April 14, 2014

Hong Kong – Tranquility in the City

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated areas in the word. With over 7 million inhabitants spread over 426sq miles, there is a good reason Hong Kong is known as the most vertical city in the world. Despite all the high-rises (there are http://www.aviewoncities.com/hongkong/manmotemple.htmover 1000 skyscrapers in HK) and the hectic city life, this international city also has a remarkably calm side. Our guide to Hong Kong is about taking time out, exploring nature and breathing in the many cultural delights this city has to offer.

The Victoria Harbor

Lets start at the water’s edge, as a trip to Hong Kong is not complete with out taking in the sights along the Victoria Harbor. There is much to see and enjoy along the harbor side but we suggest taking some time out to cruise onboard the Aqua Luna, the iconic red-sail junk (ancient Chinese sailing ship). Ok, it is not an original Junk but it has been created in the same way and offers a very authentic experience and a great view of the city. The weekend Harbor Cruise also takes you to Hong Kong’s oldest and biggest Tin Hau Temple, a Grade I historic monument, in Joss House Bay.

For those with more time (and energy) another great way to see the famous Hong Kong Skyline is to travel along the Peak Circle Walking Trail. The route is around 3.5km and one local tip is to start this walk an hour or so before sunset so that you get to see the city’s amazing lights come to life towards the end of your walk.

73592_4190 JSThe Great Outdoors

You may be surprised to hear that most of the city’s land is actually taken up by country parks.  So, contrary to common perception, the locals are far from being deprived of nature.   Actually, plenty of hiking can be done and most of the trails are not too taxing. From hiking up through the hills of Lantau, which is the second highest peak in Hong Kong, to a memorable visit to one of the waterfalls (best during May-June time after the rainy period), there are numerous trails that will give you great insight into the stunning nature within Hong Kong.

If there is only one walk to do whilst in Hong Kong then it is to see the Big Buddha – or Tian Tann Buddha up close. This incredible bronze statue, which was only opened in 1993, measures 112ft tall. You will need to climb 268 steps to reach the lotus base of the statue but as any visitor will tell you, it is well worth it.


To continue on our tranquil trail of Hong Kong, we are heading to the beach, and in Hong Kong, you are never far from a beach!

In some areas the water is not so pristine but we have two favorite areas to recommend:  Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung, which is a little out of the way, but the clear-blue water and fine white sand are well worth the effort, and we also suggest a trip to Shek O and Repulse Bay along the southern coastline of Hong Kong Island. These are easy to get to and are very popular with the locals. To be able to combine a morning in the city and an afternoon on the beach is a unique element of Hong Kong life.

City Oasis

hong-kong-129524Even when you are in the city center there are many tranquil spots to seek out to provide the perfect backdrop for your moment of calm and relaxation in between meetings and rushing around.

One such place is the Chi Lin Nunnery. This beautifully renovated Buddhist temple is located amidst shopping malls and high-rise residential blocks. Here you will be captivated by the Tang Dynasty wooden architecture and can enjoy a serene stroll in the garden on the other side of the road; the vegetarian restaurant inside is also fantastic!

If you head over along Queen’s Road, which is the first road in Hong Kong, you will reach Central, the heart of a major business & financial center.  On Queen’s Road Central, take the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator to Soho, an area that has been revitalized by the creation of the world’s longest escalator system.  The area is now very popular and is packed with boutiques and good restaurants. Take a stroll on Hollywood Road, which is lined with art galleries and antique stores and further west on Hollywood Road, you will see the Man Mo Temple which was built in 1848 and is dedicated to the Daoist deities for literature and martial arts.

The Local Fare

Hungry? How can we have come so far on our tour without even mentioning food!

Like any international city you can find every style of food in Hong Kong. From Argentinean steak to the best Middle Eastern fare, it is all here. But when in Hong Kong, surely you are going to want to indulge yourself in some local fare too? Here is a quick guide to some of our favorites in town:

935322_25813815Dim Sum is a must when in town and one our favorite restaurants is the Michelin 2-star Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz Carlton which is perched on 102/F. It is one of the fanciest places to eat Dim Sum but the flavors and textures offered are not to be missed, plus the view is spectacular.

Popular dim sum items include shrimp dumplings (“har gao” in Cantonese), pork dumplings (“siu mai”), barbeque pork buns (“char siu bao”), sticky rice with chicken wrapped in lotus leaf (“lor mai kai”), rice noodle rolls (“cheung fen”), and egg tarts (“dan taat”).  You might also want to order a portion of “Siu Mei” or roast meat (for example, suckling pig with crispy skin, barbeque roast port, roast duck, etc.) Just allow yourself plenty of time, as you will want to work your way through the menu for sure.

Another great find in Hong Kong is Mott 32, named after the location in New York, 32 Mott Street, where the first Chinese convenience store opened in 1851. This new restaurant has a cool, industrial-style decor, and blends a farm-to-table philosophy with classic Chinese cooking.  Very charming place that is already garnering rave reviews.

Time for a Night Cap:

If you have a head for heights then you will be able to enjoy your cocktails on the 118th floor at the Ozone Bar at the Ritz Carlton. Furthermore, the city has a host of different roof top bars, where you can enjoy your drinks outside and soak up the view of the surrounding high-rises and the traffic below.

A newly opened “gintoneria”, Ping Pong 129, is a must. Housed inside a former ping-pong center, in the Western District, the décor has a retro theme and is a very popular choice for locals and international visitors alike.

At the bottom of Lan Kwai Fong, the famous nightlife area, is the Kee Club.  The Hong Kong HQ pales in comparison with its Shanghai cousin housed in an amazing 1920s twin stone villa.  However, the Hong Kong private club is continuously hosting international DJ’s such as Giles Peterson, and Dimitri from Paris, etc. Another hotspot for an evening of good music and drinks is Dragon-I, which claims to sell the most champagne across Asia! This stylish venue is sure to provide a great setting for a memorable evening in Hong Kong!

Other fine dining choices:

For Seafood lovers: Amber

For meat lovers: Blue Butcher

For Fancy Chinese: Bo Innovation


Top 10 Beaches in Hong Kong

Big Wave Bay

Links to Learn More:

Chi Lin Nunnery

Star Ferry

The Pawn Chai

Blue House

Dr Sun Yatsen Museum

Escalator system in Hong Kong



Don't miss future Jetstream articles. Sign up for our Jetcraft News mailing list to receive a monthly eblast with links to our latest articles. Click to join the 1,800+ subscribers on our mailing list.


Footer Newsletter Pop-Up

Join our mailing lists. Select preferred lists

    Join the 2000+ subscribers on our mailing list. Sign up below to receive the latest Jetcraft news & insights, aircraft inventory updates and event information.


    Sign up below to receive the latest Jetcraft news, aircraft inventory, and event updates.