I have been very fortunate to have visited many places in my lifetime and there is no place I’ve visited more than Hong Kong. Whilst it is the place of my ancestors, it’s a place I love to visit time and time again because there’s always something new to see, visit or eat! Lots of people always ask me for Travel tips so this is the first of a series of quick tips that I’ll be putting together over the year. Feel free to share any tips and places to visit so that I can explore the next time I’m in Hong Kong!
Travellers generally choose to stay on Hong Kong Island or on the Kowloon side on the mainland. My pick is The Upper House on Hong Kong Island. This beautifully architected hotel was designed by renowned Hong Kong architect Andre Fu of AFSO and is modern and sophisticated but retains a natural warmth that is sometimes lost in other new and modern hotels.
The rooms are spacious and have the the latest in-room technology, with complimentary wireless definitely getting my tick of approval. Also in room are complimentary refreshments from the in-room Maxi-Bar and the espresso machine is a handy thing to have for that quick pick me up between shopping or eating expeditions.
The Upper House is conveniently located next to Pacific Place shopping mall where you can shop to your hearts content or be entertained by the latest movies in the Cinema. Admiralty MTR is also conveniently accessible via Pacific Place so if you need to get across the Harbour or head to another area of Hong Kong Island you can easily jump on a train (sometimes easier than a Taxi in peak hour!)
One other great thing about The Upper House is that at the top of the hotel is Café Gray Deluxe. This beautiful restaurant and bar overlooks Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour. Having dined here and had drinks here, it’s an added bonus to have such a great dining and drinking options so close to your hotel room.
EAT & DRINK
Next to shopping, this is my favourite thing to do in Hong Kong! Here are some of my favourites.
Café Grey Deluxe
For Dinner or for Lunch or for an Afternoon tea, Café Grey Deluxe provides a beautiful environment to enjoy quality food. At the moment, Café Grey has an Afternoon Tea by Elie Saab parfums – The Luxury of an Escapade Afternoon Tea. One thing that is done well in Hong Kong are afternoon teas so this is the perfect afternoon tea for a relaxing afternoon with a sensational view.
If afternoon tea is not your thing then definitely make the time to have dinner and enjoy the beautiful European influenced menu with a view that is second to none. Or enjoy a drink at the Bar with views across the harbour – it literally sparkles!
For more information visit www.cafegrayhk.com/cghk_en.html
Café Grey is located on Level 49 of The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Yung Kee Restaurant
If you’re looking for a restaurant that does good Cantonese food then this place does great Cantonese food plus it is known for their roasted game including duck, goose and pigeon. I love this place and they also make a mean won ton noodle soup.
For more information visit http://www.yungkee.com.hk/contact/contact-e.html
Yung Kee Restaurant 32-40 Wellington street, Central, HongKong
Tim Ho Wan
Dim Sum is what this place is all about. It received a Michelin Star way back and it was probably the cheapest Michelin Star restaurant in the world! The original one is located in Mong Kok in Kowloon but there are now several outlets around Hong Kong. My favourite item on the menu were the BBQ Pork Buns – there was something about the bun casing that was soft, crunchy and delicious. Not like any BBQ Pork Bun I’ve had here (until they open later this year in Melbourne!)
Best to google to find the nearest one to where you are staying!
Although a chain, the two outlets in Causeway Bay (LG of Times Square Shopping Centre) and Central (IFC Shopping mall) always have really great Xiao Long Bao dumplings and special Lia Mien noodles. It’s relatively cheap, cheerful, and clean!
Times Square is located in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island and IFC Shopping Mall is located in Central on Hong Kong Island.
For locations visit www.crystaljade.com
This is one of my favourite bars in Central on Hong Kong Island. It has a spectacular outside deck with beautiful views across to Kowloon.
It also has a restaurant if you fancy a meal before or after or during drinks!
10 Chater Road Central, Hong Kong Island
The shopping in Hong Kong is some of the best, in my opinion. From high-end to chain stores to stores selling unique pieces, there is something for everyone in Hong Kong. Here are my favourite shopping areas.
Located on the west side of Hong Kong Island, Causeway Bay is a shopping hub. From Times Square, not at all like the one in New York, this multi-level shopping mall is home to the department store Lane Crawford. Across the way, you will find Sogo, one of the few remaining Japanese department stores in Hong Kong.
Tsim Tsa Tsui
Across the Harbour in Kowloon, TST as it’s locally known, is a fantastic place to explore. From the large shopping malls of Harbour City and Ocean terminal, to the chain stores on Nathan Road or the backstreets of TST including Cameron Road and Granville Road, where you can find unique boutiques. You can also find an abundance of electronics stores in TST on Nathan Road.
Queens Road in Central on Hong Kong Island has a multitude of designer stores and chain stores. IFC is also located in Central and is not only an office tower, but has a delightful shopping mall with designer stores and a selection of chain stores such as Zara and Club Monaco.
Hollywood Road in Central is known for its galleries and antiques.
Mong Kok in Kowloon is home to the Ladies Market where you can practice your haggling skills and find everything from souvenirs to clothes to toys. A fun place to visit and can be easily found by following the pink street signs (has a picture of a gift box) when you exit the MTR.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Hong Kong is super easy to get around. The MTR train system is easy to use and navigate, with exit signs at each MTR station showing what the local landmarks are and street names. You can purchase a tourist travel card or you can buy one of their Octopus cards that you can top up and also use the funds to buy things from various merchants around Hong Kong (including 7-Eleven which is very handy for a snack or a drink!)
Alternatively, taxis are also very cheap and plentiful. Just be mindful that if you cross the harbour from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon there will be additional tolls that you have to pay, and peak hour can leave you sitting in traffic.
If you’re coming from the airport, definitely look at taking the Airport Express which is a cheap and quick way to get into Kowloon or Hong Kong. The Airport Express station is located just on the other side of the Arrivals Hall meaning you don’t have to carry your luggage a very long way.
For more information on Hong Kong visit http://www.discoverhongkong.com/au/index.jsp