Hong Kong: Rising Higher

Why you should visit this megalopolis now.

Hong Kong: Rising Higher

Hong Kong is setting new standards for megalopolis living.

Photo by Todd Dacquisto/Index Stock

The Year of the Dragon, which starts January 23, also marks the 15-year anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China. The gleaming skyline makes any Western city seem small. Hong Kong’s twisting streets are crammed with fusion restaurants and busy food stalls. Colonial apartment buildings stand beside shiny steel-and-glass high-rises. Today, the city sets a new standard for megalopolis living.

Hong Kong International Art Fair

The Hong Kong International Art Fair (May 17 through 20) has gained prestige, and features installations by leading artists. Last year’s giant ketchup bottle, shown, was by Los Angeles’ Paul McCarthy.

Sam’s Tailor

Since 1957, Sam’s Tailor has been a favorite stop for visiting royalty, prime ministers, and rock stars. The largest order ever received? Ten jackets, 48 suits, and 168 shirts. The flashiest? Coats with national flag–inspired silk linings.

Lei Yue Mun Seafood Stalls

Lei Yue Mun Seafood Stalls

Lei Yue Mun Seafood Stalls

Hong Kong is a seafood town, and nowhere is this more evident than in the village Lei Yue Mun (“Carp Gate”). At one of the fish tank stalls along Praya or Hoi Pong Roads, you can buy your choice of live cuttlefish, spider crabs, or sea snails. Any of the restaurants (consider Hoi King Seafood) will prepare your purchase to order.

Hong Kong Hikes

Roughly three-quarters of Hong Kong is undeveloped land. The prime hike is the New Territories’ 62-mile MacLehose Trail, which skims gorgeous beaches and climbs to Hong Kong’s highest peak, Tai Mo Shan (3,140 feet). The trail is divided into 10 sections, and campsites are set up along the way. Be on the lookout for wild boar, rhesus monkeys, and barking deer

>>Next: The AFAR Guide to Hong Kong

I’m a traveler, writer, and travel writer, born and based in New York.
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