6 Insider Travel Tips For Your Next Hong Kong Sevens Adventure
— Updated on 15 May 2024

6 Insider Travel Tips For Your Next Hong Kong Sevens Adventure

— Updated on 15 May 2024
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

Even for somebody as laughably ignorant about the world of professional sport as the author of this article, it was immediately apparent to me just how much Rugby Sevens means to the city of Hong Kong.

Earlier this April, I was back in the +852 for the tourney’s 30th edition; and after almost half a decade of disrupted tourism and COVID-based f**kery, it was positively spinetingling to see supporters from France, England, as well as Australia out in full force.

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According to figures supplied by the Hong Kong China Rugby Union (HCKR), more than 40% of the 40,000 tickets sold this year were accounted for by overseas visitors. That factoid likely has something to do with the news that this would be the last year the landmark event was taking place at Hong Kong Stadium.

For Hongkongers both native and transplanted, this is an iconic venue: known for its proximity to the nightlife of Wanchai, retail therapy of Causeway Bay, and mid-match antics that would — in the words of HCKR boss Robbie McRobbie — “put a Glasgow stag do to shame.” And come 2025, the multi-billion-dollar Kai Tak Sports Park will be the international Rugby comp’s new home.

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Fortunately, from the (relative) safety of the Cathay Pacific corporate box, I was able to process the atmosphere of lager-fueled insanity — with just a whiff of projectile vomit — largely emanating from the stadium’s infamous South Stand, as an abstract concept rather than some immediate threat.

That, in turn, got me to thinking: dozens of matches of white-knuckle footy aside, how do you make the most of your time in Hong Kong over the course of the Sevens’ 72-hour duration?

Hopefully, BH readers will find some useful pointers below…

(Image Credit: @iamesleung // Instagram)

Cathay Pacific operates flights, four times daily, between Sydney and Hong Kong. Additionally, the airline operates services from Melbourne three times per day. For an up-to-date schedule for flights from all major Australian cities, visit Cathay Pacific online.

#1 — Grab A Costume On Pottinger Street (Central)

Hong Kong Sevens

Known for its notoriously uneven paved stone steps, Pottinger Street is a must-visit for overseas visitors — even if you have no plans to avail yourself of the dozen or so fancy dress vendors who call this steep expanse home.

Originally built in the mid-19th century as a vertical conduit between Hollywood Road and Queen’s Road Central, this iconic thoroughfare is now renowned for its range of market stalls selling costumes, accessories, and affordable knickknacks. Come NYE, Halloween, and of course, Hong Kong Sevens time; it’s a convenient one-stop-shop for all your dress-up needs.

The street’s verticality — smackdab in the middle of Central — also mean that you can use it as a shortcut to many of downtown’s most popular destinations. Not for nothing, as a Grade I historic structure, this humble stone pavement is also a living conduit between the city’s colonial past and cyberpunk future.

Nearby Points Of Interest: Yat Lok, The Pottinger Hotel, Central Market, Mak’s Noodles, Luk Yu Teahouse

#2 — Stay at Lanson Place (Causeway Bay)

Hong Kong Sevens

Even if you’re not a Rugby fanatic who plans to spend every waking moment of their HK7s adventure ensconced inside Hong Kong Stadium, the nearby Lanson Place property has lots to recommend it.

Part of the SLH family (“Small Luxury Hotels of the World”), this French-inspired bolthole has been designed expressly with the quiet luxury lover in mind. From the building’s discrete side entrance to its Pierre-Yves Rochon décor; the adjectives that most stick in the mind are ‘discreet’ and ‘comforting’.

In contrast to many of Hong Kong’s best hotels — which often embrace a very bombastic approach to luxury hospitality — Lanson Place is meant to appeal to well-heeled urbanites who, quite frankly, simply wish to be left alone. Admittedly, this means no Michelin eateries, nor a spa with a six-week-long waiting list; but what the property lacks in obvious facilities, it makes up for in ambience and proximity.

Salon Lanson, the signature all-day dining venue, is a beautiful setting to while away an afternoon — book or laptop in hand — and the hotel’s Leighton Road address will put you within striking distance of all the dining, sightseeing, and retail therapy that Causeway Bay has to offer.

Nearby Points Of Interest: Times Square, Jardine’s Bazaar, Fashion Walk, Eslite Bookstore

#3 — Kick-on To Lan Kwai Fong (Central)

Hong Kong Sevens

A precinct so notorious that it has its own Instagram-based meme account, Lan Kwai Fong (colloquially known as “LKF”) is Hong Kong’s answer to Sukhumvit Soi 11 in Bangkok or the Itaewon/Gangnam gauntlets of Seoul.

Traditionally a flurry of activity most days of the week, this clubbing/entertainment precinct is a popular pitstop during Hong Kong Sevens weekend — with a combined total of over 90 bars and restaurants to choose from for your afterparty shenanigans.

As with so many public arenas in the +852, the verticality at which you’re playing is often indicative of price point; with sports bars and shisha lounges at street level, and more clubby establishments quartered 10-20 storeys above.

Blessedly, for those out-of-towners who aren’t angling to drink themselves into a fugue state, LKF is also home to a range of globally renowned eateries. Here, you’ll find the only branch of Mario Carbone’s eponymous Italo-American party restaurant in Asia; or a range of uproarious brunch options like the (partially subterranean) Tokio Joe.

Nearby Points of Interest: Carbone, Cassio, Sam Fancy, Dragon-I, The Fringe Club

#4 — Sip Drinks On A Rooftop (Various Locations)

Hong Kong Sevens

Hong Kong Island’s vertically dense, famously Blade Runner-esque skyline all but demands a rooftop sundowner, and the balmy weather that usually accompanies Sevens weekend (approximately 21°C-26°C) should prove most conducive to such activities.

Assuming you touch down on the Friday afternoon that HK7 matches begin — and miss the commencement of the tournament’s festivities — it might be better to embrace the out-of-towner impulse and make a beeline for the nearest (and most snazzy) rooftop.

If you’re staying in the vicinity of Hong Kong Stadium, Skye in Causeway Bay is a very solid option that boasts unencumbered views of Victoria Harbour and, across the water, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Meanwhile, those looking to lean into luxury (a.k.a the J-class and corporate box brigade) are advised to make a beeline straight to Cardinal Point in Central: the exclamation point of a rooftop bar that bedecks a complex of high-flying restaurants, located on the 45th floor of the Landmark shopping & office complex.

A multi-concept venue that makes mincemeat out of Shell House and 80 Collins Street, this is one spot I recommend unfailingly whenever visitors in Hong Kong are looking to splurge.

#5 — Finagle A Bargain At Temple Street Night Market (Jordan)

It goes without saying — and yet, it’s worth repeating — that in Hong Kong, one can enjoy themselves for a king’s ransom, or indeed, not very much moolah at all.

For those looking to experience the +852 as authentically as possible, a trip to the ‘Dark Side’ (i.e. the slightly pejorative moniker bestowed by locals upon the Kowloon side of Hong Kong) is well worth your time.

Naturally, it can be challenging knowing where to start here; and so, our advice is to make an initial pitstop at the Temple Street Night Market — known for its fluorescent signage, abundant street food stalls, and relentlessly photographed red archway.

If you’re a glutton for prestige television who happens to have caught Amazon Prime’s The Expats (starring Nicole Kidman) it’s almost certain that you’ve seen Temple Street onscreen.

Nearby Points Of Interest: Eaton HK, Kubrick, Australia Dairy Company

#6 — Eat Your Way Through Asia’s Most Epic Food City (Various Locations)

It’s a fact that’s probably been much remarked upon by that one overly enthusiastic (read: irritating) foodie friend, but if your definitive holiday experience involves eating and drinking, few food cities in Asia can hold a candle to Hong Kong.

Put simply, it’s possible to dine exceedingly well here on an array of budgets. I’ve already recommended a range of F&B pitstops throughout the breadth of this story, but there are a couple I’ve yet to reference deserving of some dedicated page space.

The first of these — and perhaps most quintessentially Hongkie — is Kamcentre Roast Goose: a modestly appointed dining room inside of a rec centre near Hong Kong Stadium, right next to (cue drumroll)… a bowling alley. Despite appearances, the presiding chef here is an alumnus of the Michelin-starred Kam’s Roast Goose franchise. From the moment you fang into the restaurant’s signature whole roast goose or sticky-sweet char siu (barbequed pork), those qualifications are apparent.

By contrast, at the very opposite end of the spectrum, sits The Merchants: a swish dining room, specialising in the cuisine of Shanghai, high above the fray in Central. Conveniently located one floor below Cardinal Point, this is an elegant (and genteel) way to introduce large parties to one of the most influential Chinese cuisines that isn’t Cantonese — particularly for corporate travellers looking to mint new business in and around the time of the Sevens.

Keen to maximise your time on the ground with expert hotel reviews and other travel recommendations? Then check out some of our other favourite Hong Kong-centric stories below:

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].