Hong Kong has the new Kai Tak World Class Cruise Facility, making it a wonderful cruise port for many cruise lines. The Star Cruises’ largest Asian vessel, the SuperStar Virgo is based in Hong Hong and sails from the port to Taichung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Sanya in Hainan, China, or Halong Bay in Vietnam. The Celebrity Millennium offers a 14-Night Southbound Asian Allure Cruise from Hong Kong to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, then Bangkok,Thailand to Singapore.
Princess cruises has their Diamond Princess sailing on six night cruises from Hong Kong to Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore. Before of after your cruise passengers like to stay a few nights at the newly renovated Mandarin Oriental. The hotel spent $150 million to renovate its 501 guestrooms, 10 restaurants, and numerous public spaces, as well as to construct the Mandarin Spa. Now there are 71 individually-designed suites and 430 guest rooms with either exciting city or lovely harbor views.
About 200 meters from the Mandarin Oriental is its sister, The Landmark Hotel. The Landmark offers an exquisite contemporary design with oversized rooms.The sister Landmark hotel offers 113 large guest rooms and has Amber, a two Michelin star restaurant- The Amber. The Amber is offering black truffle from Tasmania. The “Black Diamonds” creations by Chef Richard Ekkebus are paired with premium wines selected from traditional wine regions in France to enhance the taste.
Within the last five years the art and wine world have made a big introduction into Hong Kong. “During art auctions, the airport runs out of space for all the private jets,” shared Jonas Schuermann, General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong has become a city filled with stunning artwork in all of the galleries.” Hong Kong is very also very GREEN with approximately 3/4 of Hong Kong is rural, comprising of 24 country parks, scenic hills, woodlands, reservoirs and coastline easily accessible from the city. The concierge team at the Mandarin Oriental can steer guests to the best walking and hiking trails.
The cuisine in Hong Kong ranges from rooftop bars to Michelin starred restaurants. There are now 7000 restaurants and bars located within blocks of the Mandarin Oriental. At the Mandarin Oriental, 80% of the patrons in the ten restaurants are locals in Hong Kong. They enjoy dining at the Michelin starred restaurants from legendary French chef Pierre Gagnaire at Pierre and Mandarin Grill +Bar serving classic grill dishes and seafood. Schuermann mentioned that Executive British Chef and television star Gordon Ramsay is opening a Bread Street Kitchen restaurant in Hong Kong this coming September. Bread Street Kitchen opens in the Hotel LKF by Rhombus near to where Jamie Oliver is expected to open an Italian restaurant. According to a press release, Bread Street Kitchen, which serves “British European” food.
While in Hong Kong visit the following 5 attractions: 1.Visit The Peak. It’s the highest point on Hong Kong Island and has been the city’s most exclusive neighborhood since colonial times. The views are of the world’s most spectacular cityscapes. The Peak Tram became the first cable funicular in Asia in 1888 and remains one of the steepest and oldest cable railroads in the world. An average of over 11,000 people ride the Peak Tram every day or more than 4 million annually.The opening and closing scenes of the 1955 movie Soldier of Fortune, starring Clark Gable, were filmed in the Peak Tram.
2. Shop at Ladies Market – It gets its name from the huge amount of clothing and accessories on sale for women of all ages. With over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs, the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street provides a stretch where you can haggle the price. Watches, cosmetics, bags, home furnishings, CDs and trinkets are also for sale.
3. The Wong Tai Sin Temple’s claim to ‘make every wish come true upon request’ might have something to do with its popularity. It is home to three religions – Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Its natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it as much a scenic attraction as an important religious centre.
4. Temple Street Night Market – In the evening, when the sun goes down, the traders lay out their wares and the opera singers and fortune tellers begin to emerge. Named after a Tin Hau temple located in the center, the place is steeped in local atmosphere. It has served as the backdrop to many a memorable movies. Nearest Metro stop: Jordan or Yau Ma Tei.
5. Lin Heung Tea House – Try the lotus paste buns or the glutinous rice dumplings. 160-164 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; 852-2544-4556.
5 Fun Hong Kong Facts:
1. In 2005 Hong Kong Disneyland officially opened its gates. It’s the third Disney theme park outside the US and the first in China.
2. Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world. There are 8,000 buildings that have more than 14 floors. That is almost double that of New York City.
3. The British government colonized Hong Kong in 1841 during the first Opium War (1839-43). It was handed back to China in 1997.
4. Mongkok is one of the most popular street food destinations in Hong Kong with locals and visitors. It’s a unique culinary experience with stalls on pedestrian sidewalks offering cooked meat, vegetables, noodles and cut fresh fruits.
5. Hong Kong is composed of more than 200 islands.
To learn more about Hong Kong go to http://www.discoverhongkong.com. To learn more about the Mandarin Oriental http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong/.
This article was published in the October issue of Not Born Yesterday.