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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To Hong Kong With Melinda Zeman

You can’t think of Hong Kong without thinking of skyscrapers and epic night markets, but beyond the city’s frenetic facade there’s so much more to explore.

Melinda Zeman, the contemporary fine jeweller of the moment and Founder of Boochier, has called Hong Kong home since she was five years old. “It’s a multicultural melting pot in a big, dense city with the most incredible beaches and hikes only twenty minutes from the centre. What more can you ask for?”, Melinda adds.

Here’s a rundown of all you need to know about Hong Kong, according to Melinda Zeman.


Essential items to pack?

A lightweight jacket or cardigan for the air conditioning. Flip flops and a swimsuit for a beautiful day out on a boat or the beach. Hiking shoes for the most beautiful hikes, and a feel-good outfit for an evening at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants.

The best time to visit Hong Kong is…

October to November, because the weather is perfect. The skies are blue, it’s not too hot, and it seldom rains.

Our first pitstop should be… 

Summer Palace at the Shangri-La for authentic dim sum.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is… 

Hands down, Rosewood Hong Kong.

For an early morning workout head to…

The Peak for a sunrise hike. The views will take your breath away – it’s an absolute must-see.

Where should we go for breakfast?

Little Cove Espresso at Sai Kung Pier before jumping on a boat headed to Big Wave Bay: one of the most magnificent beaches in Hong Kong.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

You can’t go wrong with the weekend brunch at the Ritz Carlton.

And for dinner with friends?

Yardbird: it has the best cocktails and great food.

 

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A must-try spot for date night? 

I love MONO right now. It’s an intimate contemporary French restaurant. There is such attention to every detail: from the décor, to the ingredients, to the storytelling of the earthenware. It’s a true experience that goes beyond the amazing food.

Your favourite restaurant…

Budget: I would suggest taking a boat to Lamma Island. They have seafood restaurants there where you can choose (straight from the tanks) from a wide selection of fish and shellfish. You can then hike around the island to burn off the calories.

Blow out: I would choose Tate Dining Room. Chef Vicky Lau is a friend of mine and I am constantly inspired by her innovation and creativity. Her food looks stunning, but tastes even better. The restaurant serves French food with a Chinese twist, and never fails to surprise me.

Where should we head post-dinner?

I would recommend Faye in Lan Kwai Fong. It has a beautiful rooftop bar overlooking the city if you want a relaxed evening; however, if you are up for a wild night out, they have a club downstairs where you can dance ’til the early morning.

The best place for people watching… 

Any of the restaurants at The Pulse in Repulse Bay.

 

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The culture spot to rave about…

I would recommend driving out to Lantau Island where they have the Tian Tan Buddha statue and the Po Lin Monastery. There is also the Tai O fishing village, which is reminiscent of Hong Kong in the 90s.

The best place to treat yourself is… 

The Asaya spa at the Rosewood. They have lodges you can book to fully immerse yourself in a wellness day or weekend.

For great shopping head to…

Causeway Bay – you’ll find every international brand under the sun, but also a collection of local brands too.

Your favourite neighbourhood(s)…

I love the south side. You can head to Stanley for a walk through the market – they have a lot of cute souvenirs you can buy. There are also shops that sell beautiful embroidered tablecloths. You can stop at one of the many cafés for an al-fresco lunch and then head to the Repulse Bay beach for the rest of the day.

 

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For the best views head to…

Drinks at Carlyle & Co., overlooking the harbour. The view of the city by night is absolutely magnificent.

For a change of pace try… 

The Dragon’s Back walk. It’s a stunning three-hour long hike and you end up at a beautiful beach. It’s a breath of fresh air, away from the busy skyscraper-lined city. You get an unobstructed view of Shek O Beach, with all the incredible houses and properties. It’s a total escape from the city and almost feels like you could be anywhere else in the world. It’s the most beautiful place to be when the weather is good.

Great day trips include…

Hong Kong Dolphin Tour, if you are feeling adventurous (and don’t get sea sick!). I think this embodies how unique of a city Hong Kong is. On the surface it’s a concrete jungle, but there is so much to discover below the surface. Hong Kong has an extremely vibrant wildlife scene and is home to the pink dolphin. There are so many amazing species of birds, snakes, and other four-legged creatures that are native to Hong Kong.

 

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How should we spend the final day of our trip?

Pack a picnic and spend a day on a boat in Sai Kung.

What’s your Hong Kong secret? 

Anything more than a 15-minute drive in Hong Kong is considered a serious schlep! We are spoilt when it comes to convenience.

In three words, Hong Kong is… 

Full of surprises!

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