Handbag.com: Hong Kong

[As written for Handbag.com, June 2013]

Enjoy great food, buzzing nightlife and dazzling lights in Hong Kong

 Treat yourself to some of the finer things in life in sunny South-East Asia…
Hong Kong
Located on China’s South Coast, Hong Kong is a city of islands, sky-scrapers, shopping centres, bars, and lights. Many people stumble across it during long-haul stopovers – but once here, it’s hard to leave, thanks to the great food, buzzing nightlife and beautiful city-views. When we spent a weekend in this bustling Asian city, it didn’t take us long to realise just how easy to it is to be spoilt here.There are gorgeous restaurants everywhere, hundreds of shops to wander around and stunning hotels to relax in. But seeing as holidays are all about being spoilt, we went with it…Where to stay…

If luxury is what you’re after, then you need to book in at the famous Peninsula Hotel. Ask for a front-facing room and you’ll be given one of the most impressive scenes in town; a spectacular view overlooking Victoria Harbour.

Hong Kong hotel room

© Karen Edwards

The spa facilities here are pretty impressive too – with everything from massages, exfoliations, facials and self-tanning on offer – and it’s worth chucking on a bikini just for the view of Hong Kong’s skyline from the swimming pool. There are an array of restaurants available too, serving up everything from Japanese and Cantonese food to French and Swiss. Come 8pm, make sure you’re by one of the hotel’s huge harbour-side windows to watch Hong Kong’s famous ‘Symphony of Lights’ show.

Hong Kong hotel spa

© Karen Edwards

Where to eat…

If you’re not tempted by some traditional Cantonese cooking at the in-house Spring Moon – or some homemade sushi and sashimi the ultra-snazzy Imasa, then head to the Central district for a delicious selection of spare-ribs, soy sauce chicken and steamed flower crab at The Chairman.

For something casual, try Wellington Street on Hong Kong Island, where every foodie option – from gluten-free to Kosher – is on offer. The nearby Gage Street market is the oldest in town and sells everything from flowers and fruit to fish if you’d rather stock up yourself.

Where to drink…

We suggest starting your evening on the pedestrianised Knutsford Terrace near Kimberley Road, where both food and drinks are in abundance. If you fancy a few cocktails with the locals, head to Hanoi Road and Prat Avenue in Kowloon, where Happy Hours begin at 4pm.

Across on Hong Kong Island, the Lan Kwai Fong area is most popular – with everywhere offering reduced-priced cocktails for the early-birds. Once you’ve enjoyed a few sun-downers, you’ll find late-night noodle stands serving steaming bowls to soak it all up. Perfect!

Where to shop…

Just a stone’s throw from The Peninsula is the Star Ferry Mall, where you’ll find 700 shops full of shoes, clothes, handbags and jewellery. For a stroll around the markets, jump on the ferry and then walk to Wellington Street, where you’ll find arty stores and cafés. Peel Street is best for antiques and traditional memorabilia like paper fans, umbrellas and old photos of Hong Kong from eras gone by.

Hong Kong markets, travel

© Karen Edwards

Don’t miss…

The Star Ferry crossing is one of Hong Kong’s best-loved transport links – and it is well worth joining the 53,000 people who use this service daily to get the best view of Victoria Harbour. Boats run every ten minutes throughout the day and cost HK$1.70 for a return ticket. That’s about 15 pence. Our tip: make sure you sit on the left when travelling out from Kowloon.

Hong Kong by night

© Karen Edwards

Once on the other side, catch a taxi to The Peak Tram terminus and take a ride up Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak. Opened in 1888, this rickety old vehicle might feel delicate – but rest-assured it has been modernised many, many times. At the top, there’s everything from shopping centres to arcade games to experience – but the place to be is the 360-degree Sky Terrace viewing platform – just a mere 428 metres above the city. Just keep your fingers crossed for a sunny day. Return tram fares, including a Sky Pass is $75 (around £6).

Hong Kong tram, travel story

© Karen Edwards

The facts…

Superior Rooms at The Peninsula, Hong Kong start from HK$4,680 (approximately £386.50) per room, per night. The offer is available until 18th September 2013 and includes daily breakfast, a complimentary update, complimentary local and long-distance calls, complimentary HD movies and wireless internet. Click here for further details and bookings.

For more information on where to visit in Hong Kong, click here. Cathay Pacific fly direct to Hong Kong daily with fares starting from £639 (Economy) and £3,179 (Business). Click here for more information.


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