Your essential guide to Hong Kong

Find your bearings


Things in Hong Kong move so fast you’ll need to run to keep up – literally. The location of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong – flanking Victoria Harbour – makes it the perfect starting point for getting acquainted with Asia’s most photographed cityscape. Lace up your trainers and jog the path beneath the city’s skyscrapers.


Feed your mind
Hong Kong’s city centre is brimming with first-class art galleries. You’ll find them principally housed in the white-fronted Pedder Building – check out outposts of Gagosian, Pearl Lam and Lehmann Maupin. Nearby is the imposing Agricultural Bank of China, the ground floor of which is dedicated to the contemporary gallery, White Cube. Those interested in Hong Kong’s nautical heritage should make time for the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, while another nearby gem is the oldest colonial building in Hong Kong, Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware. It was once the office and residence of the commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong, and alongside its exhibitions, the museum holds demonstrations, tea-appreciation classes and lectures to promote China’s tea-drinking culture.
Shop like a local

Hong Kong’s shopping is world famous – and you’ll find the best of it concentrated in the city’s core. Just across the road from Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is Prince’s Building, with a collection of boutiques and lifestyle shops. Highlights include the smart book and stationery emporium, Bookazine; Blanc de Chine, a purveyor of premium, contemporary clothing with a Chinese aesthetic; jeweller Wai Kee, one of Hong Kong’s oldest; and Ascot Chang, a Shanghainese bespoke men’s tailor. On Lan Street, just behind Queen’s Road Central, is carving out a reputation as a high-end shopping street. Visit the Christian Louboutin flagship (or just stare at the playful window displays), Italian shoemaker Gianvito Rossi or the Central branch of D-Mop, a store stocking contemporary streetwear and cutting-edge fashion. Gents will find much to love in the J Crew Men’s shop here, too.
Dine in style 
There’s a whole spectrum of fine dining options within Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The one-Michelin-starred Mandarin Grill + Bar restaurant offers expansive views of Statue Square and Chater Garden and the setting is as stunning as its delicate dishes.

Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred meals don’t always come wrapped in a white table-clothed dining room, though. Locals know that some of the city’s best dim sum, including siu mai and har gow dumplings, served fresh from steaming basket trolleys, can be found at City Hall – a mere five-minute walk away from the hotel, while on nearby Wellington Street, hungry diners can find several inexpensive, Michelin-starred or Michelin-recommended noodle and dumpling restaurants. Favourites include Mak’s Noodles and Wang Fu, dumplings for juicy Beijing-style dumplings.
See some sights
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong counts some extraordinary buildings as its neighbours. Sir Norman Foster’s steel jenga-like HSBC building stares down IM Pei’s Bank of China – which was designed to reflect bad feng shui onto its banking rival). They flank the neoclassical former Legislative Council Building in nearby Statue Square, home to Hong Kong’s Supreme Court until 1985 – now a precious few square metres of tranquillity.
Get an up-close view of Hong Kong’s skyline either from Victoria Peak, one of the city’s highest mountains and easily reachable by taxi, or via a cross-harbour excursion to Kowloon by catching the iconic green-and-white Star Ferry, which has been carrying passengers since 1888.

Toast your arrival
When you talk of Hong Kong icons, Captain’s Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is up there with the best. This legendary lounge has been serving outstanding cocktails and drinks for more than 57 years. Take a seat in one of its famed deep red leather sofas and sip on tankard beers.

Make time to unwind

And finally ...

As dynamic as Central Hong Kong is, it’s just one part of the territory’s makeup. Hop on a ferry from the Central Piers to the territory’s outlying islands – to hippy Lamma, mountainous Lantau or the classic journey on the glamorous, red-sailed wooden junk Aqua Luna.