HIGH TIMES HONG KONG. More than New York or even Tokyo, Hong Kong can feel like a neon-lit assault on the senses with its frenetic maze of streets and superfuture skyscrapers. But go a few layers beneath this great show and its the quiet beaches, weekend hikes and corner dim sum restaurants that define the sprawling city island. We asked writer and resident, Tom Young, to share some of his favorite spots.
One of the best things to do on a rare clear day in the city is the Dragon’s Back Hike in Shek-O. On the south side of Hong Kong island, follow the spinal ridge of the Dragon’s Back for incredible views of the city and surrounding islands. End with a swim at Shek-O beach and a meal at the Black Sheep — you’ll have earned the delicious bread with roasted garlic bulbs.
If you can get there, Tai Long Wan Beach is about the only truly deserted public space in HK, a wide stretch to rival any in Southeast Asia. It’s a long trip involving a bus, a boat and a hike, but that’s what makes it completely empty. Consider camping on the beach in cooler seasons.
For a simpler day trip, there are shorter boat rides closer to the city. One of my favorites goes from Central to Cheung Sha in Lantau, which gives you the perfect skyline view from the jetty. Once in Lantau, jump in a cab to Cheung Sha and head to South African restaurant, The Stoep, for decent seafood and a gorgeous beach setting.
Eating out in Hong Kong should involve equal parts research, recommendations and reservations, and stumbling upon a no-frills noodle joint and ordering everything you don’t recognize. I like Lin Heung on Wellington Street, an old local restaurant that always requires a wait but is well worth it for dirt-cheap dim sum. For incredible Vietnamese food head to Nha Trang and order the soft shell crab and beef pho tai, then splurge on the ultra-modern Chinese tasting menu at Bo Innovation. I always take visitors to Aqua, a modern Mandarin restaurant done up with red lanterns, bird cages and, most importantly, spectacular views over the harbour.
It seems that new bars open (and close) in HK almost daily, but I always go back to The Pawn in Wanchai. It has beautiful colonial facades, mismatched table and seriously good scotch eggs and Bloody Marys — just beware the rowdy expat crowd. And for a good people watching, a hip local and international mix and one of the best places to play pool in HK, head to the low-lit Tazmanian Ballroom in Lan Kwai Fong.
So you think you know the answer to today’s Pinterest clue? Here’s a refresher:
Today’s clue comes from our friends at Cathay Pacific. Find us the best photo of the city where Cathay Pacific keeps its headquarters #JSCathay.
Go to jetsetter.com, find the correct image, add today’s hashtag (#JSCathay) and pin it to your “Jetsetter Pin Your Way to Paradise” board.
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