Discover Hong Kong: Places to Visit and Things To Do
If Hong Kong makes you think of Disneyland and Chinese food, here are three weekend itineraries to help you discover alternative ways to enjoy the island.
The Big-Spender Weekend
Got a stash of cash to blow? Here are some good places to spend it
Get off the plane and head straight out for an amazing slap-up dinner. Wagyu Kaiseki Den (263 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan, 2851-2820) is Hong Kong’s only Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant, and the food (and prices) certainly reflect that. Its premium tasting menu comes in at a whopping $2,880 per head (plus a not insignificant 10 percent service charge) and includes beautifully presented dishes such as lobster and sea urchin with Japanese tomato, a chef’s special sushi roll, a selection of seasonal sashimi and fried, grilled, steamed and simmered dishes, followed by abalone or sea urchin rice to finish.
If you want to start the first full day of your weekend with a bang, then shrug off your hangover and step foot onto a private yacht for an intimate cruise for two. Hong Kong Yachting (Room 801, 8/F, Tai Yau Building, 181 Johnston Rd., Wan Chai, 2526-0151,www.hongkongyachting.com) offers a romantic cruise package for $8,800, which includes three hours on the water, a gourmet meal for two (plus waiter), a bottle of champagne and a rose.
After a day on the water, the Four Seasons Spa (6/F, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance St., Central, 3196-8900) is merely a (gently heated volcanic) stone’s throw away from the Central Piers. Treat your lucky significant other (and yourself, of course) to a decadent couple’s treatment. We recommend the “Romantic Reflection,” which begins with a vanilla milk bath and a glass of champagne, followed by a vanilla and ylang-ylang body polish (both scents are said to have aphrodisiac qualities, just sayin’), and finally, a 90-minute Four Seasons Fusion massage to iron out all those kinks. The two-and-a-half-hour treatment costs $5,200 for two ($4,900 on weekdays) and includes full access to the vitality pool, steam room and sauna.
Wake up early and take a tour of Hong Kong as you’ve never seen it before—in your very own chauffeur-driven limo. Jubilee (2/F, Amtel Building, 144-148 Des Voeux Rd., Central, 3555-5555, www.jubilee.com.hk) offers a selection of luxury cars for you to cruise around town, including a bright pink Silver Spur III Rolls Royce ($3,588 for three hours, $1,100 per hour thereafter), or a traditional London cab ($2,990 for three hours, $680 per hour thereafter).
Take it all the way out to Sai Kung restaurant One-Thirtyone (131 Tseng Tau Village, Shap Sze Heung, 2791-2684, www.one-thirtyone.com) for a one-of-a-kind meal located in a three-story house on the waterfront. Lunch is $600 per head and dinner is $1,200—and if you reckon that the limo doesn’t make enough of a statement, there is also a small helicopter landing pad and private dock if you fancy coming by yacht.
The Party Weekend
Every weekend in Hong Kong may be alcohol-fueled—but they’re not all quite like this well-liquored line-up.
Head down to California Vintage (77 Wyndham St. Central, 2525-9808) for some Californian fine wine and light dishes to get you into the weekend mood. Then move on to fancy mixers at Entourage (1-5 Lower Elgin St., Central, 2559-8281) and order something off their signature cocktail menu of various longs, mojitos, martinis and rocks.
Tipsy enough to unleash your inner rock star? Great! Because it’s time for Sense 99 (2-3/F, 99 Wellington St., Central), where artsy hipsters jam and chat over beers. The grungy little place, located upstairs in a random tong lau, is fully equipped with instruments. Now treat your newly made friends to the next round of drinks at good ol’ Solas (The Centrium, 60 Wyndham St., Central, 3162-3710), and stand outside its doors on the sidewalk on Wyndham with hundreds of others till the night drifts into oblivion.
First things first: get over your hangover from last night by having a Bloody Mary at The Globe (Garley Building, 45-53 Graham St., Central, 2543-1941). While at this beloved gastro pub, don’t forget to treat yourself to their big-portion brunch and a couple pints of beers to kick off your Saturday drinking.
On a clear day, crossing Victoria Harbour for a mid-afternoon tipple is totally worth it—because on the Ritz’s top floor sits the highest bar in Hong Kong, Ozone (118/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Rd. West, West Kowloon, 2263-2270). Step out onto the amazing terrace and enjoy a spectacular harbor view and same breezy fresh air. If you’re serious about partying tonight, grab a cab to down-and-dirty Wan Chai and check out the brand-new, 35,000-square-foot massive entertainment complex, The Tonno (5 Tonnochy Rd., Wan Chai, 3125-3888), where you can indulge in a drinking marathon coupled with dance floors, karaoke rooms, dart games and late-night Shanghainese buns. The venue doesn’t close till 3am, and what happens to you next is not our responsibility.
You should keep your Sunday slow and laid-back, since you do have to return to Bangkok. But that doesn’t mean it has to be dry. Chill out in style at the Captain’s Bar (Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd., Central, 2522-0111) and have an Old Fashioned or draught beer (famously served in silver tankards).
Before heading for the airport and giving your liver a much-needed break, let the final libation of your legendary boozy weekend be a glass of fine malt at The Blck Brd (6/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2545-8555).
The Cheap Weekend
It is possible to enjoy this expensive city without totally emptying your wallet.
First, head to the Central piers for the cheapest pints with a harbor view. Many nights at the pier begin simply as a way to get things started—but with the killer view, relaxed atmosphere and recession-friendly drinks from one of the kiosks (or 7-eleven), you may find it hard to leave.
Hopefully you didn’t go too crazy last night because today is all about Kowloon side. If you really love eggs, make a beeline for the Australia Dairy Company (G/F, 47-49 Parkes St., Jordan, 2730-1356) for a delicious, no-frills Hong Kong-style breakfast. Then avoid the lure of the shops by spending an afternoon at the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden (60 Fung Tak Rd., Diamond Hill, Kowloon, www.nanliangarden.org). It’s totally free—plus, it’s just a five-minute walk from the Diamond Hill MTR station. After a day at the nunnery, head to Knutsford Terrace for a SoHo-meets-Wan-Chai pub scene to enjoy cheaper happy hour prices before heading to Hau Fook Street (one of the cheapest dining streets in town) off of Carnavon Road for your choice of either Thai, Shanghai noodles or Korean hotpot for dinner under $100.
Start the day off right with a healthy, organic brunch at Life Café (910 Shelley St., 2810-9777,www.lifecafe.com.hk) in SoHo. Opt for either two eggs or tofu scrambled with potatoes, vegetarian sausage and bacon, and toast for only $90. Another option is the poached free-range eggs with a sesame and herb pesto—all for $80.
And now that you’ve saved all this money, it’s about time you reward yourself with some serious shopping.
AirAsia (www.airasia.com), Cathay Pacific (www.cathaypacific.com/th) and Thai Airways (www.thaiairways.co.th) operate directly flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong daily.
HK$1 = B4
|Address:||Discover Hong Kong: Places to Visit and Things To Do, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China|
|Report a correction|