Hong Kong How I Remember It

An extensive laundry list of my favorite HK gems.

My love for Hong Kong is real. I lived in the city for four years and during that time I met some of my best friends, had some of my most influential work experiences, lived life to a little more than the fullest, caught a serious case of the travel bug, and most importantly, I met my husband. People often ask for a travel guide for their trips to Hong Kong, so I thought I should add this guide to my portfolio. I don’t have corresponding photos, and the list is that of a laundry. Note, Hong Kong changes faster than me changing into my pajamas after a big night, hence the title, Hong Kong How I remember it. I will sprinkle in current recommendations from trusted friends and travel advisors. If you’re going to Hong Kong soon, think of me, because a piece of my soul will always be in this beautiful island metropolis.

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Exploring - general :

  • Check out Sheung Wan / PoHo / SoHo (PMQ)/LKF neighborhoods/ Star Street/ Stanley

  • Visit markets - list below

  • Take a hike- list below

  • The southside of Hong Kong island is sort of like the suburbs of HK with families, trees, and pretty beaches

    • Limewood is a great restaurant in Repulse Bay and you can then continue on to Stanley Market. 

  • I always love going around Kowloon--To explore Kowloon, go to the markets, list below

  • Light show - every night in HK there is a lightship of lasers going from HK island to Kowloon. It has coordinated music. It is incredible.

  • Shek-O beach is and always will be my favorite. I actually took a beach house in the village I loved it so much. After Drgaon’s Back hike, below, you’ll end in Big Wave Bay - walk to Shek-O from here.

Two of my favorite websites that spotlight all of HK’s newest and coolest things to do.

  • SassyHK.com

  • Dimsumdiaries.com

  • Also, I wrote this blog post a while back on healthy activities


HK To-Do:

Markets

  • This walk covers some of the top Kowloon markets in 5.4km (3.4 miles), though I would allocate a full afternoon to allow time for compulsory wandering and haggling.

  • Stanley Market in Stanley - from random delights to cashmere to fabulous linens. This is a covered market of street stalls. Finish along waterfront in Stanley for a drink or bite. 

Hike 

  • Victoria Peak (must do) – Peak-Tram is typically a long line & not too exciting … I recommend hike / taxi up to the Peak and do walking trail around the peak, lunch at Peak Café, which is right by drop-off point

  • Dragon’s Back’ – Medium / Easy - Eastern part of the Island, ends in small beach/village town Big Wave Bay, from here walk to Shek-O - beach

  • ‘Twin Peaks’ – Difficult if you hike up, but also the option to hike around the peaks – starts at Parkview Apt complex and ends near Stanley 

  • Peak Hike Morning Trail – Easy – start along conduit road and follow Luggard Road up 

  • Hike to Tai Long Wan Medium – Sai Kung hike where you end at a beautiful beach Llama Island 

  • Take a short ferry or boat (Rainbow Seafood has a boat for patrons) to llama island. There is a hiking trail (easy) from one end of the island to the other and takes about an hour. To end at the Seafood Restaurants along the water, you’ll want to take the ferry to start the hike in the town and then hike over to the waterfront seafood restaurants. 

Kowloon 

  • Take Star Ferry over

  • Walk of Stars

  • Gardens / Nunnery

  • Ladies Market

  • Jade Market

  • High Tea at the Peninsula

  • Cable Car to Big Buddha 

  • Harbor Cruis

  • Aqua Luna (classic antique red sailed junk boat) does a nightly 45-minute harbor cruise, they accept reservations 1-week ahead of time 

Sai Kung – New Territories

  • Pack a picnic and take a small boat to Tai Long Wan beach for the day

  • Chinese seafood restaurants along the water 

Happy Valley Race-Track – Races take place every Wednesday (check schedule ahead of time since they occasionally switch the schedule), 630/7pm onwards - August this will be closed - too hot for horses!

Restaurants 

Chinese 

  • China Club (Member club that most hotel/credit card concierge or friend with membership can book on your behalf.)

  • David Tang’s Restaurant in the Old Bank of China Building, traditional Peking Duck Dinner & incredible art collection) 

  • Mott 32 – Another amazing Peking Duck Restaurant – very chic 

  • Duddell’s (David Tang’s newer restaurant, amazing dim sum brunch where you can sit outside on a beautiful terrace) 

  • Chili Fagara (Szechuan) – located in Soho, best spicy Chinese food 

  • Ho Lee Fook 

Japanese 

  • Yard Bird – Sceney Japanese Yakitore (China Club / Yard Bird are my favorite restaurants in HK) 

  • Zuma - champagne brunch if you can 

  • Sushi Kuu (order the off menu mini wagyu rice burger) 

  • Sushi Shin (authentic Japanese sushi bar in Tai Hang) 

  • Sunday Grocery (informal) – the BEST Japanese sandwiches, in Kennedy Town, super casual (I die for their Katsu … same owner as Yard Bird) 

Korean/Japanese BBQ 

  • 298 Nikuya Room (Stanley Street location, Korean / Japanese – many options)

  • Yakinakuu (Mostly grilled meats, not many side dish options but great food) 

Vietnamese/French 

  • Le Garcon Saigon - AMAZING fresh & light French inspired Vietnamese located on Star Street 

  • Bibo – French restaurant / art gallery 

Healthy/ Organic 

  • Locofama 

  • Sohofama – healthy Chinese food, g/f PMQ

  • Grassroots Pantry 

Mexican 

  • Brickhouse 

  • Loco Gringo (translation: crazy white person)

  • Limewod (located in repulse bay along the beach)

Brunch- Weekend culture

  • Zuma is my favorite

  • The W brunch is good, & where I met Andre :)

  • Oola (Soho) -Casual scene

  • Aberdeen Street Social (Soho)

  • Kinsale (Kennedy Town)

  • Pawn (Wanchai)

  • Corner Kitchen / Upper Modern Bistro – Poho neighborhood

  • Fish & Meat or Blue Butcher – Sunday brunch

Dim Sum

  • Maxim’s City Hall - very famous, tea ladies walk around with push-carts that you can choose from. They stop serving at 3pm!

  • Tim Ho Wan – dim sum, above airport express in IFC, cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world. Known for their baked pork bun. HIGHLY recommend picking up a pork bun order on the way to the airport.

  • Crystal Jade / Din Tai Fung (soup dumplings)

  • Din Tai Fung, super casual yet delicious!

Bar/Lounge

  • Bitters & Sweet

  • Sevva – This is an absolute must (try going before / after China Club or Mott 32 for a special evening), beautiful outdoor terrace with an amazing view of the harbor, HSBC, and light-show

  • Foxglove – live music, 1920’s boat vibe, central

  • 001 – Underground Speakeasy in central

  • Stockton (british)

Italian 

  • Carbone 

  • Posto Publico 

  • Linguini Fini (best pizza!) 

  • Amalftina (located in repulse bay along the beach) 

Middle Eastern 

  • Zahrabel 

  • Sumac 

Indian 

  • Bombay Dreams 

  • Chinnery at the Mandarin – One of my favorite spots, oldschool british pub 

Non-Markets Shopping 

  • Tang Tang Tang Tang – David Tang’s homegoods store located on G/F of the Pawn in Wanchai 

  • Wattis Fine Art – Vintage Chinese map store located in Soho 

Exercise Studios - see my other blog post for great ways to keep active 

  • XYZ – spin studio 

  • H-Core – Pilates 

  • EPIC – MMA Gym with cross-fit classes

  • Pure/Pure Yoga – location in OIE, CP, Soho, etc.