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Out and About
 
Friends in town
   

Hong Kong is one of the world’s great crossroads, and you’ll find there’s almost never a month (and it often feels like a week) when someone you know isn’t passing through town. Here are some ideas to help you keep them entertained and impressed.

 

Sail across Victoria Harbour

Every single guide to Hong Kong starts with the suggestion of taking the Star Ferry between Central and TST, and there’s a good reason why, it truly is an icon sailing through an iconic scene. Cameras at the ready boys and girls.

And should you fancy a cruise with nice cocktail in hand, climb aboard the sophisticated and made over Chinese junk, the Aqua Luna which will carry you in style and comfort. Time your trip to cooincide with the nightly 8pm light show.

 

Luk Yu Tea HouseDim Sum at Luk Yu Tea House

Get a sense of old Hong Kong at this traditional dim sum eaterie.
24-26 Stanley Street,
Central

T: 2523 5464

 

 

Drinks at Felix

You’ve fought the crowds on the Star Ferry and the fake watch hawkers on the streets of TST, so now reward yourself with glass of pop in the Champagne Bar at Felix, top floor of the Peninsula Hotel. And yes, its home to that loo that everyone talks about.

T: 2315 3188

 

Aqua Hong KongDinner at Aqua

The most spectacular views over HK Island. Fab interior and good food. Time it to coincide with the 8pm Hong Kong Harbour Light Show and the mother in law will be most impressed.

T: 3427 2288

 

 

China Club singerAn evening at the China Club

You need a member to take you, but this is a fabulous place to introduce friends to Hong Kong. Founded by Sir David Tang, the food is great and the interior, with its extensive collection of modern Chinese paintings, is fabulous. Start with aperitifs in the Long March Bar and finish with a brandy in the Library (and when there’s no-one looking have a sneaky look at the back of the Dong Renyong painting that hangs above the fireplace).

T: 2537 5266

 

Seafood lunch in Lamma

Take the ferry from Central Ferry Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan. Start with a pre-lunch walk to Sok Ku Wan (1 hour gentle hill walk) and then enjoy lunch at one of the many Lamma seafood restaurants. Return home from the Sok Ku Wan Ferry Pier to Central. If you don’t feel like the walk catch the ferry direct to Sok Ku Wan instead. The journey can be done the other way too, ending at restaurants in Yung Shue Wan.

 

Lunch at The Peak

Take the Peak Tram up to the Peak, then take a stroll along the Lugard Road for some magnificent views over Hong Kong Island (takes approx 30 minutes), then have lunch at the Peak Lookout. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can walk up the Peak on the morning trail, which leads from the bottom of Po Shan Road in Mid-levels. You've earned lunch after that.

 

Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula

Not to be missed. Take the Star Ferry from Central over to Tsim Sha Tsui, walk along Salisbury Road to the Peninsula Hotel. Has to be done once. And wear your Sunday best to make it feel truly first class.

 

Robby Cheungs welliesDinner and a dance

At the opposite end of the scale from tea at The Peninsula is dinner at one of Hong Kong's most fun and off beat restaurants, Tung Po Seafood (T: 2880 9339). Take the escalator to the second floor of the North Point Cooked Food Market and enter the domain of the legendary Robby Cheung, a Chinese blend of Gordon Ramsay and Michael Jackson.

The food is good with the odd highlight such as the squid ball noodles cooked in ink, and the prawns deep fried in salted egg yolk. However its Robby's enormous personality, his canto-moonwalking, and his enthusiasm for your enthusiasm that makes him the perfect rock and roller host. Wear 140mm Louboutins at your own risk, chances are you'll be skating across the floor in his arms before dancing on your table. It'aint flash, but it sure is fun.

 

The real twitter

Walk through the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden where proud Hong Kongers display their precious songbirds. Scare the kids with bags of live locusts and creepie crawlies that are for sale.

 

Sacred KingdomHappy Valley Races

Wednesday nights from September to June see the masses and glitterati gather to watch top class floodlit horse racing in what must be one of the world’s most unique sporting venues. Run by the HK Jockey Club, the largest single taxpayer in Hong Kong and one of its oldest institutions, admission can be as little as $10.

T: 2966 7940

 

Explore Hong Kong’s markets

Hong Kong has plenty of great street markets that are worth checking out – just don’t forget to bargain when you get there! The best way to get to them is on the MTR over to Kowloon, and once you’ve had enough or can’t carry any more, hop in a taxi and head home.

 

Flower Market

MTR to Prince Edward. Take Prince Edward West exit. Stock up on wholesale flowers or just breathe in the fragrance. The Yuen Po bird market is just behind.

 

Jade Market

Get off the MTR at Yau Ma Tei. The Jade Markets are located on Kansu Street near Nathan Road. Pick up a few prized jade pieces that can be incorporated into jewellery or buy some jade bangles as gifts. While in the area, it’s worth visiting the Tin Hau Temple, a large temple dedicated to Tin Hau the goddess of seafarers just a few blocks to the north-east

 

Ladies Market

Take the MTR to Mong Kok and head towards Tung Choi Street. This market runs from noon until 11pm, and though it used to just stock womenswear, it now carries clothing and accessories for both men and women. It used to be a great place for fake handbags, but since the government’s crackdown on fakes, you’re more likely to find Gocci bags and Preda sunglasses.

 

Temple Street Night Market

Take the MTR to Jordan, leave via exit A, turn right and walk two blocks along Jordan Road. One of the liveliest night markets in Hong Kong. Practice a few key phrases before you go, Ho gwaih (very expensive) and Mo chin (no money).

 

Stanley Markets

If you would rather stay on Hong Kong Island side, then head to Stanley, which has a great selection of shops and market stalls, with definite deals to be had. After a few exhausting hours in the markets, you can reward yourself with a rest in one of the restaurants located on Stanley Main Road.

 

Starbucks?

Believe it or not, but there’s a genuinely good reason for visiting the Starbucks at 13 Duddell Street in Central. The coffee behemoth asked local designers Goods Of Desire to incorporate a “Bing Sutt” corner into the back of the store. And what is Bing Sutt I hear you ask? No, not a Canto pop star, but a traditional HK coffeehouse from the 50’s and 60’s that also sold ice cream and soda pops. See how it used to be when Jackie Chan was a boy.

 

Antique shopping

Head to Cat Street and Hollywood Road for a seemingly endless supply of shops offering a fantastic selection of Chinese antique furniture, pottery, ceramics, etc. Make sure you start with the all you can eat dim sum on Sundays at China Lang Kwai Fong. During the week, you can go to Dragon-I, where it’s around $150 per person for all you can eat. Then finish up your day at the Staunton Street Café, just up from Hollywood Road for a cleansing ale and to watch the commuters glide home up the escalator.

 

Visit Tai O, the village on stilts

Take the ferry to Lantau, Silvermine Bay / Mui Wo from the Outlying Islands Ferry Piers in Central. Once you get to Lantau, take the buses marked “Tai O” at the bus terminus. And all of this just a few miles from the high rise madness of Hong Kong. After wandering around, have lunch in a local seafood restaurant. You can also take a boat trip to see the Chinese white dolphins. Although that is the actual species name, the dolphins in Tai O are pinkish in colour – could they be eating the flamingos?

 

Helicopter Trip over HK

Depart from the roof of the Peninsula Hotel or the recently re-opened Wan Chai heliport for a different perspective on the city.

Heliservices
T: 2802 0200

 

Hong Kong Tourist Hotline

T: 2508 1234

The tourist board has a calendar of typical Chinese activities under its “Cultural Kaleidoscope” umbrella. Visitors to the city can join a tai chi class, learn about tea, go on an opera appreciation session or take junk trip on the Duk Ling trip. Many of the activities are free.

 

Shopping in Shenzhen

Want to get clothing made to measure (pssst.., or copied)? Fancy buying handbags, shoes and household furnishings all for rock bottom prices? Then take your girlfriends and go shopping in Shenzhen. Take the MTR to Kowloon Tong and change onto the KCR to Lo Wu. Once you get across the Hong Kong/China border you can spend all day at Lowu Commercial City where you can shop till you drop and then pamper yourself with pedicures, manicures and massages.

You will need a visa to travel to Shenzhen, which are available from the China Travel Service, T: 2789 5401. If you are planning on just shopping at the Lowu Commercial City, then all you'll need is Hong Kong dollars. Take some small denominations though.

For detailed information with maps and recommendations, purchase Shop in Shenzhen - An Insider's Guide, its an easy to navigate fun guide to amazing bargains just 40 minutes from Central.

 

And if more relatives turn up than you had planned for, you can rent temporary beds or furniture at;

Home Essentials
T: 2870 1400

Indigo Living
T: 2552 3500

 

 
 
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