Business traveller's guide to Hong Kong
With sleek skyscrapers and ancient temples, Hong Kong is a dazzling blend of old and new. Check out our guide to sampling the city’s full range of flavours.
The quickest way to get into town from the airport is aboard the Airport Express. It stops in Hong Kong and Kowloon and a free shuttle bus operates from both stations to major hotels. Purchase an Airport Express Travel Pass and you will also enjoy three consecutive days of unlimited travel on public transport services including the MTR and the Light Rail.
The MTR subway system is the most efficient way to get around town with 11 different lines. If you are staying for longer, buy an Octopus Card for ease of use.
You will also want to take at least one ride on the Star Ferry, the most atmospheric way to travel between Hong Kong and Kowloon. Take a trip around 8pm to enjoy the stunning Symphony of Lights laser show.
A room with a view
The Upper House lifts you high above the crowded streets and into a zone of serenity. Interiors are all wood, glass and limestone, and the generously-sized rooms are among the largest in the city.
Traditionalists will prefer The Peninsula, on the Kowloon side. Due to celebrate its 90th birthday in 2019, the hotel maintains its colonial-era elegance without feeling dated. There are plenty of 21st century touches, including a helipad. Drinks at Felix and afternoon tea in the lobby are both signature experiences.
Conference goers will want to check out Mira Moon, located close by the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The hotel’s stylish, whimsical interiors come courtesy of cutting-edge design team Wanders & Yoo but it’s the small touches that really set this hotel apart.
Drink and dine
Dim sum is the essential Hong Kong meal and there are plenty of quality options to choose from. You can’t beat the barbecued pork buns at Tim Ho Wan, famous for being the cheapest Michelin-starred meal on the planet. Alternatively, try Luk Yu Tea House for old-school dim sum, or the sleek Mott 32 for jazzed-up options such as siu mai dumplings made with quail egg and black truffle.
In the mood for Western food? The Michelin-starred Epure offers carefully constructed degustation menus in a harbourside setting. If you don’t want to break the bank, Café Epure right next door offers value-for-money French classics.
No night out in Hong Kong is complete without a pre- or post-dinner drink. For cocktails, try Quinary, famous for its Bloody Mary made with wasabi-infused vodka, or head to the hip Ping Pong 129, where dozens of different varieties of gin are on offer.
Got a spare hour?
It is no secret that Hong Kong’s favourite pastime is shopping. If you are partial to a spot of browsing, skip the designer boutiques and head for one of the city’s colourful street markets. The Temple Street Night Market sells a wide variety of goods in an old-school atmosphere. Alternatively, Cat Street Market’s array of antiques and curios is always fascinating.
Another colourful Hong Kong ritual is consulting the fortune tellers who sit outside Man Mo Temple, the oldest in the city.
If you need a break from the neon and concrete, Hong Kong has a number of lovely parks where you can breathe deep. Hong Kong Park is popular with tai chi devotees, while Victoria Park, the largest green space in Hong Kong, features everything from basketball courts to tennis courts.
Hong Kong has hundreds of islands, many blessed with beautiful beaches and charming villages. Lamma and Cheung Chau are both popular with day trippers, but there are plenty of lesser known islands to visit if you are feeling adventurous.
Take a trip to Tai O, with its fishing village on stilts, and Tim Tin Tsai, where several abandoned ghost villages make for a memorable excursion.