Quintessential Hong Kong Nightlife Experiences
When you go out in Hong Kong, it’s not just about sipping cocktails at a bar, then heading somewhere with dance music afterwards. We have our very own quintessential nightlife experiences that every visitor or newcomer should try, at least once. Spoiler: they still involve drinking and dancing…
Dancing on tables at Carnegie’s
Call it every Hong Kong teenager’s rite of passage, or a drunken tourist’s Saturday mistake – somehow, a raucous nights out in Wan Chai always ends with dancing on the tables at Carnegie’s. It’s such a popular activity that the watering hole has even installed metal bars up there in an attempt to prevent people from falling off, which doesn’t always work – but hey, at least it’s always a good time.
Drinking outside “Club 7-Eleven”
Bars in major nightlife districts are often overpriced. Luckily for patrons looking to get drunk on the cheap, open container laws are not a thing here, and there’s practically a “Club 7-Eleven” on every block – which is why you’ll find hordes of people standing outside the convenience stores in and around LKF chugging a Tsingtao. Your wallet will be given a much-needed break, though of course, your liver will probably be working overtime.
Jello shots at Al’s Diner
Legendary Lan Kwai Fong bar Al’s Diner has been around since immemorial, and its jello shots are a go-to for anyone looking for a good time. Not exactly a fancy affair, these shots are served in a plastic cup alongside a toothpick. You can pick it out slowly, or shove the whole thing in your mouth in one. Classy.
Bottle poppin’ and table hoppin’
Feeling baller? Book yourself a table at a nightclub, and go to town with bottles and bottles of champagne, complete with sparklers. Of course, a table at the likes of Fly, Volar, and Dragon-i don’t come cheap, but thankfully for us, the people who book tables tend to be generous souls to just love to pop bottles. Top tip: make friends with one of them.
Ladies’ night is a Hong Kong institution. On Wan Chai, it’s every Wednesday; and in LKF, Thursdays. You’ll find bar after bar offering drinks to women for free or at a bargain price. Curiously, ladies’ night was recently deemed discriminatory after a court ruling involving the Equal Opportunities Commission – but this doesn’t seem to be affecting bar operations too much. Ladies’ night is dead. Long live ladies’ night.
Oktoberfest is a really big deal in Hong Kong. Every year, Hongkongers welcome the German beer festival with gusto. Is it because of our shared love of the good stuff? Or the fact that everyone wants to partake in a month-long boozy extravaganza? Either way, if you happen to be in town towards the end of September, embrace all the beer promotions and parties to the max.
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.