Skip to main content

Ultimate Hong Kong kung fu tour

By Grace Huang, for CNN
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Located on the Avenue of Stars, the statue of Bruce Lee strikes a pose from the 1972 classic "Fist of Fury." A souvenir shot gets you in the mood for a complete Hong Kong kung fu experience. Located on the Avenue of Stars, the statue of Bruce Lee strikes a pose from the 1972 classic "Fist of Fury." A souvenir shot gets you in the mood for a complete Hong Kong kung fu experience.
HIDE CAPTION
1. Selfie with Bruce Lee
2. Kung Fu tour
3. Free classes in Kowloon park
4. Movie locations
5. Bruce Lee's former home
6. Kung Fu retreat
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kung fu tour includes martial arts class, Bruce Lee museum, dim sum
  • "Enter the Dragon" was filmed in Tsing Shan Monastery
  • Shaolin Wushu Culture Center offers two-day kung fu retreats

(CNN) -- Calling all fans of Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Donnie Yen.

Hong Kong may be a well-known shopping and foodie destination, but the birthplace of Chinese martial arts films now offers some butt-kicking activities and scenic attractions for kung fu fans too.

Nunchuks not mandatory.

MORE: Breathtaking photos of glory days at Hong Kong's old airport

1. Free kung fu lessons

You'll never be able to punch like Jackie Chan, but you can pick up some basic moves to show off to family, friends and local ne'er do wells.

The weekly kung fu demonstration at Kung Fu Corner teaches introductory techniques used in traditional combat.

Instructors incorporate different weapons and kung fu styles in their routines.

Kung Fu Corner; Sculpture Walk, Kowloon Park, 22 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; +852 2508 1234; Sundays only, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

2. Selfie with Bruce Lee

Say \
Say "Aiiiiiiiiyaaaaaa!"

Bruce Lee died 40 years ago, but a selfie with the martial arts hero is a classic Hong Kong souvenir.

You can strike a pose with Lee on the Hollywood look-alike Avenue of Stars, where a life-size bronze statue of the '70s ass-whomping legend -- striking his iconic high kick pose -- stands next to the harbor front.

The statue commemorates Lee's global martial arts triumphs in classics like "Enter the Dragon" and "Fist of Fury."

MORE: Hong Kong's best 'no reservations' eats

After snapping that selfie with Bruce, you can "hold hands" with kung fu superstars Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh.

Their hand prints are a few meters in front of Lee's statue.

Avenue of Stars, Promenade, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

MORE: 50 reasons Hong Kong is the world's greatest city

3. Movie locations

In the movies, knife-wielding gangsters lurk on every Hong Kong street corner.

Not exactly true in real life, but the city is loaded with spots where kung fu stars flashed their heels and beat back endless waves of thugs.

Jackie Chan filmed his death-defying act in "Police Story" at Tsim Sha Tsui's Wing On Plaza.

The mall looks the same as it did when he leaped five stories down to its atrium.

Remember "Don't think! Feeeeel"?

That Bruce Lee moment of zen instruction in "Enter the Dragon" was shot in Tuen Mun's Tsing Shan Monastery.

Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 2196 1388

Tsing Shan Monastery, Castle Peak, Hong Kong; +852 2441 6556

MORE: English-language manual helps the fight back for Hong Kong kung fu

4. Retrace Bruce Lee's steps

Apart from watching his movies, you can get a glimpse of Bruce Lee's early life in Hong Kong with a visit to his high school and family home.

First stop: Bruce Lee's alma mater -- St. Francis Xavier College -- where bathroom doors were his enemies.

Records show that Lee destroyed the school bathroom doors while fighting his classmates.

Instead of punishing Lee, a teacher advised him to join the school's boxing team.

The rest is kung fu cinema history.

St. Francis Xavier College, Sycamore Street, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon

Bruce Lee\'s former Hong Kong residence.
Bruce Lee's former Hong Kong residence.

Second stop: the superstar's former home -- now a love motel.

Lee's onetime two-story family home now operates as a "romance hotel," where guests rent rooms by the hour.

Hong Kong's government originally planned to construct a Bruce Lee museum at the residence, but that project has been scrapped.

According to reports, the owner declined to donate the house as a permanent museum space due to construction disputes.

Bruce Lee's former home, 41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon

5. Kung fu retreat

To experience the spiritual side of kung fu, a visit to the Shaolin Wushu Culture Center is in order.

The center brings together the physical aspects of kung fu with the zen heart of Shaolin philosophy.

Located in Tai O, the center offers two-night martial arts courses, training camps and life enhancement exercises, away from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong.

Shaolin Wushu Culture Center, Shek Tsai Po Street, New Territories, Hong Kong; +852 2985 8898

MORE: Leaving Hong Kong behind in Tai O

6. Immersive kung fu tour

Wing Chun: instruction from the pros, not YouTube.
Wing Chun: instruction from the pros, not YouTube.

The six-hour "Wing Chun" Kung Fu Experience Tour starts with a morning lesson on wing chun, a type of kung fu specializing in close-range combat.

The class is led by Master Sam Lau -- a student of Bruce Lee's mentor, the legendary grandmaster Ip Man. The 2008 blockbuster "Ip Man" was based on his life.

Visitors can train with Lau's teaching assistants.

"Wing Chun is all about defense and attack at the same time," says Master Lau. "The class focuses more on basic and practical skills, rather than theory."

The young Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung once practiced their kung fu on the roof of the same building where classes are held, according to Master Lau.

The "Experience" includes a guided tour of the $3.2 million "Bruce Lee: Kung Fu. Art. Life" exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

The superstar's legacy is recalled through personal artifacts.

Lee's sentimental and quirky sides are evident in his hand-written poems and cha cha choreography notes.

The tour includes a dim sum lunch at the Shamrock Hotel, a spot frequented by Ip Man and Bruce Lee.

According to Master Lau, Ip Man was a fan of the hotel's sweet lotus-paste buns.

"Wing Chun" Kung Fu Experience Tour; HK$1,550 ($200) per person; +852 27232306

MORE: Bruce Lee exhibition hits Hong Kong

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 0626 GMT (1426 HKT)
the Teufelsberg or
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 2206 GMT (0606 HKT)
nanjing, handicrafts
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Rock and weather collide over millennia to create natural bridges. Here are 15 of our favorites from around the world.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0539 GMT (1339 HKT)
A one-nun brewing operation, Sister Doris is putting Germany's women beer makers on the map. Sort of.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0607 GMT (1407 HKT)
From Myanmar to Mickey Mouse, Stefan Zwanzger, aka The Theme Park Guy, gives his rundown of the best.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
Four hundred years after the death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, her murderous exploits prove a grisly attraction.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Formed by volcanoes and steeped in a rich history of Polynesian culture, Hawaii sounds more like a place in a fantasy novel rather than an American travel oasis.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 2356 GMT (0756 HKT)
Despite Kyoto's allure, until this year there's been a glaring absence from the city's travel scene -- a top tier, super-luxury hotel brand.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Why global adventurer Alastair Humphreys now looks for 'microadventures' close to home.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1133 GMT (1933 HKT)
Don't order Corona and don't freak out when you see Jessica Alba without makeup and you might pass for local.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 2301 GMT (0701 HKT)
History buff? Hardcore surfer? These South Pacific islands have every traveler covered.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Airlines and airports are going high-tech to reduce your time in line.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0858 GMT (1658 HKT)
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1832 GMT (0232 HKT)
Eight of the top 10 scoring cities in the Economic Intelligence Unit's annual Liveability Survey are in Australia and Canada.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)
When a man tells me to "trust him," my typical reaction is to run.
ADVERTISEMENT