Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Hong Kong at Christmas time

Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:23pm EST
 
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By James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - Reknowned for fine dining, bountiful shopping and buzzing nightlife, the financial hub and former British colony of Hong Kong is also a good place to soak up some festive sights, Asian style.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors make the most of a short stay in Hong Kong.

FRIDAY

6 p.m. - Drinks in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's Captain's Bar (www.mandarinoriental.com). A favorite with the city's movers and shakers, the hotel evokes the city's British colonial past before its historic 1997 handover to Chinese rule. Sink into a plush leather sofa in the wood-paneled bar and savor the Anglo-Oriental ambience.

8 p.m. - Dinner at Yung Kee (www.yungkee.com.hk). One of the finest Cantonese restaurants in the world, it recently picked up one Michelin star in a new guide on Hong Kong and neighboring Macau. Its roast goose is a culinary institution and reasonably priced, served with a side dish of ultra-smooth thousand-year old egg and pickled ginger. Fans of the 66-year-old restaurant include Hong Kong's last governor Chris Patten.

11 p.m. - Take a two-minute stroll up to nightlife hub, Lan Kwai Fong. There, the city's burned-out workaholics let loose in a pulsing knot of bars, clubs and restaurants. Nearby Wanchai -- the legendary haunt of Richard Mason's fictional Suzie Wong -- comes into its own at night, with a slightly seedy edge. For a quieter evening, head west along the world's longest covered escalator to Soho's intimate bars and restaurants, which snake up narrow lanes and ancient stone steps.

SATURDAY

7 a.m. - Head up to the peak of Hong Kong island early. Stroll through Hong Kong park in Admiralty to the peak tram stop in St. John's Building (www.thepeak.com.hk). This steep and historic funicular, built in 1888, carries visitors up to Victoria Peak. Take in the clear, crisp winter views of the city's countless skyscrapers rolling down to the sea.   Continued...

 
<p>Office buildings in Central, Hong Kong are lit up at night October 20, 2008. REUTERS/Woody Wu</p>