The Hong Kong Guide
No other city fills up its real estate quite as efficiently as this bustling harbor metropolis—stores, markets, and boutiques alone take up more square footage here than they do anywhere else in the world. The exquisite Chinese food, gorgeous outdoor spaces, and killer nightlife just seal the deal. Here, we’ve updated our Hong Kong guide with more favorites.
China ClubOld Bank of China Building, 1 Bank St., 13th Floor, Central | 852.2521.8888
If you happen to know a member of this club, hit them up for an invite (a good hotel concierge should probably be able to get you in, too): It’s the closest thing to a contemporary Chinese art museum in Hong Kong, with an unparalleled collection. Their dim sum is top-notch, too.
Star FerryCentral Star Ferry Pier, Man Kwong St., Central | 852.2367.7065
For less than 50 cents, grab a Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, a service that’s been in operation since the 19th century. It’s essential to get out on the water (you’ll see myriad fisherman motoring home with their daily catch), as there’s nothing quite like the view of Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui—particularly at night. Despite the insane lightshow that happens post-sunset, you can almost imagine what it would have been like back in the tea trading days.
Man Mo Temple126 Hollywood Rd., Central
Though it’s not gilded and grand on the outside, when you step inside this temple—built in 1847—and look up, you’re met by a seemingly endless span of incense coils, all suspended from the ceiling. Each is about two to three feet long, and combined with the smell, makes for a powerful experience. Photo: Stripped Pixel
The PeakThe Peak Terminus, 33 Garden Rd., Central
Hong Kong ranges along the water for many reasons: For one, it’s been a bustling harbor for centuries; for two, the center of the island is dominated by a giant mountain, which you can ascend, by funicular tram, for unparalleled views. It’s absolutely worth it on a clear day—and actually doesn’t take much time.
Bank of China Tower1 Garden Rd., Central
Though it’s still a place of serious business, this iconic, I.M. Pei-designed masterpiece—impossible to miss on the Hong Kong skyline thanks to its triangle-flecked sides—allows visitors to its observation deck. When it was constructed in 1990, it was the tallest building outside of the United States—and while it’s now dwarfed by three other Hong Kong skyscrapers, it still provides sweeping views of the city. You’ll need to show your passport at the security desk.
Aqua Luna Harbor CruiseCentral Pier 9, Central | 852.2116.8821
Sure, there's something inherently cheesy about a harbor cruise but this one offers incredible views of Hong Kong's skyline (cocktails in hand) and is surprisingly worth it. You can reserve online; the boat is also available for special event private charters.
Repulse Bay Beach
Despite its name, Repulse Bay is actually one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong (which at least partially explains the explosion in residential real estate prices here). The development of the suburb is relatively controlled to the area directly surrounding the beach, so views of the lush hills—and the ocean—make it a great spot for escaping the hustle-and-bustle of the city center. A few tips for newcomers: The beach is most busy in the summers, when weather is warm enough for sunbathing, and the neighborhood is actually not accessible by MTR, so you'll want to book a taxi or take one of the city's express public buses (which only take about 15 minutes from Central).
Potato Head100 Third St., Sai Ying Pun | 852.2858.6066
An offshoot of the popular beachside Bali spot, Potato Head opened a Hong Kong location in 2016, but perhaps not where most people would have expected: Rather than moving into a spot along the water, the Hong Kong iteration settled inland in an old school plot in Sai Ying Pun. Potato Head is sort of a small village unto itself—in addition to its bar, which is likely to be the first reason you go, there's an Indonesian restaurant called Kaum, a coffee shop, and a retail space. So, while you can just do drinks, you can also make a fun outing of it.
Liang Yi Museum181-199 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan | 825.2806.8280
Hollywood Road has long had a history rooted in the buying and selling of antiques. Now, one of the city’s greatest resident collectors, Peter Fung, has opened a 20,000-sqaure foot private museum devoted to showcasing his own personal collection, which includes 300-plus pieces from Ming and Quing dynasties and an assortment of jeweled powder boxes from the likes of Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier. Exhibitions will rotate twice a year, and unlike its traditional counterparts, visitors are encouraged to sit on and touch the items on display.
The Popsy Room30 Upper Lascar Row, Tai Ping Shawn | 852.2234.6711
RISD graduate Jennifer Chung spent her childhood in Hong Kong and Toronto, and began her career as a designer in Paris. The Popsy Room is her experimental art space, which is situated among the galleries and antique dealers on Upper Lascar Row, known as Cat Street. The Popsy Room hosts varied rotating exhibitions that highlight everything from painting and photography to design, sculpture, and music. It also serves as a home for collaborations, workshops and pop-ups—plus a dining space.
Afternoon Tea at the PeninsulaSalisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui | 852.2920.2888
The Hong Kong location in Tsim Sha Tsui is actually the Peninsula's original location (the building was built back in 1828), and considering the highly British-influenced history of Hong Kong, it's no surprise that high tea here is a big deal. To complete the full-on fancy experience, the hotel brings in a string quartet—lovingly called the Lobby Strings—for daily performances, and serves finger sandwiches, pastries, and champagne alongside its Earl Grey.