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1 City 5 Ways: Hong Kong

Hong Kong Trail

Hong Kong is about dizzying heights, the buzz, the bustle, the luxury brands, unparalleled hotels and restaurants—and the bigger and bolder, the better. But it is also home to a wonderful history, verdant peaks and quiet islands, relaxed beach towns and hiking trails that open onto dramatic vistas. Once you have a feel for the city, go from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island via the historic Star Ferry, visit the sleek malls and shop for the latest fashion must-haves. Then dine on French or Italian or Chinese cuisine before winding down in a see-and-be-seen speakeasy with an artisanal cocktail. Culture? There’s some. But HK is really about the views, so settle in and watch the movie unfold before you.


STYLE SETTER

       
Causeway Bay.        

Where to Stay: The Upper House
This hotel in the Admiralty district is all about luxe, spare style paired with residential-style service. Venture downstairs to shop Pacific Place or up to dine chez celeb chef Gray Kunz at Café Gray Deluxe.

Breakfast: Café Culture
Head to Café Deadend or Po’s Atelier. Café Deadend is a western-style diner with outdoor seating; Po’s is great for freshly baked pastries in a sleek, modern setting.

Morning: Shopping
Get your retail fix at Causeway Bay, the shopping mecca of Hong Kong. Dive into unique specialty brands such as Taiwanese and Korean designers in smaller malls such as Island Beverly and Laforet. Keep your energy up at one of the many local dessert shops.

Lunch: Duddell’s
Join the power set for steamed barbecue pork buns and mushroom dumplings with black truffle at this chic restaurant with its stunning array of contemporary art. After lunch, take in the wares at the Shanghai Tang boutique. 

Dinner: Ho Lee Fook
Stop for a drink at Bibo, then get your fix of modern Chinese fare at this bustling, funky spot: roast Wagyu short ribs and Mom’s “mostly cabbage, a little bit of pork” dumplings with a round of nostalgic cocktails. 


FOODIE

       
         

Where to Stay: Island Shangri-La
The 56-story Shangri-La is perfectly situated in the mixed-use Pacific Place complex and offers many dining options. Dive into Peruvian ceviche at the Lobster Bar and Grill, Cantonese cooking at the Michelin-two-star Summer Palace or Japanese kaiseki at Nadaman. 

Morning: Traditional Teahouse
Head to a cha chaan teng, a Hong Kong-style teahouse, and enjoy the set menu—perhaps fried eggs on toast—paired with milk tea. Favorites include Cheung Heung Tea Restaurant in Kennedy Town, Kam Wah Cafe in Prince Edward and Mrs. Tang Cafe in Yuen Long and Kwun Tong.

Lunch: Dim Sum
Hong Kong dim sum is perhaps the best in the world. Try one of the few restaurants that still delivers freshly made dim sum to diners on a traditional rolling cart. Top choices include Lin Heung Kui in Sheung Wan, The China Club in Central and Jade Garden in Causeway Bay.

Dinner: Restaurant Petrus
Offering breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour, Petrus in the Shangri-La offers top-flight French cooking (think pigeon with pak choi and black truffle essence) and a world-class wine cellar.

Late Night: The Woods
This cocktail bar pairs market-driven ingredients with innovative techniques. Example: The four-pepper margarita, with pepper-infused Ocho blanco tequila, lime juice and agave nectar. 

 

HISTORY BUFF

       
View of Hong Kong Harbour from the pool at The Peninsula.        

Where to Stay: The Peninsula
This classic grand dame rises above Hong Kong Harbour on the Kowloon side. Take tea in the bustling lobby, dine at Swiss eatery Chesa or book a Rolls-Royce for an afternoon tour. 

Morning: Explore Kowloon
Visit the Jade Market, the Bird Garden, Flower Garden and Goldfish Market. Phew! Then tour Wong Tai Sin Temple, where Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism are practiced. Stop to have your fortune told, too!

Lunch: Lei Yue Mun Village
Enjoy fresh fish at one of the restaurants in colorful Lei Yue Mun village, with its stilt houses and vintage vibe. Select prawns, crab, fish and more, then have them cooked before lunching al fresco.

Afternoon: Police Married Quarters
Once home to married officers and their families, the PMQ complex has been transformed into a bohemian shopping and dining destination. Find wares crafted in HK at Kapok, G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) or Vivienne Tam. 

Dinner: Hutong
Sitting high above the city, Hutong mixes high-style Chinese fare with drop-dead vistas. Try the spicy bang bang chicken or more adventurous crispy white eel with black fungus. 


ARTS AFICIONADO

       
The Popsy Room.        

Where to Stay: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
Located in the heart of the city, the sleek Mandarin houses only 96 rooms and 13 suites. The rooms are wonderfully spacious and luxe, while the hotel’s amenities include a decadent hammam tucked into the spa. 

Morning: Pedder Building
Visit the 1920s-era Pedder Building that houses a slew of cutting-edge galleries, including Pearl Lam Galleries, Ben Brown Fine Arts and Gagosian (shows have included everyone from Roy Lichtenstein to Andreas Gursky).

Lunch: Bibo
After surveying art from the likes of Jeff Koons, Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat, enjoy dishes from a prix fixe menu such as slow-cooked Japanese pork belly with baby artichokes and truffled mashed potatoes. 

Dinner: The Popsy Room
A gallery by day, this sleek space just off busy Cat Alley morphs into a dining-world darling. Take in the cutting-edge art as you dine on colorful, high-concept fare that relates back to the art at hand. 

Evening: Sunbeam Theatre
Visit the vintage Sunbeam Theatre for a nighttime performance of traditional Cantonese opera. 


OUTDOORS ENTHUSIAST

       
Aqua Luna Harbour Discovery Tour.        

Where to Stay: The Pottinger
Situated on stone-slabbed Pottinger Street, this boutique-styled hotel is located near the buzzy Lan Kwai Fong district. The 68 rooms and seven suites are smart and chic and are the perfect oasis after a day in the steamy great outdoors. 

Morning Activity: Hong Kong Trail
Climb onboard Hong Kong’s venerable Peak Tram on Garden Road and enjoy the stunning vistas of the city while it carries you to The Peak— go early or brave the crowds! From there, embark on the 50-minute or so Hong Kong Trail walk winding around the island’s highest point.

Lunch: Sohofama
Enjoy modern Chinese comfort food crafted from locally sourced ingredients at this restaurant, which features a rustic wood table and pots overflowing with growing herbs and vegetables. 

Afternoon: Aqua Luna Harbour Discovery Tour
Cruise around Hong Kong Harbour aboard the Aqua Luna junk. Enjoy the flapping red sails as you hop on/hop off to see sites such as the golden Bauhinia and bustling Hung Hom neighborhood. 

Dinner: Isola Bar + Grill
Located on level three of the International Finance Centre, this modern eatery pairs relaxed Italian cooking (pizzas, pastas) with unparalleled views of the harbor and surrounding skyscrapers. A DJ spins Friday through Sunday.

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