a Ninja
#7 Go somewhere tropical
Our favourite thing to improve headspace is to just get away from the city and go somewhere with warm sea breezes. And with some of the world’s finest destinations within a four-hour flight radius of Hong Kong, why not unwind with a weekend break?
Grab some friends, find yourself at a villa on the beach or in the hills, and spend some time exploring somewhere new. Being somewhere different forces you to be more present and in a way, allows you to escape your everyday reality. Take a break and leave all the stress of the city and those trying to recreate The Hangover behind.