A must visit. The 111 feet Tian Tan Buddha sits beautifully perched, overlooking mainland China. This is the world’s largest, outdoor, sitting, bronze Buddha (Hong Kong has quite a few of these, biggest, longest, largest things, with a lot of conditions before and after). The Po Lin monastery is very beautiful and peaceful and is within a few minutes’ walk from the Buddha. You can spend a whole day here at the Ngong Ping village, where the Buddha, the monastery and many other attractions are housed. Take the crystal cable car one way at least. The views are breath-taking and you can see the Buddha while you are climbing up. It is better to book the ticket in advance, so you don’t have to wait in the long queue, especially during peak season.
I wanted to visit Disneyland Hong Kong at the first place. You see, I have a dream of visiting ALL the Disneyworlds. We hesitated for quite some time when we were planning the trip. But at last I was talked over by my friend who said that Disneyland Hong Kong is much smaller than expected and if I have visited Disneyland Tokyo before then this shouldn't be an option for me. Which is why we ended up in Ocean Park =)
8. The Victoria Harbour in Hong KongThe Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong is what is considered as the Great Wall in China – an iconic tourist destination and a symbol for the people. Victoria is the most popular place having bird’s view of the city of entire Hong Kong. It offers a view of the regions meteoric rise to success and prosperity, the skyline lined with skyscrapers and lights in the distance. One can see the sky scrapers stretching out all the way to the mainland China. During the night time the view is even better with the masterpiece of lights on different buildings dancing in unison.
Offers great views of the busy, restless city, with its impressive port and lofty skyscrapers. Best to go 30 minutes before sunset and watch the city lights blink to life. Don’t miss the funicular (120 year old tram), one of the ways to go up to the top. I got there only late at night, which was quite a pretty sight as well - - with the clouds floating low and the many lights sparkling all around. I would have liked to go earlier and spend more time, but, one has to leave some things for the next time too, right?
Macau: Macau tower, Ruins of St Paul, Grand Lisboa, Senade Square, VenetianFor 2nd day in Macau I headed for exploring old Macau i.e. Cotai. I took free shuttle from Hotel to Macau Tower. At Macau Tower you can try bungee jump. I could not do so that day because of heavy rains. Apart from bungee jump there is not much in Macau Tower so I went ahead for Senade Square. Senade Square was like a shopping area hustling and bustling with malls, stores and traffic. You must also see Grand Lisboa hotel. This is the place where Casinos started in Macau. Lisboa is one of the oldest hotel in Macau and is very famous for Casino. After my walk to Senade Square I went to Ruins of St Paul and the museum which was right next to it. You can also go to various Church and Temples which are nearby located like St Dominic Church, A MA temple etc. After spending good amount of time in Cotai I took free shuttle back to Taipa from Hotel Sintra. Back to Hotel enjoy swimming and then again a visit to Venetian and ended the day in Pacha club at Studio City. Pacha is also a must visit.
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International AirportTo round up our top five, Hong Kong International, the world’s best airport for two years running, really packs a punch. Located on the man-made island of Hong Kong Harbour, all the business and work facilities you could ever want or need are at your demand, but it’s the extras that will really keep you happy. HKIA has the world’s first IMAX theatre, an iSports simulator for car racing and basketball and an outdoor nine-hole golf course. Amongst the entertainment, you can seduce your tastebuds at HKIA’s Michelin star restaurants or try authentic cuisine at your favourite outpost.This post was originally published on WanderingJustin.com.
Today was a long day of working and a quick jaunt over to Causeway Bay to check out what is a very hectic part of town filled with an endless number of stores. Hong Kong is space constrained and many of the businesses here are difficult to find because they are hidden inside buildings on higher levels with directories on the first floor. Walk in traffic is low and you really have to know what your looking for to find some of these shops. High end fashion and consumer goods are a big part of Hong Kong shopping and every corner has well known outlets which are well out of my price range. Western brands are everywhere but marked up to meet demand of many higher income residents. In fact, the opulence of Central and Causeway Bay is in stark comparison to simplicity of life in other parts of Hong Kong.
The ‘Venice of Hong Kong’ aka Tai O, the fishing village of Lantau Island was our next pitstop. Apparently this is the only remaining fishing village in Hong Kong. We took a 20 minutes boat tour (25 HKD), which I felt was a waste of money because neither we saw the interiors of the fishing village nor the Chinese/Pink Dolphins for which the tour was famous for. It’s better to walk around the village, observe the locals, relish the seafood snacks, and have a meal at stilt restaurants than waste money on it.
Stanley Market Road
Shopping cannot be beat in Hong Kong. From upscale shopping centers to hidden independent shops to the infamous outdoor markets, there is something for everyone. A favorite market of ours in Hong Kong is Stanley Market. The market is a typical outdoor tourist market. What sets this apart from others is the location. The journey to the market is an experience itself. Be sure to grab first row seats atop a double decker bus leaving from the Central district. The winding mountain roads are beautiful, if not a little scary!
Yung Kee Restaurant
I did my little "research" about Yung Kee Restaurant before writing this post and I must say that I was pretty disappointed to have missed out their signature dish--the Roast Goose. But on the bright side, I have showed mercy on my purse for not having them because the foods shown above in small portion have already cost us around HKG200. I'm pretty glad that I visited this place. The foods were awesome especially the Lau Sar Pau (Salted Egg Custard Bun). I've never tasted anything like this and I like how the fillings flowed into my mouth so smoothly without any obstacle. Seriously this is the best Lau Sar Pau EVER. The Mango Glutinous Rice Ball was nice too. Very fresh and not over-sweet.
Australia Dairy Company
Try the typical breakfast of Hong Kong people! Simple yet fulfilling. Australian Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司) has been one of the well-known cafe in Hong Kong for its Scrambled Eggs and Steamed Egg White Pudding with Milk. A trip to Hong Kong would be considered incomplete without paying a visit to this cafe. The queue was still bearable as it was cleared pretty fast considered that we were seated within 15 mins although we had more than 20 people lined up before us.
Hong Kong Space Museum
This a great museum with great collection. There is also a special room which simulates the gravity of moon (1/6th gravity of Earth). Unluckily my height didn't permit me to go in as the max height to enter was 183 cm. I also spent sometime watching 3D documentary about Earth which was quite informative
Lin Heung Tea House
If you can’t speak Chinese, better practice sign language or muster the courage to point to something randomly on the menu and eat it. The old waiters here can’t speak a word of English and nor can the menu. Most people enjoying their Yum Cha here seemed as old as the place itself (more than half a decade). It was filled mostly with locals and the food looked as authentic as the place. Old ceiling fans, a wall clock, rickety tables and dated, slightly chipped crockery added to the charisma of the place. I could muster up the courage only to have some Chinese tea here as most items on the menu looked like beef, which I don’t eat (I could be terrible wrong). I missed the husband here again, as he would have pushed me to try something for sure. I hear that the dim sums here are the most genuine. One more thing to go back to, the next time.
Searching for a quick escape for the weekend? Nothing better than a day-trip to Repulse Bay, an upmarket residential area on the Southern part of Hong Kong Island, which quickly became the sea/sand/sun local escape with its crescent-shaped stretch of sand; one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Facing the beach, colonial-style buildings house designer shops and award-winning restaurants, a reminiscence of the 1920 luxury hotel that once occupied the site. It is here that Le Comptoir group shines and excels in creativity and diversity by offering four different dining experiences for locals and stylish visitors.
Victoria Park Flower MarketIt's considered auspicious for the Chinese to deck up their homes with new plants and flowers for New Year and cashing in on this ritual there springs up a mammoth annual flower market at Victoria Park for all sorts of plants and flowers: lucky, holy or just plain beautiful. I can honestly say two things about my experiences here: I have never seen so many exotic varieties of flowers and plants together in one place and secondly, I did not really mind the surging crowds which I abhor in my own country.There were lanes and lanes of flower stalls and then there were a few lanes of toy stalls and food stalls. I saw that visual which up until now was familiar only via TV...a large stall with various kinds of dead sea creatures and other insects on trays, manned by very clean looking cooks in aprons who would just fry up and sprinkle some taste enhancing powder on whatever you chose. I had arrived in China...to be sure!
Bowl up for ‘Blue Hour’ (5.30-7.30pm) to enjoy a gratis small buffet spread of Indian and Mediterranean snacks. A weekday after-work banker crowd soon dissipates, to lend a more sedate and relaxed atmosphere to this blue-tinged bar overlooking Victoria Harbour. Blue Bar’s cocktail list includes 88 that are coloured – you’ve guessed it – blue. Blue Ferrari is one example, loaded with vodka, blue curaçao and amaretto. The mock tail list is also long, with some blue items present. Otherwise, there is plenty of wine or beer, none of it blue.
Red Bar + Restaurant
Overlooking the Outlying Island and Star Ferry piers from the breezy rooftop of the IFC Mall, Red pulls a buzzing crowd every night for its fairly pricey cocktails, wine and beers. Plenty of suits from nearby Exchange Square end up staying till the wee hours. The chilled-out space here (and at next-door Isobar) makes for a laid-back alternative to LKF and SoHo.
After lunch and some shopping at Harbour city and Silvercord, grabbed some leg rest and some dessert. 糖朝 sweet dynasty 28 Hankow Rd, Kowloon City The last time I was here was way back on my first HK trip. Wasn't fantastic though. Had sesame past with beancurd while NB had that with walnut paste instead. Damage: HKD30 per bowl Rating: 7.5/10 perhaps their other dishes like dim sum or meals are better!
Pomelo sago mango with ice cream tasted good but didn't like it with too much coconut. Was not overwhelmed with sweetness which is a good thing. Love the mango mochi that came in a set. Cold, soft with mango puree bursting out. NB says it's a mango Ondeh Ondeh! Damage: HKD56 Rating: 8.5/10
Mount Austin Road Playground
As mentioned before the Victoria Peak has various trails to walk along. Mount Austin Road is a trail surrounded by lush green forests and abundant wildlife. The walk is quite scenic and at the same time easily accessible. The Mount Austin playground is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the moment. This 5 to 10-minute walk is refreshing. Chinese locals, Peak residents and tourists come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Mira Hong Kong
Back into the pulse of the city for shopping and Kowloon city walking tours? Make sure to stay in the heart of the action in T.S.T. (Tsim Sha Tsui), the center of Hong Kong’s commercial, shopping, dining and entertainment district. Located within the Mira Mall, the Mira Hotel Hong Kong, a member of Design Hotels™, the first Hong Kong property to join the 199-hotel global Design Hotels™ network. The hotel’s 492 guest rooms and 56 suites unique design features are a selection of four signature room colors: Red, Green, Silver and Purple (Mira Club).All rooms are furnished with handpicked fabrics and materials, handpicked by creative masterminds including a design staple, the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen. www.themirahotel.com
Cocktails and wine are the most popular drinks at Lotus, at this Australian themed cocktail bar and restaurant. Cocktails are muddled or ‘foamed’ by mixologists rather than bartenders; the flavored foam gives an interesting dimension to the drinks. Black-clad bar staff and a hip velvety chocolate interior attract an international professional crowd. At the back of this open-fronted bar is a restaurant with a tasty take on Thai food.
Harbour Plaza Metropolis
This hotel is placed overlooking the famous skyline of Hong Kong and is excellent in terms of the variety of cuisines it offers to everyone. It is a three star luxury hotel but definitely a value for money. Our three days spent in this hotel were an absolute bliss. The hotel provides a shuttle bus which is free for all the people staying there and goes around Tsim Sha Sui and The Harbour. The breakfast is a lavish multi- culinary spread and you will be lost in a food coma. They also have a mini mall within the hotel for those shopaholics. Overall it is budget friendly, has a gorgeous view and a food haven.
Also on Kowloon side, Maison Eight, a high-class destination with sweeping vistas of the city’s skyline, offers French inspired cuisines, crafted menus, creative cocktails and tasteful beats all year round in four venues under one roof. Esmé, the cozy signature French restaurant holds only seven tables in a subtle and sophisticated semi-private room. Salvatore at Maison Eight is the first cocktail bar in Asia by The Maestro, world-renowned bartender Salvatore Calabrese. Host to the world’s first Bollinger Champagne room, Le Club 1829 is a vintage-inspired private room with an adjacent wine cellar offering a selection of over 2,300 bottles and all the cuvee and key vintages of the distinguished brand. The Ballroom is a modern reinvention of the classic ballroom with coach built detailing and its very own private terrace. www.maisoneight.comThis Hong Kong transformation into a hub of creative venues, cultural spaces, art galleries, and international art fairs has brought more hip bohemian visitors and long-staying expats, setting up start-ups and innovative businesses, which are generating diversity for this new cosmopolitan expansion. Story and photos by Vincent Sung www.vincentsung.comProduced by Le Flux Asia (www.lefluxasia.com)[Some hotel photos courtesy of each featured hotels]
Open since November 2015, The Ocean, the natural wonders of the sea are celebrated through the magnificent and spectacular design throughout the whole restaurant with hues of blue, panoramic sea views with floor-to-ceiling windows, booths and tables inspired by coral reefs and tailor-made ceramics. Some interior highlights include the built-in aquarium walls housing hundreds of hovering jellyfish, walls papered with tactile textures that bring a contemporary edge and hand-blown glass lights suspended like water droplets. The contemporary seafood cuisine, led by Executive Chef Agustin Balbi, takes a minimalist, yet classic approach to preparations of refined French and Japanese cooking techniques. www.theocean.hk
Man Mo Café
Another welcome discovery during lunchtime was Man Mo café, a quaint restaurant café tucked between two antique stores, which take its name from the nearby Man Mo Temple. This ‘little treasure’ was created by Swiss expat Nicolas Elelouf with the expertise of his two chefs, who previously worked at Robuchon and Din Tai Fung. Their lunch deal is a steal (H$140+) as it comes with a contemporary twist on dim sum (when I visited, it was their delicious signature steamed ratatouille dumplings) and a serving of their ‘Burgerbun’, a baked char siu bao filled with minced beef; then a main dish (to choose from the black board) and a sweet touch with a fusion dessert. Of course, Chinese tea was free flowing during the entire lunch. East meets West in perfect harmony! Between courses, check out the rotating artworks adorning the white walls with creations from local expats, inspired by their daily lives in Hong Kong. www.facebook.com/manmocafe
Café Gray Deluxe
Café Gray Deluxe, a 21st century ‘grand café’, is located on the 49th floor overlooking Victoria Harbor. Try to book a semi-private booth to enjoy the unique style of European classics and signature dishes, meticulously prepared by the team under the guidance of Chef Gray Kunz, who has pleased countless palates at the very finest kitchens in Europe, Asia and America.
Cuisine Cuisine - Tsim Sha Tsui
Feeling hungry after a deep relaxing therapy? No need to go out as the Michelin-recommended restaurant, Cuisine Cuisine, is located on the third floor of The Mira hotel (also accessible via Mira Mall for non staying guests). An upscale, modern Chinese eatery offering the finest Cantonese delicacies, with a unique contemporary twist.
A day trip to Macau wasn't quite as exciting as I thought it would be but it was still an interesting way to spend a day. Macau is called the Las Vegas of Asia. I don't agree much with that. I walked through casino after casino, they were all the same. Beautiful, but B-O-R-I-N-G. Now, I will say, we walked through one of the casinos that I’d not heard of before – the Galaxy – and the interior of it was all glitz and glamour and it had a spectacular Crystal Lobby that rivaled anything I’ve seen in Vegas. But, all in all, I was disappointed by Macau, it was not at all what I expected.
Away from the bright lights and sea of skyscrapers, boutique business Hotel Icon opened in 2011 across the harbour, on the Kowloon side - Tsim Sha Tsui. Owned by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s hospitality school, students serve as interns at this local hotelier, allowing for the influence of the young and experimental. However, this hotel’s iconic identity was created by local artists as well as by world- famous interior designers/architects.Rocco Yim oversaw the hotel’s architectural design with an all-glass exterior for dramatic panoramic views of Victoria Harbour on every floor. William Lim designed the contemporary interiors, including the guestrooms, the Silverbox ballroom and the lobby’s whooping staircase. Fashion doyenne Vivienne Tam also contributed to the project. An ex-graduate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Tam designed ICON’s exclusive Designer Suite by Vivienne Tam, which reflects the artist’s signature look of contemporary chic elegance. The confluence of art and design is also evident in the vast artwork selection. Renowned Hong Kong designer Freeman Lau curated the hotel’s eclectic collection. The hotel currently houses works of art by some of Asia’s best talents, including Cheung Yee, Kan Tai-Keung, Nancy Chu Woo, Hung Keung, Pauline Lam, William Furniss, John Fung, Chow Chun Fai, Tsang Chui Mei and Terence Lee. It’s like being in a hotel and an art gallery all at once, where you can take the elevator to any floor and view carefully selected art pieces from the best artists displayed in each elegant corridor.Conran & Partners designed the hotel’s restaurants, including Above & Beyond, which offers some of the city’s finest Cantonese cuisine and dim sum with an inventive twist. Another highlight is the creation of French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc, who installed the lavish 18-metre vertical garden in the hotel lobby café Green. Measuring 230m2, the verdant garden wall is the largest of its kind in Asia. www.hotel-icon.com