48 Hours in Hong Kong

June 19, 2017

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Hong Kong skyline.

From admiring the soaring skyscrapers to strolling in historic streets, from discovering galleries and unique boutiques to lazing on a junk boat, different things await you every day in Hong Kong. By day follow hiking trails that lead to white sandy beaches, villages on stilts or ancient monasteries, and by night sample the abundance of eateries and bars of every denomination.

Time flies here. I have lost count of the number of times I have encountered long-term expats living in Hong Kong who originally intended to stay for two years but have let many more go by. Some call it the New York of Asia, a constant, expanding metropolis; some call it a transient city, a port to stop and restock on the essentials. To others it’s a shopping haven or party central for a weekend. Your own description will depend on your personal experiences, but this little guide is here to help you explore like a native.

Day 1

Lin Hueng Kui. Image by Bernie Baskin.

9am: For an immediate immersion into Hong Kong’s food scene, head to Lin Hueng Kui in Sheung Wan for steaming baskets of dim sum served the old-school way.

10:30am: Make your way around the neighborhood and explore the numerous teashops, like Tea Studio, and traditional herbal medicine stores.

11:30am: Draw inspiration from the quirky homewares on offer at Mr. Blacksmith and DeeM, or stock up on kitchen essentials and goodies in this foodie haven of an area.

Lok Man Rare Books. Image by Bernie Baskin.

1pm: Dine on classic French dishes executed by a chef with Michelin standards at Upper Modern Bistro.

3pm: Walk or catch the tram to Central to scour Polkadot Boutique for some special finds before popping into Lok Man Rare Books for cultured retail therapy.

5pm: For an early evening glass of wine and a charcuterie platter, stop at La Cabane Wine Bistro and select an organic tipple or two.

7pm: If you’re lucky enough to have a reservation at The Chairman, you’re in for some of the Cantonese food you’ll ever come across. Alternately, if you’d like to stick to light bites, have a Saigon sour and some Vietnamese street food at Chôm Chôm.

9pm: Head to Café Gray Deluxe for a few tasty cocktails and a magnificent bird’s eye view of the city’s skyline at night, in all its flickering glory. A martini with that backdrop is hard to beat.

11pm: Come back down to earth and continue the night in one of SoHo’s many speakeasy lounges, such as Feather Boa, 001 or Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge.

Day 2

InBetween. Image by Grace Entry.

9:30am: After all that impressive alcohol intake last night, give our liver and body a little TLC with a healthy but indulgent breakfast at Grassroots Pantry.

11am: While you’re in Sai Ying Pun, stroll to PoHo, a treasured neighborhood where you’ll find vintage knick-knacks at InBetween and killer kicks at Chum5.

12:30pm: Catch the train to Tin Hau and walk over to Tai Hing’s cool hipsterville. Stop at Hong Kee Congee for freshly made steamed rice rolls and then scour the streets for locally designed fashion and home goods. Start at Feelsogood Interior Design Ltd.

Jouer Atelier. Image by Grace Entry.

3pm: Meander to Wan Chai and delve into the shops in and around Star Street. From macaron-meets-design sanctuary Jouer Atelier to exclusive couture at Sonjia, a few good hours here will satisfy your inner designer thirst. A pitstop at Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster might come in handy.

5pm: It’s time for that refreshing drink along with some nibbles to keep you going until dinner. TED’s Lookout or The Pawn will definitely take care of that.

7pm: Make your way to Central and get on the ferry for Kowloon just before 8pm to catch the Symphony of Light show. Be sure to bring your camera.

Ping Pong 129. Image by John Nye.

8:30pm: From the pier at Kowloon, take a short cab ride to WHISK, where fine dining awaits. Sit back and prepare to be blown away by the chef’s charm and gastronomic menu.

11pm: Make your way to Temple Street Night Market and Ladies’ Market where you can hone your bargaining skills.

12am: Head back to the island and continue where you left off the night before. For something truly memorable, head to Sai Yung Pun and play a game of gin at Ping Pong 129.

About The HUNT Hong Kong Writer: Born in Kuala Lumpur and raised in Sydney, Grace Entry is a trained professional chef who swapped the heat of the kitchen for ink and paper. Previous years have seen her based in Shanghai, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, developing her appetite for different cuisines and a penchant for good wine. Though she’s now a writer, food stylist and social media fanatic, you’ll still catch her sharpening her knives daily and having private conversations with food while cooking.

For more great insider recommendations in Hong Kong, pick up the guide on gatehousepublishing.com.

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