Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Pauline, 30
see her Hong Kong city guide

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gourmet coffee performing arts martial arts meditation beaches hiking hidden bars

What are the Hong Kong spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Hitting up a Cha chan tang. Classic HK style milk tea, peanut butter on toast - sounds simple, doesn't it? But sometimes, it's the smallest things that really capture the spirit of a place.

Do’s and don’ts in Hong Kong: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Don't tip. Do slow down and look left, right, UP & DOWN - Hong Kong is a very vertical city. They also drive on the right. Don't be intimidated to ask questions - it will be much more efficient than figuring it out yourself.

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm currently dreaming & scheming away at the marketing company that I co-founded with a friend. I spend a good chunk of time as a leader in the local Girl Guides Association because I believe in developing young girls to be tomorrow's leaders. And somewhere in between, I try to get my butt to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - don't even get me started, I'm a huge romantic about this sport. Please ask me about it in person, I could go on and on, well beyond the character limit.

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

Good question! To be honest it varies so much. An indulgent night could run anywhere from HKD$500 to HKD$800 (not including alcohol - because I don't drink a single drop). Just like any other city, there's a lot you can do if you have the money to spend. Hong Kong is actually a touch pricy in terms of value per dollar but with the right guidance and creativity from your Cool Cousin, a low key memorable night could be as low as HKD$200.

Which Hong Kong shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

Sadly, I'm a creature of habit and always hit up H&M and Zara for reliable and consistent fast fashion.

Your all-time favorite musicians:

I'm kind of all-over in terms of musical tastes - it all depends on how I feel (as it does with most people!) Here are few favourites: Nouvelle Vague, Above & Beyond, Lights, Backstreet Boys, Train, Late Night Alumni, Gabriel & Dresden, Enya, Ah-ha, & Queen!

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

Best Daytime Neighbourhood award goes to: Kennedy Town. Best Nighttime Neighbourhood award goes to: Central.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

I somehow pop up in places even I don't expect. There's not really any areas I'd "never be caught dead in" ... although I can think of a few outfits that fit that description!

What’s the one place in Hong Kong you think is underrated?

Perhaps all of the Wilson Trail and the MacLehose Trail. These hiking trails are well known and still they are underrated for their beauty and physical challenge.

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

If I really had to seduce a guy, it would really depend on the guy and what he likes. But a generic romantic date might be along the lines of : meet for dinner at rooftop bar/resto to catch the sunset and linger as long as our conversation flows OR hideaway at one of my favourite hidden hotel resto/bar to chitchat late into the night with a stable supply of nibbles and beverages - something simple.

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Hong Kong?

TSUI WAH. Any other answer would just be offensive. Maybe McDonald's as a runner up...

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

Bee line straight to a friend's house where you can keep each other warm over Netflix and hot tea/coffee/cocoa and maybe some takeout if we get hungry.

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

Dim Sum Cruise on Aqua Luna around Hong Kong Island. And then maybe a visit to the Tea Sommelier at Yan Toh Heen in the Intercontinental.

Your go-to brunch spots:

I have a soft spot for classic Hong Kong breakfast which means: the Mongkok Cooked Food Centre, nearest ToastBox location, or Lan Fong Yuen. Please never ever close on me.

Your perfect night out in Hong Kong includes:

Dinner at a place where the food meets its price point. And then an activity that takes me out of my everyday routine. I know this sounds vague and very ambiguous but the specifics really depend on the season, budget, and of course how I'm feeling that day!

Special views that mainstream tourists don't know about:

Honestly, Hong Kong nature is so underrated. Please get out of the city and explore the mountains, forests, meet the wildlife! It's only 20-40minutes away via taxi. Also, taxi fares are cheap (compared to most western countries at least!)

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

All of Hong Kong's Cooked Food Markets! Although this requires a bit of Cantonese Skills.

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