Travel Dispatch: Hong Kong

243
Banner_Ad

For the first time visitor, Hong Kong can seem overwhelming at first. Yet, the tightly-packed sidewalks teeming with people, the streets and alleyways darting this way and that, the seemingly endless stream of neon signage and the snail’s pace traffic on the roadways, are all part of the charm of one of Asia’s most dynamic and adventure-filled cities.

When the British first arrived in 1841, Hong Kong was little more than a backwater made up of about 20 villages and hamlets at the outer edge of the massive Chinese empire. For the British trading fleet looking to expand their own empire, the deep, well-protected harbor made it perfect to settle in and set up shop.

At that time, the local Cantonese called the area hoeng-gong zai  or “fragrant harbor”, so named after the large number of sandalwood incense factories located around the island filled sea port.

Needless to say, things have changed considerably since then. Now, as one of Asia’s major business hubs, and even home to a Disneyland, Hong Kong considers itself the heart of South Asia and deservedly so.

The area is broken up into five distinct districts. Farthest north are the New Territories, where you can find an interesting mix of farming towns, industrial areas and some of the most densely-populated city centers in all of the world. Heading south from there is Hong Kong Island, the heart of the financial center, as well as home to the iconic skyline of mega skyscrapers and the area’s famed shopping districts.

Then there is Kowloon, a peninsula that juts south from Hong Kong island and is the most populous district in the region with its mix of residential neighborhoods and bustling street markets. Lantau, which is the largest of Hong Kong’s islands is famed for its natural beauty, including the area’s highest peaks and best beaches.

And finally, there are the Outlying Islands that range from densely populated residential areas to barren rock outcroppings emerging up from out of the sea.

Hong Kong has four distinct seasons and depending on the time of year, the temperatures can range from from 9°C to 24°C during winter, and from 26°C to 33°C during summer. Those looking to escape southeast Asia’s otherwise humid tropical climate will enjoy visiting in the cooler months from January until March.

No matter which area you choose to visit, or if you choose to visit them all, Hong Kong is a must stop on your travel itinerary to Asia and serves as a great hub for heading to Southeast Asia’s wealth of great travel destinations.


Two to Do

The Peak

The Peak is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong offering spectacular views of the  surrounding city skyline, Victoria Harbor and Kowloon with its mix of towering skyscrapers and peaceful green hillsides.

Getting to the top of The Peak on the tram is actually one of the most exciting highlights of the day. The Peak tram, which has been in operation since the 1880’s climbs 368 meters on a steep incline and is not for the faint of heart or stomach.

Also check out The Peak Tram museum while you’re there. Opened in 2007, there is a great historical gallery divided into 15 theme sections that take you back through the long history of Hong Kong as a major port in Southeast Asian history. For more info check out www.thepeak.com.hk

Location: MTR Central Station Exit J3 tel. 2849-0668 Hours: 10am-11pm Mon-Fri, 8am-11pm Sat, Sun & public holidays

Shopping

One of the staples for Hong Kong tourists is the shopping. The street markets, such as the Temple Street Night Market, the Ladies Market, Jardine’s Crescent and Li Yuen Street Market are as fun for people-watching as they are for picking up great deals on just about anything you can imagine.

At the Temple Street Night Market, don’t be surprised if you come across an impromptu performance of Chinese opera. There are also clusters of fortune tellers at the Yau Ma Tei end of the street if you are curious about your future prospects.

Each of the markets in Hong Kong has its own particular charm where hidden treasures await  to be uncovered. Perhaps most important, don’t be afraid to haggle with the vendors. Expect to pay much less than the first offer. If you pay full price, you yourself might become part of local lore.

Try the Half Day Walking Tour. It starts at Prince Edward MTR station Exit B1. Departs Daily at 2pm. Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes


The Nightlife

Pick Five

Hush Bar & Lounge
G/F, 2 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong
tel. 2537-2281
Atmosphere: Stylish

Prive
G/F, 60 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong
tel. 2810 8199
Atmosphere: Swank

Volar
Basement, 38-44 D’Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong
tel. 2810 1272
Atmosphere: Dance Chic

Drop
Basement, On Lok Mansion, 39-43 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong
tel. 2543 8856
Atmosphere: Famously Hip

Tazmania Ballroom –  Pool Hall Lounge Club
1/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
www.tazmaniaballroom.com
Atmosphere: Whatever


The Food

Citizens of Hong Kong have the distinction of dining out more than any other people in the world. There is a wide selection of local cuisine and just about every kind of international fare is available as well.

A trip to Hong Kong without trying Dim Sum would simply be a crime. Dim Sum, which literally translates to touching your heart, comes in a dizzying array that would take several restaurant visits just to try them all. Our favorites include, fried squid with spicy salt, stuffed green pepper with minced shrimp and hot almond steam soup, just to name a few.

Featured Restaurant

Rude Food: Luk Yu Teahouse

If you are in the Central District, stop in to Luk Yu Teahouse. First opened in 1933, the restaurant’s colonial facade and art deco interior have made it a popular backdrop in both movies and literature. Be prepared though, the service is notoriously bad and the wait staff can come off as a bit intimidating to first time customers, but that has become part of the legend.

The fact that Luk Yu rhymes with the popular term of disparagement in English comes as no surprise as you may want to whip the phrase out from time to time. But just slam another beer and go with the flow. The food is worth it all.

A dim sum meal will run you about $15USD a person and the experience is priceless.

Luk Yu Teahouse, G/F-3/F, 24 Stanley Street, +852 2523 5464. Open daily, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.; dim sum is available until 4 p.m.


Hong Kong on the Web:

www.discoverhongkong.com
www.12hk.com
www.timeout.com.hk
www.hk.asia-city.com
www.hkclubbing.com 


The Latest Haps

NewsEntertainmentLifestyleFood/DrinkTravelSports

Korean ‘Black Eagles’ to Hold Performance May 7th

The “Black Eagles”, the Republic of Korea’s Air Force Demonstration Team that boasts a world-class air show, will hold a performance in Busan.

0 comments

American Military to Train For Civilian Evacuation of Korea in June

American military forces in South Korea are planning a drill in June that will train soldiers to evacuate U.S. civilians.

0 comments

Be Aware: Taxi Driver Arrested After Drugging Passengers

A 63-year-old taxi driver has been arrested in Sasang-gu after allegedly spiking drinks he gave to his customers and robbing them.

0 comments

34th Busan International Short Film Festival Gets Underway

For six days, fantastic short films from around the globe are back as the 34th Busan International Short Film Festival begins from April 25-30 at the Busan Cinema Center.

0 comments

Monthly Ha Ha Hole Returns Friday Night

This Friday, April 21st, at HQ Bar KSU sees the return of the monthly Ha Ha Hole, Busan’s only live English comedy show.

0 comments

5 Korean Films Make Selection at Cannes This Year

Five Korean films have been selected for the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 2017.

0 comments

10 Second Korean: 별로 [ byeollo ]

Easy and quick Korean expressions!

0 comments

34th Busan International Short Film Festival Gets Underway

For six days, fantastic short films from around the globe are back as the 34th Busan International Short Film Festival begins from April 25-30 at the Busan Cinema Center.

0 comments

Jeju Air Expanding Fleet to 32 Aircraft this Year with a Target of 50 Destinations Next Year

To meet rising demand for in South Korea, low-cost carrier Jeju Air announced that it will expand its fleet to 32 aircraft by December — the announcement coming after the airline’s 29th aircraft, a B737-800, was delivered to Gimpo International Airport over the weekend.

0 comments

Busan All White Party Returns May 27th

The third edition of the Busan All White Party is set for May 27th on the private patio of the Hard Rock Cafe in Haeundae.

0 comments

Eat Like a Local: Wine Flows and Time Stands Still – BAR DI.LAN

BAR DI.LAN, name-played after Bob Dylan, has a great wine selection and food. With the relaxing and comfortable ambiance, precious moments you share with people there will last forever.

0 comments

New Zealand Wine Festival Returns for 2017 – May 20th in Seoul and June 3rd in Busan

The New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea, known as “The Kiwi Chamber,” will host its annual New Zealand Wine Festival events on Saturday, May 20 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the idyllic Waterfall Garden of the Grand Hyatt Seoul and on Saturday, June 3 from 6:30pm to 10:30pm in the Grand Ballroom at […]

0 comments

Jeju Air Expanding Fleet to 32 Aircraft this Year with a Target of 50 Destinations Next Year

To meet rising demand for in South Korea, low-cost carrier Jeju Air announced that it will expand its fleet to 32 aircraft by December — the announcement coming after the airline’s 29th aircraft, a B737-800, was delivered to Gimpo International Airport over the weekend.

0 comments

‘Busan Air Cruise’ to Open in May in Songdo Beach

‘Busan Air Cruise’ is set to become the newest tourist attraction in the city with a scheduled opening at the end of May.

0 comments

International Destinations: 5 Reasons to go to Langkawi

Langkawi, also known as the Jewel of Kedah, is a tropical paradise in Malaysia which is a very affordable option for budget travelers looking for relaxation and stunning views.

0 comments

Global Gathering International Sports Day 2017 to be Held on Saturday

Global Gathering International Sports Day 2017 will take place at Norimaru playground in Seomyeon on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

0 comments

E-Sports World Championship to be Held in Busan

The “E-Sports World Championship”, also known as the E-sports Olympics, is going to be held in Busan.

0 comments

Watch: Japan vs Korea Final Match 2017 Men’s U19 Asian Volleyball Championship

Here, in its entirety, is the final match between Japan and Korea for the 2017 Men U19 Volleyball Asian Championship. Who won? Sorry, we won’t spoil it for you, but if you are curious, you can go here for the score.

0 comments

 

Comments

comments

HQ bar