Hong Kong epitomises a dynamic metropolis steeped in unique blends of East and West. A gateway to mainland China, it is also one of the world’s great destinations. After the first Sino-British Opium War, Britain ruled Hong Kong from 1842 until July 1, 1997, when it became a Special Administrative Region in the People’s Republic of China.
Hong Kong comprises 260 islands, though visitors focus on Lantau, site of Disneyland Hong Kong and Chek Lap Kok Airport; the Kowloon Peninsula; and Hong Kong Island. Victoria Harbour is a natural haven where Hong Kong’s shipping, trading, and financial services economy developed in the late 19th century.
Today’s soaring harbour-front skyline features luxury hotels, myriad restaurants, posh malls, galleries, antiques stores, street markets, and a pulsating nightlife. Beyond the urban sprawl, walkers and cyclists enjoy the spectacular hiking trails and deserted coastlines of the surrounding islands.
See Hong Kong start a new day from the middle of Victoria Harbour. The Star Ferry affords a fine sea-view perspective of the Kowloon and Central Hong Kong skylines. Or wait until night to see the magnificently lit skyline.
Collectors from around the world converge on the atmospheric Jade Market (Kansu Street/Battery Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon) for sculptures, jewellery, and trinkets carved from China’s most revered ornamental stone.
Now jump on the 120-year-old Peak Tram for an upward journey to the summit of Victoria Peak. At the top, The Sky Terrace affords jaw-dropping 360-degree aerial views over the harbour, city, and beyond.
Enjoy a typical Cantonese lunch at Yung Kee (32-40 Wellington Street), a popular downtown diner that has served its famous roast goose for more than 50 years. Walking a few shops along from there, you can stop at Kitchoan for fruit ice cream.
Time for some post-lunch shopping culture. Hollywood Road and the adjacent streets are home to Hong Kong’s finest Chinese antiques stores and contemporary art galleries, which stretch all the way down to the Man Ho Temple.
The multi-level mall at Hong Kong Island’s tallest building, the 420m Cesar Pelli-designed Two IFC tower, houses a smart portfolio of fashion boutiques and accessory brands, gadgets, electronics, and gourmet foods.
Hipsters, office-workers, and tourists converge on chic lounge Sevva (25/F, Prince’s Bldg, 10 Chater Road) to converse on the wrap-around stone terrace. Or sip one of the 88 signature blue cocktails at The Blue Bar, Four Seasons.
Dine at Bo Innovation, where celebrity chef Alvin Leung’s ‘X-treme Chinese cuisine’ reworks traditional Chinese recipes with contemporary flair and pan-Asian ingredients (60 Johnston Road, Wanchai).
Head across the harbour to Kowloon and the smart 29th-floor Aqua bar, where floor-to-ceiling glass (29/F, One Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui) showcases Hong Kong’s neon-lit nightscape.
Hyped and derided in equal measure, Hong Kong’s hottest after-hours spot is dragon-i (The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street), an upscale lounge that becomes a super-chic club with live sets by top DJs after 11pm.
Hong Kong, China> Book Now
Distance: 6,337 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: Twice daily