Touching down to Hong Kong after sixteen hours in a plane is a beautiful thing. You’ll also thank yourself for booking a car from the airport ahead of time. In my last blog I told you about my incredible stay at The Peninsula Bangkok. I was not able to stay at the The Peninsula Hong Kong (it’s about 4x as expensive) but stayed next door at The Sheraton. Traffic was fast, check-in was a breeze and we headed to our upgraded room.
It was pretty late so we stayed in the hotel and headed up to the Oyster & Wine Bar. It has pretty typical fare for a hotel restaurant but the draw is the view. Jet lag was starting to set in so it was nice to zone out and stare at the skyline.
The next morning we went to the breakfast buffet (it was included in the price of the room) and it was not a disappointment. In fact we ate so much we were full for the next eight hours. We were anxious to get out on the water in Victoria Harbor so took the first Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island:
A quick cab ride and we were ready to catch the tram to The Peak. The ride up was like the slow ascent on a roller coaster. As we got higher we could see the more and more of the skyline. Just four stops to the top…
As you have either experienced for yourself or already imagined, the view is absolutely breathtaking. Especially when you walk to the backside of The Peak and see the unexpected hills of green.
Here is the view from Lions Pavilion Lookout:
Waiting for the Peak Tram…
We hit the streets to wander around the island. Walking up some steps I thought I smelled some sort of incense. When I got to the top of the steps Man Mo Temple greeted me.
Sidebar on some observations: Hong Kong has the perfect weather. At least it does in early November, 75 degrees and sunny. This is one of the cleanest cities I have been in. I did see a lot of signs that you will have to pay a hefty fine for littering so that could be the reason. We continued on our wandering tour and ended up in the Soho district. Finally, there is a lot of money here (at least in the areas where we found ourselves in). I mean, how many Burberry‘s can you have in a 5-mile radius? I am pretty sure I counted eight.
We continued our wandering tour and ended up in Soho district (South of Hollywood Rd). It looked like a Mecca for all things entertainment. Filled with bars, restaurants, shops, galleries it is great people watching and you will have trouble deciding which restaurant you should choose.
Walking up and down all the hills and jet lag started to take its toll. Just as we started to lose all our energy we stopped to decide what was next and a sign for reflexology massage popped into our view. Why not? For $20 we got 1.5 hours foot & leg massage.
Plenty of magazines and entertaining soap operas along with big comfy chairs and excellent masseuse made for a really fun random experience and got rid of the jet lag, for the time being at least.
The UBS Hong Kong Open was happening the next week so they took over a whole plaza and set up mini golf had different types of stations set up to participate in. As tempting as mini golf was I didn’t want to take the time so we had our pictures taken with some fancy schmancy golf club and the trophy. It was a nice random event.
We hopped a trolley and ended up getting off by the Pacific Place Mall, which was beautifully designed, high-end and worth a minute if you happen to be close by. It was too rich for my blood for any actual shopping but one of the nicest mall bathrooms I have been in.
View from the Star Ferry on the way back to the hotel on Kowloon.
Took a stroll up and down Nathan Road but wanted to get off the beaten path. The concierge recommended a restaurant where he eats as a good spot that is not too touristy. We sat outside and it was good people watching. The service was really good as was the meal.
We had the Kung Po Chicken, Pork dumpling dim sum and seafood soup.
The final stop of the night, Ozone at the Ritz Carlton, the highest bar in the world (I think there is a higher one in Dubai but measuring from sea level and street level are different or something…) Like everything Hong Kong, the hotel is huge with a capital H. This is not your grandmother’s traditional Ritz, it’s still opulent but in the most modern and almost edgy way. The ultra fast elevator to the top is lined in leather, to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. The lobby is as big as many boutique hotels, I’m pretty sure it has its own zip code.
This view is worth the visit (go for drinks and skip the food). It was almost comical how small everything seemed looking down at the skyline. Every evening there is a light and sound show at Victoria Harbour. We thought Ozone would be the perfect spot to watch. It is the best spot for seeing Kowloon and Hong Kong Island but actually too far up to appreciate the light show. Nonetheless, the view will stay in my memory for a long time. Of note, it is very windy up there in the outside bar, so depending on the time of year you should bring a wrap or sweater.
Sad to leave Hong Kong but excited for the next adventure…