Hong Kong only collects import tariffs on four kinds of products: Tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, ethyl alcohol and liquor. Since 2008 there is no more tariff on wine and beer. In addition, Hong Kong has some of the most liberal laws concerning the sale of alcohol in the world. The legal drinking age is 18, however, there is no legal obligation on retailers to refuse to sell liquor to a person on the grounds of age.
That is because the drinking age only applies to places that have to be licensed, for instance bars or clubs. It is perfectly legal in Hong Kong for a minor to walk into a 7eleven and buy as much alcohol as they want and drink it in a place that does not need a liquor license.
That is for instance your home, or the general public.
In addition, there are no public intoxication laws.
For more information read here [www.legislation.gov.hk] (Chapter 109 B).
But you don’t have to be a minor to enjoy a cool beer out in public, as there are quite a few places to do so. Also, as rent is often the biggest expense for pubs and bars, drinking indoors can come off extremely pricey, while convenience stores bring fresh competition selling good drinks about anywhere in the city.
Tonight I am presenting to you my favorite places to enjoy a cold beer in public. Some are more scenic, some are more fun, and some are a great opportunity to dream and philosophize.
1) 7eleven 蘭桂坊 Lan Kwai Fung
Location: D’Aguilar Street, 30-32
How to get there: MTR Central, exit D2, go left and go up D’Aguilar Street
Bathrooms: Tough. either bother one of the nearby bars, or the McD’s down the street
The road in front of this place is packed at night. There are plenty of other young people you will easily get in touch with, and though the place is a little more expensive than usual 7elevens, it is the best ‘club’ in Lan Kwai Fung.
But it also has a history, or rather, a famous legacy. It is situated in the same place as the now legendary “Midnight Express” in 王家衛 Wong Kar Wei films, most notably Chungking Express and Fallen Angels.
2) The Pier at Belcher Bay
Location: Sai Wan, west of the Western Wholesale Food Market
How to get there: Trolley, Hill Road; various night buses
Bathrooms: Yes, right at the beginning of the pier
Nearest convenience store: on Hill Road
This one is for a quiet night out with your closest friends. The pier will be busy during the day, but empty and accessible at night, only used by occasional night-joggers and people taking their dog for a walk. It has a great view over the harbor and the Tsing Ma bridge.
Bring a cooler to keep your drinks cold and a couple of snacks!
3) Kowloon Public Pier, the Avenue of Stars
Location: Right by the Star Ferry
How to get there: Star Ferry or MTR Tsim Sha Tsui
Bathrooms: Yes, right by the entrance to the Star Ferry
Nearest convenience store: At the Star Ferry
A classic, with the famous view over the Hong Kong Island Skyline.
That fame comes with a downturn, though, and that is the big numbers of people that you will share your evening with.
4) Kowloon Park
Location: Between Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan MTR station
How to get there: MTR, plenty of buses
Bathrooms: Scattered around the park
Nearest convenience store: Nathan Road
This park can be edgy late at night, but it can still be nice to take advantage of the various seating options by the water fountains and ponds.
5) Shek O Beach
Location: South-Eastern tip of Hong Kong Island
How to get there: Bus 9 from Shau Kei Wan
Nearest convenience store: At the car park
It’s a beautiful beach filled with young people, the water is clean and it’s still close enough to Hong Kong to be a practical after-hours getaway. The bus there is especially scenic, but make sure to get the last one back (Mon-Fri 00:30, Sat-Sun 1:30)!
6) Tai Koo Promenade
Location: north of Tai Koo MTR
How to get there: MTR
Nearest convenience store: on Lei King Road, east of the playground
Calm, relaxing seats and an unfamiliar view over the eastern Victoria harbor. A nice place to relax.