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Hong Kong city guide

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By on Thursday 18th Aug, 2011 at 11:01

To sum up Hong Kong in one word it would be ‘bizarre’; there are so many twists and turns in the city that without a map (or even with one) you could be walking for hours before you realise you’re only five minutes away from where you started.

The night life in Hong Kong is like no other; it literally doesn’t stop, but you can forget about a stroll down the high street into a few pubs – Hong Kong doesn’t work that way.

The majority of nightlife is found in ‘The Mid-Levels’ which you’ll find just off the Des Voux road in the Central district. It basically scales the side of a mountain; you start at street level and then climb aboard the biggest escalator you’ll ever see (which is built into the mountain, by the way) and get off at a level of your choosing. Once you get off the escalator you will see streets of bars and restaurants to your left and right, all filled to the brim with ex-pats; businessmen and locals alike.

It’s like a vertical Magaluf only with men in suits falling about all over the place rather than the typical 18-30 lot. It is a lively and vibrant scene for anyone looking for a brilliant yet incredibly weird night out!

The more levels you escalate; the quieter it gets, and you are more likely to find some nicer restaurants with free tables for some late night dinner Hong Kong style. The lucky heart restaurant is brilliant for an authentic yet reasonable priced meal – try their crispy noodles. They look like very thinly sliced chips and turn straight back to sticky, soft noodles when you pour on the accompanying sauce; after a few drinks this will amaze you!

With regards to places to stay; a reasonable yet pretty good option is the Holiday Inn express which is about five minutes outside of Kowloon.

One piece of advice though; if you do nothing else make sure you steer clear of Chung King Mansions. Don’t be fooled by the fact it has ‘mansions’ in the title – when you get there you will soon realise there is no mansion in sight.

In the heart of Kowloon sits this amazingly complicated and intimidating building which is Chung King; ‘Mamma’ as she is known to her guests will show you to a room after being swiftly led through a late night Kenyan market which surrounds the ground floor. Once you reach the room you’d wish you stayed downstairs in the market! Few of the doors have locks and the odd slug in the shower is a common site.

Describing the nightmare of Chung King Mansions is difficult to do; but it’s not recommended that you find out yourself.

During the day there are some amazing markets to visit in and around Kowloon; one of the most popular is the Jade market. Considering how vast and popular this market is with tourists it is a little difficult to find, but you’ll get there! This is an under-cover market and when you walk inside you will see that it is lit up by everything green – from chess pieces to jewellery there is Jade everywhere, pick up a handmade jade bracelet for a unique present for your loved ones.