From its humble beginnings as a quaint village port known for its fragrant incense trees during the Ming Dynasty, today Hong Kong is one of the world’s most remarkable metropolises and embodies a fascinating amalgamation of Chinese culture and British convenience. Although commonly referred to as a place where ‘East meets West’, Hong Kong is far more that just a combination of different cultures. Instead, it is a genuine melting pot where influences from around the world have merged together to create an identity wholly distinctive in itself. From the traditional markets in Tung Choi and the luxury skyscrapers in Central, to the beaches of Repulse Bay and the lush mountains of Lantau, the city bestows its visitors with endless experiences to really sink their teeth into Hong Kong life. With so much on offer, it’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to exploring Hong Kong but our guide is a good place to start. Discover the best places to stay, eat and see during your stay in this buzzing city.
Once notorious for its red light district, Wan Chai is fast becoming one of the coolest districts in Hong Kong and is home to some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. Nestled in the centre of this neighbourhood is The Fleming, a stylish boutique hotel where you can really immerse yourself in the Hong Kong high-life. Like stepping back in time, the nostalgic yet contemporary design of the hotel and its 66 rooms is inspired by the city’s iconic cross-harbour Star Ferry, a refreshing change from the minimalist approach that dominates the luxury hotel scene here. A copy of the Luxe City Guide curated by the hotel itself is in every room and for those looking for more insider intel, the friendly ‘guest relation officers’ are always on hand with recommendations and advice.
The Upper House: A luxury contemporary hotel designed by famed architect Andre Fu. The hotel is also home to world-renowned restaurant Café Gray Deluxe.
House 1881: Located in the heart of Tsim She Tsui, House 1881 is situated in an iconic building that was formerly the Marine Police Headquarters.
Little Tai Hang: An enchanting and homey boutique hotel nestled in the quiet but cool neighborhood of Tai Hang.
The Murray: A sleek and refined contemporary hotel located on the iconic Cotton Tree drive.
Enter a world of opulence at Mott 32, an iconic restaurant in Central named after the address of the first Chinese convenience store that opened in New York in the early 1850s. A celebration of contemporary Hong Kong culture and cuisine, the restaurant is known for its innovative cooking techniques used to create a menu of Cantonese dishes as traditional as they are exciting. A star-studded institution, the restaurant has been awarded a plethora of awards for both its food and interior design. The restaurant is dark and ambient with thoughtful touches that seek to hint to the story of Hong Kong’s history and culture. With many restaurants in the city struggling to find the balance between style and substance, this restaurant pulls them together in effortless harmony.
Jimmy’s Kitchen: Founded in 1928, this stylish wood-panelled restaurant is part of Hong Kong’s history. It specialises in hearty British colonial cuisine and has welcomed the likes of Cary Grant and John Wayne.
Duddell’s: The place to come for dim sum served in a stylish setting, this restaurant offers classic Cantonese dishes including crispy Peking duck.
Samsen: A casual no-frills eatery in Wan Chai serving tasty Thai street food.
Belon: An elegant yet relaxed French Michelin-starred restaurant serving bistro cuisine using high-quality local ingredients.
While Hong Kong is without a doubt a top destination for visitors looking for high-end designer boutiques, you’d be missing out on a huge part of the city’s magic if you didn’t spend a day or two exploring its many quirky traditional markets. A great place to start is Antique Street and Cat Street. Although both popular spots for tourists seeking unique knick-knacks and historical memorabilia, this area has by no means lost its sense of intrigue. While you must be wary of those vendors trying to sell knock-offs, if you know what you’re looking for (and are prepared to put your bargaining skills to the test), these streets are the ideal spots to go treasure hunting and find unique gifts and souvenirs to bring back home.
Star Street Precinct: A bustling precinct in Wan Chai famed for its design-focused lifestyle stores.
Nlostnfound : A quirky vintage store selling Chinese antiques and curiosities.
Eclectic Cool : A design-centred lifestyle and homewares store in Wan Chai.
Hike Ma On Shan: Also known as ‘Horse Saddle Mountain’, hike up to this peak for incredible views of the city and Tolo Harbour beneath you.
Hike Pat Sin Leng (The Ridge of Eight Immortals): A physically challenging hike rewarding those who embark on it with outstandingly beautiful views.
Lau Fau Shan: An area of the New Territories where you can explore local food markets, waterfront seafood stalls and watch the sunset from the seaside.
For some more insider knowledge into the best places to dine in this city, check out Iron Chef, Judy Joo's Top Hong Kong Restaurants.
If you're interested in booking a trip to any of these destinations, get in touch with our team of regional specialists who will be able to curate, tailor and book a bespoke itinerary exactly to your preferences.