Love Affair with Everywhere--Hong Kong

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well, everyone was right. I liked Hong Kong far more than I did Shanghai. I didn't have much time here, so this post will be relatively short, but there are a couple things I can share with you.

HK is often compared to London or New York, and it is obvious why. It's another 'city that never sleeps', and from any point in the city you can feel like you are in either of those cities. While there is a Chinese majority, the population is incredibly diverse and due to the former British influence, the West has blended into this Eastern culture seamlessly, not to mention there are a ton of American, European, Indian, Australian, New Zealand expats working and living here.

HK is known for its shopping...rightfully so. The most exclusive and most sought after brands are all here as well as the most common commercial brands from Europe and America. There are tons of boutiques with clothing, shoes, textiles, you name it, from all over the world. IFC is the most popular mall here--it rivals that of any over the top mall in Dubai or the States.

The restaurants are the same. You can find any cuisine and many mixtures of genres. It's normal to have a mix of Indo-Chinese or Greco-Italian, but in HK the mixes can be unexpected. My favorite mix was the Italian and Indian Restaurant that specialized in seafood...hmmm. I love both these countries and their cuisines as well, but I must say, to see the two in the same restaurant infused together was a first...and a delightful combination.

Family style Chinese restaurants are also very popular and worth a visit--some locals took us to the West Villa Restaurant, Victoria Seafood and Yung Kee Restaurant. The Yung Kee Restaurant's specialty is Roasted Goose--they put a sign up outside if/when they run out so the patrons are not disappointed if they head in just to find out there is nothing left. It is highly recommended and a very famous restaurants--the four floors stay packed all evening. If you go to dinner, or lunch even, with a local, you might end up with 10 dishes...just as starters and then a few more for the main course and who can forget dessert and chinese tea!

Aside from the fabulous food and shopping, the Hong Kong skyline is probably the most popular sight to see in HK. From Kowloon, you can see the skyline (on Wanchai side) from anywhere on the water.

If you are staying on the Wanchai side or in Central, you can take the Star Ferry to Kowloon. Actually, regardless of whether you need to go to Kowloon or not, if you have just 30-45 minutes to spare, you should hop on the ferry and head across. It is really easy to do and very convenient. The trip from either location is less than 10 minutes and costs a mere HKD 2.50 each way. That is USD 30 cents! It is a very inexpensive and fabulously scenic way to get from place to place. A taxi to the other side of the water is not only boring, it takes longer and will cost you far more. As you can see from the pics, I couldn't get enough of the view.

Finally, nightlife. As anyone there will tell you, HK has no shortage of places to go out--whether a drink in a hotel lobby lounge, a club, a street bar or restaurant or a rave. The most popular street is called Lan Kwai Fong. Even if you aren't staying around there to party, go for a bit to check it out. The Rugby 7s are here in town this weekend, so the place is even more mad than usual--so I am told.

One thing that is very popular is a visit up to the Peak. From there you can see a full view of HK. It is said that you should head up just before sundown to watch as the city transforms at night. Unfortunately I did not have time to make it up there this trip, but that's ok, the weather wasn't that great so I figure I will catch it the next time around.

All in all, it has been a good visit to Shangai and HK, but I am ready to go home.

Oh, and in case you forgot something, the airport is like a mall in itself--Versace, Gucci, Prada, Zegna to name a few, and of course duty free.

Good bye for now...next up, heading back to the middle east :))

Thanks for reading...enjoy!

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