“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust.
Nothing inspires and informs design more than travel.
The third leg of my trip to Asia with my mom last year landed me back in Hong Kong where I again had terrific tour guides. My brother and sis-in-law live there with their triplets. This former British colony is an intense and vibrant city, global financial hub, and a major shipping port. Also noted, it is a major shopping destination – a note not wasted on me! Famed for bespoke tailors and street night markets, it’s skyline is studded with skyscrapers – some distinctive such as I.M. Pei’s Bank of China.
Looking out from my brother’s office showcases the view across Victoria Harbour to Kolwoon (not seen here). We met here the first day before heading out for dim sum.
Located in City Hall, the line-up looked daunting at Maxim’s Palace, but once inside we saw a cavernous unending array of tables and traditional dim sum carts capable of hosting crowds of locals and tourists.
We took a ferry across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon on a shopping expedition. Good thing I went with my mom and my brother to keep me in check!
With only four days to sight see, they were action packed. We took a ferry over to Lamma Island, a fishing village famous for seafood. Below, a quick shot from the ferry.
Approaching the village on the ferry.
Restaurants perched above the bay on stilts offer diners an excellent array of seafood served alfresco with stunning views of the sea. Fresh chilli crab, garlic prawns, squid, and steamed fish with ginger and spring onions are a few of the local favourites served.
Back in Hong Kong, double decker buses were a vestige of leftover British influence. We took all forms of transportation to get around – and there were many options! Buses, subways, ferries, elevators up the mountain and yes, double decker buses.
One of the most memorable was the bus up to “the Peak”.
It was Chinese New Year! We should have anticipated the crowds but they didn’t detract from the amazing view of an incredibly dense array of skyscrapers dwarfed by the elevation.
We ate at “Bubba Gumps”, a favourite with the kids and then caught the night scape before descending to the city below. The I.M. Pei structure is distinguished at night by the X light structure visible from any angle.
The next day my sis-in-law took us on a bus tour around to the other side of the the island to a village called Stanley. Known for housing a large expat colony, it boasted an esplanade and a local market where we did some shopping (read a lot!)
Things to do when visiting Hong Kong:
Dim Sum at Maxim’s Palace at City Hall offers the quintessential Hong Kong dim sum experience. It’s noisy and cheerful and it takes place in a huge kitschy hall with dragon decorations and hundreds of locals in City Hall. A dizzying assortment of dim sum is paraded on trolleys the old-fashioned way.
The peak. Make sure you visit the peak while you are there to take in the view of the vast cityscape of towering condos and office buildings along with the view across the bay to Kowloon.
Stanley, promenade and market. An expat village on the far side of Hong Kong Island, this scenic seaside village was a great outing. It is a scenic forty minute bus ride from Central. Once a quaint fishing village, I am told this seaside town is popular with moneyed locals. It hosts a string of restaurants and bars along its waterfront promenade and has beaches and a local market for those in search of some Asian treasures to bring home.