Hong Kong island is only 80 square kilometres. And only 25% of it is built up. So the whole of Hong Kong which isn’t jungle, mountain or beach would fit into 8 Hyde Parks. Buttt 1.3 million people live there. That’s 160,000 per Hyde Park. Mind Blown.
Question: So what’s so great about this teeny island where all these people want to live?
Answer: EVERYTHING. It is one of the greatest cities on earth, and unlike lots of Asian cities, feels uniquely, completely Hong Kong. Sure, it has all the international chains, and the ubiquitous high rises of all major economic hubs, but Hong Kong has something special.
Here are our favourite spots for a weekend in the Pearl of the Orient.
WHERE TO EAT
Your trip to Hong Kong should be based mostly around eating, because the food is next level. But to get you going, book a table for dinner (in advance) at John Anthony. It’s Cantonese food (tick…when in Rome), with the most beautiful, almighty twists which will leave you struggling to pick your favourite mouthfuls. Don’t miss the beef cheek and watermelon starter, or the air-dried duck on its honey mountain. Ace cocktails too. Or for something more low-key, to go Sister Wah, a beef noodle hole-in-the-wall spot with a Michelin star. The queue moves quickly, and you’ll leave with change from a fiver, a full tummy and a new friend (you’ll probably share a table).
WHERE TO DRINK
In secret bars. Well they’re not that secret, but you feel so CLEVER letting yourself into the tiny doors. Have Bloody Marys before dinner at Mrs Pound, a speakeasy hidden behind an old stamp shop. Then after dinner, a favourite is B.A.R. Executive Bar, a catchy name for the old-school Japanese whiskey bar on the 27th floor of an unremarkable building in Causeway Bay. It serves hundreds, no thousands of whiskeys, served as they should be served. And that’s all. Everyone in there will be Japanese. Book ahead.
WHERE TO STAY
At the achingly cool Tuve Hotel. It’s straight out of Wallpaper magazine. Think brushed concrete, galvanised steel, classy coffee cups. They’re too trendy for breakfast, but you’re a short walk from Tai Hang, a fun, low-rise grid of streets where Plumcot Bakery and the UNAR Coffee Company will prep you for your day. If you want to push the boat out, stay at the Upper House. It’s beautifully designed, has knock-out views, and unparalleled service.
WHERE TO SHOP
Assuming you haven’t gone to Hong Kong to go to Zara, get your retail fix from Hollywood Road. It’s one of the oldest roads in Hong Kong, and has been the buzzing trade spot for Ming vases, jade, ceramics and ink paintings for hundreds of years. Once you’ve decided it’s all a bit pricey, head to parallel Cat Street for some good cheap fakes.
WHERE TO INDULGE
Ten Feet Tall is THE place to get a foot massage after pounding the streets (and climbing all the stairs…Hong Kong has a LOT of stairs). Friends have been known to order food delivery to their giant massage chairs: the ultimate in city-break decadence.