china | hong kong
presse agent Jacqueline Vong
Not too long ago, I made the big move out of the comforts of Canada to settle in Hong Kong – one of the most exciting places in the world. With a busy-ness that never stops and thousands of people crowding me, I feel (and smell!) the fervour in the air every minute. I came to work in Hong Kong City, but am settling into a life across the harbour and north of Hong Kong island – in Kowloon. Kowloon means Nine Dragons, but the locals call it the dark side as it seems more “local Chinese”, and less easy to maneuver around to find western comforts. However, this urban area is far less trecherous than any of the locals make it out to be. It literally takes a couple of minutes using the super efficient metro (or MTR) to get across the harbour. Note: A special ‘cross harbour’ cab will get you there for a few extra bucks, or it’s a very short ferry ride. There are also these crazy mini buses that offer transport over. All of these options have helped me find my way, and I have been forced to really travel the city to get around. As mentioned, Kowloon Hong Kong is known for the best views of the city across Victoria Harbour, and it’s a treat to be able to walk to work and enjoy this view every day. Here are some tips to take in the area and the Hong Kong skyline:
The Ladies’ Market is filled with all kinds of knick knacks and useless things that any person can haggle with the vendors to get the best value. I now have a huge collection of iPhone cases, purses and sunglasses. There is also the Flower Market and the Goldfish Market – with fish of all colours and sizes in bags. I actually wonder how they survive in the heat here, but people do buy them! People seem to buy anything and everything here and I enjoy walking around to take in the craziness of these markets … definitely a fun way to spend a few hours. For directions to each click here).
Tsim Tsan Tsiu is the area most well-known in Kowloon city as it is home to all the glamourous hotels, as well as a luxury shopping street called Canton Road. Be prepared for lines outside the shops on weekends. The area is also filled with museums, cultural centers and lots of eateries. What is unique is that all these places are found by looking up. By that I mean you have to explore the high rises as each floor is different. You’ll find lounges, a Japanese or Korean fashion house, restaurants, spas or a club.
Take a walk across Avenue of the Stars to the Ocean Terminal and you can take in the daily light show at 8pm. The 10-minute start to any evening. There are often art installations out on the water as well.
Head over to Aqua lounge on the 30th floor of 1 Peking Road and order one of their sophisticated cocktails, while enjoying the picture perfect view.
For a completely over-the-top experience, go to Ozone Sky Bar in the Ritz Carlton Hotel (inside the International Commerce Center). From the 118th floor, you can see the entire Hong Kong Island. It’s always a scene with the glam crowd, and perfect for those special occasions.
Hong Kong-based Jacqueline Vong is a first generation Canadian aiming to share her passion for travel, culture and culinary experiences. She is a contributor to publications such as the Huffington Post Canada and Fusia Magazine. Find Jacqueline on Twitter @TheVongChoice.