Hong Kong is one of those places I’ve always longed to go. I’m forever reading about it’s eclectic mix of Chinese and British culture, but I’ve never actually made it there. The former British colony is a major business hub, an urban playground and a perfect blend of old and new.
To help me prepare for my inevitable visit, I spoke to James, one half of Paper Shades — a brother-sister duo who are out to challenge the status quo on plastic consumption with their eco-friendly sunglasses. He let me in on the local’s secrets of things to do in Hong Kong and what not to miss.
It seems there’s so many things to do in Hong Kong, but what’s one thing that shouldn’t be missed?
“Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung. I’ve been going there since I was a teenager. No explanation needed — don’t question it, just go there.” [Tai Long Wan is a 3km bay on the east coast of the Ski Kung peninsula.]
What about neighbourhoods? There are too many to choose from – where would you spend an afternoon in HK?
Kennedy Town. It’s home and it’s out of the way — a quiet escape from the bustle without going too far. The place still has a bit of an old HK vibe, sea views, great seaside places to hang out as well as good restaurants dotted all over with great variety, from local to European. I recommend taking the tram there – well-paced to give yourself time to take it all in as you go along, watching the city landscape quieten down and pass some cool places whilst you’re at it. Ride the tram to the end of the line.
It’s 3pm and I’m hungry – where would you go?
Food is like clothes, and music – it all depends on my mood. Right now I could kill a Fook Geen style fried rice from Dragon on Bonham Strand, which also serves the second best Cha Siu I’ve ever had. Cha Siu is a standard food in HK and is a good measure for a restaurant. I really like Shanghainese food from places like Paradise Dynasty in Causeway Bay. It’s normally pretty full, so book ahead. You’ve been warned!
Now I’m in need of a good drink – where do you go for one?
Generally, I like to go to hidden, quiet places where you can chat (I know I’m getting old)! I like to hang out at Sense99 on Wellington Street. OMG, I feel like I’m giving up all my trade secrets here! The best cocktail I’ve had in HK was a Passion Fruit Martini with chilli around the brim of the glass from a bar….. that I’ve just decided not to share! [Boo!] But if I want a good night out I will pass Le Jardin in LKF – the place is fun.
OK! One last thing, share a local’s secret…
To navigate busy streets without the annoyance of having to squeeze between the crowds, look down and just walk calmly forward and people seem to just naturally realise you’re not looking where you’re going and they just get out of your way! [Genius!]
Anything else I should know?
Don’t forget your Paper Shades!
About Paper Shades
Paper Shades was setup by brother–sister duo James + Madi, who are out to challenge the status quo on plastic consumption. Plastic is a serious global polluter, and it became an initiative to actively do something about it. Today, Paper Shades has not only given consumers the choice to move away from plastics, but also allowed the sunglasses industry to be more creative in design, whilst reducing the amount of plastics used as well as reducing costs.
The new collection launched on Sparkraise this month (July 2018) at around US$10 a pair and includes free shipping!
Read more about the brand here.
* G I V E A W A Y *
Right now on my Instagram you can WIN a pair of stylish Paper Shades. All you have to do is follow the link, follow both @hilltopsandflipflops and @papershadeshk and tag 2 friends in the comments!
If that’s not enough to ignite your wanderlust, check out this video of HK!