Check in: There are plenty of high-end hotels to stay at in Hong Kong, so why not try a boutique gem unique to the city for a pleasant surprise? A charming mix of old-meets-new Hong Kong culture, The Fleming is an ambient maritime-inspired hotel in the heart of Wan Chai. But if you’re after something more luxe, The Peninsula is always a treat. The luxury five-star hotel group’s flagship retains old-world glamour and harbourfront views, otherwise, check into the nearby K11 ARTUS for its an art-centric ultra-modern indulgence.
Afternoon: Once you’ve settled into a hotel of your choice, it’s time to start the adventure. Take a trip to the former Central Police Station Tai Kwun in Central, which has been transformed into a centre for heritage and arts. It is also brimming with delightful eats and shops and art galleries. While you are there, be sure to grab a drink at Gishiki Lounge, an otherworldly bar inspired by Japanese Noh theatre. After roaming the grounds, make your way through Soho, which is just footsteps away. You may want to land yourself at PMQ, another colonial cultural establishment showcasing Hong Kong’s abundant art scene. Here, you’ll find floors of independent creative stores, including an art jam spot for a fun family activity.
Evening: While you’re in the area, why not take a stroll back to Soho, Hong Kong Island’s most beating heart for F&B. It gets very busy at dinner time so don’t forget to book a table in advance. For top-notch izakaya, go to Fukuro, Louise for Michelin-starred French fare (from the same chef as Odette in Singapore) or Chilli Fagara for Sichuan spice. If you want something casual, then pop into Check-In Taipei for Taiwanese eats.
Morning/Afternoon: Wake up to the aromas of hotel breakfast – a treasured feature of every holiday. If that is not your scene, hit up Brunch Club in Causeway Bay for a feel-good feast or go traditional with a cha chaan teng in Hong Kong, like the Australian Dairy Company for fluffy scrambled eggs and macaroni in soup. Once you’re up and running, get your hiking gear and swimmers ready for a full day out. Sai Kung is one of the city’s favourite abodes filled with secret outdoor spots for those in-the-know. Although some of these once-secluded nature trails have been made known, thanks to the internet and word-of-mouth, they are still very much worth the trip.
Take the MTR to Choi Hung or Hang Hau station and ride a bus (Choi Hung: 1A minibus / Hang Hau: 101M minibus) to Sai Kung town. There, take a 20-minute taxi ride to Sai Wan Pavilion where the hike begins. Follow along the trail until you get to Sai Wan beach, a beautiful oasis which seems miles from everything. There are two local restaurants on the beach to get your much-needed coconut and lunch – after a swim in the sea, of course. After having spent the day there, either hike back the same way or take the speed boat to Sai Kung (HK$150 for one way; depending on weather conditions). Be sure to bring cash.
Evening: You’ll probably be quite exhausted at this point. Refresh and rejuvenate with a shower before heading to a massage parlour. There may be massage parlours around nearly every corner but we recommend Ten Feet Tall or Iyara in Central – or even an Asaya treatment at The Rosewood, if your budget allows. Afterwards, make a trip to Lei Tung Avenue in Wan Chai to gaze at the beautiful displays and grab a bite at Chao Chao Gyoza, the dumpling specialists. Extend the evening by partying at, where else, Lan Kwai Fong – the street famous for its nightlife.
Morning: Sleep in on your third day, and begin your late morning at a lesser-known garden spot in Diamond Hill, which is accessible by MTR. The Nan Lian Garden was built in the Tang Dynasty and features two water ponds, two Zi Wu bridges and an abundance of trees and flowers. Besides its photogenic appeal, the Buddhist Chi Lin Nunnery offers some of the best vegetarian dim sum in Hong Kong – and it is hidden beneath a faux waterfall.
Afternoon: On your way back, spend the afternoon at Sham Shui Po, one of the oldest districts in the city which is recently revived by a wave of hipster cafes, old vinyl shops and quirky stores. Slurp noodles at the highly-recommended Lau Sum Kee where the beef noodles are a must. Explore the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum, a declared monument from the Eastern Han dynasty before making your way up Garden Hill for a stunning view of the neighbourhood.
Evening: Freshen up at the hotel before heading out for a glamorous evening under the stars. Tsim Sha Tsui’s K11 MUSEA is one of the newer establishments, where you can sit at the waterfront. After a mini shopping spree, wine and dine at Tirpse, an incredible upscale Japanese-French restaurant, overlooking the skyline. After an indulgent meal, walk along the newly-refurbished Avenue of Stars towards the ferry pier to continue the night. The Aqua Luna is an iconic red-sail junk boat offering all-day and night cruises along the skyline. Go on its 45-minute ‘Late Cruise’ to enjoy the magic of the city lights while cosying up with a drink to take in the moment
Morning: No trip to Hong Kong is complete without making your way to the laid-back Cheung Chau island. Wake up early and take the ferry there from Central ferry pier. If you’re taking MTR, before you walk from IFC mall to the pier, be sure to stop by LANDMARK to grab a toasty sandwich and coffee from Simply Life. You may take your food onboard the ferry and once you arrive at the island, rent a bike and explore. You can also indulge in its iconic giant fish balls and even discover hidden boutiques. Grab lunch at one of the seafood restaurants then take a boat back before the sun gets too hot.
Afternoon: If you have time, make a pitstop at Yau Ma Tei’s Kubrick bookstore, a popular place of book aficionados. The independent store features both international and local books and magazines, plus you can have coffee within the store. Why not book an art film at the independent cinema which is dedicated to showcasing a wider spectrum of films?
Check out: Spend your pre-flight moments resting by the pool, if there is one at the hotel, before getting ready to check out.