24 Hours in Hong Kong – Beth Jenkins

Reporting from the skies after a whirlwind 24 hours in Hong Kong! I’m en route to Bali and so excited to get there, but what a tease to only have 1 night to spend in the energizing city of Hong Kong.  When planning my Bali trip, my flight options included flying Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong.  I knew I had to make time to stop to see this booming modern city.  It is the perfect stopover city en route to many Asian destinations from the US and it’s a no brainer – no visa required, everyone speaks English, it’s super safe, and one of the most dynamic modern cities in the world.

The best decision we made was hiring a guide to help us efficiently see the city in the short time we had.  I trust Abercrombie & Kent Hong Kong with my clients so I arranged for a guide to meet us at the hotel and we’d go around the city for the day, on foot, by ferry, and by taxi. It was a great way to get around the city like a local and also cover lots of ground. Our guide Angela was excellent.  Originally from Shanghai, she has lived in Hong Kong most of her life and is a wealth of knowledge on the history of Hong Kong.  In a city that has completely transformed over the last 20 years, it is so cool to hear about it from someone who has experienced the city’s boom first hand.  A huge benefit of having an A&K guide includes skipping the line at the Victoria Peak tram – crucial as we would have wasted half our day in that line! A local guide also offers expert ordering advice at a dim sum lunch, and a perfect recommendation for a boutique filled with only Hong Kong designers (can’t wait to show off my new fall coat when I get home!).
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Our favorite parts of the day were:
  • exploring in Soho and Hollywood Road area… a very international and hip neighborhood full of shops, restaurants of every type of cuisine you can think of, galleries and bars.
  • visiting a Taoist temple (the oldest in Hong Kong) where they honor the gods of public service and martial arts. The scents were incredible as the ceiling is covered in hanging incense spirals which burn for days.
  • the bird park… think “dog park” but for birds. Yes, bird owners bring their birds to the bird park to socialize and chatter with their other bird friends. You wouldn’t want your pet bird to be lonely, would you?  The price of real estate in Hong Kong means most people in Hong Kong live in small condos and apartments, so having a larger pet like a dog or cat is not as feasible. Birds make the perfect pocket-size pet!
  • taking the ferry across Victoria Harbor. I wish that was my daily commute.
After a long day of running around Hong Kong, it was time for a cocktail! The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong in the ICC building boasts the highest bar in the world – Ozone – on the 118th floor.  It is amazing how one of the highest cities in the world can look so small when you see it from above.  (The good news: no, I did not have another fear-of-heights meltdown like at the Eiffel Tower)
We had the great privilege of laying our heads in one of the most iconic hotels in the world, the Peninsula Hong Kong.  The hotel is famous not only for its impeccable service (led by the gracious (and gorgeous) general manager Ms. Rainy Chan) and afternoon tea (perfect people watching), but also for its fleet of hunter green Rolls Royces.  It is an absolute MUST that you splurge on the Rolls Royce airport transfers when you are staying here.  It completes the whole experience of the stay… and you have a luxurious and smooth ride with wifi.  I highly recommend the Harbour View rooms in the Tower building, overlooking Victoria Harbour and with spectacular views of Hong Kong Island.  Waking up and falling asleep to the view is the definition of “sense of place”.
As members of Virtuoso, you receive the following amenities when you book the Peninsula Hong Kong through McCabe World Travel:
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast for two
  • $100 USD equivalent Food and Beverage or Spa credit
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Stay tuned for more of Beth’s adventures as she heads on to Bali here: http://bethvoyage.blogspot.com/

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This post is in: Asia, Beth Jenkins, Culture, Hong Kong, luxury, Peninsula