If you get the urge to visit Hong Kong, rest assured you're not alone.
And that’s exactly how you’ll to feel once you arrive in this crazy cosmopolitan destination where China first kowtowed to capitalism.
From the moment you step off the plane at the stunning Chek Lap Kok airport, Hong Kong assaults the senses. The constant noise, the colours of the sky, the street signs and the smells. This place demands your full attention. Head to the Star Ferry terminal on Kowloon and look across to the skyline of Hong Kong Island, then you’ll understand the meaning of wow.
IT’S MY FIRST TIME
Climb the 373 metres to the top of The Peak and be awed by the spectacular view of the city skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour, the mainland of Kowloon and the green hills beyond in the New Territories. At night it's something else.
Victoria Harbour is one of Hong Kong’s greatest assets, a jewel that people marvel at, no matter how many times they visit the city.
I’VE BEEN BEFORE
A must for visitors is a nighttime stroll along Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade for spectacular harbour views and to catch A Symphony of Lights, featuring more than 40 Hong Kong’s skyscrapers in a stunning multimedia extravaganza.
Try Pacific Place at Admiralty or Times Square at Causeway Bay to get a feel of what's on offer. And see how many times you can cross from one mall to another without your feet touching the pavement. With around 7 million people living in little more than 400 square miles on the island and a small piece of mainland China, this is no place for those looking for some isolation.
At night Hong Kong comes into its own. There’s horse racing at Happy Valley and even for those not interested in racing, take a trip there and watch their unbelievable passion for gambling.
Then there’s the bars and nightclubs. A more sophisticated crowd gather in Lan Kwai Fong on HK Island at bars such as Post 97.
Wan Chai or Filthy Chaiis Hong Kong’s red light district, home to hookers and seedy strip clubs side-by-side with legitimate nightlife haunts like Carnegie’s, but be careful of Tuesday’s Free Vodka night. And many a traveller has taken refuge in the famous Joe Bananas bar and lived to regret the decision. But it’s unlikely anyone with a true sense of adventure will ever regret choosing to visit this mad melting pot of a place.
BEST SECRET AGENTS
In Hong Kong, it’s all about the concierge. The best are Giovanni Valenti at the Mandarin Oriental (mandarinoriental.com) and the InterContinental's Louis Baleros (hongkong-ic.interconti.com), who hail from a family of top-notch concierges. For personal shoppers, Asian Cajun specializes in seeking out antiques, jewellery and art (asiancajun.com).