I never knew the Fountain of Youth was built by shirtless potbelly construction men on bamboo scaffolding! Why do I consider Hong Kong the Fountain of Youth you ask? Let’s examine the evidence:
- Walking the Hong Kong hills produces enough sweat to match even the hottest of toxin-expelling Bikram classes.
- Every girl in the bar looks to be aged somewhere between tween and legal (*warning* Will Robinson *warning*).
- Your rage-ability is magically back to its college glory days where 3am was an “early night”.
- Just one 50min foot massage will make you believe in reincarnation.
Hong Kong has so much to offer that spending just two days there will only scratch the surface. But since someone’s gotta work to finance these expeditions here’s my advice on how to spend a weekend in one of my favorite cities in the world.
- Wake up at The Ovolo Central and pack your purse with all the free goodies in your room’s mini bar. Mini snickers and a bottle of Johnny Walker to-go? Why thank you, Ovolo, how did you know those were obvious essentials?
- Start off your Hong Kong experience by getting high…no not that kind of high, stick to your chocolate and whiskey, you rebel…I’m talking high in the Hong Kong sky as you take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak to get some of the best views of the city.
- Famished from your obsessive picture-taking atop the Peak, head back down to Central and channel your inner fat kid at Little Bao where you’ll eat everything possible including the dessert bao.
- To prevent your buns starting to look like big baos, take a walk on Hollywood Road, popping in and out of art galleries and antique stores as you try to convince yourself that an antique dragon totally fits with your house’s decor.
- Take a quick break from the Hong Kong hustle at Man Mo Temple where you’ll become entranced by the large hanging incense coils that make up the ceiling above you.
- Snap out of your Temple trance and participate in a favorite Hong Kong pastime – shopping! There’s certainly no shortage of boutique and brand name Central Shopping along streets such as Wyndham, Wellington, Stanley, and Queens.
- Now it’s time to treat those tired toes to a Hong Kong staple, a 50min foot massage. These puppies are as rejuvenating as they are painful sometimes, but oh are they worth it. My personal favorite was Zhen Foot Massage, but you could go anywhere as long as they look clean and aren’t eyeing your toes in some naughty manner (if they wink at you it’s probably a bad sign).
- Feeling both sore and revived, you flaunt your well-circulated legs on the world’s longest escalator system up to Soho for cocktails. Catch a drink at one of the lively Soho bars with expats who visited Hong Kong and never left (too many leg massages would entice you to be a permanent resident too!).
- Time for dinner at the hip and delicious – everyone say it together now – Ho Lee Fook. I mean, their slogan is “good fortune for your mouth” and in my attempt to keep this PG-13, I’ll leave it there.
- Fueled up and ready to go, you hit Lan Kwai Fung, the heart of the Hong Kong time reversal machine. LKF makes you feel half your party age, you’ll lose track of time worse than in Vegas, and it’s been known to make New Orlean’s Bourbon St. look tame!
- Waking up Bon Jovi’d (Dead or Alive…get it?) you drag yourself to catch the Ferry from Central to Lantau Island’s Tian Tian Buddha (poor thing gets called “Big Buddha” but I think it’s just big boned). Hike up the 268 steps and have a nice walk around the area.
- Once you’ve taken in some culture, catch a view from the Ngong Ping Cable Car as it brings you back to Tung Chung Station where you can hop a quick taxi or MTR to Kowloon.
- Lunch is set at the infamous Din Tai Fung. Their level of soup dumpling skill is as high as the temperature of those delicious little fireballs of perfection you’ll be eating. You didn’t want your taste buds anymore, right? Good because your whole mouth will be seared off by the time you leave, and it’s totally worth it.
- Happily scarred from lunch, spend the afternoon perusing the many Markets in Kowloon.
- As day turns to night, you’re feeling your inner raver start to peak out and just your luck, you’re perfectly located to watch the Symphony of Lights at 8pm from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Dubbed “The Worlds Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show”, it’ll take you back to your concert days when laser beams and glow sticks were all the rage.
- Hit yet another Hong Kong institution by taking the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui over to Central. This guy dates back to 1888 and will give you a nice breeze as you ride in style towards your evening’s activities.
- What other record does HK hold? No, it’s not most drunken expat arrests. It’s the highest concentration of skyscrapers in the world! So clearly you’re next stop has to be mixing altitude with drinks and dinner. Check out Red Bar on the IFC rooftop for drinks with a view, and then get fancy for your dinner at the seriously endowed (with a view…keep your mind out of the gutter would ya?) restaurant Sevva. This place isn’t cheap but it is delicious and you’ll get a million dollar view to match.
- After your mile-high dinner, peacock your way to the notorious Wan Chai! Don’t let the “red light district” label scare you away; this area has some of the best nightlife in the city with live music, energetic bars, and “friendly” patrons. Just make sure you know exactly what the payment is for that free drink someone offered you!
If you’ve done it all right, then you’ve missed your flight home and are now lucky enough to have a third day to spend! Well done, now do yourself a favor and get out to one of Hong Kong’s many junk boats, hiking trails, and beaches to work off that nasty hangover.
The Fountain of Youth is quite mesmerizing, but I should mention one consequence. Upon leaving you quickly realize you’ve aged dramatically from your time there, so much so that you’ve Benjamin Buttoned yourself back to toddlerism and require many midday naps to set yourself right again. But it was worth it right?
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