Stepping out of the airport train the heat hits us like a whack in the face: hot, humid night. Its a Thursday, we've just got off a 10 hour flight from Melbourne and we are ready to go, itching to see the city. Jumping in an old rickety cab, we are whizzed through the brightly-lit and buzzing central to our hotel in Causeway Bay, or rather to near our hotel, as the taxi driver doesn't read English and with the help of a random bystander can only just decipher the street name.
Freshened up and with a belly full of dumplings, we set out to wander the city. Welcome to Hong Kong.
Where to eat
I've put this first as quite frankly, this was the number one priority for me.
Amazing dim sum can be found nearly anywhere by my highlights were undoubtedly Yum Cha (a chain but the Central location is where I visited) for cute piggy buns and rose buns, beautiful tea and great cocktails; Luk Yu for the traditional experience, classic style dim sum in a beautiful old-style setting; and Dragon-I for the epic unlimited dim sum and free-flow Moet lunches.
Mott32 is an incredibly beautiful space serving the best char siu pork I've eaten. A little stuffy and the service wasn't great for the ridiculous price tag - but still, I'd recommend.
Where to drink
Lang Kwai Fong can't got without a mention. The all-night happy hours, jelly shots and general debauchery are well known, but still lots of fun.
Felix, Aqua and Sevva are renowned for their divine views, and they did not disappoint.
Where to stay
The new and hip TUVE is a fantastic option for a trip to Hong Kong. Located by the Hau Tin MTR station in Causeway Bay, it is not at all a tourist hot spot. You are treated to an incredible collection of great, local, and tasty places to eat within a stone's throw of the front door, which is good because as soon as you step out you're surrounded by locals. You're in the thick of it here, but only a short taxi or MTR into Central, and an easy walk to the shopping hub of Causeway Bay.
Hotel LKF by Rhombus
Sadly now decommissioned, the legendary Hotel LKF was for us perfect. Central, comfortable, easy. I only hate to think of how many buck's parties have taken place in this venue...
Things to see and do
The peak is an absolute must. Don't bother queuing an hour in the heat for the tram - take a taxi up and just tram back (for some reason there's never a queue at the top). On the advice of a friend we skipped the viewing platform and instead did the circle walk - a walking path of approximately 3km that circles the top. The views along the way were spectacular and the lush tropical plants so refreshing after the endless concrete of the city.
A trip on the Aqualuna junk was my highlight. Pass on the crowded light show time slot and go for the late-night instead, allows time for dinner beforehand and the boat will be half-empty, it was for us!
Shopping in Hong Kong is on another level. The volume and variety of luxury in that city is like nothing i've seen, even in Europe. Window shopping the luxury is just as enjoyable as scouring out bargains in Causeway Bay or the markets, but is a much more high-risk affair.