48 Hours re-discovering Hong Kong for my second time | Hong Kong | This was my second time in Hong Kong, and this time I was there along my partner Rubin Singer, being his first time. We had ahead of us a full month of traveling along China, so for our first 48 hours, after a long flight, I wanted to re-discover the city and show him, the highlights mind the 48 hours limit. So basically to took it very easy, and we decided to explore Central, Kowloon, Wan Chai, The Peak and Aberdeen. Unfortunately, this time, we didn’t have time to go all the way to Lantau Island and the Big Buddha.
First day began over breakfast at our lovely hotel in Central, the Mandarin Oriental The Landmark Hotel. Where we had a beautiful suite, and we were spoiled rotten. A masterpiece of contemporary design. With just 113 rooms and suites, they are a chic five-star retreat in the heart of Hong Kong’s business and fashion districts.
A walk around the Central District, absorbing the characteristic pulse and hustle and bustle of the city. An urban jungle, with its monumental towers and buildings. Where heritage and tradition blend perfectly with modern architecture and design.
Second stop, was the mid levels and this took us to Victoria Harbour and the docking station of the iconic Star Ferry – which BTW if you have time, it is a must. The panoramic views of Hong Kong’s Skyline crossing either way Central/Kowloon are breathtaking. And you will also get to mingle with the locals, although most of them nowadays use the underground/water metro system.
Final morning stop, was one of my absolute destinations in Hong Kong, the Man Mo Temple. Which I always make the time to visit. Located over Hollywood Road. The Man Mo Temple is visited mainly by tourists and young students. A picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), both of whom were worshipped by ambitious students looking to succeed in the civil examinations of Imperial China
After a long morning exploring, was time for Lunch. We joined our local friend and gourmet guru, Geoffrey Wu, for a lunch at Fofo by el Willy Restaurant. Traditional and Contemporary Spanish Cuisine with the menu designed by the award-winning Chef of “el Willy” and executed by Catalan Chef Alex Martinez Fargas.(see photo below with the Chef). Including the from the traditional tapas, rice and Iberian Ham, to new innovative dishes like Scallops Ceviche, and some off the menu item that the Chef premiered with us before including them to the new summer menu.Back at our suite at The Landmark by Mandarin Oriental, we were very happy to take a little nap, and more so, to find this lovely thoughtful amenity, which was the opening session and mood for our evening.
We took the Star Ferry to, as I recommended and mentioned before, enjoy the panoramic views from the water, of Hong Kong’s Skyline. After that we came to Kowloon – Tsim Sha Tsui, to watch the Show of Lights, which I must say, needs a update. It has not changed in over 5 years, and given that technology has moved way forward, the show looks very unappealing. Constructive criticism.
After a brief incursion in Kowloon, we returned to Central, to move onwards to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel – sister neighbor property of our hotel The Landmark, for an intimate dinner at Man Wah Restaurant, raditional One-Michelin Cantonese Restaurant. This concluded our first 24 hours.
Four our second and next 24 hours in Hong Kong, we began our day checking out The Landmark Hotel, to move to our next hotel, the Four Seasons Hong Kong. But before that, and after breakfast, we climb atop the Victoria Peak, to enjoy some breathtaking panoramic views of Hong Kong. Mount Austin, and locally as The Peak, is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island, with an altitude of 552 m (1,811 ft). A major tourist attraction that offers views over Central, Victoria Harbour, Lamma Island and the surrounding islands.
Next we moved to the quaint fishing village of Aberdeen. Aberdeen Harbour has the distinct honour of being the first place where the British set foot upon arriving in Hong Kong. Back then, Aberdeen was the center of the incense trade, this is how Hong Kong got its name, it literally means “Fragrant Harbour”. Here you must jump onboard a sampan – a relatively flat bottomed Chinese wooden boat. Here you will see the famous Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant, which was featured on James Bond and Bruce Lee’s film.
Now for our lunch, this time, we chose to move to the district of Wan Chai, to a very unexpected hidden gem. Youka Japanase Restaurant. A very intimate, simple yet sophisticated true Japanese Washoku restaurant experience, on Johnston Road open both for lunch and dinner. The most fresh ingredients, flown daily from Japan.
After lunch we headed to our next hotel, the Four Seasons Hong Kong. Ready to check in and enjoy their outdoor pool overlooking Victoria Harbor and Kowloon. Same view we had from our lovely room.
Back on the Star Ferry, this time heading to our next dinning destination. Cantonese Restaurant Tin Lung Heen at the very top of the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. This was indeed our TOP dining experience. THANK YOU Gloria Ip for making us feel like Royalty. At Tin Lung Heen, we experienced our six-course Traditional Cantonese degustation menu, showcasing the brilliant presentation and overall culinary excellence that have earned Tin Lung Heen the distinction of two Michelin stars. Chef Paul Lau Ping Lui is regarded as one of the top Cantonese chefs in Hong Kong. Set in a sleek modern space, with 360-panoramic views of Hong Kong that blends traditional Chinese design elements with modern lines and colours, the two Michelin star restaurant, Tin Lung Heen, presents refined authentic Cantonese cuisine at its best. After dinner, we joined our host to a sumptuous journey at 420m meters above sea level at OZONE Bar. Positioned on 118/F of the hotel, Ozone invites you to indulge in signature cocktails and exotic selection of Asian tapas, while enjoying DJ beats and the captivating vistas of the city and Victoria Harbour. Our host had booked the VIP Section of the bar for us, so we joined her for a few drinks.
So this was our brief, but very hectic visit and time in Hong Kong. 48 hours re-discovering Hong Kong. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
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