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Frommer's Japan (Frommer's Complete Guides) [Beth Reiber] on cittadelmonte.info * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Frommer's Japan is completely updated. Now a freelance travel writer residing in Lawrence, Kansas, with her two sons, she's the author of several Frommer's guides, including Frommer's Japan and. Frommer's Complete Guides has entries in the series. Matthew Poole Author Erika Lenkert Author (). cover image of Frommer's Japan.
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Exploring what to see and do in Japan can be overwhelming, but Frommer's has the definitive guide on the internet for things to do. Ninjas are spies who were active in Japan from the Kamakura period ( ) to the Edo period (), the time in which samurai ruled the land. Download Free Guides Pdf: Turkey, Thailand, UAE, Singapore, India, Laos, Cambodia, Israel, Japan, Free download Japan travel guide - Frommer's Japan.
Hardly a day goes by that you don't hear something about Japan, whether the subject is trade, travel, cuisine, the arts, or Japanese imports ranging from Sony and Toyota to karaoke and anime. Yet Japan remains something of an enigma to people in the Western world. What best describes this Asian nation? Is it the giant producer of cars and an entire array of sleek electronic goods that compete favorably with the best in the West? Or is it still the land of geisha and bonsai, the punctilious tea ceremony, and the delicate art of flower arrangement?
It features a cool, sleek lobby and a story inner atrium, a concept adapted from the traditional Chinese inner garden. Plants hang down from balconies ringing the soaring space, glass-enclosed elevators glide up the wall, a piano sits on an island in the middle of a pool, and the sound of rushing water adds freshness and coolness to the atmosphere. A wonderful 25m-long 82 ft. The rooms, the most expensive of which have partial harbor views between two buildings, are smartly decorated with a mix of colonial-style and modern furniture and feature a chilled, purified water tap in the bathroom.
Although a slight hike to the nearest MTR subway station about 5 min. Royal Garden 69 Mody Rd. Instead, the Sheraton is undergoing massive renovations that have upgraded its facilities and image and increased its room rates.
Its lobby, previously plagued by overcrowding from locals who used it as a convenient waiting place to meet friends, was moved to the second floor to discourage foot traffic and was updated with a sleek, contemporary look graced by Asian motifs and subdued lighting. Guest rooms, being renovated floor by floor at press time, are comfortable and range from those facing an inner courtyard the cheapest to those facing the harbor with great views.
In between are those that overlook surrounding Tsim Sha Tsui, some of which face Nathan Road and even provide sideways glimpses of the harbor.
Still, located between The Peninsula and InterContinental, it plays second fiddle to both in terms of reputation, class — and, luckily, price. One of the conveniences of staying here is that Pacific Place abounds in very good restaurants, greatly expanding dining options without having to venture far.
Hong Kong Park is also just steps away. I especially like the lighthearted touch of the larger-than-life butterflies and wildflowers on the murals of the massive lobby pillars. In short, a great choice for business or pleasure. Value The story Marriott, which opened in as the first of three hotels at Pacific Place, is overshadowed by the more luxurious Conrad and Island Shangri-La see above and below.
Best of all, its harbor-view rooms are the cheapest of the three, making it a good value. On the downside, rooms facing the harbor are subject to the slight din of traffic; since rates are the same, request a room on a high floor.
More than Viennese chandeliers, lush Tai Ping carpets, artistic flower arrangements, and more than paintings and artworks adorn the hotel. The story atrium, which stretches from the 39th to the 56th floors, features a marvelous story-high Chinese painting, drawn by 40 artists from Beijing and believed to be the largest landscape painting in the world.
Also in the atrium are a private lounge open only to hotel guests and a two-story old-world—style library. The hotel itself is enhanced by the connecting Pacific Place shopping center, with its many options in dining; across the street is Hong Kong Park. Upon arrival, guests are personally escorted to their rooms all of which ring the story atrium by a guest-relations officer, who also explains features of the room.
Rooms here, among the largest in Hong Kong and the largest on Hong Kong Island, face either The Peak or spectacular Victoria Harbour and feature marbletopped desks, Chinese lacquerware TV cabinets, and silk bedspreads. Oversize bathrooms are equipped with two sinks and separate tub and shower areas harbor-view rooms only , bidet, and even jewelry boxes. Fresh flowers and teddy bears placed on pillows during nightly turndown are nice touches. Guests paying rack rates receive such additional services as free transportation from and to the airport, free laundry and dry cleaning throughout their stay, complimentary American or continental breakfast, free local telephone calls, and 6pm late checkout.
Pacific Place, Supreme Court Rd. The guest rooms, located on the 14th to 25th floors, are clean, pleasant, and modern. Although located inland, the best and priciest rooms on higher floors offer good views of the harbor with height limitations in Kowloon now gone, however, due to the relocation of the airport, you can expect that taller buildings will someday eclipse those views. Business travelers usually opt for one of the Corporate Rooms on the top five floors.
Rates include buffet breakfast. Coffee shop; lounge; room service 6: This accommodation has more class and Finds more facilities than most other hotels in this group, making it one of my top picks. Guest rooms are small but welcoming, with all the basic creature comforts. I especially like the innovatively designed and highest-priced deluxe rooms, with curved floor-to-ceiling windows giving views of a distant harbor. The Kowloon is a modern glass-walled structure right behind The Peninsula; they are both under the same management.
I also like the fact that the lobby has a computerized street directory for consulates, points of interest, and other addresses, with a printout in both English and Chinese to instruct taxi drivers. The hotel also has a very good pizzeria.
Every room boasts an interactive telecenter a multisystem TV linked to a central computer , which allows access to such information as up-to-the-minute flight details, incoming messages, and hotel bills; it also contains video games and provides access to the Internet. The telecenter, with word-processing capability, also interfaces with in-room fax machines that double as printers; each has its own private number and even its own personalized e-mail address. Finally, guests can also retrieve voice-mail messages electronically from outside the hotel, and best of all, Internet access is free.
The downside: Park Hotel Built in on what was once a waterfront but now is far inland, the Park Hotel has long been one of the bestknown medium-priced hotels in Kowloon.
The best rooms, with spacious bathrooms, are on the upper floors of the floor property; the lower floors can be noisy, especially those facing the street. The location, on the border between Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsim Sha Tsui East, across from the Science Museum and Museum of History, is not as convenient as that of many other hotels in this category, though it is within walking distance of the MTR about 6 min.
Kids This hotel, at the northern end of Tsim Sha Tsui, towers 17 stories above a six-level shopping complex and the MTR Jordan station, providing easy and direct access to the rest of Hong Kong. About a minute walk from the Star Ferry and only minutes from the Temple Street Night Market, Jade Market, and a Tin Hau temple, it offers smartly decorated rooms, with sleek furniture, artwork, and Japanese moving panels framing the windows.
The rates are based on the view and height, with the cheapest rooms on lower floors. If possible, avoid those facing the back and nondescript buildings.
Although the hotel itself has only a coffee shop and a bar, there are several other restaurants within the shopping complex. Another plus is the 18m-long 60 ft.
Families take note: Restaurant coffee shop ; bar; outdoor pool; exercise room; tour desk; limousine service; business center open 24 hr.
Value Regal Kowloon Hotel The story Regal Kowloon offers more services and is more attractive than most hotels in its price range, with a lobby that blends East and West with reproduction 18th-century French antiques and Louis XV—style furniture standing alongside Chinese works of art. Recent renovations have brought an unfortunate choice in hallway carpeting, and the guest rooms, all soundproof, are rather middle of the road but perfectly adequate, with the exception of good bedside reading lights.
The cheapest rooms face another building, provide no view whatsoever, and tend to be dark. The more expensive rooms face a garden; some even have a glimpse of the harbor between buildings.
Business travelers may opt for Regal Class rooms, while Regal Club executive floors go a step further with added services and amenities. In addition, the hotel makes up for its out-of-the-way location with free shuttle service to Central; a half-dozen city buses also stop outside its door.
Opened in and managed by the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, it offers tiny standard rooms with even tinier bathrooms, most equipped with showers instead of tubs that have large windows letting in lots of sunshine. Unfortunately, these face inland.
If you can, spring for a more expensive room facing the harbor. Coffee shop; small outdoor pool; small exercise room; business center; hr. Only 13 rooms on each floor give it a boutique-hotel-like atmosphere. Causeway Bay. Value Empire Hotel Nicely situated in the heart of Wan Chai and popular with midlevel business travelers for its convenience to Central, this business hotel offers good value, with many of the same amenities, services, and facilities found at higher-priced hotels, including a rooftop outdoor swimming pool large enough for swimming laps, a highly recommended Shanghainese restaurant called Wu Kong, and free shuttle service to Hong Kong Station in Central.
Narrow hallways may provide a challenge to the claustrophobic, while rooms, with rates based on size none provide a view of the harbor , are also small but comfortable and pleasant, each equipped with a Data View Information System, which allows guests to receive messages on their television sets, check flight schedules, check information on stocks, finance, or shopping , play video games, and view the hotel services directory but it does not provide Internet access.
The top five floors, comprised of Empire Plus rooms, are geared toward business travelers with such extras as wall-mounted TVs leaving more desk space , fax machines, and a magnetic whiteboard. Excelsior Located on the waterfront near a lively shopping area, the Excelsior, built in , belongs to the Mandarin Oriental group of hotels but is relatively moderately priced. The elevators are also crowded. In addition, the hotel offers free guided tours to the nearby Noon Day Gun, which fires every day at.
Most rooms are the same small size with the same decor and tend to be crowded. Those that command a view of the harbor with the Hong Kong Yacht Club and Kowloon on the other side are the most expensive and the largest; slightly cheaper are those with side harbor views or views of the park, while the cheapest face inland toward the city.
Best of all, more than half the rooms face the harbor with V-shaped windows, making this the cheapest place on Hong Kong Island with great views. Rooms that face inland are even cheaper. The Luk Kwok was originally built in the s on what was then the waterfront; seven stories high, at the time, it was the tallest building in Wan Chai. How things have changed since then!
Now located some 2 blocks inland due to land reclamation, not far from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the new hotel is high-tech and modern, with a granite-and-marble lobby and updated rooms.
Guest rooms, located on the 19th to 29th floors, are a cut above those in other area business hotels, larger in size and equipped with all the necessities, including large counter space in the bathroom. The addition of plants in every bathroom is a nice touch, and some rooms even have a glimpse of the harbor between buildings.
I also like the small cocktail lounge open only to hotel guests. Guest rooms are quite large and soundproof, with modern furniture in eye-popping colors of purple, red, or lime green; all but the cheapest also have TVs with keyboards for Internet access and electronic games. Airport Express Liner: Hong Kong International Airport. Hotels in this category generally offer small, functional rooms with a bathroom and air-conditioning but usually have few services or facilities.
Some budget accommodations also offer rooms without private bathroom at cheaper prices if no mention is made here of rooms without bathroom, you can assume all rooms have bathrooms. If possible, try to see a room before committing yourself, since some may be better than others in terms of traffic noise, view, condition, and size. Rooms, all twins or doubles and either standard rooms or larger deluxe rooms, are spotlessly clean. Some that face toward Nathan Road have views of a harbor in the distance, though those facing the hillside are quieter.
A bonus: Local telephone calls are free. AE, MC, V. Yau Ma Tei. Value Just down the street from Booth Lodge and also convenient to the jade and night markets and MTR station, this accommodation is not as homey as Booth Lodge and has as much personality as a college dormitory.
Most of its very simple rooms, with large desks and closets, face toward the back of the hotel, offering a view of a wooded cliff and a small park, certainly a nicer vista than most hotels can boast. Try to get a room on a higher floor. Caritas Bianchi Lodge 4 Cliff Rd. Monthly rates available. It caters to a largely Asian clientele, split evenly between business and leisure travelers. Its bright, sixth-floor marble lobby lies beneath a skylight, in sharp contrast to the chaos and jumble of the streets below.
Its rooms are quite large and pleasant; the most expensive rooms are on upper floors and offer views of the city. In short, this hotel, while far from deluxe, is a good solid choice in inexpensive lodging. Mong Kok. Built in , it rises above the Majestic Centre complex, which includes a shopping arcade, food court, game arcade, and two small cinemas. The hotel offers goodsize rooms, with a desk, sitting area, and large windows but unfortunately no exciting views. The cheapest rooms occupy the lower floors and face another building, while the most expensive rooms are on higher floors, have city views, and have coffeemakers and dataports.
Unlike most hotels in Hong Kong, the Majestic offers ice machines on every floor, saving a call to room service, and offers more facilities and services than most in its price category.
Restaurant international buffet ; bar; tour desk; business center; shopping arcade; hr. Kids For decades, the overwhelming number-one choice among low-cost accommodations has been the YMCA on Salisbury Road, which has the good fortune of being right next to The Peninsula hotel on the waterfront, just a 2-minute walk from both the Star Ferry and subway station.
Welcoming families as well as individual men and women, it has 19 single rooms none with harbor view and more than twins the most expensive twins provide great harbor views , as well as suites with and without harbor views that are great for families. For budget travelers, there are 14 dormitory-style rooms, each with two bunk beds, individual reading lights, private bathroom, and lockers, available only to visitors who have been in Hong Kong fewer than 10 days.
Needless to say, the Salisbury is so popular that you should make reservations in advance, especially if booking for April or October. Highly recommended. Its lobby is quiet and subdued quite a contrast to most Hong Kong hotels and its staff is friendly and accommodating. The most expensive rooms are on higher floors; ask for one that faces the Observatory. All in all, a very civilized place, but it is a hike uphill to the hotel. Stanford Hillview Hotel 13—17 Observatory Rd.
Restaurant international buffet ; lounge; outdoor golfdriving nets; small exercise room; business center; hr. They also attract laborers, mostly men from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
At any rate, some guesthouses offer rooms with a private bathroom; others are nothing more than rooms filled with bunk beds. In fact, its ground floor is one huge maze of inexpensive shops. But above all those shops are five towering concrete blocks, each served by its own tiny elevator and known collectively as Chungking Mansion.
Inside are hundreds of little businesses, apartments, guesthouses, eateries, and sweatshops. Some of the guesthouses are passable; many are not. The views from many room windows are more insightful than some guests might like — the backside of the building and mountains of trash down below. Even worse are the ancient-looking elevators filled to capacity with human cargo; you might want to stick to the stairs.
But the most compelling argument for avoiding Chungking Mansion is one of safety — it could be a towering inferno waiting to happen. If you insist on staying here, these are my recommendations. For the less daring, A Block is the best, since its elevator is closest to the front entrance of the building.
I recommend that you begin your search in Block A. I also recommend that you stay on lower floors. If guesthouses here are full or you want to save money, check the guesthouses toward the back of the building in the other blocks. But no matter what the block, never leave any valuables in your room. The most conveniently located youth hostel is the bed Jockey Club Mt.
Facilities include a communal kitchen and coin-op laundry room. Sheung Wan daily at 9: Alternatively, take bus no. Davis Path. Backtrack a few minutes from the bus stop and hike up Mt. Davis Path 35 minutes to the hostel do not confuse Mt. Davis Path with Mt. Davis Rd. The hostel itself is open daily from 7am to 11pm.
Check-in is from 4pm. There are kitchens and washing facilities, as well as campsites. Since these hostels are not easily accessible, they are recommended only for the adventurous traveler.
Of these, the S.
The Hong Kong Tourist Association also has a flyer on youth hostels. Not only is the food excellent, but the range of culinary possibilities is nothing short of staggering. Hong Kong also has what may well be the greatest concentration of Chinese restaurants in the world.
In a few short days, you can take a culinary tour of virtually every major region of China, dining on Cantonese, Szechuan, Shanghainese, Pekingese, Chiu Chow, and other Chinese specialties.
Some restaurants are huge, bustling, family affairs, countless others are mere holes in the wall, and a few of the trendiest are Shanghai chic, remakes of s salons and opium dens.
But dining in the SAR is by no means limited to Chinese restaurants. Although various national cuisines have long been popular, particularly French, Italian, Thai, and Indian, ethnic restaurants have literally exploded onto the culinary scene in the past few years, offering even greater diversity, from tapas and tacos to sushi.
In a welcome trend, however, enterprising, ambitious, and talented chefs have been opening neighborhood establishments in ever-greater numbers, often in modest but imaginative surroundings. These include ethnic restaurants, as well as eateries offering innovative dishes, with limited but intriguing menus. Keep in mind, however, that these guidelines are approximations only.
I should add that Chinese restaurants often have very long menus, sometimes listing more than dishes. Remember, since the price range is large, you can eat cheaply even at moderately priced restaurants by choosing wisely. As for dress codes, unless otherwise stated, many upper-end restaurants have done away with the jacket-and-tie requirement. Although that reputation has since been challenged by the birth of many other superb restaurants, the service is still excellent, the waiters are professional, and the food is always beyond reproof.
The wine cellar is among the best and largest in Hong Kong, with a collection of rare vintages — but who could blame you if you get carried away and splurge on champagne?
In The Peninsula hotel, Salisbury Rd. Reservations recommended at lunch, required at dinner. Daily noon—2: In a smart move, however, InterContinental quickly brought back the original chef of Lai Ching Heen to reestablish its famed footing. The decor emphasizes the beauty of stark simplicity, with bonsai trees and flower arrangements that change with the lunar calendar; the restaurant is famous for its beautiful jade table settings.
Dishes are traditional Cantonese, as well as imaginative creations that border on Chinese nouvelle cuisine. Examples are stewed lobster and eggplant with hot plum sauce in casserole, deepfried prawns with sesame and mayonnaise sauce, and roast duck with kiwi in lemon sauce. Reservations recommended request a window seat. Pro 9 Salisbury Rd. Kowloon 13 7 15 Chatham Ave. Canton 1. Rd Termin 6 ry R Rd. M Haiphong Rd. Hong Kong Island Rd. Jor Bowring St.
Woo s St. Parke n Rd Shanghai St. Bus Terminal t. Canto n Pak Hoi St. Saigo n St.
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Wylie Man Ch Man eong St. W Man ai St. Y Man uen St. Pu Kowloon Dining g Ln. Wing Sin St. On the other side of the restaurant spreads a stunning view of Victoria Harbour. Of course, you also pay a mountain more to eat here, but from the looks of things, there are plenty of takers. Many diners, however, stick to the imported oysters or begin their meals with the signature Seafood Mountain — fresh seafood laid on a mountain of ice, including oysters, prawns, mussels, scallops, crab, and lobster, served with six different sauces.
Reservations necessary request a window seat. Mon—Sat noon—3pm; daily 6—11pm. But what else can you expect from a restaurant designed by Philippe Starck? There are other bars atop one of the cocoons and on a stage at one end of the restaurant. The dining area itself is rather — what can I say — stark, and even the view from the windows tends to take second place in this self-conscious, people-watching setting you, however, should Felix KO W L O O N 79 reserve a window seat on the Hong Kong side.
The food, featuring Pacific Rim ingredients brought together in East-meets-West combinations, rarely disappoints. You might start with hot California rolls with crabmeat, avocado, and sake soy, followed by roasted swordfish on dried scallop ravioli and a vegetable ragout, or the Mongolianstyle barbecued rack of lamb in a port wine and akala-berry reduction served with a feta, cilantro, and mint salad.
You can also come just for a drink. Reservations required. Daily 6pm—2am last order Unlike many Chinese restaurants, this establishment provides both small for 2—4 diners and large tables.
Wan Chai , with the same hours. Fook Lam Moon 53—59 Kimberley Rd. Reservations are not necessary for lunch but are a good idea for dinner.
Daily W H E R E TO D I N E rustic and cozy yet refined, with a terra-cotta tile floor, wooden ceiling, and traditional Roman murals, giving it a more casual and relaxed ambience than most hotel Italian restaurants in the same price range. Its menu is a faithful replica of the original Roman fare along with chef specialties , with liberal doses of olive oil, garlic, and peppers and featuring such popular dishes as baked walnutcrusted sea bass in zucchini-saffron sauce served with lemon-basil risotto, veal escallop with Parma ham and sage, and lamb stew and vegetables served with caramelized chestnuts and mashed potatoes.
The pasta, all handmade, ranges from linguine with lobster and fresh basil to a classic spaghetti with clams. The list of mostly Italian wines is seemingly endless. Evenings feature guitar music; lunch is popular for its reasonable fixed-price menus. In the Royal Garden hotel, 69 Mody Rd. The dinner menu is quite extensive, with an emphasis on seafood but also serving chicken, duck, pigeon, beef, and pork, Cantonesestyle.
Lunch is more economical and always includes a dozen or more varieties of dim sum. Reservations recommended. Mon—Sat noon—3pm, Sun and holidays Traditional booth seating provides intimacy.
In the Hyatt Regency, 67 Nathan Rd. Reservations recommended at dinner. Mon—Sat The decor is Anywhere, U. The lunch menu is substantial, including such classic American favorites as buffalo chicken wings, potato skins, nachos, New England clam chowder, barbecued ribs, spaghetti, lasagna, chili, great hamburgers a hit with kids , and large deli sandwiches.
The dinner menu is more limited, confined mainly to barbecued steaks, chops, fish, and pasta. You can also come just for a drink at its bar, and there are also English-language newspapers for customer perusal.
Admiralty , open Monday to Thursday from 11am to midnight, Friday from 11am to 2am, Saturday from 9am to 2am, and Sunday from 9am to midnight.
Mon—Fri 11am—midnight; Sat—Sun 10am—midnight.
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Recommended are the stuffed baby squid with ink sauce, seafood paella, and codfish with clams in a green sauce; there are also soups and salads. But probably the best thing to do is select from the several dozen tapas on the menu, which can make for wonderful nibbling or out-and-out feasts.
Choices include stewed eggplant with herbs and spicy tomato sauce, prawns in olive oil, chorizo, and lamb spareribs with tomato and pine seeds. There are other El Cid branches at 9—11 Cleveland St. There are a dozen vegetarian dishes, and the lunchtime buffet, served every day until 2: Since the Shanghai area has no cuisine of its own, it has developed an eclectic cuisine, borrowing from neighboring provinces, including Szechuan, and is popular for seasonal dishes.
However, this restaurant is about as close as you can get to food the way Mom used to cook in old Shanghai. Try the Shanghainese dumplings, prawns in chili sauce, vegetarian imitation goose, diced chicken with cashews, cold chicken in wine sauce, Szechuan soup, fried pork dumplings, or Peking duck.
My own particular favorite is braised shredded eel, which is cooked in an oily garlic sauce, but all eel dishes here are good. Great Shanghai 26 Prat Ave. Daily 11am—2: It offers nonstop all-day dining and views of people walking along the waterfront promenade.
Its open kitchen emphasizes light Continental dishes such as pastas and salads, but other vegetarian selections, sandwiches, seafood, and steak are included on the menu, as well as Asian dishes that may include Malaysian chicken curry or Thai spicy prawn soup. Daily 6am—midnight. Despite its name, this restaurant specializes in pasta, with an a la carte menu that changes often but has included such mouthwatering choices as homemade fettuccine with lobster and spinach in tomato cream sauce and penne pasta with smoked chicken and porcini mushrooms in creamy herb sauce.
There are also four different kinds of pizza, and main courses have included baked ocean trout with artichoke in phyllo pastry on green peas and morel sauce and roast duck breast on braised duck leg with orange, pilaf rice, and grilled bell pepper.
For the budget-conscious, lunch is a great time to come, when a trip through the antipasto and salad bar, choice of main dish meat, pasta, or pizza , and dessert and coffee, are all available at a great price. In the Kowloon Hotel, 19—21 Nathan Rd. Daily noon—3pm and 6—11pm.
Chicken dishes are also well liked, including the deep-fried chicken in soy sauce, and the handmade noodles are excellent. Other recommendations include the hot-and-sour soup, freshwater shrimp, and stewed ham and cabbage. Most dishes come in small, medium, and large sizes; the small dishes are suitable for two people. You might want to start with chicken satay and peanut sauce or samosas with a mint chutney.
Main dishes run the gamut from Hainan chicken and Malaysian curry crab to vegetarian selections; the dilemma is in making a choice. Other conveniently located branches include those on the 15th floor of Chong Hing Square, Nathan Rd. Mong Kok , open Monday to Friday from noon to 2: Causeway Bay , open Monday to Friday from 11am to 3pm and 6 to Golden Crown Ct. AE, V. Daily 11am—3pm and 6— Hong Kong has one restaurant or cafe for every inhabitants; an estimated 1.
All in all, this place is good for a fun outing with a group. There are two branches on the other side of the harbor, at Jaffe Rd.
Central , open the same hours. Daily noon— Small, clean, and with oldfashioned booth seating, a high ceiling, and lacquered stools, it has an English menu and specializes in noodle dishes and congee a rice porridge traditionally eaten for breakfast or a late-night snack and usually flavored with meat, fish, or vegetables. Approximately 40 different kinds of congee are available as well as a wide variety of noodle dishes, from braised and stir-fried noodles to shrimp wonton noodles and noodles in soup with barbecued pork.
No credit cards. Daily 7am— The tiled floor, open kitchen and deli case, strung sausages, and wood furniture add to the ambience, but the chandeliers left over from a previous restaurant seem woefully out of place. There are also entrees that could be a lifesaver for those in desperate need of comfort food, including beef goulash, rotisserie chicken, meatloaf, and beef-stuffed cabbage, but in any case, save room for the cheesecake.
Portions are so generous that the restaurant has instituted the doggy bag, a previously unknown concept in Hong Kong. Daily 10am—11pm. And with a seating capacity of only 62, reservations here are a must. Also, if available, the spicy-and-sour soup is divine — piquant and full of noodles, tofu, and mushrooms. Daily noon—3pm and 6: In fact, they are probably the best of any hotel restaurant on the Hong Kong side; the only place with a better view is atop Victoria Peak.
Probably the best way to sample the continuously new creations is with one of the fixed-price meals. As expected, the wine list — particularly Bordeaux — is among the best in Hong Kong, if not the world. With the impressive blend of great views, refined ambience, excellent cuisine, tables spaced far enough apart for intimacy, and professional staff, this restaurant is a top choice for a splurge, romantic dinner, or special celebration.
Jacket required. Mon— Sat noon—3pm; daily 6: Matching Petrus for its spectacular views of the harbor, this chic, black-and-gold venue serves what may well be the best interpretation of East-meets-West Franco-Asian cuisine this side of the hemisphere, with exquisite combinations that can set taste buds dancing with excitement.
Gr ah am St. Star Ferry Pier. Club bi St. Bank am ila Ga rd en gu Co tto n Rd. Rd Tam Ju Central District Dining choose the spiny lobster with Thai herbs, the steamed sea bass and carrot confit with cumin seed and coriander, or the chicken marinated in lemongrass with sweet rice steamed in banana leaf.
My lunch plate contained a crab spring roll, raw tuna and vegetables rolled in rice paper, prawn satays, lobster wrapped in daikon, curry chicken satays, and crunchy cress salad. Mon—Fri noon—3pm; daily 6pm—midnight. While the emphasis is on Cantonese food, it offers specialties from other regions as well, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Szechuan. Mon—Fri noon—3pm, Sat—Sun In any case, this is a great restaurant, both in decor and food. The dining area is spacious, with tables spread luxuriously far apart.
But the real treat is the food. Start your meal with one of the soups like the Hunan minced-chicken soup, a clear soup base with ginger and mousse of chicken, served piping hot in a length of bamboo. Other recommended dishes include the honey-glazed Hunan ham served in pancakes and fried chicken with chili and garlic. As a special treat, try one of the Hunanese wines. The Forum 3rd floor , Exchange Sq. A meal here is a treat in more ways than one — the artsy furnishings are a feast for the eyes, while the food, influenced by cuisines along the Mediterranean, is to die for.
The handwritten menu changes every 3 months but is always creative and always includes lamb and vegetarian selections. An example of the former is a salt-encased, slowly baked leg of lamb with celery root and potato gratin, French beans, and baby carrots.
M at the Fringe 2 Lower Albert Rd. Reservations strongly recommended. Mon—Fri noon—2: As a main course, you can choose from a number of veal, beef, and seafood offerings, including veal scaloppine; braised lamb shank with saffron risotto; or scampi in a lemon, capers, and white-wine sauce.
Australian chef Gregory Bunt creates a constantly changing menu that capitalizes on his years working all over Asia, with dishes that meld various flavors, ingredients, and textures in surprising combinations.
For starters, try the tasting platter for two that is a potpourri of mouthwatering creations. Move on to such entrees as yellowfin tuna grilled with olive crust, basil potatoes, confit tomato and anchovy sauce or cumin-crusted lamb loin with smoky aubergine, tomato ginger, and spice jus. Fixed-price lunches include grazing at an ample salad bar, making it a very good bargain.
Mon—Thurs noon—midnight; Fri noon—2am; Sat FRENCH This pleasant and comfortable restaurant overlooks the action of Lan Kwai Fong with large open windows, making it great for people-watching and imparting a feeling of being above it all.
But the real draw is the cuisine from southern France, expertly rendered by the chef, imported from Nice, into culinary masterpieces. Be sure to save room for desserts like the hot chocolate cake with coconut ice cream and raspberry caramel.
Mon—Sat noon—2: Browse the appetizer-and-salad table, a cold seafood counter with sushi, fresh oysters, crab, and other delights, a Chinese section with dim sum and main courses, Western hot entrees, pastas that are prepared to order and run the gamut from Chinese to Italian, and Asian dishes from Thai curries to Indian tandoori.
The wine list, too, is very impressive. Mon—Fri noon— 2: Start with the spring rolls stuffed with shrimp, pork, and herbs or the hot-and-sour fish soup.
Other specialties are the fish prepared Hanoi style, with dill, turmeric, rice vermicelli, and peanuts; the salt-and-pepper soft-shell crabs; the beef tenderloin with tomato; and grilled eggplant with scallion oil and soy sauce. Mon—Sat noon— 2: Some of its waiters are descendants from the original staff. The daily specials are written on a blackboard, and an extensive a la carte menu offers salads and soups, steaks, chicken, Indian curries, and a seafood selection that includes sole, scallops, and the local garoupa.
The cashier even uses an abacus to figure bills! But Luk Yu is most famous for its dim sum, served from 7am to 5: The problem for foreigners, however, is that the place is always packed with regulars who have their own special places to sit, and the staff is sometimes surly to newcomers.
In addition, if you come after 11am, dim sum is no longer served by trolley but from an English menu with pictures but no prices, which could end up being quite expensive unless you ask before ordering. MC, V. Daily 7am— 10pm. The atmosphere is bright, spotless, and elegantly simple, the food excellent, and the service attentive. The hot-and-spicy dishes are clearly marked on the item menu to help the uninitiated, though those who appreciate fiery food will find that dishes here are only mildly hot.
Recommended are the hot-and-sour soup, fried prawns in chili sauce, shredded pork in hot garlic sauce, bean curd with minced beef in a pungent sauce, smoked duck, and pigeon smoked in camphor wood and tea leaves. Admiralty , open Monday to Saturday from The menu, drawing from regional cuisines from throughout Thailand and prepared by Thai chefs, includes such favorites as soft-shell crab with chili and garlic on fried basil leaves; chili crabs; lobster tails in sweet tamarind sauce with roasted garlic and shallots; and roast duck in red curry with grapes and aubergine.
Unlike most Thai restaurants in Hong Kong, which often serve a watered-down version of Thai food, this one serves the real thing. Dimly lit even for lunch, it offers sushi raw fish on vinegared rice and sashimi raw fish a la carte, as well as combination platters.
Unique, however, are the California-style roll creations, like the deep-fried soft-shell crab with avocado, cucumber, crab roe, and mayonnaise, or the roll with crabmeat, asparagus, sliced fish, mushroom, and egg. Probably the best deal is one of the set lunches, featuring sashimi, tempura, or a box lunch. Dining is on one of the upper three floors, but if all you want is a bowl of congee or takeout, join the office workers who pour in for a quick meal on the informal ground floor. Daily 11am— To offset the simplicity and starkness of the room, a succession of large glass bowls running the length of the restaurant are suspended from the ceiling, creating a never-ending cascade as water trickles from one bowl to the next; some think the arrangement looks like a dragon.
As for the food, there is a wide variety of Cantonese specialties that border on the nouvelle. Unlike those of most Chinese restaurants, the wine list is rather extensive, though alcohol will greatly add to your bill. Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Central. Mon—Fri In addition, many restaurants in the moderate category above offer lunches that even the budget-conscious can afford.
Finally, another good place for a casual, inexpensive meal is in the basement of Seibu department store in Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, in Central take the MTR to Admiralty , where various counters offer Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese food, as well as sandwiches and pasta, daily from 11am to 10pm.
Dining is on two levels, giving everyone a ringside seat. The menu offers some of the best Northern Italian fare in town. Main dishes have included braised mussels, clams, scampi, prawns, scallops, monkfish, and lobster tail in a tomato, olive, caper, and marjoram broth, and roasted quail breasts wrapped in pancetta and filled with goose liver. At lunch, there is lighter fare and more choices of pasta and risotto. Cr ard t. Thomson Rd.
Chai St. Hen rt R d. E Hennessy Rd 5 Rd. Lockhart Rd Jaffe Rd. Gloucester Rd. Harbour Rd. T rsh Per Canal Rd. West Ma Lee Canal Rd. There are also fixed-price lunch and dinner menus, which require a minimum order for two people. This is Hong Kong at its most eclectic, funky self, and though the setting seems contrived, the restaurant itself is relaxed, fun, and highly recommended for its innovative and varied Eastmeets-West fusion cuisine. A glass-enclosed kitchen reveals food being prepared in woks, over charcoal grills, and in tandoori ovens.
The menu is diverse in cuisine and price, allowing diners to eat moderately priced dishes like creamy risotto with pearl onions, broad beans, grilled mushrooms, and house-dried tomatoes, or go all out on tandoori-roasted salmon filet on basil whipped potatoes and crisp vegetable chips, or free-range lemonmarinated chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and sun-dried yellow tomatoes, served with homemade red bell-pepper pasta. This place is a good choice for those who want dining and entertainment in one spot, as well as for those entertaining first-time visitors to Hong Kong.
In the Excelsior Hotel, Gloucester Rd. Reservations recommended for dinner request a window seat. Mon—Fri noon—3pm, Sun Specialties include fried prawns with chili sauce on a sizzling platter, sourpepper soup, fried garoupa with sweet-and-sour sauce, smoked duck marinated with oranges, and shredded chicken with hot garlic sauce and dry-fried string beans.
Most dishes are available in two sizes, with the small dishes suitable for two people. Litchi tea is a good accompaniment. Reservations recommended, especially at dinner.
In the evening, the experience is almost magical, making it a good choice for a romantic dinner. Although the innovative menu changes often, tandoori dishes may range from lamb and prawns to lobster. In addition to curries and dishes like roast chicken in yogurt and spices, there are also a fair number of vegetarian dishes, from potatoes cooked with curry leaves to yellow lentils with spinach.
The lunch buffet, offered weekdays only, is a steal. See p. In addition to the recommendations below, be sure to go through the moderate section above for inexpensive buffet and fixed-price lunches. But the seafood, curries, and noodles, which include all the Thai favorites, are as spicy as this national cuisine should be.
Try to get a seat near the window, where you can watch the action on the street below, and, if possible, avoid the lunchtime rush. Chili Club 88 Lockhart Rd. Daily noon—3pm and 6— Not only does it offer a good selection of food at very reasonable prices, but it also boasts a view of the harbor and even has a tiny outdoor terrace.
True to its name, chefs working in an open kitchen prepare everything from lamb chops, grilled steak, and tandoori chicken to grilled Cajun salmon and spring chicken. Diners can also choose from four or five kinds of pasta, along with a choice of sauce. Lighter fare includes a salad bar, soups, sandwiches, sushi, quiche, and desserts. Sat—Thurs 11am—9: And yet, it has long been a Hong Kong favorite, despite a recent change of name, ownership, and menu.
Musicians entertain nightly with oldies but goldies. The menu is eclectic, offering soups from cream of asparagus to the classic Thai seafood soup Tom Yam Goong , sandwiches, and a combination of American, Chinese, Indian, and Southeast Asian dishes, including tandoori chicken tikka, Thai noodles, penne with prawns, grilled steaks and salmon, and curries like Thai green chicken curry with coconut milk.
Reservations required for dinner and all weekend meals. Peak tram. There are various counters offering different foods, including salads, pizza, pasta, vegetables, sushi, Chinese dishes, and entrees ranging from grilled pork chops and roasted spring chicken to king prawns and sole.
Otherwise, good dining deals are the three-course fixed-price lunches available weekdays only and the dinner buffets. The two-floor restaurant is divided into various themed rooms, each representing a different country, some with better views than others, so be sure to wander.
Peak Tower levels 6 and 7 , Peak Rd. Daily 11am—11pm. You might wish to start with minced shrimp, pork and corn in a pastry shell, or Indonesian satays. For a main course, you might choose the Singaporean-style fried curry crab; the tiger prawns with lemongrass, dried chile, and garlic; or the Saigon-style fried beef tenderloin.
Mon—Sat noon— Many diners like to make their seafood selections here. Dishes include everything from noodles and rice combinations to fresh lobster, scallops, garoupa balls, and fresh seafood prawns are a particular favorite.
Aberdeen Harbour, Hong Kong Island. Mon—Sat 11am—11pm; Sun 7am—11pm. Although a few attractions have closed since the handover, new ones are in the works. On the other hand, if all you want to do is hike or lie on the beach, you can do that, too.
Although the SAR is compact and easy to navigate, it makes sense to divide the city into sections when planning your sightseeing. The information on museums, parks, markets, and other attractions, therefore, is subdivided in this chapter according to area, making it easier to coordinate sightseeing and dining plans.
Ride the Star Ferry across the harbor; take the Peak tram to the top of Victoria Peak; ride one of the rickety old trams on Hong Kong Island; and, if you have the time, take a ferry to one of the outlying islands.
Nothing can beat the thrill of these four experiences, or give you a better insight into the essence of Hong Kong and its people. The entire trip from loading pier to unloading pier takes about 7 minutes in all; there are approximately crossings a day.
More than a century ago, the rich reached the peak after a 3-hour trip in sedan chairs, transported to the top by coolies. Then, in , the Peak tram began operations, cutting the journey from a grueling 3 hours to a mere 8 minutes. In , the older, cast-iron green funicular cars with mahogany seats were replaced by new, modern cars imported from Switzerland, which increased the passenger load from 72 to people. After you exit from the Star Ferry, turn left; shuttle buses depart from a traffic island located between the parking garage and City Hall.
Alternatively, you can take Minibus no. Be sure to bring your camera. Be forewarned that some of the items are purely grotesque, or, at best, out of date in a more socially correct world. Still, human nature being what it is, probably everyone wants to visit one of these museums at least once, and children, of course, are fascinated. Frankly, I consider your time in Hong Kong better spent elsewhere since you can find these attractions in many other places throughout the world , though if you have older children in tow, you may not have a choice.
But the best thing to do atop Victoria Peak, in my opinion, is to take a walk. Mainly a footpath overhung with banyan trees and passing lush vegetation, it snakes along the side of the cliff, offering great views of the Central District below, the harbor, Kowloon, and then Aberdeen and the outlying islands on the other side.
You will also pass Victoria Peak mansions. Dating from , the tramline follows what used to be the waterfront before the days of land reclamation. Old, narrow, double-decker affairs, the trams cut through the heart of the city, from Kennedy Town in the west to Shau Kei Wan in the east. Climb to the upper deck and try to get a seat in the front row. Note that museum admissions are free on Wednesdays.
Keep in mind, too, that municipal museums are closed December 25 and 26, January 1, and the first 3 days of the Chinese New Year. Private museums are usually also closed on bank holidays. I like popping in occasionally just to see the temporary exhibits, though it also boasts a vast collection of Chinese antiquities and fine art that make this one of my top picks in Hong Kong.
The works are arranged in five permanent galleries on three floors of exhibit space, plus two galleries devoted to changing exhibits. The Historical Pictures Gallery is especially insightful, with 1, works in oils, watercolors, pencil drawings, and prints that provide a visual account of life in Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangzhou Canton in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Another gallery displays contemporary Hong Kong works by local artists. A bonus is the beautiful backdrop of Victoria Harbour.
Free admission Wed. Fri—Wed 10am—6pm. Cliff Rd. Nathan Rd Ha Ave. Wai C Ning Nank Rd. Man Ming Li Lung Ln. Tung Kun St. Chi Wo St. Tak Hing St. Middle Rd. These include the Tanka, who lived their entire lives on boats, the Five Great Clans who settled in what is now the New Territories and built walled communities, and the Hakka, primarily rice farmers. There are small movie theaters spread throughout, though showings in English are limited. One of my favorite parts of the museum is a re-created street of old Hong Kong, complete with a Chinese herbal-medicine shop actually located in Central until , and reconstructed here.
There are also 19th- and earlyth-century photographs, poignantly showing how much Hong Kong has changed through the decades. You can easily spend 2 hours here. Wed—Mon 10am—6pm. Tsim Sha Tsui a min. Kids The mysteries of science and technology come to life here, with plenty of hands-on exhibits sure to appeal to children and adults alike. More than exhibits cover four floors, with sections devoted to the life sciences; light, sound, and motion; meteorology and geography; electricity and magnetism; computers and robotics; construction; transportation and communication; occupational safety and health; energy efficiency; and food science and home technology.
There is also an area specially designed for children 3 to 7. There are more than 30 personal computers in the computer section, where guests can learn about computer software, including word processing for children and graphics production, and surf the Internet for free unfortunately, only 2 computers are for the Internet. This is a great place to bring kids on a rainy or humid day.
Mon—Wed and Fri 1—9pm, Sat—Sun and holidays 10am—9pm. The Hall of Space Science explores the human journey into space, with exhibits on ancient astronomical history, science fiction, early rockets, manned space flights, and future space programs.
The Hall of Astronomy presents information on the solar system, solar science, the stars, and the universe. Personally, I find the museum, which opened in , rather dated. The Space Theatre, one of the largest planetariums in the world, with a 23m ft. Forty-minute to hour-long shows, ranging from such wonders of the world as the Great Barrier Reef to celestial phenomena like the Milky Way, are presented several times daily.
The Hongkong Bank headquarters in Central boasts the two longest freely supported no supporting walls along their lengths escalators in the world. Free admission on Wed. Mon and Wed—Fri 1—9pm, Sat—Sun and holidays 10am—9pm.
The house was completed in in Greek Revival style for the commander of the British forces. Now a museum devoted to the subject of tea culture in China, its collection includes about pieces of tea ware ranging from earthenware to porcelain, primarily of Chinese origin, dating from the 7th century to the present day. With explanations in both English and Chinese, the exhibits also describe methods of making the various kinds of tea favored by the major dynasties.
You can see everything here in less than an hour. Free admission. Wed—Mon 10am—5pm. Chate ux Rd Centr al. Cen tral Park Tram r Rd. Qu een ve Exchange Square St.
The fort itself, built in to defend the eastern approaches to the harbor against possible attacks by Russia or France, retains its batteries, underground magazines, protective ditch, caponiers, and torpedo station. With its strategic location on the coast, it provides a panoramic view of the eastern approach to Victoria Harbour. Fri—Wed 10am—5pm. Shau Kei Wan exit B2, then a 15min. This Finds museum charts the historical development of medical science in Hong Kong.
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