Historical Hong Kong (or what looks like it)
China Club: Restaurant/bar/club space styled to look like 1930s Shanghai, with slow-spinning ceiling fans and noodle-making demonstrations during dinner. Fabulous art. Try to get a member to take you for a meal or a drink, or ask your concierge.
13/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank St, Hong Kong, 852-2521-8888
China Tee Club: Where to have a cup of tea in a setting reminiscent of old colonial days, complete with potted palms, birdcages, and polished wood floors. In Pedder Building, a 1930s building right in the middle of Central.
101 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St., Central, Hong Kong, 852-2521-0233
The Helena May: Founded in 1916, a women's club whose mission it was "to provide low-cost accommodation and to serve as a meeting and networking place for women from international and local communities." In colonial days, young English women who came for jobs in Hong Kong would stay here because it was "respectable." These days, it is still a women's club housed in an old colonial building on Garden Road where you can have tea and do community service, among other things.
35 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong, 852-2522-6766
Hong Kong War Diary: Historian Tony Banham's meticulous website with every minute detail regarding the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. Survivors and their relatives write in with updates on their whereabouts.
Mido Café: Retro-feel café that has been around since the 1950s. Have the bracing half-tea/half-coffee beverage over ice, and comfort food, Chinese style. Difficult to get to, and navigate, without a native Cantonese speaker.
63 Temple St., Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, 852-2384-6402
My Hong Kong
The most efficient way to cross the harbour to Kowloon, despite the less central new ferry terminal, just across the way from IFC. These old ladies of the sea sail through the busy channel with aplomb, with their nattily-attired ferry men and a good mix of locals and tourists. A step back in time and, at 80 cents, a great deal.
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
An old factory-estate-turned-arts-centre for artists and designers in Hong Kong. Off the beaten path and a pleasant way to stroll around and look at the arts and culture being developed in Hong Kong.
Mandarin Oriental Café Causette
Favorite place in town for lunch. Scrumptious food (I like the Hainan Chicken), in the middle of everything, impeccable service, and you can bring home mouth-watering pastries from the Cake Shop for tomorrow’s breakfast.
My kids’ favorite outing, in the South Side of Hong Kong. A children’s amusement park with bumper rides and race cars, the most scenic (and harrowing) cable car ride I’ve ever been on and when you get to the other side, an aquarium and sea lion show. Manageable and perfect.
Tram ride or double decker bus ride
Inexpensive, fun thing to do with kids. They love to sway up the stairs to the top, lean out the windows, see from a bird’s eye view. The bus to Stanley takes death-defying curves on a narrow, winding road cut out of the hillside, with beautiful vistas of the sea to your right.
Wan Chai Street Market
Colorful, vibrant, alive. Where to buy anything from children’s socks to kitchen supplies to a live chicken. I go to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.