Find out all about the not-to-miss restaurants, attractions and more in Hong Kong. From our local expert to you.
The real Hong Kong
An authentic slice of old Hong Kong life can be found any day of the week by taking a stroll through Sheung Wan
. Traditional Chinese medicine doctors, dried seafood stores, antiques, temples, Asian art galleries, foot massages it's all here and only a 10-minute walk from Hong Kong Central
Use the LKF Hotel in Central as your starting point and turn right as you exit the lobby doors. Follow the winding Hollywood Road as you make the transition from modern to not-so modern, all in the space of a few blocks. You can easily spend half a day here shopping and gawking as you make plenty of detours through the countless side streets and alleys.
If you're stuck for last-minute Hong Kong souvenirs and don't have time to make it to the Ladies Market
, then get down to Li Yuen Street East
, a narrow alleyway that runs between Queens Road and Des Voeux Road, Central. Here you'll find every "authentic" Hong Kong knick-knack you never knew you needed. It's also only a five-minute walk to the Airport Express check-in
Top end of town
Visiting The Peak
is a must-do on any Hong Kong itinerary, but avoid the monstrous tourist-trap lookout that has been built on top of the mountain. Instead, take the 45-minute walking circuit around the mountain top. Surprisingly few visitors take to this paved, flat path; even on weekends it's not very crowded.
Adventurous spirits will be rewarded with great city and ocean views, a waterfall or two depending on the season, plants and trees everywhere, including huge banyan trees that have colonised whole sections of walls along the path, and, of course, a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous those modest-looking apartments and houses you pass along the way are actually nose-bleedingly expensive and are among some of the world's most expensive real estate.
High in the sky
In the 1980s, the Hopewell Centre
on Queens Road, Wan Chai, was Hong Kong's tallest building and the second tallest in Asia. Time has marched on, but you can still take a free ride from the building's 56th floor down to the ground in its glass-fronted elevator. After dark is the only time to do it, and for a minute or so you'll forget you are part of the machinery and, instead, feel like you are slowly floating down through Hong Kong's lit-up skyline.
The best part is that it is only 10 minutes from Central, so you can do it quickly either before or after dinner just make sure you don't eat at the revolving restaurant on top of the tower (bleh).
If you need a break from skyscrapers and shopping then take off to Cheung Sha Beach
for the day. Getting there is easy: take Ferry No 6 from Central
to Mui Wo
(25 minutes; it's the same ferry that takes you to the Big Buddha
) and then a 10-minute taxi ride to the beach.
In Hong Kong terms, a 35-minute journey is a lifetime, so you can expect to find a nearly deserted beach serviced by a handful of restaurants with ridiculously cheap seafood and cold beer on offer. The best is The Stoep (pronounced "stoop"), which specialises in barbecued barramundi, grilled cod and its famous meat-lover's mixed grill.
Got any more near the beaten track suggestions? Have your say using the comments form below.