SAVEUR’s guide to what to do and where to stay in Hong Kong. To see the guide in list form, see Georgia Freedman’s Travel Guide: Hong Kong »
Lam Kie Yuen Tea
105-107 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (852/2543-7154). At this modest tea store in Sheung Wan, you can sample the cream of China’s teas and learn how to brew them properly, first rinsing the leaves and inhaling their aroma, then steeping them repeatedly, each cup revealing a different side of the tea’s character. The store sells several grades of green, oolong, black, and white teas, from moderately priced second-grade tea to the finest Imperial Crown Grade, made from the first flush of the spring harvest.
Monsieur Chatte Grande Saveurs de France
121 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (852/3105-8077). If you ever start to forget that Hong Kong was a British colony, and that its residents are accustomed not just to the finest Chinese food but also to the finest Western delicacies, head over to this three-story cheese and wine shop that carries a wide selection of oils, pastas, confits, and French condiments. Chat with the owner to find out which raw-milk cheeses he’s recently received, or order a sandwich or a small quiche to eat in the quiet third-floor lounge.
Man Mo Temple
124-126 Hollywood Road near Ladder Street, Central, Hong Kong. One of the oldest temples in Hong Kong, the Man Mo (Civil and Military) Temple is dedicated to two gods: Man Cheong, the god of literature, and Mo Tai, the god of war. Inside, conical spirals of burning incense crowd the ceiling, and locals leave offerings of fruit or lighted candles.
Hong Kong Museum of Tea Ware
10 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong (inside Hong Kong Park) (852/2869-0690). In an elegant colonial building nestled within Hong Kong Park, this museum is a trove of information about the fine art and history China’s tea ware. You can browse the collections of centuries-old teapots, watch videos of the Gong Fu Cha tea ceremony and of an artisan handcrafting a precious yixing teapot, and buy replicas as well as modern designs, at surprisingly reasonable prices.
If you’re lucky enough to have a clear day in Hong Kong, ride a glass-topped cable car up the cliff from Hong Kong Park and enjoy peerless views of the city and of the south of Hong Kong island, a verdant, unpopulated counterpoint to the urban bustle. Be sure to buy the combined Peak Tram and Sky Pass ticket–you’ll need both–and persevere through the five-level gauntlet of curio shops to get to the viewing deck. Victoria Peak, 33 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong; tel: 852/2522-0922
555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon (852/3552-3388). Rates: $150–$420. This boutique hotel, which displays the work of local artists in its lobby and hallways, is the hipper sister of the Langham in Tsim Sha Tsui, reflecting the Mong Kok neighborhood’s youthful vibe and bustling street life.
_ 19-21 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (852/2734-3777). Rates: $125-$360._ This comfortable, affordable hotel offers a business- and family-friendly option in Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood among some of the city’s best shopping areas and directly across the harbor from Hong Kong’s Central district.
5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong (852/2522-0111). Rates: $360–$1,200. This luxurious hotel, located in the city’s Central district among high-end shopping malls, offers rooms that are larger than most Hong Kong residents’ apartments and suites that rival the city’s most expensive flats.
8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (852/2375-1133). Rates: $160-$510. A popular boutique hotel in Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui district, this relaxing option is a quick walk from the ferry terminal, to the south, and Kowloon Park, to the north.