Hong Kong isn’t a particularly rainy place - typhoons excepted - but when it does rain, it really rains. The city doesn’t do showers it does waterfalls, and once the black clouds gather you’ll need to duck inside. The good news is that Hong Kong’s rain clouds usually dump their contents like a bucket and in half an hour or less the skies will be clear again. In the meantime, have a look at some of the best places you can escape the rain in Hong Kong.
Leave the shiny skyscrapers behind and explore one of Hong Kong’s most loathed and loved buildings; the immortal Chungking Mansions. This maze of shops, currency exchanges and hostels is a beacon for immigrants to the city, and you’re more likely to hear Urdu, English and French than Cantonese. Once famous for its rats, criminals and the chalk outlines found on the floor. Chungking still looks grimy, the air conditioning still breaks and the stairs still feel like the set of a horror film, but it has cleaned up its act considerably. The babel of sellers on the ground floor has the buzzing appeal of a market, while a handful of the Indian and Pakistani restaurants serve up fantastic food at equally fantastic prices.
If you’re looking for a quick duck out of the rain for thirty minutes, Hong Kong’s colorful temples are well worth exploring and strategically placed just about everywhere. Open to everyone from dawn until dusk, they vary from holes in the wall – literally carved into the side of caves – to elaborate, multistory palaces stuffed with statues, offerings, and banners. For something more involved head to Wong Tai Sin to have your chim sticks read.
Do what everyone else does whether it’s raining or not, shop. Markets are pretty much out the question, but the cities sprawling malls are likely to impress even the most experienced shopaholic. You’ll find each mall is aimed at customers with a certain sized wallet; some filled exclusively by shops at the luxury end of the market and others with stores aimed at a more modest budget. Several malls also offer a host of entertainment options to keep kids happy, such as cinemas and playgrounds and over in Kowloon Tong an ice skating rink.
Visit Bruce Lee at Madame Tussauds
With Disneyland and Ocean Park pretty much out the picture when the heavens open up, your best bet with kids is Madame Tussauds at the Peak Tower. Honestly, it’s not great. Downright poor when compared to London, but there are enough familiar faces to keep kids happy at least for a little while.
Not the world’s most original idea, especially considering Hong Kong’s museums are a little disappointing when compared to those in other world cities, but there are at least a couple of museums that have managed more than a few dusty skeletons and stuffed animals. Rain or not, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum should be on everybody's itinerary. The exhibitions here do a fantastic job of explaining the city's history; from the arrival of the Redcoats to the arrival of the Communists.