Header image courtesy of @kylauf (via Shutterstock)
One might think that to be successful on Instagram, you must come armed with a top-of-the-line camera, the latest multi-lensed smartphone, an ingenious lighting rig, and oodles of the latest gadgets. But if you ask the pros, all you need to curate a well-loved Instagram feed is a unique perspective and a story, whether that story is of your journey as an amateur photographer exploring the city, your day-to-day experiences, or simply whatever you find interesting.
Of course, having an attractive backdrop certainly helps, and in the concrete maze that is Hong Kong, hunting for an appropriate Instagram spot amidst a jungle of high-rises can feel challenging. Fear not—here is our guide to the hidden (and not-so-hidden) Instagram spots in Hong Kong that will introduce a pop of colour to your feed.
Mr & Mrs Fox is a three-storey restaurant that can be spotted from a mile away—its glass frontage, attention-grabbing signage, and lush green accents all scream “urban oasis” and beckon to be explored. Apart from appealing to gourmands with its international menu of comfort foods and enticing tipples, the restaurant’s decorative blend of nature and geometry presents a dark-academia–meets–pastel-plant-home aesthetic.
From their handcrafted cocktails and cheerful selection of art to the iconic private-dining-room-hidden-behind-a-bookshelf, everything and everywhere at Mr & Mrs Fox deserves its own Instagram moment. Make sure to visit the third floor to get a snap of the “study,” a beautifully curated corner with a green bookshelf as your backdrop.
Mr & Mrs Fox, 23 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2687 8500
Coming from humble beginnings as niche street art to their current status as celebrated creations, murals have certainly come a long way in their public perception, and the murals we pass by in our day-to-day have paved the way for the first thematic exhibition of street art and graffiti in Hong Kong. HK Walls’ latest instalment saw the creation of 22 new public works of art in Sai Kung, some of which are in Man Yee Playground (萬宜遊樂場), featuring local artists such as Wong Ting Fung (left), Carol Bellese Choi (middle), and Neil Wang (right). Here is the complete map of the public works exhibited for the HK Walls 2021 so you can snap to your heart’s content.
Man Yee Playground (萬宜遊樂場), 25 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung
Even though its name does not seem to match the food served (or even the time period it refers to), Victorian Era (香江花月) is a popular hotpot restaurant in Jordan—except that it’s also so much more. Upon entry, you will immediately be greeted by the well-appointed interior design. Step through a tunnel illuminated by multi-coloured balloons, saunter past the cabinets and scales of a herbal shop, and make it all the way to the staged rickshaw and post box—we are stunned by the top-notch décor here, and our Instagram feed is pleased as well.
Victorian Era, 2/F, Pak Shing Building, 35 Jordan Road, Jordan | (+852) 2736 8368
We can spend all day debating whether time machines exist, but there’s no arguing that the standing relic that is Mido Café (美都餐室) will definitely take you back in time. Starring in multiple Hollywood blockbusters and local films, the restaurant—occupying two of the four floors of the building—presents a nostalgic feeling with wooden booths, tiled floors, and retro neon signs. Come here in the late afternoon to benefit from the natural lighting conditions, which hit perfectly through the multi-coloured stained glass windows, for that vintage Hong Kong vibe for your Instagram feed.
Mido Café (美都餐室), 63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei | (+852) 2384 6402
Pane e Latte definitely “bakes” the world a better place, and serves up gorgeous looks while it’s at it, too! A seaside Italian pasticceria that doles out premium baked goods and savouries that are made fresh on the day, its delicious wares are not all that’s Instagrammable. From its neutral-toned shopfront to the tall French windows and coastal-inspired colour palette, one will instantly feel transported to the serene coast of Italy. Be sure to indulge in a scoop (or two) of their fresh gelato sprinkled with delicious toppings on a hot summer’s day!
Pane e Latte, 25 Stanley Market Road, Stanley | (+852) 2337 7221
As the grande dame of Tai Kwun, Madame Fù knows exactly how to please its customers and provide a well-rounded dining experience, from the contemporary Cantonese dishes to the attentive service all the way down to its gorgeous décor. Equipped with six uniquely themed and decorated dining areas, gourmands will find jumping between rooms exciting and refreshing. Our recommendation is to look for the “pink room”—as an ode to the stylish women of Hong Kong, the space is filled with plush banquettes that invite a celebration of femininity.
Madame Fu, 3/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2114 2118
Sitting along a quiet stretch of Hollywood Road is Man Mo Temple (文武廟). Apart from providing a calming and spiritual contrast to the metropolitan business district, this cultural relic maintains balance and offers an other-worldly pause to the busy and occupied minds of office workers, revellers, and residents in the area.
Built in dedication to the god of literature (Man Tai) and the god of martial arts (Mo Tai), the Grade I historic building is a popular destination for students who wish for education success and come to pray three weeks before school starts. Aside from its religious purposes, the space was also used as a community meeting place to resolve conflicts and other matters. From its green-tiled roof and floating maze of incense coils, Man Mo Temple is Instagram-worthy inside and out, and makes for a beautiful subject matter. As always when photographing religious structures, bear in mind that you will need to be quiet and respectful so you are not disturbing others and the peace.
Once you have snapped your fill, turn your gaze to the neighbouring antique shop, Yue Po Chai Curios Store—an oft-photographed shopfront, endlessly attractive with its circular moon gate and red mosaic.
Man Mo Temple, 124–126 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
One of a trio of colourful low-rise buildings lined up on Stone Nullah Lane is Blue House (藍屋). Known for breathing new life into an old and overlooked Wan Chai street, the Blue House conceals a chequered past—from Hong Kong’s first hospital in 1870 and a temple in 1886 to a tenement building in 1922—until it was acquired by the government in the 1970s. However, the Blue House only got its name after being painted blue in 1990.
Today, the Blue House is home to the Hong Kong House of Stories, an organisation that aims to preserve the idiosyncrasies of the local neighbourhood, as well as promote local artists with its roster of exhibitions, workshops, music concerts, and film screenings. If you are looking for an Instagrammable spot and a cultural tour to learn more about Wan Chai all in one place, look no further than the Blue House.
Blue House, 72–74A Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai
Rounding the corner of Johnston Road and Wan Chai Road is Chung Wui Mansion (中匯大樓), one of few buildings left in Hong Kong with an instantly recognisable curved exterior. Completed in 1964, the 11-storey residential building has stood bedecked in pastel hues for decades. However, before its present and colourful form, the rounded façade stood shyly behind large signs, and earlier than that, the No. 2 Police Station was built on this site.
Today, the colour blocking of pink, yellow, and blue marks it as Hong Kong’s colourful response to New York City’s Flatiron Building. What’s beautiful about Chung Wui Mansion is that it can be photographed to evoke various feelings—in all of its vibrant glory or under the heavy clouds of Hong Kong’s humid summer days.
Chung Wui Mansion (中匯大樓), 106–108 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai
Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb—the colourful façade of Man Fung Building (萬風大廈) prompts double-takes for visitors and residents alike. Its bright yellow appearance drowns out surrounding mid-rises, and Instagrammers perpetually find enjoyment in discovering new angles from which to capture this much-photographed landmark. Perhaps yours will be the new set of eyes that will revitalise this Instagrammable monument from a fresh perspective!
Man Fung Building (萬風大廈), 180 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po