In order to break up the epic flight, Mr Silver and I decided to stop off in Hong Kong on the way to Oz. I was very excited about the glamourous hotels, restaurants and shops that abounded in Hong Kong so the small region seemed the ideal stop over for us. When we arrived the weather was not on our side. Conditions were cold, foggy and rainy but we not let this dampen our spirits as this was the first stop of our big adventure.
We had chosen to stay in the Intercontinental in Hong Kong, which had a perfect location on the Kowloon waterfront with breathtaking views of the island.
Here’s our room with a view:
The hotel itself has five restaurants and bar options including a Nobu and an Alain Ducasse restaurant. Two of my favourites!
A drink in the bar came first. The bar itself is fabulous with enormous floor to ceiling windows that provide a panoramic view of Victoria harbour. We had hoped to view the symphony of lights, the ‘World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show’ which includes colourful lights, laser beams and searchlights set to music. Unfortunately, with the adverse weather we could barely view the spectacle which was rather disappointing.However, we cheered ourselves up with some drinks, Mr Silver even having a cocktail that supposedly replicated the Hong Kong city lights.
|An impressive view from the bar
As much as I hate passing up the chance of a trying a new Nobu we had chosen to dine at the hotel’s Cantonese restaurant Yan Toh Heen in order to have a more authentic Chinese experience. The restaurant has held one Michelin star for four consecutive years.
|Dining at Yan Toh Heen with views of the harbour
The food was delicious though we were a little unadventurous and stuck more with dishes appealing to a Western palate.
After a 12-hour flight jet lag had set in and were ready for an early night…
Now, I have to just take a moment to praise the breakfast at The Intercontinental. The first meal of the day was served at the Harbourside restaurant, positioned literally right on the harbour edge. I have never seen such a magnificent spread where each item looked so appealing. There was also everything you could imagine from traditional breakfast dishes to pizza to an ice-cream parlour. I tried several different varieties of salmon with freshly baked bread and some of the divine tropical fruits. Mr Silver diversified with a Chinese breakfast of Dim Sum and spare ribs.
|Everything was so pretty!
With the weather as it was and still feeling very jet-lagged we decided a hop on / hop off coach tour would be the best way to see view highlights of Hong Kong.
Wikipedia tells me that Hong Kong is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Macau. Formerly a British colony (Britain transferred the sovereignty in 1997), one can still see a high level of British influence here. The country is East meets West with traditional Chinese culture combining with British influences in terms of law, politics, education. language and food. However, the most obvious signs of British influence are the colonial buildings and streets named after famous British figures, particularly those from Queen Victoria’s reign. Though for me the influence of Britain was seen in my ability to buy a pair of tights at Marks and Spencer…
Another thing that struck me was the very crowded streets. Hong Kong has a land mass of 426 square miles and a population of seven million people, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The high levels of crowding also leaves streets feeling smoggy and polluted.
We chose to hop off the bus at a traditional Chinese tea house for lunch or yum cha (Cantonese for going to ‘drink tea’). Mr Silver and I love the dim sum that we have eaten in London and so wanted the authentic Chinese experience of the tea served in individual portions in steamer baskets.
Again, we chose dishes such as prawns and chicken to suit our Western palates. The authentic Chinese Dim Sum were little parcels of pure deliciousness and lived up to their meaning of touch the heart. We left with big smiles on our faces.
That evening, I had booked a treat for Mr Silver and myself. An hour’s sail aboard the Aqua Luna a traditional Chinese junk ship operating in Victoria harbour.
The ship is owned by the Aqua Restaurant group and is furnished with a plush interior. I settled under a blanket, glass of Sauv in hand ready to set sail while viewing the Hong Kong skyline. Unfortunately visibility was poor and as I snuggled into the plush seat jetlag once again got the better of me and I struggled to keep my eyes open for the whole cruise.
Dinner that evening was the highlight of our trip to Hong Kong as we were heading to Aqua restaurant. The stylish restaurant offers spectacular views of the harbour and skyline (again slightly marred by fog) and serves both Italian and Japanese cuisine. Mr Silver and I had enjoyed the Aqua bar in London and were interested to see how the Hong Kong counterpart compared. As expected the interior was glamourous and ultra modern. We ordered a scrumptious banquet of Japanese fare which you can see below.
Then it was back to our hotel for our final night’s sleep in Hong Kong.
Our time ended in the unique East-meets-West land of Hong Kong and we were ready to board the Qantus plane for our 11-hour flight to Oz. Next stop, Melbourne.