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Spent Some Hours in Hong Kong

Thanks to a world-class airport and inexpensive direct flights from many cities in the region, Hong Kong is the ideal city for a short weekend break. Fly out on a Friday night and fly out two days after for a relaxing weekend with world-class shopping, great food and fantastic scenery. We are sharing some of our favorite finds from our last trip.

Friday

18:00 arrival at the EAST, an elegant hotel with 345 rooms located in the Taikoo district. Just outside the city center, a direct MTR connection will take you to Causeway Bay in less than 15 minutes. As a compromise on the unusual location (although it is perfect for business trips, since the offices of many multinationals are only a few steps away), you get bright and spacious rooms by Hong Kong standards, made even better with huge floor-to-ceiling windows running the entire length of each room. The view-awesome. Be sure to take a room with a view of the harbor-the view more than justifies the slightly higher prices.

The rooms upholstered in light wood are soothing and very comfortable after a Palette of cream and white. The bathrooms are open concept and the spacious shower cubicle is large enough to accommodate a small party (in theory …). As this is a midweek business hotel, the rooms offer plenty of space to work, including large desks and enough power outlets to charge all your electronic devices at the same time. All rooms are equipped with a practical Smartphone that you can rent during your stay. And while the ad-supported city guides aren’t exactly helpful, they make a great Wi-Fi connection-sharing device when you’re on the go.

19:00 if you haven’t had dinner on the plane yet, don’t worry. The hotel is directly connected to the Cityplaza shopping center, which offers a variety of restaurants (think school meals, Greyhound Cafe and a very useful Japanese supermarket in the basement). Alternatively, the all-day FEAST im EAST restaurant offers a variety of well-prepared Western and Chinese dishes.

22:00 go upstairs for a nightcap at Sugar, the lively rooftop Bar of the EAST Hotel. Located on the 32nd floor, this place guarantees a breathtaking view of Kowloon Bay. The menu offers a wide selection of plonks, beers and cocktails. Bartenders tend to get smart, so ask for the weekly specials.

Saturday

9:00 am get up early to beat the crowds at The Australia Dairy Company (). Yes, it’s touristy as hell — but take a bite of their incredibly fluffy scrambled eggs and you’ll understand why this place is constantly crowded. The secret of their success lies in the different types of eggs they mix, at least that’s what we’ve been told. Staying here is not appreciated, so order, eat and go out.

10:30 am get in a Taxi (or take the MTR) and get off at Prince Edward Station for a walk to the market. Start at the Mong Kok Flower Market () for a visual feast of shops with colorful flowers, shrubs and bonsai. Walk to the end and you will come across the Hong Kong Bird Market (), a charming alley in a beautiful Chinese garden. It’s a delicious local affair with Cantonese aunts and uncles chatting all day long. Head south to the goldfish Market (), a busy street in Mong Kok where all kinds of live fish are traded. The huge demonstrations of fish in small plastic bags offer a spectacular view.

13:00 for lunch, go to Instagram’s favorite Mido Cafe () in front of Tin Hau Temple in Yau Ma Tei. The retro interior has not changed since it opened in the 1950s, so hordes of photographers flock to this restaurant at any time. Although the menu doesn’t really go beyond that of a Standard Cha Chaan Teng and is passable at best, the atmosphere and surprisingly friendly service make up for it.

14: 00 walk the carbs with a walk in Kowloon Park (), twenty minutes on Nathan Road. With its tranquil Chinese gardens, picturesque ponds and lush aviaries, you will almost forget that you are in the center of a city of a million people. Follow the trail to the little-visited Chinese ferry terminal () Pier for stunning views of Victoria Bay, but without the crowds of tourists you’ll find at the nearby Harbour City viewpoint. Then head to Star Ferry to cross the port.

16:00 have you ever visited a cafe just because the takeaway cups are so cool? We did it – and you should also take a look at Halfway Coffee (). Located in a small alley in Sheun Wan, this cozy cafe serves their flat whites in paper cups reminiscent of colorful Nyonya pottery. Order your coffee to go (but linger quietly) or spend HKD 50 for a set of four different cup models.

17: 00 Antique Street and Cat Street are a few steps away, and it would be a shame to skip them. Browse a dozen antique stalls and shops in search of cheesy Dragon statues and gorgeous blues and whites. Even if you don’t plan to take something home, this colorful market is a perfect photo opportunity.

19:30 for dinner, grab a table at the New Punjab Club () in Central. Their mission statement says they’re “bringing the swagger back to Punjabi cuisine,” well, they’re not wrong. On the menu you will find a bold selection of Punjabi dishes with a modern twist–including a toothy Wagyu kebab with Green Chile Chutney, lamb chops with crispy onion and beetroot Korma and a delicious chicken Tikka. Whatever you order, order a side of Samosa Chaat (crushed samosas, crunchy noodles, tamarind glaze and yogurt) — it’s like Crack, seriously. Thanks to incredibly friendly waiters (who do not hesitate to take photos with their guests), a fun evening is guaranteed. Make sure to book a few days in advance because this small restaurant is very popular.

21:30 rowdy Lan Kwai Fong may be just around the corner, but you’re forgiven if the hordes of noisy exchange students aren’t exactly your crowd. If you’re looking for something a little more stylish, head to Foxglove (), a stylish underground bar hidden behind a custom-made umbrella shop on Duddell Street. The atmosphere is jazzy, sophisticated and welcoming enough to linger over a cocktail or two.

Sunday

9:30am before taking a shower, take a moment to enjoy the phenomenal view from your room to the east. Then, get off for breakfast at FEAST (Food by East), where a solid breakfast buffet awaits you. A la carte options are also available at no extra cost, and the menu goes far beyond the typical “eggs, any style”. The eggs on avocado toast and the Matcha Chia bowl with mixed berries are highly recommended.

10:30 am get ready for departure and stow your luggage in the lobby. Before leaving Taikoo, visit one of the most visited hot spots in the city: the Yick Fat Building (). Despite the signage, which kindly asks photographers to stay away, it is constantly full of camera-conscious crowds, but the impressive backdrop (with a light spirit in the seashell atmosphere) is worth it.

12:00 we would take every opportunity to visit a member of the PTT family (especially after our fantastic stay at the Katamama in Bali), so a stopover at Potato Head Hong Kong () is a breeze. Located in the trendy Sai Ying Pun district, this Bar-Restaurant-retail combines some of the best PTT concepts with outposts of Canaan (sale of tropical T-Shirts and trendy household items) and barely (modern Indonesian cuisine) under the same roof. Although it is more of a nightlife place, the exotic interior and the excellent shop also make it a great place to have a coffee in the after morning.

13:30 for lunch, head to hidden Mrs.Pound () to Sheung Wan. Keep an eye on the locksmith Lee Sai Wah and touch the right key to access a chic Restaurant that serves playful variations of pan-Asian street food. Will this be the best lunch you’ve ever had? Probably not – but the imaginative design of the restaurant and the fun atmosphere more than make up for it.

15:00 a trip to Hong Kong would not be complete without at least a few hours of serious shopping therapy. So stay in Sheung Wan to find some of the smartest Concept Stores in the city. The neighborhood is full of interesting shops, but the most notable are Château Zoobeetle () for funky leather goods, WOAW () for well-designed Gadgets that you didn’t know you needed, and Asterisk () for machines, vintage sneakers and Streetwear.

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