fine China hong kong Little surprise that China was itching to reclaim its gilded island in 1997; Hong Kong, appropriately located at the mouth of the Pearl River, is a valued jewel in any nation's crown By Kate Rigby 48Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 A strip of sparkling metropolis slung low on the base of the heaving mass of China, Hong Kong has always been a bit different; a bit special. Ingrained with 5,000 years of Chinese tradition and polished off with more than 150 years of British colonialism, Hong Kong is a law unto itself; a heady mêlée of stately colonial grandeur, furious- paced finance and glittering Oriental glamour mingling together to delicious effect. The question was, would Hong Kong continue to dazzle once it returned to the Chinese fold in 1997? The answer, resoundingly, is yes. Xianggang as it is now officially named,
Above left: the west side of Victoria Harbour Above: the Mandarin Oriental hotel AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI49 still plays as hard as it works, and it works as hard as it can to preen and proffer its countless attractions. On a whistle- stop stay in the city, headline your trip with the following attractions. PILLOW TALK For a city with such an electric nightlife, it would seem that having somewhere to rest your head should be merely a formality, but Hong Kong does nothing by halves. Honouring its grand colonial upbringing, the city continues to think big when it comes to hospitality. The trusty clan of leading hotel chains are here along with a healthy string of gems from the boutique clique. Among the big- hitters are the recently redesigned Mandarin Oriental, the Excelsior ( reserve a harbour- front room as they all have a sofa by the bay window so you can city- gaze in comfort), The Langham, which is encircled by designer boutiques, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental with the largest rooms of any hotel in Hong Kong, the harbour- front Four Seasons, and The Peninsula: the legendary Grande Dameof the Far East. A recent addition to check out is the Harbour Grand Hong Kong, opened just a few months ago. Situated on the waterfront, it has 828 rooms, including 86 luxury suites, and is five- star opulence itself. Smaller, hipper and boutique inspired is the stylish, award- winning Hotel LKF by Rhombus in Lan Kwai Fong. TOP TABLE East and West get whisked together to delicious effect in Hong Kong's culinary scene. With a gut- busting 9,000 restaurants you can guarantee Asian fare of all varieties, along with a very wide repertoire of gourmet international offerings. As well as booking a table at the well- established, lauded gourmet establishments, simply wandering along the Yun Ping Road, Kai Chiu Road, Pak Sha Road, Lan Fong Road, Hysan Avenue, Hoi Ping Road and Yiu Wa Street offers up a veritable feast of ?