Christmas bells are ringing! Not really. I literally forget what a real Christmas feels like. I haven’t had a traditional Christmas in four years. This year I will still be in Medellin (probably eating nachos and ice cream), last Christmas was Hong Kong, before that a solo -Eat, Pray, Love inspired trip to Bali, and even further back was a trip to California to nurse my post-breakup wounds. Wow! Time flies when you are having fun and breaking hearts.
This season has me all nostalgic and Hong Kong is one of my places in the world.
Spending Christmas in Hong Kong is one of the best ways to practice consumerism during the oh so special holiday. Shopping Centres are bursting at the seams with anime versions of Santa, and expensive gift wrap station where the option to be wrapped in gold is taken literally. Credit cards are being thrown at sales people’s faces, with Hong Kongians yelling “TAKE MY MONEY!!!” in between sips of their Starbucks Gingerbread lattes. The ol’ HK is not a place to go and show off your frugality.
Leave the Birkenstocks, backpack, and dry shampoo at home! HK should not be done on a strict budget.
You will be at risk of doing the city, or is it a country?!?, a great disservice. Don’t worry tho, you can leave the fancy shoes at home, just pack some cool kicks to take you from Sneaker Street in the day to one of the many bougie restaurants at night. Hong Kong is made for walking and no one will look twice if you pair a fancy dress with a pair of Converse, what kind of people do you think they are!?
Here are 5 top ways to flaunt what you got (or don’t) while exploring Hong Kong:
Reserve a spot at an exclusive RT Michelin restaurant
Dim Sum? Duh. When visiting HK you have to stop at a local restaurant and throw yourself into the chaotic mess that is called lunch hour. Tea will be splashing everywhere possible, people yelling out numbers, it’s a sight to behold. BUT! Hong Kong is also a haven for Michelin restaurant aficionados. Huh? Not exactly on every backpacker’s list of must-sees or can -affords, these restaurant experiences are not to be missed if you have a thing for meals that cost more than your rent. The dishes are usually intricately plated with ingredients you can barely pronounce, let alone recognise. The best restaurants are the ones where the kitchen is in the middle of a round table, seated with overly eager restaurant patrons. You get to see the chef scream at his employees for 4 hours while enjoying a 6-course wine paired meal. Love it.
Shop at the Ralph Lauren Flagship Store (open bar with purchase)
HK is a fashionista’s playground, and women around the world rejoice! However thanks to the fancy RL flagship store, husbands, boyfriends, FWB are more than happy to come along for a little trip to this fancy pants store. Why? Well besides the gorgeous women eager to sell (erm assist) you, there is an open bar for all customers. The bar is very old Hollywood, gentlemen’s club – esque, and the options of alcohol you’ve never heard of, are endless. Make sure to google the brands to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. Why? Because you can.
Take a trip to Macau (Asian Las Vegas?)
Oh, Macau! You have our hearts, our money, and our dignity. It was all worth it. Said to be Asia’s version of Vegas make sure that you aren’t wasting your time with just a day trip to this spectacular place. Macau is a teeny lil ‘ island with a huge Portuguese influence. Anyone wanting the chicness of Europe, the fast pace of Hong Kong, and the gluttony of the US… your prayers have been answered. Hit the strip, hit it hard, nurse your hangover and empty pockets on the short ferry ride back to Hong Kong.
Hit up a Bougie Brunch
Leave the white gloves and sun dresses at home. We are brunchin’ and we are brunchin’ hard. Not only are ‘drunches’ aka drunk brunches a good deal financially, they are a really good deal if you want to see Hong Kong’s rich and beautiful come out to play. The brunches are extravagant and usually, involve free-flowing booze to suit every palate. Although, by the end you really won’t care what you are drinking. In recent years the brunches have gotten even more elaborate with fire shows, ice sculptures, naked sushi women, the list goes on. There is truly something for every taste and usually, every cuisine of the world is represented (except India, no one should be mixing alcohol and Indian food). Make sure to book a table and wear loose clothes, plan to leave your car at the hotel because if you leave ‘drunch’ sober, you’re doing it wrong.
Kick Back On Sneaker Street
Like the ignorant ass I am, I automatically assumed that the famed “sneaker street” of Hong Kong was full of fakes. I paraded myself around scoffing at the idiots buying crazy themed Nike knockoffs for double the “American” price. After finding WIFI, and a cheeky google search later, it proved that I was the only idiot on sneaker street. This place is INSANE. Shop after shop of Nike, Adidas, Converse, Puma etc.etc. shoes that are in styles you’ve never seen before. Needless to say, I dragged my ass back to Sneaker Street the next day and dropped a few bills on a pair of snake-skin Stan Smith’s, and leather converse that have become a staple in my suitcase. Skip the cheapo souvenirs and treat yourself to a pair of REAL-ly cool kicks.
Whatever your reason for visiting Hong Kong, you are sure to have a good time. It really is one of those places that offers everything/anything for any travel taste. I just recommend you go all out and save the currency converting for a trip to Thailand.
Have you been to Hong Kong? Where is your fav place to spend Christmas