Hong Kong Weekender

Hong Kong is the obvious and ideal getaway for Mainland China residents, not only for it’s delicious dining options, healthy environment and fabulous shopping, but it is also a destination where you can benefit from all the comforts of city living, yet still escape for a peaceful hike on one of the quieter, outlying islands.
From Shanghai, it is convenient, easy and cheap to hop on a flight bound for Hong Kong for an action packed weekend that offers activities for every type of traveller.
We arrived in the early evening and headed straight for our accommodation, Gateway Hotel, at Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. After checking in, we made a beeline for dinner at sister hotel, Marco Polo’s contemporary Italian restaurant, Cucina. We pampered ourselves with fantastically fresh lobster pasta, along with sea urchin, scallops, steak and other delicacies, all whilst looking out over the spectacular and illuminated Victoria Harbour.
We had been waiting to do some serious shopping in Hong Kong, thanks to the city’s comparatively lower retail prices. As we were based in TST, our first stop on our shopping tour was Harbour City, Hong Kong’s largest shopping destination, with its myriad of luxury outlets, before we moved on to Canton Road, for cheaper, international brands. The great thing about shopping in TST was that we could easily go back and drop our shopping bags off at the centrally located hotel, before heading out for round two.
A short walk away from Gateway Hotel is the Star Ferry terminal, which transported us across the water to Hong Kong Island and dropped us off right outside the IFC mall. Another great place for indulging in some retail therapy, the mall also houses one of three Apple stores in the city, and you can scoff at the one-hour long queue of Mainlanders lining up to buy an Apple Watch, or join the masses, if you have the time to spare.
From the IFC mall, it is an easy walk over to Admiralty for more shopping. We particularly enjoyed visiting Lab Concept, where many international fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands had been carefully curated and placed together under one roof, including brands such as Topshop and Urban Outfitters, to MAC and Bobby Brown.
After a day of intense shopping, it is only right to cut loose during the evening. We started by heading over to SoHo, and getting drinks in Aberdeen Street Social at PMQ. Situated in the old Police Married Headquarters on Hollywood Road, the space has been repurposed and is now known as a hub for the creative and design industries. Aberdeen Street Social, by Michelinstar chef Jason Atherton, spans two-storeys, a casual bar cum bistro downstairs and an intimate restaurant upstairs. Sip cocktails on the terrace as a warm-up before entering the SoHo Loop.
SoHo is a bustling area, with a wealth of cool bars and restaurants. You can easily spend your night here getting familiar with the Hong Kong pace of life, or head off in search of the bright lights of Lan Kwai Fong. The noisy bars and clubs of LKF spill out into the street, beckoning you to come and join the communal dance party. And with bar staff tempting you with the promise of cheap shots, some may get trapped here for a little longer than they ever intended to.
After an exhausting day of shopping and partying, we needed to recharge our batteries and embrace nature. There is a wealth of different hikes, treks and trails to visit in Hong Kong: Dragon’s Back, Lantau Island and of course The Peak are just a few places to go and sweat it out. However, we decided to make the short trip over to Lamma Island, as we were looking for something closeby to TST due to the extremely bad storm that was forecast to hit Hong Kong. We hopped on a ferry, and within 30-minutes, skyscraper vistas had been replaced with the view of islands jutting out from the vast ocean.
We arrived at the coastal town of Yung Shue Wan, and walked past its array of cute craft stores, before
heading off on the easy walking trail around the island. The route was well signposted and we went past rustic villages, popular beaches, pagodas and temples. The hour-long trail offered fantastic sea-views throughout and ended at Sok Kwu Wan, a local fishing community that still holds onto its traditional way of life. We enjoyed freshly caught seafood at one of the many specialist seafood restaurants along the waterfront before catching the ferry back to TST to pack our backs and make the short journey back to Shanghai.