5 places to visit in Hong Kong
By Sarah Gillespie, Jul 2020
Hong Kong's allure comes from the commingling of two cultures. Once a British colony, this Chinese megacity still has royal street names, colonial architecture and pubs serving English ales. Add in the Chinese flair for luxury, and you've got a playground for the world's elite. Find your five-star experience with our list of the most memorable places to visit in Hong Kong.
Sam's Tailor has clothed Queen Elizabeth II, Richard Gere and George W. Bush, and now you can get a bespoke suit of your own at a bargain. Naraindas "Sam" Melwani founded this Hong Kong institution in 1957; it's now run by his son, Manu, and grandson, Roshan. The pair operate out of an impeccably organized space in the Kowloon shopping district that's stuffed with bolts of silk, velvet and corduroy. Whether it's conservative workwear or a floral-patterned blazer, Sam's can make whatever your heart desires and can usually turn it around in less than 24 hours.
Tim Ho Wan
With plates under $3, the Sham Shui Po branch of the worldwide dim sum restaurant chain Tim Ho Wan is one of the world's most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants. Founded in 2009 by Mak Kwai Pui, who once worked in the three-Michelin-star restaurant Lung King Heen, Tim Ho Wan serves unfussy dim sum that matches the clean lines and muted colors of its interior. The sticky barbecue pork bun is the restaurant's signature dish, and the spread also includes shrimp vermicelli rolls and fluffy steamed sponge cake. Visit outside of lunch hours to avoid long queues, which extend around the block.
The Peninsula Hong Kong
The grande dame of colonial Hong Kong hotels, the Peninsula Hong Kong has been serving afternoon tea since 1928, and it's an essential item on any list of British-influenced places to visit in Hong Kong. Service takes place in the high-ceilinged Lobby, where tall columns, gilded molding and string ensembles evoke bygone Britishness. Cream suit-clad waiters serve the Peninsula's special tea blends in Tiffany china, and a three-tiered tabletop stand sets fruit-studded scones below finger sandwiches and pastel macarons. The Lobby does not take reservations (unless you're a hotel guest), so you might wait in line a bit for a table, especially on the weekends.
Board a red-sailed Chinese junk boat for an unforgettable night cruise on Victoria Harbour.
The Aqua Luna
The Aqua Luna, a recreation of the ancient red-sailed Chinese junk boats, cuts a handsome silhouette on Victoria Harbour. In 2017, it was joined by the Aqua Luna II, the blue and white sails of which evoke Chinese pottery. Whichever boat you ride, the experience is one of Hong Kong's most romantic, particularly if you opt for the Symphony of Lights cruise, which takes place during the nightly laser show that illuminates Victoria Harbour. Guests can also enjoy wine and cocktails at the onboard bar. Line up at the Tsim Sha Tsui Public Pier 15 minutes early to snag the best seats.
Glowing like a cool blue cocoon on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, OZONE is the world's highest rooftop bar, according to The Rooftop Guide, and offers spectacular views of the Technicolor reflections on the harbor. The menu mirrors the sophisticated clientele: single malt whiskies, Champagne, inventive cocktails and tapas-style bar bites abound. Ask for a seat on the terrace, and mind the strict dress code: Men should leave behind shorts, sandals and sleeveless shirts after 9 p.m.
Hong Kong's distinct cultural charms are enchanting. Take a visit to see this destination's unique mix of British tradition and Chinese vibrance for yourself.
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