May 12

Best Places to Stay in Hong Kong

Can’t decide where to stay in Hong Kong? In this article, we share with you our top picks for the best places to stay in Hong Kong for first-time visitors, family and couples. We will also guide you to the most hip & cool hotel as well as where to stay in Hong Kong for nightlife and shopping!

Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Island versus Kowloon

The burning question that we often get is, “Which side should I stay on – Hong Kong island or Kowloon?” Well, the answer depends largely on what you wish to get out of your stay as well as your budget. We know your time is extremely precious in Hong Kong and hence we recommend staying in a convenient area, based on the places of interests that you will visit.

Hong Kong Island Highlights

Hong Kong Island offers a great base for sightseeing, including cultural sights (e.g. Chinese Medicine and places of worship), historical sites (both Chinese and Colonial) and amusement park. If you plan on hitting the bars till late and wish to get back to your hotel quickly, then stay on Hong Kong Island. In summary, here are some popular tourist attractions on Hong Kong Island:

  • Victoria Peak
  • Stanley Market
  • Repulse Bay
  • Aberdeen
  • Man Mo Temple
  • Central Mid-levels Escalators
  • Lan Kwai Fong
  • Wan Chai
  • Happy Valley Racecourse
  • Ocean Park

Kowloon Highlights

Staying in Kowloon is perfect if you are looking to wander around our vibrant street markets and soaking up the local atmosphere. Many street markets are located within walking distances from one another. If you intend to go on a shopping spree, it helps to stay near to these markets, so that you can offload your shopping bags easily and be ready for more action! In brief, here are some “must-see” attractions on Kowloon:

  • Flower Market
  • Goldfish Market
  • Bird Garden
  • Ladies Market
  • Temple Street Night Market
  • Wong Tai Sin Sik Sik Yuen Temple
  • Chi Lin Nunnery
  • Nan Lian Garden
  • Museum of History
  • Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

If this is your first-visit to Hong Kong, our pick is Hong Kong Island. However, hotels on Hong Kong Island often comes with a higher price tag. As such, if price is of a concern to you, perhaps you can consider staying on Kowloon instead and pick a hotel near to an MTR station – ideally on the Tsuen Wan Line (Red Line). In that way, by simply hopping onto the MTR, you’ll find yourself on Hong Kong island in no time.

Where to Stay on Hong Kong Island:

Best Hotel to Stay in Hong Kong for First-Time Visitor: Upper House

Upper House image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

If you intend to cover as much ground as possible, Upper House‘s location provides great accessibility that is difficult to beat. A small luxury hotel, Upper House is conveniently located near Admiralty MTR Station, which connects to our Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line and South Island Line. An MTR ride to Causeway Bay – where you’ll find Times Square, Noonday Gun, Victoria Park – takes less than 10 minutes. Similarly, you will arrive at Temple Street Night market or Ocean Park in a flash. Upper House is also situated in the heart of Hong Kong’s business district. It is the best area to stay in Hong Kong for tourists and business travelers. In a city where land commands a premium, Upper House generously offers abundant room space. Bathrooms of over 300 square feet come with walk-in rain showers, dressing area and deep soaking baths. The icing on the cake? Every room has breathtaking harbour or island views!

Photo: Upper House

Best Place to Stay in Hong Kong for Nightlife: OZO Wesley

OZO Wesley image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

If you are wondering where to stay in Hong Kong for nightlife, look no further than OZO Wesley in Wan Chai. It’s central to many watering holes, but yet away from the noise. To illustrate, OZO Wesley is in the vicinity of the “Star Street” food and entertainment precinct. There is also a collection of bars and clubs nearby on Lockhart Road. For live music, you can head to 1563 in Hopewell Centre or The Wanch on Jaffe Road. Lan Kwai Fong – Hong Kong’s core nightlife and entertainment area – is only a 10-minute taxi ride away. When you are ready to retire for the night, you can count on the hotel’s superb bedding and black-out curtains for a good night’s sleep. A healthy breakfast and espresso awaits to invigorate your mornings. Open all day long, you can also grab takeaway sandwiches, salads and soups at the hotel’s EAT2GO, before you begin another exciting day of bar-hopping!

Photo: OZO Wesley

Best Hip & Cool Hotel to Stay in Hong Kong: Ovolo Southside

Ovolo Southside image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Ovolo Southside is Hong Kong’s first and only warehouse conversion hotel to-date. We love their swanky industrial-inspired interior, designed by award-winning local architectural firm K plus K Associates. Ovolo Southside is located in Wong Chuk Hang, a revitalized town on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Once a manufacturing district, the area has been re-birthed as Hong Kong’s equivalent to the Meatpacking District of New York or the East End of London. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the neighbourhood is now an artists’ quarter and home to many studios, galleries and boutiques. You’ll find hidden gems such as local microbreweries Black Kite and Young Master Ales. To top it all, at Ovolo Southside, you’ll enjoy free breakfast, happy hour, in-room mini bar and snacks!

Photo: Ovolo Southside

Where to Stay on Kowloon:

Best Hotel in Hong Kong for Family: Royal Plaza Hotel

Royal Plaza image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Based on Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, Royal Plaza Hotel has consistently been one of the Top 10 Hotels for Families. This mid-range hotel offers spacious rooms (from 355 to 828 square feet), with more than 100 pairs of interconnecting rooms. Upon check-in, children can splash around in the children pool. Yuen Po Street Bird Garden and Goldfish Market – a stone’s throw away from Royal Plaza Hotel – seek to impress young children with a showcase of songbirds, goldfish, hamsters and adorable puppies. At the nearby Fa Yuen Street, there are more than 100 shops and stalls selling a variety of inexpensive fashion items, accessories and toys!

Photo: Royal Plaza Hotel

Best Hotel in Hong Kong for Shopping: Cordis

Cordis image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Cordis has a location that’s perfect for shoppers. Mong Kok is the mecca for shopping and this hotel places their guests at the doorstep of everything. For instance, Langham Place – less than a minute’s walk away – is the biggest mall in Mong Kok that focuses largely on youth fashion. Or perhaps, take a stroll to Ladies Market and haggle for bags and watches. Sneakers Street and Sim City are around the corner too. The former focuses on sports wear and shoes, while the latter sells both new and second-hand camera gears. Feel free to shop till you drop, without the fear of getting lost or disconnected. You’ll be delighted to know that Cordis provides hotel guests with a smartphone that allows unlimited local calls and 3G Internet connection. Furthermore, you have access to up-to-the-minute maps of Hong Kong as well as a city guide of the best places to eat, play and explore!

Photo: Cordis

Best Hotel to Stay in Hong Kong for Couples: Hotel ICON

Hotel ICON image - Where to Stay in Hong Kong

Looking for the perfect hotel to spend your honeymoon? Hotel ICON offers some of the most spacious and stylish rooms in Hong Kong. Offering the ultimate in comfort, you can expect in-room Nespresso machines, pillow menus and sumptuous robes. For a start, wind down by taking a swim in their rooftop open air heated pool. Alternatively, indulge yourselves at Hotel ICON’s Angsana Spa, where professional therapists from the world famous Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts offer a range of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. Thereafter, head to Hotel ICON’s Above and Beyond Chinese restaurant. Located on the top floor of the hotel, it offers panoramic views of Victoria Harbour whilst serving gourmet lovers with the best of Cantonese cuisine!

Photo: Hotel Icon


Looking for more experts’ advice for your trip to Hong Kong? Get in touch with Big Foot Tour – Hong Kong Private Walking Tours today. We’ve got lots of local insights to share and would love to bring you on fun-filled walks to discover the real Hong Kong!

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Apr 10

Hong Kong Photography Tips

From best Hong Kong photography spots for sunrise and Victoria Harbour, to Instagram-worthy places and sights, here’s our brief guide on getting the most out of your Hong Kong Photography trip. To top it off, we have expert advice from acclaimed photographer, Andrew J Loiterton!

Hong Kong Photography Tip #1: Classic Hong Kong atmosphere

hong kong photography tips cheung chau

man mo temple hong kong photography tips

Hong Kong’s many temples lend themselves to getting a great shot. As the incense burns, set your exposure for a few seconds to capture the movement in the smoke. We recommend visiting Man Mo Temple, one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples. The fishing villages of Hong Kong’s outlying islands also serve as a reminder that Hong Kong is more than just skyscrapers. Take the time to check out Cheung Chau, where the maritime traditions of the area are still alive and well, or Tai O, where the stilt houses of the Tanka people make for some very satisfying shots.

Andrew’s Advice

For me, the Star Ferry and the Trams are two classic Hong Kong icons that any photographer coming to Hong Kong can’t miss. Take a trip on the Star Ferry and make sure you sit on the lower deck and at the front (or back). It is a brilliant opportunity to catch great shots of the ferry stevedores.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #2: Get up High

hong kong sunset hong kong photography tips

Hong Kong’s skyline looks great from the water, but for an alternative angle, head up one of its skyscrapers. Some of the city’s rooftop bars offer great vantage points for photography. For the best shots, you’ll need to set up your tripod outside, rather than through glass. Try the bar area on the 27th floor of the Park Lane Hong Kong. The terrace of Eyebar, high above Nathan Road, will also secure you an unobstructed view of Victoria Harbour. The best indoor observation deck is Sky100 at the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon. You’ll be shooting through glass, so you’ll need to work hard to avoid reflections. Find a spot where people aren’t walking behind you, keep the flash off and push your lens right up to the glass.

Andrew’s Advice 

One of my favourite Hong Kong city view is from the balcony of Sevva restaurant. Here, Hong Kong in the evening looks like something out of Blade Runner…a little fog in Spring also helps. No tripods here and the drinks are expensive!

Hong Kong Photography Tip #3: Grab a Close Up

hong kong photography tips jade market

Markets are fascinating destinations for Hong Kong photography and you are spoilt for choice in Hong Kong. Don’t try to fit everything into one picture, though. Instead, stop and take in your surroundings for a minute. Would the colours and patterns be more artistic if you allow them to take centre stage? Wait before you squeeze that shutter. Which faces are the most interesting? Be patient and try to blend in; some of the best shots are the most candid! This is one occasion when handheld is better than using a tripod.

Andrew’s Advice

Try Yau Ma Tai fruit market on Reclamation street, especially early in the morning. A few words of Cantonese will go a long way. Don’t forget these people are trying to make a living, so I always try to engage in a bit of banter before bringing the camera up to my eye. A few dollars spent at the stall also helps!

Hong Kong Photography Tip #4: Sunrise

hong kong photography tips hong kong sunrise

Without a doubt, some of our most treasured Hong Kong photographs are those which feature a rising sun. Hong Kong’s mountainous setting causes headaches for photographers hoping to capture those first rays. Unless you get up high, the hill blocks the view. If you were thinking of heading up to the viewing platform on The Peak, you’ll be thwarted. On Mondays to Fridays, Sky Terrace doesn’t open until 10am. On Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, it opens at 8am. This means that the sun will have long woken up! Instead, travel up the hill to our Victoria Peak’s Secret Spot. There, you’ll see the city laid out before you and be able to secure that iconic Hong Kong photography shot.

Andrew’s Advice

For both great panoramic sunrise and sunset shots (in fact it’s spectacular at any time on a clear day!), head along the Peak Walk. About 10 mins in from the Peak Lookout, you will be rewarded with the most expansive view of Hong Kong Harbour. It gets busy at sunset, so get there early with your tripod to claim your spot.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #5: Sunset

tsing-ma-bridge hong kong photography tips

The best sunset shot requires a bit of effort, though on a clear day, you’ll be amply rewarded. Summer is the best season to come, as the smog that plagues winter is largely absent. Take the Number 25 bus from Central Pier 5 and ride it until the final stop. Thereafter, you’ll have to hike up Braemar Hill. It’s worth the climb, however, as you’ll find out when you reach the top. It’s no secret that the view over Victoria Harbour towards the setting sun is one of the best in the area!

The Tsing Ma Bridge is also a favourite for Hong Kong photography aficionados during the golden hour. The sun sets behind the bridge, framing it perfectly. This iconic sight is also a beauty when lit at night. The waters beneath create picturesque reflections, adding a wow-factor to your shot. Time your visit for when there are enough clouds in the sky to add interest, yet few enough not to block the sun as it slumps into the water. Make your way to Lantau Link View Point and Visitors Centre for the best views. If you’re looking to capture the bridge from an unusual angle, try heading to Lido Beach.

Andrew’s Advice

If you’re feeling adventurous, head up Tsing Yi Nature trail which has a fantastic view of the bridge and Lantau Island.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #6: Victoria Harbour

hong kong photography tips victoria peak

Hong Kong’s iconic harbour is the money shot for most photographers, never more so than after dark, when the city’s illuminated. At 428 metres above sea level, Sky Terrace 428 is the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong. It’s no surprise therefore that so many people are keen to get up there and avail themselves of the 360° panoramas. Sky Terrace 428 is open until 11pm, giving you plenty of time to frame the perfect shot and snap endless selfies. There’s even free WiFi, meaning you can share your favourite snaps while you’re there!

Andrew’s Advice

Don’t forget the view towards Hong Kong island from Kowloon side! This iconic view of the Hong Kong Island skyline is best shot at magic hour in the summer. Best location is the upper deck of the Kowloon Public Pier, just near the Star Ferry. But again, be there early as it gets a big crowd nightly. Bring a tripod and shoot the magic hour sky overlaid with the night lights.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #7: Neon Signs

hong kong photography tips neon signs

Neon signs are a dying breed in Hong Kong. As LED lights replace more and more of the old fashioned signs, those that remain are a prize worth seeking out. Making neon signs was an art form. Highly skilled craftsmen worked as apprentices for many years until they learnt how to mould glass into shapes and letters. Gas fills the tubes: different gases create different colours. The chemical element neon creates an orange glow, yellow comes from helium and mercury results in blue. Hong Kong’s neon signs are being torn down at an alarmingly fast rate, so for the latest situation, check out Neon Signs HK.

Andrew’s Advice:

Go to Sham Shui Po (Lai Chi Kok Rd) or Mong Kok (Argyle St) for the best views of the last of the neon signs. Alternatively take a tram ride on Hong Kong Island in the evening. Front seat on the upper deck is perfect for shooting.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #8: Traffic

hong kong photography tips hong kong rush hour

One of the joys of visiting Hong Kong is to feel the buzz of this energetic city. If you’re hoping to catch the essence of the city in a still image, then you’ll need to lengthen the shutter speed to add some movement to your shot. This will create trails of white and red from the lights, adding a sense of motion. Try out your long exposures where you can safely position a tripod near traffic. We suggest the footbridge on Connaught Road Central or Mong Kok’s Nathan Road. Time your visit for just after sunset when there’s still plenty of blue light to create an ambient shot.

Andrew’s Advice:

You can also go to the Causeway Bay crossing at Henessy Road / Yee Wo Street – its Hong Kong’s equivalent of NYC’s Time Square.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #9: Something a Little Different

yuen po street bird market hong kong photography tips

Don’t forget to look for the unusual during your Hong Kong Photography trip! Light and textures can also be used to create appealing and unforgettable shots. This photograph was taken at the Yuen Po Street Bird Market. It’s common to see closely cropped images of the cages, but the clever use of the shadow makes this picture unique. Play around and be creative when you’re exploring Hong Kong with your camera. Look for reflections in your travelling companion’s sunglasses, experiment with depth of field to give prominence to interesting aspects of the street scene or seek out humorous signage that makes you laugh. If you can take anything away from this article, it’s to have fun!

Andrew’s Advice

To really see and photograph the real Hong Kong, you need to get away from the tourist haunts. Get out to places like Sham Shui Po and Shau Kei Wan and just wander around for a while…you will be amazed at what you find… and don’t forget to look up! Hong Kong is a vertical city and a lot happens above you.


Biography: Andrew J Loiterton

AJL Photography Limited was set up in 1999 by Andrew J Loiterton and provides professional high-quality photographic services on location and in-studio, to both local and international clients. Andrew has been working as a professional photographer for over 17 years and is based in Hong Kong. His assignments have taken him throughout the Asia Pacific & Greater China Regions, Europe and Australia, shooting a range of subjects from hotels, interiors and architecture to portraiture, fashion and travel features.


Join us on a Big Foot Tour today! From old walled villages to natural landscapes to colourful streets and lively markets, take advantage of our local knowledge and have the best Hong Kong photography day!

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Mar 28

Hong Kong Markets: Top Tips for Bargaining

Hong Kong markets are justifiably famous for retail bargains. From Ladies market, Temple Street night market, Stanley market, Jade market to Cat Street market, these street markets are a mecca for those seeking a deal. Here are some tips for getting the best price!

hong kong markets night

Do your homework

It’s a good idea to know roughly what an item might be worth before you start to haggle at one of our Hong Kong markets. Before setting out, visit fixed price stores and check online. You’ll be able to see the range of prices set for the items you have your sights on. Once you’ve got a ballpark figure to play with, head to your favourite Hong Kong markets and browse. You’ll soon get a feel of the going rate for that item you just can’t do without!

Give yourself time to settle in before visiting any Hong Kong markets

If it’s your first time in Hong Kong, then you’re going to be unfamiliar with the currency. You might also be unsure about the exchange rate. Give yourself time to get used to what the banknotes look like and what they’re worth in your own currency. If you really can’t wait to shop, then take a calculator with you. That way, you can be absolutely sure of what the price translates to back home. Always pay in the local currency, so that you don’t risk getting a poor exchange rate from the vendors!

Bear in mind what the item is worth

It’s tempting to think that the lower the price, the better the deal. In reality, you’ll want to take something home that isn’t going to fall apart straightaway. Think carefully about what you’re prepared to pay for that precious souvenir. Compare that to what it’s actually worth. Don’t expect to get huge discounts on authentic jewellery items and real gemstones at Hong Kong markets. If it’s cheap, it’s likely to be a fake. Don’t be fooled into thinking something’s valuable or an antique – it’s probably not.

Think about guarantees and warranties

It seems like a good idea to buy the latest electronic offerings in a big trendy city like Hong Kong. Remember, bargaining for such items in the city’s markets means that you’re not only leaving yourself vulnerable to poor quality, you’re also very likely to forgo any international warranty. Test your goods and ensure they function perfectly before buying. If the shops offer a guarantee, find out the conditions as well as the validity period. In such cases, don’t forget to ask for a copy for the original sales invoice as a proof of purchase.

Go in low at the Hong Kong Markets

Ask a merchant what an item’s worth. At Hong Kong markets, bargaining is the norm. You will be quoted a figure way in excess of what the seller actually expects to get. So, how low should you go? As a rule, try somewhere between a third and a half of the asking price. Offer with a smile and prepare to counter-offer until you reach a price that is mutually acceptable.

Be nice, but not over-friendly

There’s a trick to this. If you’re abrupt or rude, the seller isn’t going to like you enough to do a deal. If you offer a price that is unreasonably low, it may be regarded as an insult to the vendor and you risk getting yelled at in public. It helps to learn a few Cantonese phrases, such as “Hello (neih hou)?” or “Thank you (mh goi)” to show your interest in Hong Kong’s culture. But if you’re too matey-matey, drinking tea and sharing life histories, then it’s going to be harder for you to refuse a price that you know is too high. Balance is key at the Hong Kong markets.

Never promise to buy something you don’t want

It’s easy to get sucked into agreeing to buy something for a price that’s really too high. Never, ever make a promise that you don’t intend to keep. If you offer to pay a certain price at one of Hong Kong markets, think of that as a verbal contract. If the seller’s price is too high, buy some time by saying you’ll think about it or come back later. It’s also alright to walk away. If you can give the impression that you’ll give up completely, you may convince the seller that your final offer is better than nothing. But once you do that, you’re committed: if the vendor doesn’t call you back, that sale is dead in the water.

Don’t flash the cash

Looking like you’re worth a million dollars, dripping with jewellery and clad in designer gear, is only going to achieve one thing – the vendor is going to think you’re loaded. Keep it simple and don’t let on how much of a budget you’ve got. Pay with good old fashioned Hong Kong dollars too. Even if you do find someone who’ll accept credit cards (read: transaction costs which will be ultimately borne by you), you’re not going to get a great deal.

Choose the right time to shop

Early in the morning, vendors are likely to accept your offer as they consider it bad luck to refuse the first few businesses. The locals believe that quick sales in the morning implies a smooth and prosperous day thereafter. Hence you can always get a great discount at this time! As the day progresses, these vendors know that they have a steady stream of customers, so they’re not going to sell stuff for a steal. However, by the end of the day, they’ll be rushing to pack up. This means that they will be trying to close any deals in the shortest time possible. If you’re thinking of making a cheeky offer, this may be a good time to try your luck!

Where to find the best Hong Kong Markets

Here’s a list of some of the must-see Hong Kong markets and their nearest MTR station:

Cat Street Market 

hong kong markets antique-market-cat-street

Market Highlight: For treasure hunters seeking curios and antiques

Address: Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island

Nearest MTR Station: Sheung Wan Station, Exit A2


Dried Seafood Street and Tonic Street

hong kong markets dried-seafood-street-market

Market Highlight: For traditional tonics such as abalone and ginseng

Address: Wing Lok Street,  Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island

Nearest MTR Station: Sheung Wan Station, Exit A2


Jade Market

hong kong markets best-shopping-market

Market Highlight: For lucky charms and jade accessories, including rings, bangles, pendants and earrings

Address: Junction of Kansu Street and Battery Street. Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

Nearest MTR Station: Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C


Temple Street Night Market

temple-street-night-market hong kong markets

Market Highlight: Fascinating street night bazaar, from opera singers to fortune tellers to trinkets and Claypot Rice

Address: Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

Nearest MTR Station: Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C


Bird Garden Market

hong kong markets yuen-po-street-bird-market

Market Highlight: For songbird enthusiasts or simply to witness the age-old Chinese hobby in action

Address: Yuen Po Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon

Nearest MTR Station: Prince Edward Station, Exit B1


Stanley Market

Market Highlight: Historic lanes packed with Chinese arts and crafts, furniture and souvenirs

Address: Stanley New Street and Stanley Market Road, Stanley, Hong Kong Island

Directions: Take Bus 260 from Central Bus Terminus, alighting at Stanley Village, Stanley Village Road.

Stanley Bus 260 Central Bus Terminus Big Foot Tour


Article by Big Foot Tour. For more tips and tricks to maximize your time in Hong Kong, join us on our top-rated Hong Kong Private Tour today. We highlight local cultures, introduce you to food that locals adore (read: no tourist traps) and share with you interesting stories of Hong Kong!

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Mar 08

Best Hong Kong Fine Dining Restaurants

Whether you’re a foodie in the hunt for award-winning cuisines, or you’re simply looking for the most romantic restaurant with a stunning view of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Fine Dining scene offer choice, quality and ambience. Add this to the innovative and exciting menus and you’re set! In this guide, we select the best Hong Kong fine dining restaurants.

Best Cantonese Fine Dining Restaurants

Lung King Heen

Hong Kong Fine Dining - Lung King Heen

Hong Kong Fine Dining - Lung King Heen - Asian

Much of Hong Kong fine dining is based inside its many five-star hotels, but Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons stands out amongst stiff competition. It’s a 3 Michelin star holder, gaining the recognition in 2009 as the world’s first Cantonese entry. The food from Head Chef Chan Yan Tak more than holds its own against the stunning views of Victoria Harbour which give the restaurant its name: View of the Dragon. Don’t miss the exceptional seafood as well as a fabulous dim sum menu. If you’re an in-house hotel guest, then book a spot on the “In the Footsteps of a Dragon” food tour. It begins in the Lung King Heen’s kitchen and then meanders around Kowloon, where Chef Tak grew up and where he still finds his culinary inspiration. Participants can try a range of local ingredients before returning to the restaurant for a three-course lunch.

Photos: Lung King Heen

Duddell’s
Hong Kong Fine Dining - Duddells_Restaurant

Hong Kong Fine Dining - Duddells_Brunch_with_Champagne_Pimms

It may “only” have received two Michelin stars, but those seeking an unforgettable Cantonese foodie experience should not overlook Duddell’s. You’ll find it above Shanghai Tang Mansion. This restaurant is particularly popular for its weekend brunches. Unlimited food and free-flowing champagne mean that it is always lively. Tempting dishes like shrimp dumplings with morel mushrooms, jelly fish with sesame, braised fungus, crispy pork ribs and braised E-fu noodles will keep you topping up your plate. The atmosphere is great and we’re sure you will have a lasting impression!

Photos: Duddell’s

Ming Court

Again reinforcing that Hong Kong fine dining is associated with its hotel scene, the Ming Court, located at the Cordis hotel in Mong Kok, won two Michelin stars for its exceptional, authentic Cantonese cuisine. The food will have you returning over and over. Many of its signature dishes are award-winners in their own right. Try the Eight Treasure Soup, featuring abalone, chicken, fish maw, shiitake mushroom, bamboo pith, black tree fungus, dried tangerine peel and ginger. The Australian Wagyu beef, sautéed with foie gras, Thai basil and cashew nuts, is a must-try too. Vegetarians are also well-catered for; you’ll find it hard to resist pumpkin, taro and wild mushroom braised in coconut milk in a clay pot!

The Chairman

Hong Kong Fine Dining - The Chairman Hong Kong

Hong Kong Fine Dining - The Chairman - Slow Cooked Crispy Lamb Belly with Chinese Vinegar and Garlic Dressing

Few Hong Kong fine dining restaurants showcase local produce quite like The Chairman. Its chickens and pigs are raised locally in the New Territories before making their way to the table. Local fishermen rise early each morning to catch live fishes and shrimps in the South China Sea. Vegetable farmers toil in the fields of Yuen Long and the meat is cured at the restaurant’s own farm in Sheung Shui. Of course, the chefs play their part, creating sauces that lift these basic ingredients to the loftiest of heights. Little wonder, therefore, that these fresh ingredients combine to create dishes bursting with true Cantonese flavour. We say, you have to try the Slow Cooked Crispy Lamb Belly with Chinese Vinegar and Garlic Dressing!

Photos: The Chairman

Above and Beyond

Hong Kong Fine Dining - Above & Beyond - Wok-fried Wagyu Beef Cubes with Green Apple, Mustard and Wasabi

Hong Kong Fine Dining - Above & Beyond - Wok-fried Lobster with Egg White and Black Truffles.jpg

Above and Beyond, located at the Hotel Icon, serves some of the best Cantonese cuisine in the city. For lunch, its dim sum set menus hit the spot, incorporating such dishes as Steamed Barbecued Pork Bun and Steamed Shrimp and Bamboo Shoots Dumpling. For dinner, the Hong Kong Style Peking Duck set menu continues to delight clients. Alternatively, try Executive Chef Paul Tsui’s new signature dishes of Wok-fried Lobster with Egg White and Black Truffles and Wok-fried Wagyu Beef Cubes with Green Apple, Mustard and Wasabi. With 23 years of culinary experience, Chef Paul transforms even the most ordinary ingredients into works of art. Each of his dishes is created with the best of land and ocean in mind. Such exquisite food should be top on your Hong Kong fine dining bucket list!

Photos: Above and Beyond

Top Kaiseki Fine Dining Experience

RyuGin

This Tokyo favourite came to the Hong Kong fine dining fore with much anticipation. RyuGin offers kaiseki cuisine with a contemporary twist. Seasonal produce is flown in daily from Japan to ensure the dishes are fresh as well as interesting. You’ll find it at the top of the ICC Tower in Kowloon where the views are as jaw-dropping as the menu.

Most Innovative Hong Kong Fine Dining Experience

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

This delightful establishment has worked hard to maintain its three Michelin star rating and boasts receiving the accolade for six straight years. Everything about L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon screams luxury: the velvet-upholstered seating, the contemporary décor and of course, the exquisite food. The restaurant is designed with a bar which encircles an open kitchen. You can witness all aspects of cooking while taking your pick of the French-style dishes. They’re served in tapas-sized portions enabling you to try a wider selection.

Most Romantic Hong Kong Fine Dining Restaurant

Caprice

Two Michelin stars and a clientele of repeat customers assure Caprice a space on this list of the best Hong Kong fine dining experiences. It’s based at the Four Seasons in Central. A team of chefs work in an open kitchen to produce innovative and sophisticated dishes with a French flavour. Produce is flown in daily from France to ensure an authentic dining experience and artisan cheese is stored in Hong Kong’s first cheese cellar, located on the premises. With an extensive selection of wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy as well as beautiful interiors and Chinese-inspired Czech crystal chandeliers, it offers the best atmosphere for romantic dinners, birthday or anniversary celebrations.

Best Fusion Fine Dining Experience

Ta Vie

Hong Kong Fine Dining - Chef Sato Ta Vie

Another Central favourite is Ta Vie, meaning “Your Life” in French. Its ethos is simple: Pure, Simple and Seasonal. In Japanese, the restaurant’s name translates as “journey”. Indeed, diners embark on a culinary journey as they work through the creative Asian menu. All the while, taste is the guiding factor and is never sacrificed for a gimmick. To highlight the Asian heritage, Ta Vie features a selection of unique-flavoured herb teas, served with raw honey harvested from local organic farms. They also offers a fine selection of Umeshu and Japanese whiskies. Under talented Chef Hideaki Sato’s management, Ta Vie has been awarded Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. In 2017, it is ranked 33 on the list.

Photos: Ta Vie

Best Hong Kong Fine Dining Restaurants for Business Meetings

Man Wah

Many attest that Man Wah is Hong Kong’s most beautiful dining location, with panoramic views of Victoria Harbour setting off the opulent decor. The ambience is perfect to impress your business partners. On the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental, its silk paintings and birdcage lamps are exquisite. The food is no shrinking violet either. Braised Japanese sea cucumber, wok-fried fillet of spotted grouper and a comprehensive lunchtime dim sum menu hit the spot. For drinks after the meal, The Chinnery or Captain’s Bar welcome suits with open arms.

Amber

The bronze organ chandelier suspended from the ceiling is a focal point of Amber’s decor but it’s still the food that’s the star of the show here. The superb restaurant at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental has two Michelin stars under its belt. Dutch Head Chef Richard Ekkebus draws heavily on French cuisine for his innovative menu. Fresh fish of the highest quality is imported daily from Japan. Try the eight-course degustation menu and you won’t be disappointed! Exquisite food and attentive service make this the perfect choice for business meetings, reflecting the importance of individuals who are joining you.

Top Hong Kong Fine Dining Restaurant with a View

Hutong

Hutong Archway_Hong Kong_Fine Dining

Hutong_Interior_Tatami_Fine Dining

Proving that Hong Kong fine dining doesn’t have to be synonymous with Michelin’s recommendations, Hutong offers superb Chinese cuisine in a delightfully atmospheric setting. Try the Ao Yun tasting menu! With dishes such as tender Waygu beef cheeks, seared scallops and stir-fried Pacific lobster, it is sure to make a lasting impression. Other signature dishes include Crispy de-boned lamb ribs and “Red Lantern“, crispy soft shell crab with Sichuan dried pepper. The breathtaking views over the harbour from its floor to ceiling windows are also something special, a far cry from the narrow Beijing alleyways which give the restaurant its name. One crucial tip that we’ll like to share – do request for window seats. If your reservation is around 8pm, you will be in perfect time to catch the spectacular light show, A Symphony of Lights!

Photos: Hutong


Looking for more insights into Hong Kong’s dining scene? The range in Hong Kong is astounding, from high-end cuisine in luxurious restaurants to comfort-based traditional street-food stalls. Based entirely on your interests, let us customize a culinary journey for you on our private Hong Kong Food Tour. We offer flexible food-stops and pace, as well as a taste of Hong Kong’s history, culture and local life. Visit Big Foot Tour for more details today!

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Feb 27

Step-by-Step Guide to Hong Kong Victoria Peak

A journey to Hong Kong is incomplete without a trip to Victoria Peak, one of the most popular tourist attraction in Hong Kong. Standing at 552 metres above sea level, Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island, offering a breathtaking awe-inspiring view of Hong Kong. In this travel guide, we share with you some interesting stories on Victoria Peak, how to get there, as well as our step-by-step guide for the best (and free) view from the top! 

History of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

Did you know that Victoria Peak has a few Chinese names? They are Tai Ping Shan, which refers to the Mountain of Great Peace, and Tse Ki Shan, which stands for the Mountain of the Hoisted Flag.

Before the Opium War, Hong Kong was haunted by pirates. These pirates would raise their flag of skull and skeleton on the Victoria Peak and demand merchant ships to surrender large amount of treasure. Hence, the locals refer to Victoria Peak as the Mountain of the Hoisted Flag, Tse Ki Shan. The most famous pirate was known as Cheung Po Tsai. Eventually, Cheung Po Tsai worked hand-in-hand with the Qing Dynasty and brought peace to the area. As a result, gone were the days when pirate flags were hoisted on Victoria Peak. The official Chinese name of Victoria Peak became the Mountain of Great Peace, Tai Ping Shan.

Victoria Peak is also known as Mount Austin. Today, we named it after Queen Victoria. This goes back to Hong Kong’s history, when the First Opium War started in 1840. The war finally ended in August 1842, with the signing of China’s first unequal treaty, the Treaty of Nanking. In essence, the Qing government ceded Hong Kong island to the British, which was under reign of Queen Victoria.

Back then, British colonies developed hill-stations, wherever possible, as a refuge from the lowland heat and the tropical diseases that claimed so many lives. In spite of its small size, Hong Kong was no exception. Victoria Peak used to be a natural signalling post for incoming cargo ships in the 19th Century. In time, the more privileged early residents, such as our governors, found the Peak District to be the perfect retreat from Hong Kong summer heat.

How to Get to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

Today, Victoria Peak is world-famous for offering fabulous panoramic views of Hong Kong. There are many ways to get to Victoria Peak.

By the Peak Tram: The most popular option is to catch the Peak Tram from the Lower Terminus. The Peak Tram operates from 7am to 12 midnight and it takes only seven minutes to get to the top. Provided that the waiting line is short, this is the quickest way to get to Victoria Peak.

More often than not, the queue for Peak Tram at the Lower Terminus is terribly long, sometimes up to 2 hours! This is partially because travel agents with big tour groups typically have priority access to the Peak Tram. Consequently, the wait becomes frustrating. Our tip is to give the upward tram ride a miss and use the Peak Tram for the return trip instead. The waiting line for Peak Tram at the Upper Terminus is usually shorter, as most of these big tour groups would head back to the city by coach buses.

Alternatively, try taking a taxi or a bus to Victoria Peak!

By Taxi: Taxi drivers should go strictly by the meter in Hong Kong. A taxi ride from Central to Victoria Peak takes around 20 minutes and the taxi fare is around HK$100.

By Bus 15 from Central Bus Terminus: If you are up for an adventure, we suggest taking Bus 15 from Central Bus Terminus. Many locals adore this option in part due to the scenic and thrilling bus ride. Here are the details:

To begin, take the MTR to Central Station. Once you get to Central Station, head for Exit A. Next, look across and you’ll find a bus interchange on street level. That’s where you’ll find Bus 15!

Central Bus Terminus - Victoria Peak Hong Kong

Right outside Central Station – Exit A, take the upward escalator and cross the foot bridge. Thereafter, keep a lookout for the Central Bus Terminus sign.

Central Station - Exit A - Hong-Kong - Victoria Peak

In due time, you’ll find yourself at the junction shown below. Turn right straightaway and you will find an escalator that leads to the Central Bus Terminus. Don’t miss it!

Central Bus Terminus - Victoria Peak Hong Kong 2

At this instance, make your way down to Central Bus Terminus.

Central Bus Terminus - Victoria Peak Hong Kong 3

Now, look for Bus 15. On average, there are buses every 10-15 minutes. At the moment, the fare is HK$9.80 for Adults and HK$4.90 for Child or Senior. You can pay with your Octopus card by simply scanning the card as you board the bus. Otherwise, please prepare exact fare because no change will be given. For the purpose of having the best view during the bus ride, we suggest heading up to the Upper Deck and grab the front row seat on the left side. Another key point to remember, please buckle up your seat belts. The bus moves crazily fast!

Bus 15 Victoria Peak - Hong Kong

Generally speaking and depending on the traffic, the bus ride takes around 40 minutes. Don’t worry about missing a stop because Victoria Peak is the terminus station. As such, once the bus driver switches off the engine, you have arrived at Victoria Peak. Time to alight!

Step-by-Step Guide to the Best (and Free) Viewing Spot at Victoria Peak

At Victoria Peak, you’ll notice a gigantic structure, which looks like a bowl and a pair of chopsticks to most Chinese. That is the Peak Tower, where you will find Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Upper Terminus of Peak Tram (where you can buy tickets for the Peak Tram ride back to the Lower Terminus, or simply use your Octopus card!) and Sky Terrace 428.

Standing at 428 metres above sea level, Sky Terrace 428 is the highest 360 degrees viewing terrace in town. You’ll need to purchase a ticket to enter Sky Terrace 428. For more information on ticket prices, please refer to The Peak.

Alternatively, we say, take a short 15-minutes walk and head straight to our SECRET SPOT! In our opinion, this spot offers a much more magnificent view of Hong Kong’s charming skyline and the best part? It’s free of charge!

Ready?

Firstly, head left to find this tiny path, Lugard Road.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Sky Terrace 428
Victoria Peak Hong Kong Hong Kong Trail Lugard Road
Lugard Road. You are on the right track!

Victoria Peak - Hong Kong Trail - Lugard

The tracks are well-paved and perfect for an easy stroll. For this reason, this scenic path is a popular trail for joggers who love a quick getaway from the buzz of the city.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road

From here on, follow the path. There’s no need for any deviation.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road 2

Continue to stay on the right lane. Keep going!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road 3

Similarly, keep right. At this point, you are only a few minutes away!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road Peak Circle

In due time, you’ll arrive at this spot where it seems to be THE place. Well… Not yet! Remember, we want you to have the best view from Victoria Peak. With this in mind, walk further up!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road Peak Circle 2

Here we are! There is no obstruction, but just a sight to behold!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Skyline Lugard Road Peak Circle

An awesome view of Western Hong Kong from Victoria Peak. Take as much pictures as you wish!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Skyline Lugard Road Peak Circle 2

Our charming Victoria Harbour.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Skyline Lugard Road Peak Circle 3

How about a Panorama shot?

Victoria Peak Hong Kong

We hope you have enjoyed this step-by-step guide to Victoria Peak. For more local insights or tips and tricks to maximise your time in Hong Kong, book a Big Foot Tour with us today. We offer 3 kinds of private tours (Real Hong Kong Tour, Hong Kong Food Tour, Hong Kong Private Tour), each of which comes with many great opportunities to explore the city like a local. Check us out now!

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