Hong Kong is a gateway for many world travellers. With one of the biggest expat communities in the world, it’s like a beginners guide to Asia with crazy fun shopping options, street food, live food markets and an overwhelming number of dining and bar options.
It’s easy to get lost in this city, but that’s almost the best bit. Rather than staying in a hotel up in the mid-levels I stayed in Sai Ying Pun, a neighbourhood packed with medicine shops, banks and less than exciting entertainment options… until recently.
Walking distance from pretty much everywhere (or a short ride on the MTR) this is guest contributor Katey Power’s All I’ve Heard guide to Hong Kong – where to shop, what to eat and where to get a decent drink (or cup of coffee…the holy grail).
All I’ve… Bought
Goods of Desire: The not so PC brand sticking it to the Hong Kong government and speaking out on what they believe in with a controversial set of tees, alongside homewares, clothes, jewellery and accessories. Throughout Hong Kong but easiest to find at PMQ.
Love Brunch: Probably the best value boutique that we found in Hong Kong with small run Korean designers, Japanese prints and up and coming Hong Kong threads in one place. Tucked on Lyndhurst Street, Central, Hong Kong.
Ladies Market, Kowloon: for everything from trashy designer goods, key rings, clothes, phone covers, bags and suitcases to light bulbs, this is where you’ll strike a bargain for souvenirs and knick-knacks. Hop off the MTR at Mong Kok and get your barter on!
All I’ve… Seen
The Peak: You can’t visit Hong Kong and not take a trip up the treacherously steep hill to see the best view of Hong Kong harbour. Our advice (for the fitness fanatics), take a hike up there (from the Mid-Levels only), because when you see past those high rises, the sweeping view of the city is truly spectacular.
Man Mo Temple: If you can, get a guide to show you around this amazing temple in the middle of the city. Built on Hollywood Road, this temple is as old as the city itself. Take an hour out of your day to immerse yourself in this culture and you will not regret it.
The Wet Market: Want to know how the locals live? Open your eyes at any of the wet markets through the city for live frogs, snakes, poultry and open air meat markets. This is how the locals live – no filter. Don’t eat before you go and wear appropriate shoes – they live up to their name.
All I’ve… Eaten
As a foodie (there I said it), I couldn’t wait to tuck into every local specialty on offer, but due to the high expat community there are a ton of ‘international’ food options too.
La Vache: Dine here and they’ll ask you two questions, how do you like your steak, and what do you want to drink. One of life’s simple choices.
Cha Cha Wan: Fresh, spicy Thai food based on food from Issan in Thailand. At the end of Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan, this place is absolutely pumping. Get there early and order one of everything.
Lin Heung Tea House: …not for the faint of heart. Try to find someone who speaks Cantonese because when you go here… nothing is in English. The staff don’t speak it, it’s not on the menus and you can be sure you’ll be the only tourist in here. If you want it authentic, this is where you go.
Teakha: I must have walked down five streets to find this place. An amazing solace from the searing Hong Kong heat (and humidity).
Limewood: A way out of town in Repulse Bay is Repulse Bay, another modern Asian option overlooking the water. It doesn’t get much more tropical than this – perfect fancy night out option.
Missy Hos: Asian fusion with a heavy Japanese influence, you’ll find Missy Ho’s in the up and coming Kennedy Town at the end of the blue line on the MTR. With a circus swing, animal hats and strong cocktails, you’re guaranteed a good night out.
Munchies: As the name suggests… this is over indulgent desserts done right. Totally organic cookies, donuts and ice cream. Make a sandwich. Savour it. Walk up to the Peak and repeat.
The Woods: Nek level cocktails and lethal lemon and fairyfloss cocktails made this an almost unforgettable bar in Hong Kong.
Ping Pong: A regular haunt for the corporate crowd, on Friday night this bar was the perfect way to settle in to Hong Kong life. Awesome gin selection and goblet style cocktails: win.
Lan Kwai Fong: It almost needs no introduction. One of the craziest strips in Central, outdone only by Wan Chai. You’ll note there’s no recommendation for Wan Chai because I truly do not remember. LKF can get a bit insane as it’s packed with tourists, so embrace it… your night is what you make it.
Brew Bros: An Aussie export café in Hong Kong. They try – they really do, to mimic Australian coffee. One of the best cups I had in the city.
The Upper House: Swank city, a picturesque view and the ultimate bar stop if you’re a lady of leisure in this city. Amazing cocktails and an exceptional wine list – put on your best dress and heels and get here once. You’ll feel like a rockstar and that view does not disappoint.