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
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
The guidebook asked staff, contributors and authors for well-known and lesser-known recommendations.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
An airport in Asia has stolen the crown from Manila's Ninoy Aquino, voted 'world's worst' three years in a row.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT)
It's time for a beef break, veal vacation, hog holiday or sinew sabbatical in a T-bone a-fide U.S. meatopolis.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many awesome new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 0107 GMT (0907 HKT)
Scientists are busy surveying Southeast Asia's Coral Triangle, home to 75 percent of all known coral species.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1350 GMT (2150 HKT)
Bounce Below in Wales
Bounce Below transforms an abandoned slate mine into a surreal, springy world of fear and fun,
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 2316 GMT (0716 HKT)
With chopsticks or fingers? Wasabi or no? A double Michelin-starred Tokyo chef sets the record straight and shows us the sushi way.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2224 GMT (0624 HKT)
Markthal Rotterdam foodhall in the Netherlands.
It may look like a gateway across time and space crafted with alien technology, but in reality it's a fruit and vegetable market.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Based on the votes of over 330 industry experts, the 2014 winners include bars from 27 cities in 14 countries.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 2231 GMT (0631 HKT)
Careening down an active volcano at 95 kph on a thin board? It happens only at Cerro Negro in Nicaragua.
ADVERTISEMENT