Monday, April 4, 2011

The New Hong Kong

The new Hong Kong is modern and thrilling, with an abundance of change yet a long, rich past. The “Fragrant Harbor,” well-known in the past for its spices and now for its high-rise lifestyle, is always adding to its international offerings. Considering Hong Kong’s ever-changing skyline and voracious appetite for the new (and newer), it comes as no surprise that there are internationally-lauded shops and fantastic local restaurants tucked into corners all over the city. In a constant state of flux, Hong Kong appeals to a mass audience with its varied offerings.

In a recent feature, Hong Kong's interesting contrasts were highlighted. The city, despite its push for the new and the modern, is home to a 40% park land, which protects macaques, porcupines, and boar. Good food is everywhere, as is good shopping, although Hong Kong still grapples with Shanghai's placement on the world stage, financially-speaking.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Hong Kong experts to find out what they recommended in the city, and it's a perfect primer to stay informed on one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

Alan Lo, Restauranteur, Recommends...
4 Wan Chai Market (Cross St. and Wan Chai RD)
This is one of the remaining street-level wet markets in Hong Kong, and it's a good place to get dried sausage (a traditional Chinese pick) and dried eggs.

Yiu Fung Store (3 Fu Ming St., Causeway Bay)
Got a sweet tooth? Try the “super” plums that locals love, or delicious confectionery masterpieces.

Carol Lim, Fashion Insider, Recommends...
Rise Commercial Building (5-11 Granville Circuit, Tsim Sha Tsui, off Granville RD)
This building is a home accessories haven and a good place to go retro browsing. Leave some room in your suitcase!

Lily and Bloom (LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham ST)
Get back to the '20s with Lily and Bloom. Lily's a cigar and whisky room; Bloom is a tasty raw bar. Will is be both or just one for you?

Alain Ducasse, Chef, Recommends...
Hong Kong Space Museum (10 Salisbury RD)
The Planetary Dome is impressive, and you should swing by the OMNIMAX threatre to catch a fun featured flick while you're there.

Tim Ho Wan Restaurant (Shop 8, 2-20 Kwong Wa ST)
This new local restaurant has spicy dim sum as a menu exclusive and is a casual stop for the weary traveler. Noshing quickly and without pretensions can still taste good.

Daniel Libeskind, Architect, Recommends...
Fook Lam Moon Restaurant (35-45 Johnston RD)
Thousand-year-old eggs and the “best duck” make this restaurant a good Hong Kong destination for the hungry.

HSBC Main Building (1 Queen's RD Central)
The Norman Foster-designed hotel has an amazing lobby, designed with the help of Feng Shui experts. Built in the '80s, it's still an awe-inspiring sight today.

Suggested Hong Kong Hotels
Raring to get to Hong Kong? Now all you need is a place to stay...

Four Seasons Hong Kong
This Four Seasons boasts water views, which are often talked about in Hong Kong tourist guides, and a must-see for all visitors. Overlooking Victoria Harbor, Four Seasons Hong Kong offers exemplary service and exclusive perks when booked via

A multi-million dollar refurbishment left the Intercontinental Hong Kong with premier dining offerings and a feng-shui inspired spa. 92 harbor-facing suites are perfectly positioned for view lovers, while others can request business-perfect rooms for the busy travel who never really steps away from the desk.

Near the Victoria Harbor, the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has been a luxury hotel presence in the city since the early 1960s. With suites reaching up to over 3,000 square feet, the Mandarin Oriental remains poised to accommodate your every request via concierge and IT butlers.

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
Considered one of the best hotels in the world, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental is located right in the central district for easy access and sightseeing. While you're in the action when you step outside, the hotel has been planned to deliver calm in bustling Hong Kong.

Hong Kong isn't easy to navigate, nor is it cheap, but it remains an exciting whirlwind for any traveler. With such great offerings, Hong Kong remains an outstanding place to shop and eat, not to mention view the city from one of the Hong Kong's famous rooftop restaurants or publicly-accessible skyscrapers.

For more Hong Kong travel tips, check out the Wall Street Journal's feature.

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