A dozen ways to chill out this summer
As the sun hots up, you're going to need to cool down. Check out these ice-cold ways to beat the heat in the coming months. By Anna Cummins and Cat Kiely
To The Arctic is on at the Space Museum
1. Chill out with polar bears
Our city's cinemas are known for their subzero temperatures, so head to the Hong Kong Space Museum's Omnimax theatre, which is now showing the To The Arctic documentary. Chill out as you follow a mummy polar bear and her two cubs as they make their journey through the ice.
Showing until Aug 31. Hong Kong Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2721 0226; imax.com.
P-p-p-penguins at Ocean Park
2. Chill out with penguins
Penguins are cool. Fact. And so is their home at Ocean Park. In fact, the theme park's South Pole Spectacular is kept to a chilly eight to 10°C – perfect for escaping the humid weather outside. And there are more than 70 penguins from three species to gawk at, including tiny rockhoppers and giant king penguins. Let those sweaty pores breathe in the Antarctic atmosphere!
Ocean Park, Aberdeen, 3923 2323; oceanpark.com.hk.
3. Cave in for a while
Want a couple of hours' worth of blissful heat relief tied in with some Indiana Jones-esque adventure? Then go caving. There are a few good caverns dotted around Hong Kong but our favourite is the D'Aguilar system in Hok Tsui Shan on the Shek O peninsula. You'll need a map to get there and a head torch with lots of juice. Find the cave entrance just off Cape D'Aguilar Rd, Hok Tsui Shan. Good directions can be found at hkaventurer.com.
4. Look cool in a convertible
Leave those red-faced motorists and their air-conditioned boxes eating your dust. Pick a car rental outfit near you and choose the sleekest convertible they have, then head up to the New Territories and enjoy the beautiful breeze wafting through your hair. Don't forget to wear your coolest shades to complete the look... Rent a Convertible Mercedes Benz SLK at Hertz, $2,800 per day, 2525 1313; hertz.com.
The Man Cheung Po infinity pool
5. To infinity (pool) and beyond!
There's a natural infinity pool on Lantau. No, really – there is! This hidden gem near Tai O is damn hard to find, though. You've got to generate some heat and do some hiking first – but it's worth it when you stumble across this 'nearly natural' infinity pool, tucked into the hillside. The Man Cheung Po pool is fed by the waterfalls surrounding it. Check out the Shui Lo Cho falls right next to it for a natural jacuzzi. From Tai O Road, follow the catchwater road of Keung Shan to its end, then find a paved path up to Lung Tsai Ng Yuen. Turn back on to stage five of the Lantau Trail towards Man Cheung Po for around one hour. See goo.gl/iAjQR for more.
Rozan plates up fresh dishes
6.Sushi good idea
Cool down and replenish at the cave-like Rozan sushi and sashimi bar, which is part of a trio of high-end Japanese restaurants in Wan Chai's Oak Hill complex alongside Gin Sai and Wagyu Takumi. Chef Masa prepares your super-cool omakase menu for you, which is altered regularly to accommodate all that fresh seasonal produce which is ordered in. Rozan seats 12 people for a spacious and chilled dining experience, fit for the summer.
Rozan, Shop 2, Oak Hill, 18 Wood Rd, Wan Chai, 2574 1333.
A Hong Kong Highball at Cafe Gray Deluxe
7. Ice, ice cocktail
Nothing beats a refreshing cocktail, packed with fruit, alcohol and a generous helping of ice-cubes, on a hot summer evening. And few tipples come as icy cold as the Hong Kong Highball at Admiralty's Café Gray Deluxe. A mixture of Belvedere raspberry vodka, cassis, lemon, pomegranate, honey, ginger, orange peel, summer fruits and the magic ingredient – champagne, of course – this cools your cockles while everyone else is uncomfortably sweating it out.
Cafe Gray Deluxe, The Upper House Hotel, 49/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 3968 1106; cafegrayhk.com.
8. Ice, ice cream
It's ice cream season – and that means it's time to get your favourite cornetto 'lab made' for the coolest effect possible. The scientific approach at Causeway Bay's Lab Made outlet sees the ice creams being frozen in front of you in 60 seconds at -196°C using liquid nitrogen and plenty of stern concentration. Each serving is freshly made to order and tastes great – especially under that hot midday sun we're all trying to avoid.
Lab Made, 6 Brown St, Tai Hang, Causeway Bay, 2670 0071; labmade.com.hk.
9. Freezer jolly good fellow
Ivan The Kozac is a friendly Russian chap who can wipe the sweat from your brow. Pop into his frosty abode and escape into his walk-in freezer, where you can find plain and flavoured bottles of vodka while bringing your temperature down. Ivan The Kozac is actually a Russian restaurant which is open from midday to midnight every day. You can enjoy the vodka freezer experience from 5pm. Spasibo!
Ivan The Kozac, 46-48 Cochrane St, Central; 2851 1193.
10. Game on!
The pay-as-you-skate ice-rink aptly named The Rink sports views of Victoria Harbour through its colossal glass front window. When you're outside looking in, you imagine what it'd be like to escape the suffocating air and get some ice on your chops. But when you're inside on the rink, you're not only having fun, you're as cool as a cucumber. Until you slip over, that is. (Using your Octopus Card to get in and out allows you to skate for as long as you like…) The Rink, Elements, 1 Austin Rd W, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2196 8016; rink com.hk.
11. The ski's the limit
And from ice skating to indoor skiing. Winter sports are always grand during the summer – especially when they're indoors. Slope Infinity, in North Point, is the world's biggest indoor revolving skiing and snowboarding training ground. There are slopes that suit people of all ages and experience levels. Visitors use real skis, boots, poles and boards, as well as a full-length mirror which allows you to monitor your progress. It's a slalom fit for the summer!
Slope Infinity, 1/F, 148 Electric Rd, North Point, 2107 4567; slope8.com.
Water rides at Shenzhen's Happy Valley
12. Happy in Shenzhen
Struggling in Hong Kong's heat? Well, hop on the 'light blue line' and get up to Shenzhen, where the Happy Valley theme park can cool you down. Unlike our own Happy Valley, this attraction is split into nine sections – but when the temperature's rising, head for the Maya Playa water park area. In this Mayan-themed zone you'll find water slides, huge pools and inflatables. If you're feeling mean, you can also shoot jets of water over riders on the rapids. Open May 1 to Oct 7.
Happy Valley, Shennan Ave, Luohu District, Shenzhen, (+86) 7552 694 9184; sz.happyvalley.cn.