Review: Hong Kong Pub Crawl Experience

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Recently, I attended Hong Kong Pub Crawl’s signature “Thursday LKF Crawl” at the famous Hong Kong Bar district of Lan Kwai Fong. The event is well organized overall and provided a lot of opportunities to socialize with a diverse range of people. It is also a great way to be introduced to the city’s pub and bar scene. However, the limited selection of discounted drinks may leave some disappointed.

Note: A special discount for HKTravelBlog Readers, use code “HKTB20” for 20% off your second purchase.

Hong Kong Pub Crawl – Overview

The Thursday crawl goes to three bar locations first then a nightclub in the end. Each bar location will provide a welcome shot to everyone. Hong Kong Pub Crawl participants enjoy a discounted price for drinks at 20HKD for a beer and 30HKD for a signature cocktail from each individual bars. Discounted drinks are only available in bar locations. The bars are a good place to socialize and talk to different people and play some drinking games.

Free welcome shot for Pub Crawl participants

The group spent 50 minutes in each bar before moving to the next location, about 10 minutes were spent moving between pubs and bars. Staff from Hong Kong Pub Crawl will go around to inform participants when it is time to go. Just follow their lead on the road. There will also be a professional photographer during every event to take your photos. You can find photos of your crawl on their Facebook Page.

Albums on Hong Kong Pub Crawl’s Facebook Page with photos taken during each crawl

It is important to bring a photo ID or any travel document as it is required to enter the club. In addition, dress codes may apply at the nightclub, so avoid open toe shoes. Also, some bars and pubs have a minimum spend if you were to pay with a credit card. It is not unreasonable but I believe it’s something to look out for.

How to Book Hong Kong Pub Crawl

You can book your space on Hong Kong Pub Crawl’s website. They accept all major credit cards as well as Paypal and Google Pay. As a reader of HKTravelBlog, use the promo code “HKTB20 and you can receive 20% off any Pub Crawl events. The catch is that this promo code only offers the discount from your second crawl forward, but it is still better than nothing. When you apply this code on their website, you will then receive a custom promo code for your next purchases. You can find many different events hosted by them on their site through this link.

You may also pay on the spot at the starting bar HanJan. Everything is the same no matter when and how you booked it. This can be an option if you need a more flexible schedule.

The Itinerary

The Thursday crawl goes to three different bars and one nightclub. The crawl changes its route every week, with the exception of the starting bar. The starting bar is where people start to gather for the crawl and get to know each other. Hong Kong Pub Crawl starts their Thursday LKF Crawl event at the Hanjan Korean Restaurant and Bar at 9:00pm. This time we went to the following locations in the order listed:

  1. Bar: HANJAN (Starting Bar) (4 Wo On Lane, Central)
  2. Bar: HQ by Terrace Concepts (3/F, 1 Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central)
  3. Bar: Geronimo’s Shot Bar (2/F, Winner’s Building, 27 – 39 D’Aguilar Street, Central)
  4. Club: Zentral (4/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central)

In my opinion, the most reward aspect of the crawl is the free entry to a select nightclub. Clubs in Hong Kong typically charges 300HKD or above as an entrance fee. You hardly get a fee waiver unless you are well dressed with an attractive appearance. With Hong Kong Pub Crawl, you get free entry to one of the clubs on the night.  It is worth noting that although you can stay in the final nightclub for as long as you want, you will only be granted free entry once. This means that if you leave the premise, re-entry will require an entrance fee.

There are over 100 participants at times, so it can get really crowded

 

Check-in

There is an optional event before the actual crawl.  All crawl participants are invited to what its called “The Hostel Happy Hour”. This is hosted collaboratively between the crawl and a few hostels before the start of each crawl event. It starts at 7:30pm in multiple locations, there are drinking games organized by the crawl staff and also you get first beer free. Hong Kong Pub Crawl characterizes this as the “pregame to the crawl”. I did not go to the “Hostel Happy Hour” due to a schedule conflict this time. Based on the feedback from people I chat up with during the crawl, the atmosphere seems great.

Wristbands distributed to identify crawl members

Welcome shots at HanJan for Pub Crawl participants

The actual crawl begins at 9:00pm. First, participants are required to check-in with one of the Hong Kong Pub Crawl staff. You can find these staff members easily as they all wore shirts bearing the pub crawl logo in bright colours. You will be given a wristband after checking-in. From 9:00pm to 9:50pm, you can sample their starting pub HanJan while more people arrive for the crawl.

The crowd leaves Hanjan at 9:50pm for a group photo, before heading to the next location. An introduction to the crawl event will also take place at the same time with ground rules explained.

Our Pub Crawl Group Photo (From Hong Kong Pub Crawl Facebook Page)

Bar experience

Hanjan is more of a pub than a bar. As a bar, they are fine, the drinks they offered is mediocre but the atmosphere is good. Especially this is the starting bar, the outdoor space available made it much less crowded. There is also an extensive food menu at the pub which comes handy for some.

HanJan Pub Crawl Discounts

Our second location is HQ by Terrace Concept. This is a bar in an office building that has a small terrace looking out to the street. I would consider this to be the best bar of the night. The terrace is small with about a dozen seating but is a unique feature for a bar in Lan Kwai Fong. You can enjoy a cigarette or two on the terrace as well. Apart from reasonably priced drinks, there are also several really cool electric beer pong tables. The music is not overly loud where people are unable to converse and the location is big enough that most can find a seat.

This bar impresses me even though I had been to many bars in Hong Kong. It’s like a hidden gem on the 3rd floor of an office building, just high and above all the other mediocre touristy bars in Lan Kwai Fong.

Pub Crawl Discounts HQ by Terrace Concept

Then, we went to Geronimo’s Shot Bar. This bar is above the bustling main street of Lan Kwai Fong. The drinks here are not as good as HQ and space are fairly crowded. The uniqueness of this bar is that they have a shots hall of fame, with golden plaques on the wall bearing names of all drinkers that had 15 shots in a row. If you are interested in leaving your name behind, it is a great challenge to try out. You will receive the shots for free if you successfully complete the challenge. The top of the board record had 105 shots in a single night.

Shots Hall of Fame: 105 shots in a night

Club Experience

We went to Zentral, which is a club I have personally not been to in Hong Kong. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of clubs as I enjoy chatting and socializing more than loud music and dance floor. But I quite like this club, with the ample space and reasonably priced drinks (for a club), it can be enjoyable for most people. Unfortunately, I did not take any photo in the club.

Although I consider the free entry to a club is the benefit that’s the most worth it, a nightclub experience on a Thursday night lacks the buzz one would expect when walking into a club. Clubs on Thursday nights are generally quite in Hong Kong apart from the few big and most famous clubs. If you enjoy the music and enjoy the dance floor, the club experience provided by the crawl will be perfect for you. However, there are no discount drinks on offer at the club so you might have to dish out a few bucks on that.

Conclusion

Hong Kong Pub Crawl is an excellent event if you are keen to meet different people and get a taste of Hong Kong’s drinking scene. The discounts do not allow you to purchase from a big selection of drinks but are sufficient for the amount of time you spend in each location. If you are looking to sample selections of drinks, this event may not be the best fit. Overall, I enjoyed my time there and I will recommend it.

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. The crowd have a diverse age group. I see people in their 18/19s and also older ones in their early 30s. You can always find the age group that you feel comfortable in. In Hong Kong, even “normal” travellers tend to stay in hostels due to the INSANE hotel prices, so I guess most are “normal” to me.

  2. How old is the crowd usually? All in their teens/ early twenties or also some older people? A lot of groups or mostly singles? All backpackers (the hostel thing seems to indicate that) or also ‘normal’ travelers.

    Thanks! I might check it out.

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