STANLEY MARKET, STANLEY, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Located in the South East of Hong Kong Island is an area called Stanley. Stanley is a popular destination for tourists and features great beaches such as Repulse Bay. The journey to Stanley involves hair raising tight turns that feel as though they were precariously built along the side of a mountain. Several times during the ride, I felt as though we would hit a car traveling in the other direction or careen off the side of the cliff.
Upon arrival in Stanley, the bus drops you off in the bus depot. Just across the street is a street that leads you down toward various shops and Stanley Market. Stanley Market is the most upscale market in Hong Kong. The goods being sold here are more legitimate and prices are rarely negotiable. The market goes in various directions and covers a good area. After walking through the market, one finds their way to the ocean and created with a walkway that winds its way around the bay. Along this walkway are various restaurants that all offer outdoor seating looking out over the ocean. At the far end, is a building decorated with greek columns, this building houses a few restaurants as well as the maritime museum. If you continue to walk past this building there is a smaller walkway that leads to a small temple that sits on the side of a cliff. Stanley is a great place to visit on a sunny day. June is also a great time to go, as the dragon boat races occur here.
SOHO, CENTRAL, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Nestled within the dense clustering of restaurants in SOHO is a small restaurant called Nepal. As its name would suggest it features cuisine from Nepal. The first time I ate here was the first time that I had ever had Nepalese Food, and it is by far my favorite restaurant in SOHO. All of the food here is made fresh and it features a wide variety of flavors. For those people that are unaware, Nepalese food is very similar to Indian food, in that it features various curries and BBQ’d meats. As with most places in SOHO the prices of the food here is moderately expensive, the menu is also ala carte.
I have sampled various meals here and many of the meals can be very spicy. However, I have found that the portions of many of the curries are small. The BBQ dishes feature larger portion sizes. One of the features of the menu is the dishes are made from the home grown chili garden, these dishes definitely pack a punch and I do not recommend them to anyone who does not like spicy food.
Nepal also features an extensive wine list and drink menu.One drink worth trying is their Nepal Ice Beer. This is the only place that I have been able to find this beer and it features a great flavor and goes well with any meal you order. Another feature on the menu worth trying is the Saffron rice and any of the various types of nan bread.
Hong Kong, SAR, China – Hong Kong Beer is one of the few beers brewed locally in Hong Kong. Whenever I travel, I make a personal goal of myself to try as many locally produced beers of the country I am visiting. In Hong Kong there are few locally produced micro-brews, but one of them is Hong Kong Beer. I have only been able to find this beer at two restaurants in SOHO.
Hong Kong Beer is a lager and is brewed by the Hong Kong Beer Company. It features a strong bitter flavor with an amber color. It is also 4.7% alcohol by volume. I highly recommend this beer as it is refreshing. I also recommend that this beer be served in a glass and cold. One of the locations that I have found it is as Mostaccioli Brothers (Mo’s Bros) restaurant in SOHO. Hong Kong Beer is sold for 19 HKD (approximately $2.38 USD) at Mo’s Bros.
SOHO, CENTRAL, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Nestled underneath and around the mid-level escalators in Central, Hong Kong is SOHO. This escalator is the largest outdoor escalator in the world. SOHO, which stands for South of Hollywood, is a nightlife district, which features restaurants with eclectic cuisines from around the world. This place is comprised of mainly two streets filled with restaurants, however, there are also many side streets that also house a few clubs. I have eaten here numerous times and I can honestly say that any place you eat here will taste amazing. The restaurants here are moderately expensive but well worth the price.
SOHO also has a great selection of pubs, each with a variety of different beer selections. It is not abnormal to see restaurants sharing beers or liquor with one another. Starting at 3PM and occasionally earlier, SOHO experiences happy hour, which can involve buy one get one free drinks or half priced drinks. SOHO is a great area to do a pub crawl and to experience various types of beers.
CENTRAL, Hong Kong, SAR, China- Hong Kong is a shoppers paradise. There is never a shortage of high end shops. It is definitely not uncommon to look down a street and see several rolex stores. The top types of merchandise include sunglasses, watches, and clothes. The Landmark, located within the same building as the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is a mall that is full of high end shopping boutiques. Its definitely worth walking through.
Outside of the Landmark is a small plaque that designates where the old harbor used to stand.
TSIM SHA TSUI, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Hong Kong is a great city and it is easy to get around. Between the MTR system and the numerous cabs and buses, there is never a shortage of public transportation. Another, more classical type of transportation that exists is the Star Ferry. The Star Ferry is a historical landmark of Hong Kong. It ferries people between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central or between Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai. The boat is a double-decker ferry and it runs all day, departing either side every ten minutes. The price of a ticket is 2.5 HKD (approximately $0.31 USD). The entire ride takes about five minutes. This is definitely a trip that is worth taking, even though it is very short.
TSIM SHA TSUI, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Hong Kong has a variety of museums, that inform visitors of the storied history of Hong Kong. In my option there are two must see museums in Hong Kong. The first is the Hong Kong Art Museum, which features, art from China as well as visiting exhibits. The Hong Kong Art Museum is located near the Tsim Sha Tsui harbor along the Avenue of Stars. The art ranges from ancient to modern, focusing mostly on calligraphy and pottery. When I went the visiting art exhibit featured Picasso. The museum is relatively small and everything can be seen in about 1.5 hours. There are four floors in total.
For all museums are relatively cheap. There is also a student discount, costing only 5 HKD (approximately $0.62 USD). May 19th-20th was Hong Kong Museum Appreciation Day, which featured free admission to the museum.
The second museum is the Hong Kong history museum. This museum details the history of Hong Kong from prehistoric times until modern times, with great interactive exhibits.
JUMBO KINGDOM, ABERDEEN HARBOR, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Situated in the middle of Aberdeen harbor is the world-famous floating restaurant known as Jumbo Kingdom. This boat is also one of the staples of Hong Kong. It has four different floors each housing a different restaurant. Upon arrival in Aberdeen this was my first stop. There are two ways of reaching the restaurant and both are by ferry service. One of the boats leaves from the Aberdeen Promenade and it is marked by a large archway that simply says “Jumbo” on it. The second ferry departs from the Shum Wan Pier near the Aberdeen Marina Club. The ferries are constantly shuttling people between the mainland and the restaurant and depart approximately every five minutes. After a quick five minute boat trip, you arrive at the restaurant. Along the way, make sure to take in the numerous fishing vessels that clutter the harbor and are reminiscent of Aberdeen’s past. The floating restaurant is extremely popular with both tourists and locals.
Each restaurant is fairly large and has a good number of seats available. The first three restaurants serve various types of Chinese food. One specializes in Dim Sum. The third restaurant is fairly expensive. The restaurant located on the top of the restaurant is called Top Deck, this is where I ate. Upon first entering the boat, I found the decorations within the floating restaurant to be extremely ornate. Yet the Top Deck restaurant had an extremely laid back feel. I went on a Sunday, which is when the Top Deck holds their brunch buffet. For $440 HKD (approximately $55 USD), you get all you can eat from the buffet until they close. You also receive your choice of sparkling wine, champagne, rosé, or various juices. Whichever drink you choose, you will receive unlimited refills, however, any other drink you order, you will be forced to pay additionally by the glass. While this may seem expensive for a student living on a budget, it is definitely worth checking out at least once.
The food available here ranged from various cuisines. I stuck with breakfast foods. I started with the eggs Benedict and ham with a side of naan bread, unlimited bacon, a Peking duck burrito, and the lamb. This food was unbelievable, it was also the first time that I have had eggs in four months, and bacon has never tasted so good. For my second helping, I again went with the eggs Benedict, but I also piled on some of the asian cuisine offered. They had fresh hand rolled sushi and sashimi, as well as all you could eat oysters on the half shell. There were many other aspects to the raw bar, including queen crab legs and New Zealand mussels. There was also a desert bar with fresh made crepes. Aside from the food, the Top Deck also had a full bar, serving jumbo sized drinks. I honestly cannot recommend this restaurant enough, everything I had was delicious and it was definitely worth the price.
The Top Deck operating hours:
Tuesday – Friday:
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays:
11AM- til late
You can find this restaurant by taking bus #70 from exchange square three in central (exit D out of the Hong Kong station). Get off of bus #70 at the Aberdeen promenade and walk along the water until you reach the archway that says Jumbo.
Middle of Aberdeen harbor
SAI KUNG, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Last weekend, a good number of our exchanged group decided to rent a boat for the day. This turned into a day long party and allowed us to sail to a beach in the New Territories. We rented from Standard Boat. They have a large fleet of boats for rental and very reasonable prices. We did this as a way to celebrate the end of the semester before everyone got too involved with finals and started leaving a various times. It made for a great day and allowed us to see other parts of Hong Kong that we wouldn’t normally see. Personally I was not a fan of the people who owned our boat, but I guess it also isn’t easy having a boat full of college aged students partying all day.
ABERDEEN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Located at the southern end of Hong Kong island, Aberdeen was once a fishing village. Today, like most of Hong Kong, it is dwarfed by newly built high rises and other buildings. It is slowly becoming an part of history. The village of Aberdeen is built along the water. Many of the people here used to live on their boats and use fishing as a way of life. To this day there are still many people living here that fish. This is evidenced by the number of fishing boats that are located in the harbor. The people that used to live and fish in Aberdeen used to almost never leave the their boats for their entire life.
Aside from the a nice stroll along the harbor promenade, Aberdeen is home too a couple of tourist features. The first is Jumbo Kingdom or the Jumbo Floating Restaurant (review to come later). There is also a temple located near the harbor as well as shopping area in Aberdeen square. Older women are also walking about the promenade offering tours of the harbors on sampans. The prices of these tours will vary based on how busy the area is on a given day. I was offered a ride for $40 HKD (approximately $5 USD).