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More specifically, Aberdeen Street Social. Go for lunch and explore the rest of the compound to check out what else is going on. And if you can manage it, try to snag a reservation at the perpetually packed Sohofama , which features a hydroponic cocktail bar and organic mini farm by the patio.

Too much Chinese cuisine? Ozone at the Ritz Carlton. But Ozone—on the th floor of the Ritz Carlton—is perched the highest. Designed by Tokyo firm Wonderwall, Ozone feels incredibly futuristic: think blue and indigo tones, cool lighting, and interesting textural surfaces. Ask to be seated at the observation deck if you want to get the best views—but bring a sweater or a jacket. It gets cold up there. Ozone's futuristic interiors are out of this world. But don't stay indoors. Ask to be seated at the And unlike most bars in the city, they actually have a very respectable selection of classic cocktails and a menu dedicated to a variety of gin and tonics.

Felix at the Peninsula. The Peninsula, after all, is the oldest hotel in Hong Kong. In fact, this Philippe Starck-designed restaurant and bar has been around since before I was of legal drinking age.

How Zagat rates the capital

Head over to Felix's wine bar to take in views of Victoria Harbour and Central's skyline. And although its official address is 16 Ashley Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, you actually have to head up a flight of grungy easy-to-miss stairs on 6 Ichang Street. WoolooMooloo, Wan Chai. But if not, come for drinks that you can enjoy in the open-air deck.

WoolooMooloo's Wan Chai location is the one you want to visit. Linger in the deck for its views and Lane Crawford. Lane Crawford probably has it. IFC Mall.

Hong Kong is teeming with luxury malls. There are stores. Harbour City. Harbour City is a large complex that spans several blocks along Canton Road. And when I say large, I mean confusing. So if you get lost, just look for one of the kiosks. Harbour City's gian complex is home to many designer boutiques—and a Lane Crawford outpost. Pacific Place. Another bastion of luxury, Pacific Place is a ,square-foot dining and shopping hub in Central. But in all honesty, the best part about it is the hi-tech cinema.

The city is home to many express tailors. Just trying to figure out which one to go to can be a pain. The fabric selection is infinitely better.

History of Bemelmans Bar

And the shirts were pre-shrunk and shipped to us within a week. So I can talk about the subject with some authority. But this place is the real deal. The foot massage is almost unbearably painful—but in a good way. Horse races are an integral part of Hong Kong culture. And to leave without watching one would be a shame.

But if you're going to do it, go on a Wednesday when it's fun, loud, and its own kind of crazy. There's always something going on, whether it's a wine event or an Easter celebration. Check out the party and events schedule here.

Expert Tips

You won't regret it. Going to the Wednesday races is a great way to experience Hong Kong culture—and mingle with locals Need restaurant recommendations for your Art Basel Hong Kong visit? I was fortunate to have Jacky and a driver to myself for the day. Jacky's command of the English language and his excellent historical knowledge made the day go by very quickly. The second day was spent with Colin, visiting several Hutongs and eating places. Colin was our guide; displayed good knowledge and again great language skills. In the evening I was again forunate to have a personalized tour with Angela, visiting some of the more unusual eating spots e.

Although I enjoy a variety of foods, these were beyond my desires for culinry adventures. Lastly, I spent the following day with Jacky again, and he and our driver drove to the Mutianyou section of the Great Wall. What an experience! One more item to cross off my "bucket list". We took the chair-lift up, walked for several hours somewhat strenuous and then took the toboggan slide down.


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Don't miss this last part - it was a blast. Overall, a big thanks to Hias for introducing this rookie to Beijing - the guides were terrific and the memories will last a lifetime. After reading all the rave reviews about this tour, my husband and I decided to book the Hutong Eats Tour. At RMB approx. At the very least, we were expecting to try lots of different types of foods that we wouldn't otherwise try on our own and to be totally and completely stuffed by the end of the tour.

So here's what actually happened. We and three other tourists met the tour guide at am. We first went to a somewhat upscale restaurant by one of the lakes and had a sit-down lunch.

St Philip Restaurants

The restaurant had an English menu and was a restaurant tourists would and certainly do go to on their own - thus, the English menu. My husband and I were expecting that there'd be much more food to come later in the afternoon so we ate moderately as did the other participants 5 dishes split between 6 people - the bill probably came to RMB at the most. The guide then took us to three food stands in a nearby hutong where we each got to try a small piece of whatever food was being offered.

At one of the three food stands, the guide served us a yogurt drink in a clay jar which is served everywhere in Beijing. My husband and I had already tried the yogurt on our own the first day we arrived in the city. We finally ended the tour in Nan Lu Guo Xiang at a tea house where we tried some green tea and custard. Nan Lu Guo Xiang is a hutong that's been converted into an upscale, touristy area with trendy shops, bars and restaurants. It's certainly a place tourists would end up on their own especially if they're carrying around any of the major guidebooks.


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  8. Even worse though, my husband and I were still pretty hungry at the end of the tour and, on the way back to our hotel, we stopped in at a restaurant and some food stands where we tried more street food than we had tried during the entire tour. Given all the glowing reviews about this tour, I'm inclined to give the company the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps we just had a bad tour guide. He was extremely nice and friendly and seemed to be genuinely trying, but he had only been giving tours with this company for 1 month, wasn't from Beijing and had never had a group as large as 5 people.

    He frequently referenced a book on Beiing eats which he had with him, and one of the women on the tour seemed to know more about Chinese cuisine, culture and custom than he did. Just walk around Beijing on your own and eat at the stalls where local people are eating.

    Maybe pick up the Beijing Eats book which our guide seemed to be using. Dear Melodyphp, Thank you for your feedback. Our goal is to share the goodness and love for Chinese foods with our guests in a meaningful way. We are very sorry that this was not translated well during your recent walking food tour. If we may, please allow us to tell you a little more about our food walk.

    Our walk takes you through three different hutong scenes. We start off at Shichahai Lake area which is a commercial hutong district. The walk then leads in to a quiet, neighborhood hutong where you travel back into time in the narrow alleyways past hundred-year-old courtyard homes and the local market, patisserie and baker. We end our tour at Nanluoguxiang, a hutong made hip and cool again by young entrepreneurs. Even though there may be some tacky souvenir stalls on this street thankfully no KFC , it is by and large a wonderful exercise by creative small business owners.

    Hong Kong Travel Guide: Where to Eat, Drink, and Shop

    This Bell and Drum Tower neighborhood is part of a preservation project by the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center that aims to protect the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the hutongs. The first restaurant that you dined at is located at the Shichahai Lake District of Beijing. A sanctuary and respite from hectic city life. Beijingers claim this lake district as their playground, and being in the heart of the city, it also attracts many tourists and visitors.

    Lunch was at one of the most loved Hakka restaurants in the city. Ask a local foodie and they will tell you that this is one of the best places to go to for Hakka food. For a local review of this culinary institution, do visit the dianping website.