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Hong Kong comes alive after dark


It may have the closest Disneyland to Australia but Hong Kong is the perfect kid-free destination – especially when it comes to eating and drinking.

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The city is unapologetically fast-paced, except for the few brief hours in the morning when people are recovering from the night before.

A day can easily be spent shopping for luxury brands or admiring the vista from Victoria Peak, but it’s at night when this noir-esque metropolis comes alive.

It starts with pre-dinner drinks, preferably with a view.

Ce La Vi’s sky deck is arguably the best place to see all of Hong Kong with a glass of Veuve Clicquot in hand. The only trouble is deciding if you want to look out over city lights or the stunning national park.

If you’re seeking an entrancing sunset over the waterfront, head up to Cafe Gray Bar on level 49 of luxury hotel The Upper House. Rooms at this hotel start at about $A830 a night, including taxes, but a cocktail will only set you back $A14.

Cafe Grey Bar. Photo: Roderick Eime / flickr

The Upper House is the perfect place to hide away from Hong Kong’s bustling tempo. Designed by Andre Fu, the relaxed style extends to the elevators, which don’t even have a close door button to ensure guests embrace a slower pace in life.

If you’re seeking accommodation in the heart of everything, you can’t go past The Pottinger, a boutique hotel within walking distance of the IFC Mall and Central’s nightlife district.

For dinner, Hong Kong is best described as a city of entrepreneurial eaters.

Regular visitors know not to use restaurants and cafes as their bearings because entire streets of eateries can change in a year.

Dumplings at Ho Lee Fook. Photo: City Foodsters / flickr

One place sinking its claws into appetites is the unapologetically cool Asian fusion restaurant Ho Lee Fook. The food is a whirlwind of delicious bites punctuated by bubble tea and Szechuan whisky cocktails.

It’s the type of meal and atmosphere that makes you turn to the person next to you and say: “People would go nuts for this in Australia.”

Another sought-after spot that invites an early dinner plan is Izakaya restaurant Yardbird. All items on the menu are limited and they don’t take reservations so patrons know to get in quick if they want to order their favourite dish.

Popular dinner spot Yardbird.

Just around the corner from Yardbird is the enterprising “cocktail in a can” bar KWOON.

It’s the perfect place to kick back after a meal or to grab a drink for the stroll to your hotel (drinking alcohol in public is legal).

Whoever said growing up sucks has clearly never been to Hong Kong.

Staying there: I stayed at The Pottinger Hong Kong. Rooms start at $A480 per night. To book visit Rooms at the Upper House start at $A830 per night, including taxes. To book visit

Playing there: Ce La Vi sky deck is open from 3pm to late from Monday to Saturday, and from 2pm to 12am on Sunday. To make a reservation for drinks visit

Ho Lee Fook is open from 6 to 11pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 6pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Reservations accepted for groups of five or more. For more information visit

Yardbird is open from 6pm to midnight from Monday to Saturday. Walk-ins only. See the menu at

KWOON cocktail bar is open from 5pm to 11pm. Reservations accepted for groups of six or more. Book at

Before you go: English is more widely spoken in Hong Kong than mainland China. A visa is not required for Australian passport holders for trips of less than 90 days.


* The writer travelled as a guest of Cathay Pacific.

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