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Hong Kong was a British colony for over a hundred years before it was “given back” to China in 1997. The remnants of the British are still present today, visible amongst uniquely Chinese elements. It’s an intoxicating blend of East and West, traditional alongside modern, old wedged between new, a hot pot of nationalities and cultures. Hong Kong is a city of juxtapositions – in all the right ways.
City & Nature
The city is a myriad of bright lights, never ending skyscrapers and bustling crowds. All of Hong Kong’s urban charm is made even sweeter by the fact that over 40% is made up of green, lush country parks and nature reserves. Less than 20 minutes away from Central, Hong Kong’s downtown business district, you can find yourself on a nature trail. And the cherry on top? Beaches are in abundance too.
With nature at the city’s doorstep, it’s easy to recharge and find a moment of respite amongst either greenery or sea and sand. The MacLehose Trail, stage 2 in particular, is a great starting point for those looking to work up a sweat with beautiful views. It’s been rated as one of the best trails in East Asia! Reward your efforts with a dip in the clear waters of Ham Tin Beach before you’re lured back to the energy of the city.
Hong Kong has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per capita in the world. From local dai pai dongs (meaning open air food stalls) to an ever-growing number of Michelin-starred establishments, it’s become a city synonymous with great food from every culture.
Tim Ho Wan is a Michelin star, local favorite or head to Duddell’s if you’re looking for a more contemporary feel.
No visit to the city is complete without a quintessential Hong Kong food experience: a dim sum brunch. Order a tower of the iconic bamboo steamers (don’t forget the deep fried and pan-fried varieties) with a piping hot pot of Chinese tea. Tea goes without saying at this meal. It plays a part so integral, dim sum outings are often referred to as Yum Cha in Cantonese, meaning “drink tea.”
Gateway to Asia
The adventure doesn’t need to stop in Hong Kong. In just under 3 hours you can find yourself in one of Thailand’s most beautiful resorts. And in under 5 hours, you can be in the heart of Japan, Tokyo. The ease of access makes Hong Kong the perfect gateway to explore more of Asia. The only question you should be asking is, “Where to next?”
Autumn, September through to December, is the ideal time to visit. The sweltering summer heat is just a memory and the chill has yet to bite. The skies are crisp and clear, making it a pleasant time for city or nature adventures.
While Central boasts luxury options, set yourself apart and opt to stay Kowloon side. As a member of the Shangri-La family, The Kerry Hotel is a solid favorite. The 16-story hotel is the first to open on the Kowloon waterfront since 1995, offering a unique view of Hong Kong Island. This 5-star urban resort is the perfect place to start your holiday. ■