8 things to do in Hong Kong

To me, Hong Kong looks like Singapore with dingy buildings. I hate having dirty air-con water dripping on me and I really don’t like going to the stairway when I need to use the toilet. When I found out that C will be away for 10 days after we take our vows in Bali, I decided to bite the bullet and book my tickets to visit a good friend who moved over last year.

Well, it turned out better than I expected. I stayed at Hong Kong Island during the trip. The whole island is literally built on a hill and my legs ached every single day I was there. I love knowing random fact, and this trip I found out that the richest man in Hong Kong, Li Ka-Shing still goes to work at the top level of Cheung Kong Center. Always feels humbling when I hear things like that.

Alright. Enough about me, let’s get to the point. 8 things I recommend you do in Hong Kong!

 1. Dinner at Mercato

If you liked dining at Jean-Georges Vongerichten in NYC, you will be pleased to know that he opened a casual Italian restaurant in LKF. This eatery doesn’t quite give you three michelin star quality like the one in NYC, but the truffle pizza is pretty good and the ambience is lovely!

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Mercato hit all the right notes with me – nice crowd, great wine and I could watch the bartender make drinks at the bar on one end and the kitchen staff whip up their nasty dishes in the open kitchen on the other end. Expect to spend around HKD500 per pax for dinner and a bottle of wine.

2. Take the train to Guangzhou for some cheap shopping trip 

The Huimei International Clothing Mall is definitely worth that 2 hours train ride across the border. Do bring your passport and change some RMB for you as shop till you drop there. Imagine an upscale version of Platinum Mall in Bangkok. The style is Korean and the quality of the clothing is much better than those in Platinum Mall. Prices range between RMB60 for a top and can go up to RMB500 for a dress. Got this dress below for RMB100!

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The train leaves from Hung Hom MTR in Kowloon and costs HKD210 per way. Alight at Guangzhou East station and get a taxi to the mall. The taxi should cost around RMB32 and takes between 10 to 15 minutes. You can check for the schedule here Try your luck bargaining, it worked for me in two stalls 🙂

3. Enjoy the view at The Peak 

Take a tram ride up to The Peak, located 552m above sea level. We did it at 11am to avoid the long queue that forms at the later part of the day. Bring along your Octopus Card and top it up as this allows you to cut the tram queue. The tram ride cost around HKD34 with the Octopus card.  As we went up on an empty stomach, we headed straight to Mak’s Noodles at The Peak Galleria for brunch.

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Mak’s Noodle is said to be the best wanton noodles in Hong Kong and one of the cheapest Michelin-starred eatery around. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the meal but I was told that it was definitely better than the outlet in Singapore. I like my food with a distinct taste but I didn’t really get it with Mak’s Noodles. The meat and vegetable dumpling was not bad though. After eating, proceed to the top level of The Peak Galleria for the pretty view from the highest mountain in Hong Kong.

img_1546If you choose to go to The Peak Tower, do note that there is an entrance fee to the viewing deck.

4. Take the ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui (TST)

The ride itself is around 10 minutes and it is cheaper than taking the MTR. We took this to get us across from Central to TST. Many locals use this as a mode of transport on a daily basis to get the work.

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Something about being on a boat always makes me relax and happy. I enjoyed the beautiful outline of the skyscrapers, but we quickly got to the Star Ferry Pier at TST.

5. Try Hong Kong’s best beef noodles – Kau Kee Beef Noodles

Be prepared to join the long queue outside the entrance and share a small table with other customers. If I were you, I will be quick in ordering and when taking money out to pay the bill. The horror stories of getting shouted at are real.

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When we got there on a Saturday evening at 7pm, there was about 30 people in queue. After waiting for 45 minutes, we finally got to eat the Beef Brisket With E-Fu Noodle In Broth (HK$43) and the curry sauce at the side. Wise words from my good friend – “don’t use your Singaporean tastebuds to eat these noodles.” Similar to Mak’s Noodles, the taste of the soup is light,  but I really like the texture of the noodles and the generous serving of beef!

6. Make merry at Sevva

Sevva boost an amazing view from one of the most prestigious office and shopping mall in Hong Kong! There was nothing much I could ask for – great company,open terrace roof-top bar, a fantastic view of Hong Kong’s night lights, the natural breeze and knowing that my favourite beer is on tap. Big love. (They serve Kronenburg Blanc, just in case you are wondering.)

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7. Act like a local and spend Sunday afternoon having Dim Sum 

The locals spend their family time on Sundays eating Dim Sum, leisurely. We made a booking at Jasmine’s Palace located at The Landmark. It was quality dim sum, in a nice setting and with a friendly price tag. We had this on my last day in Hong Kong and boy was I thankful that we were able to make a booking for a table, eat leisurely and without fear of bad service.

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8. Linger around Wan Chai

It’s worth exploring the streets of Wan Chai to check out the bohemian vintage shops and handcrafted coffee houses. First stop, we headed to Elephant Grounds for our caffeine fix, and it was crowded on a Sunday afternoon. It took them 20 minutes so serve our coffee so beware in you are the impatient sort!
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We much preferred hiding in a corner and enjoying your drinks away from the hustle and bustle. So we headed to Ted’s Lookout, a regular hangout place for Wan Chai residents. Ted’s Lookout boost a vintage industrial feel and you will immediately feel at ease as you walk into this laid back hide-out.
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That’s about it for Hong Kong. Till I am back from Europe for some Iceland roadtrippin’!

xxx

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