By Chris K
- we reveal the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant
- what else can you do in Hong Kong? That’s right – shop
- there’s more to our hotel than just amazing food
- find the most incredible view of Hong Kong
- and then beat it with an even better view!
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Yesterday our expectations were changed by a surprising experience in Hong Kong that we didn’t know you could do in such an urbanised, cosmopolitan city. Today, we’re going to throw ourselves into the intensity of Hong Kong’s cuisine and shopping experiences – because when a city does something well, it’s a shame to miss out.
There’s a secret that we don’t want to tell you
You know the place – everyone’s got one. That little cafe or pizzeria, just around the corner, down the alleyway, past the mean-looking bikers (they’re actually really nice), right at the abandoned liquor store – there it is – that hidden place; your secret.
We all have that little place we like to think is our own, and we pass it on in whispers to our friends and family – because we want to share the secret (but not too widely).
Goodness – it might become popular! And then the tourists will come, and the queues will get longer, and it just won’t feel quite the same.
We feel a little bit like that about our first recommendation today. It’s been passed along to us through that grapevine, that circle-of-keeping-awesome-places-to-ourselves, with the implicit bond to “Keep it secret! Keep it safe!”.
But we have to break that bond today. This place is just too good.
And let’s be honest – once CNN Travel covers a place, it isn’t so secret anymore.
The cheapest Michelin Starred restaurant in the world
So here it is.
Tim Ho Wan is not only the world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurant, but also has possibly the best dumplings in the world – and it’s our first stop today.
We’re here at 9:15 AM (yes, that’s in the morning) because the secret is clearly out. The queue starts building before the restaurant opens at 10AM, and we don’t want to get stuck in the rush – there’s too much to do today.
How good are the dumplings at Tim Ho Wan’s?
Tim Ho Wan’s is so good that Lady Iron Chef had this to say;
Can you imagine paying just SGD$12 for top quality dim sum? It’s dirt cheap! Is Tim Ho Wan really worth the hype? Yes, I’ll willingly queue up for their dim sum every time I’m in Hong Kong.
For the full blow-by-blow account of just how amazing Tim Ho Wan restaurant is, read Lady Iron Chef’s amazing Hong Kong article.
Oh, we’re in Mong Kok? I suppose we may as well get some shopping in while we’re here
@everydaydream #5 Check out Mong Kok, a great place to get cheap quality stuff. Clothes, bags, shoes, jewelry, novelty items, etc.
— Gabriele Baljak (@RaineBaljak) January 11, 2013
As our intrepid Hong Kong travel advisor Gabriele mentioned yesterday, Mong Kok is not only the location of those incredible dumplings we just ate in frightening quantities (we don’t feel so good. But they were so tasty!) – Mong Kok is also the home of markets, open day and night.
Shangai local Nick, who makes frequent trips to Hong Kong, had this to say about why Mong Kok markets are so good;
they block the streets off and sell just about anything – clothes, bags, watches, shoes, hats, electronics – and at a fraction of the price of the air conditioned shopping malls in TST.
Personally, we’re suckers for discounted photography equipment, so that’s what we’re looking for – what would you hope to find?
Hong Kong Shopping
Some other options for Hong Kong shopping are;
- the Landmark shopping mall – take at look at their website and be gobsmacked by the assortment of brands
- the Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street, for basically everything
- the Temple Street Night Market, for a display of a typical Chinese market
- the Page One bookstore chain, recommended by the BBC, as “one of Hong Kong’s best selections of art and design magazines and books”
Really – you won’t have to look too hard to find an incredible assortment of shopping options in Hong Kong.
But remember to bargain!
Now find the most beautiful view of Hong Kong
Yesterday we said there were lots of reasons why we chose to stay in the Intercontinental Hong Kong. One of them was obviously the incredible variety and quality of their restaurant offerings. But there was another reason, and today we intend to enjoy it – weather be damned!
That secret is this – a pool with an most incredible view of Hong Kong. Although it’s typically not swimming weather in Hong Kong in January, some days hover around 18 degrees Celsius, and even relaxing by the pool deck is a pleasant experience.
We can’t linger here too long though – there’s somewhere we have to be for sundown.
The cocktails will have to wait.
Or the cocktails can come early. It’s really no problem either way.
That was a pretty good view. But we can do better
That’s what we thought – and then we made it to the top of the The Peak (that’s right – THE Peak).
Just have a look at this spectacular view of Hong Kong. We’re looking down onto this city of seven million people and from up here, it feels like you could walk out onto those skyscrapers.
Can you just imagine how beautiful this would be at sunset…
Wow. That is actually really beautiful. Thankyou, photographer Mike Behnken.
One last tip for Hong Kong
Finally, one last tip from Shanghai local, Nick, who says;
ok….a MUST DO IN HK – take the 2.2HKD Star Ferry from TST to Central. (or vice versa, but I much prefer the TST to Central route). The view is spectacular on the ferry, especially at night. The ferry closes at 11pm.
What. A. Trip.
There aren’t many cities that so effortlessly combine such effortless culture, cuisine, and commerce, as does Hong Kong. There are so many places that we didn’t have time to fit it, we’re going to have to come back. This really is a city you could explore for weeks on end.
Luckily – we’re on an endless vacation. So we’ve got time.
Hong Kong Travel Tweeps to Follow
- Hana R. Alberts – @HK_Magazine editor/writer. Escape Routes columnist.@BBC_Travel blogger. Former Forbesian. Diehard New Yorker.
- Erin and Brett – We’ve traveled 50+ countries on the hunt for good food & wine. Tweets from Erin(@poohstraveler) & Brett(@metsbwd). Erin is Taiwan/Hong Kong Member Coord IFWTWA.
- HK Epicurious – Lazy Food Blogger in Hong Kong.. lately not posting anything much, because I have a job !
- Foodie World – Hong Kong’s guide to good taste.
NEXT TIME we’re in Hong Kong – where should we go? What should we do?
Tell us in the comments, or on Twitter!