28th May 2012
Location LOCATION: Hong Kong

1. The view of Hong Kong Central from our room at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and the bustling streets below / 2. Racing through airports at 1am in the morning and waking up to a rainbow breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong / 3. Complete with pork dumplings, dragon fruit and English breakfast tea. Not quite sure if this combination of flavors works for everyone but strangely enough I liked it? / 4. Our suite at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. I would happily take this space and place it anywhere in the world to live in. It had everything we needed, complete with matching slippers, robes and the most comfortable bed I have ever experienced. Oh, and the chocolate bar downstairs too / 5. Shopping in Times Square in Causeway Bay. Here I went a little crazy at H&M, G2000 (kind of like a more corporate and preppy version of Zara) and Sasa (an affordable make-up store). This is also home to consignment stores who sell second hand bags like Celine, Hermes and Chanel but they’re still quite expensive / 6. Discovering quirky boutiques like Voulez Vouz in the backstreets of Causeway Bay and resisting the urge to stuff my suitcase with cute Asian cats, socks and stationary. Life in general is so much cuter in Asia / 7. A much needed time out from shopping at the Lane Crawford and Joyce outlets in Ape Lei Cheu. Crazy to think you can be in the bustling CBD one moment and only 15 minutes later you can be sitting by the ocean, watching old fishermen and wiggling your toes over the sea / 8. The Lane Crawford and Joyce outlets (the equivalent to David Jones and Belinda in Australia) – a must see for any serious shopper. Here you can find up to 50-70% off amazing designers like Celine, Balenciaga, Prada, Alexander McQueen, Chloe, Givenchy. I can’t even begin to explain. Unfortunately photos are banned in these stores but I did manage to take a photo of what I came home with – a pair of Sergio Rossi Mermaid Heels I got for 50% off. You can also visit the Prada and Miu Miu outlet just around the corner which is called ‘Space Warehouse’ / 9. Experiencing the mesmerizing food art menu by Uwe Opocensky at the Michelin-Starred Mandarin Grill & Bar. This was dessert and made completely from chocolate, which took 5 minutes to construct by the chef in front of us. Even the picture frame, paint brushes and crayons were edible so make sure you leave plenty of room for dessert / 10. Riding the longest escalator in the world and wandering the backstreets of the SoHo district. Here you’ll find cute boutiques, fake designer goods and delicious restaurants to enjoy with the family or bars with plenty of vibe for a night out with friends. Lan Kwai Fong had a good nightlife vibe too / 11. Shopping in Causeway Bay at Island Beverly Centre. Easily my favourite shopping mall which was full of pretty, feminine and extremely affordable clothes for the younger market, with a whole store dedicated to adorable jewelry and accessories. Just make sure you know your sizing as most of the stores don’t let you try on the clothes, and also make sure you leave your boyfriend outside as it’s all womenswear and they get bored pretty quickly. Sorry Luke. Clothes are priced between $20-$90 so make sure you go in with a game plan otherwise you may not come out alive. Seriously / 12. Catching the ferry across Victoria Harbor for dinner at Hu Tong, an incredible restaurant overlooking the harbor where we watched the 8pm laser show that’s on every night. This was followed by cocktails the floor above at Aqua Luna, a chic and sophisticated bar with a 360 degree view of the city below / 13. Flowers and pastel buildings on our way to The Peak. Such a beautiful view of Hong Kong and the perfect place to take in just how big this city is / 14. Exploring Central Hong Kong and watching traffic jams from the overhead walkways between the IFC and the Landmark Shopping Malls. Here you’ll find the mainstream stores like Zara, and also the high-end designer boutiques like Chanel, Prada and Celine / 15. Curling up in a ball after a long day of sight-seeing and saying goodnight to this beautiful city

Finally! A chance to upload my Hong Kong Photo Diary in an order I’m somewhat happy with. It was too hard to post these photos without naming the sights, shopping spots and restaurants in between so I hope this makes it easier for you all.

I actually have so many more photos to share but I didn’t want to over do it, nor exceed your data allowance! We only scratched the surface of what Hong Kong had to offer and I ran out of time to visit more shopping destinations like Star Street and the Shueng Wan and Noho area, which is home to many up and coming designers. I could have done a whole post dedicated purely to the food we had here, but I’m sure there’s only so many photos of dumplings one can handle.

In no particular order a special thank you goes out to Miryana, Rainbow, Nina, Chloe, Janet, Emily, Belinda and Karen Tam for taking care of us and allowing me to visit a place that’s been on my bucket list for years. Hoping to head back over very soon but first I need to start planning my trip to New York again!

Photos by Luke Shadbolt and me