City Secrets   Hong Kong  

Hong Kong: Gold Standard

October 19, 2010

When it comes to gold in Hong Kong,it?s a matter of tradition and custom. Luckily, our selection and prices will spoil you rotten. Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay will prove this ten times over. Well-known local jewelry boutiques line the street, competing for business. Endless window displays filled with modern and traditional gold jewelry will continually capture your attention, eliciting a response in the form of swooning. Step inside the shops and you won?t be disappointed. Shelves lined with ornate gold necklaces and bracelets, and drawers overflowing with gold chains, are a bit of what you can expect on your journey. And the big time bonus is that all of the jewelry is tax-free. How?s that for added incentive!

When it comes to gold in Hong Kong,it?s a matter of tradition and custom. Luckily, our selection and prices will spoil you rotten. Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay will prove this ten times over. Well-known local jewelry boutiques line the street, competing for business.  Endless window displays filled with modern and traditional gold jewelry will continually capture your attention, eliciting a response in the form of swooning.  Step inside the shops and you won?t be disappointed.  Shelves lined with ornate gold necklaces and bracelets, and drawers overflowing with gold chains, are a bit of what you can expect on your journey.  And the big time bonus is that all of the jewelry is tax-free. How?s that for added incentive!


Often heavy and ornately designed, many of these jewels are made for sacred unions. Dragon pendants, along with floral necklaces and bracelets adorned with the Chinese character for ?double happiness,? are the norm as they symbolize good fortune and prosperity. Lucky for us ladies, these are gifts in which tradition requires the brides? parents and other elder relatives to give her as part of her dowry. A Chinese bride in Hong Kong is usually seen wearing a Chinese ?qipao? dress along with gold jewelry on her big day. What?s the gold standard of expectation in Hong Kong, you ask? The more the better!  The number of gold bracelets worn by the bride translates to her wealth and how much she is loved by her family. Talk about competition!

 

Neon Nights: Late Night Hong Kong

September 22, 2010

Hong Kong is notorious for its nightlife, and while it may not be overflowing with 24-hour haunts, after-hours there are aplenty. From all-night shopping to karaoke and authentic Hong Kong eats, there?s always something for the night crawler to get into.

Hong Kong is notorious for its nightlife, and while it may not be overflowing with 24-hour haunts, after-hours there are aplenty. From all-night shopping to karaoke and authentic Hong Kong eats, there?s always something for the night crawler to get into.

 

For the true shopaholic, Hong Kong has APM, a 24-hour, 7-story mall in Kwun Tong (the MTR stops running around 1 a.m., so getting there by mass transit any time after is a challenge). APM houses a variety of well-known local and international stores that sell clothing, beauty products, books and electronics. There are also supermarkets, restaurants and a cinema. The perfect place to go when there are simply not enough hours in the day.

 

The Lan Kwai Fong and Soho areas are perfect for hours upon hours of barhopping; if you?re game, try Dragon-I, Volar, Halo, Drop, Gecko and Yumla, to start. Hookah lounges have enjoyed a recent surge in popularity here; Kasbah, Marouche and Sahara are top choices that also happen to serve delicious Middle Eastern meals. For karaoke, CEO at Causeway Bay is the place to go, especially as they?ve expanding their collection of both old and contemporary US and UK hits. Get ready to get your Gaga on.

 

Of the handful of places in Hong Kong that do stay open 24 hours a day, The Flying Pan, Caf? O (on weekends only) and Tsui Wah are your best bets. The Flying Pan is a cozy diner with an extensive menu of big, hearty Western-style breakfasts. Be warned: its convenient location makes it a go-to place for those with the drunken munchies. Caf? O offers a quieter, more comfortable experience and healthier cuisine. However, for a true local experience, Tsui Wah in Central is a must for its huge selection of reasonably priced local delights: wonton noodles, peanut butter and condensed milk toast and curries. Partygoers descend on all 3 floors around 4 or 5 in the morning.  Dig in.

 

 

Shop

apm mall

418 Kwun Tong Road, Millenium City 5, Kwun Tong 

2267 0500  

 

Eat

The Flying Pan

G/F, 9 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong

2140 6333 

 

Caf?  O

No.2, Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong

2868-0450 

 

Tsui Wah

15D-19 Wellington St., Central, Hong Kong

2525 6338

 

Drink

Dragon ?I

60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong 

3110 1222

 

Volar

44 D'aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong

2810 1272 

 

Halo

B/F, 10-12 Stanley St, Central, Hong Kong

2810 1460 

 

Drop

Basement, On Lok Mansion, 39-43 Hollywood Rd., Central, Hong Kong

2543 8856 

 

Gecko

LG/F, Ezra Lane Lower Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

2537 4680 

 

Yumla

79 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong 

2147 2382 

 

 

Hookah

Kasbah

4-8 Arbuthnot Rd, Central, Hong Kong

2525 9493 

 

Marouche

G/F, 48 Cochrane Street Central, Hong Kong

2541 8282 
 

Sahara

11 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong 

2291 6060 

 

Karaoke

CEO

2-8 Sugar Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

2137 9777 

MAPS & MUSES: HONG KONG CREATIVE CITY GUIDE

August 13, 2010

As vast and massive as Hong Kong is ? 1104 square kilometers, a population of 7 million ? it can become all too familiar. Need 150 ways to dispel the monotony? Turn to the Creative City Guide, created by Danielle Huthart, the founder of award-winning design studio Whitespace. The resulting guide is exactly what its name suggests: a nod to the creative and cultural whole of Hong Kong ? not only the Central district ? including factoids, useful info, and tips that will help you see it all, savor more and stray beyond.


As vast and massive as Hong Kong is ? 1104 square kilometers, a population of 7 million ? it can become all too familiar. Need 150 ways to dispel the monotony? Turn to the Creative City Guide, created by Danielle Huthart, the founder of award-winning design studio Whitespace.The resulting guide is exactly what its name suggests: a nod to the creative and cultural whole of Hong Kong ? not only the Central District ? including factoids, useful info, and tips that will help you see it all, savor more and stray beyond.
 
The Creative City Guide literally maps out over 150 destinations all over the SAR, ranging from the outskirts of New Territories and Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. Its authors, including Huthart, journalist Louisa Wong and an esteemed set of designers, writers and entrepreneurs that know Hong Kong from the inside out, provide an innovative and insightful list of places to visit. The Creative City Team?s top picks? Those would be Kapok, a shop that stocks favorite local and international labels, and is a strong supporter of the creative scene in Hong Kong; Mido Caf?,  a charming old-school landmark that serves time-tested Cantonese with Western flavor food and drinks; and Loveramics for quirky home goods.
 
For a token of HK $28/ $3USD, this portable and foldable map is yours to keep ? you on your toes. Now, if you?ll excuse me, I?m off to discover destination #122 ...

Best Hong Kong souvenirs and where to get them

July 30, 2010

My friend went to Hong Kong and all he got me was this lousy T-shirt, antique Buddha head and indie rock album. My friend went to Hong Kong and all he got me was this lousy T-shirt, antique Buddha head and indie rock album.     "I ? Hong Kong" T-shirt     Ladies' Market   Any of Hong Kong's famed street markets will offer a whole range of cheesy tourist...

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Hong Kong, Globe-Trotters: Danielle Huthart, WHITESPACE

June 29, 2010

05.18.2010

For a company founded just 5 years ago, Hong Kong-based design consultancy Whitespace has an impressive portfolio ? with work, literally, all over the city, Hong Kong is its canvas. If you live here, you?ll fast become familiar with Whitespace?s creative and branding services; their diverse group of clients include the Press Room, JIA Boutique Hotels, Kush apartments, DOZO! Sushi, and Marie?s Patisserie and Boulangerie (By Brunch Club), just to name a few. Founder Danielle Huthart, a Parsons graduate, is at the helm, making her dreams of a unique creative studio come to life with each project. We got the chance to pick her brain.

For a company founded just 5 years ago, Hong Kong-based design consultancy Whitespace has an impressive portfolio ? with work, literally, all over the city, Hong Kong is its canvas. If you live here, you?ll fast become familiar with Whitespace?s creative and branding services; their diverse group of clients include the Press Room, JIA Boutique Hotels, Kush apartments, DOZO! Sushi, and Marie?s Patisserie and Boulangerie (By Brunch Club), just to name a few. Founder Danielle Huthart, a Parsons graduate, is at the helm, making her dreams of a unique creative studio come to life with each project. We got the chance to pick her brain.

 
Why did you choose Hong Kong to start your company?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and my family is here, so Hong Kong is home. I spent about 10 years in New York and needed a change; Hong Kong was obviously the first place I?d come back to.
 
If you could start another design consultancy anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I?ve done New York, and even though it?s still one of my favorite cities, I would say Paris because I?ve never lived in Europe. I?m half English, but funny enough, I?ve never lived in Europe. It?s just a fantastic city and [close to the heart of] what we do in design. There?s so much fashion, art and culture there and where so many of these [creative movements] originate from.
 
Where do you like to shop in Hong Kong?
I used to shop a lot every time I came back to Hong Kong from the States. I liked going to Tsim Sha Tsui and those areas with the cool boutiques that bring back small collections from places like Japan. It think those are a lot of fun to browse and look around. However, since coming back to Hong Kong, I don?t really have much time to shop. But if I do, I like places like D-Mop; I think they have a really good selection. Joyce is also a really good place to look around. Hong Kong doesn?t really have that kind of eclectic boutique where stumble across something, but stores here have a little bit of everything. Buttonhole is still great; I?ve picked out a couple of pieces there that have managed to stay in my closet.
 
Where do you go in Hong Kong to pamper yourself?
I go to the Four Seasons Spa ? that?s a real treat.
 
What do you enjoy the most about your career?
I love what I do. I have always really enjoyed art; the fact that I can make a career out of something I?m really interested in is amazing. ? I love working and communicating with people. Throughout that last couple of years, we?ve worked with some really interesting and offbeat clients. Every time we encounter someone new, we learn something from it. Even understanding the client?s business is really interesting. For example, we?ve worked with all these characters: we?ve worked with an orthodontist; we?ve worked with a club owner; and one guy was like a serious gangster. They all have a different perspective on design, and I learn from understanding how they view things. It?s a combination of things that I like: the people, the type of projects that we?ve done, designing, and creating Whitespace.
 
What are your wardrobe or lifestyle must-haves?
My sister gave me this amazing shawl that I?ve had for years and I never travel without it. It?s the single most useful item I have in my wardrobe. I wear a lot of black, and I also love white. Flat shoes are definitely a must. I love the classics and the basics, just things that are simple. I try to be a bit more conservative in buying things; I try to buy things that last and not buy anything that is too fashionable.
 
What is your favorite travel destination and why?
I really do love the Philippines. I've only been there once however but still think it's the best place for a beach holiday. I went to Manila for a friend's wedding in Tagaytay, and then headed to Boracay for a few days. I ate mangoes and sat on the beach from morning till night. ? Other favorite travel destinations would either be Paris or Bali.
 
I was last in Paris in January [and going back soon]. I?m really excited to see Chanel's apartment at 31 Rue Cambon. There are all these great shops in Le Marais such as Merci and Surface to Air on Rue des Archives, and numerous others in Rue de Temple. There are also the little shops that sell old maps, postcards and lithograph prints. Being a graphic designer, I always end up picking up magazines or books. I think there's always something to discover.
 
When I visit Bali, we stay in Canggu; Eco Beach (which has dark sand) is nearby and there are some warungs [outdoor restaurants] that you can hang out at and watch the surfers. On the way, there's the Tuck Shop for good coffee and WiFi, and then some little boutiques along Jalan Raya Seminyak. There is a good fabric store with interesting prints and batiks that I discovered on the way to Double Six Beach. Up in Ubud, there's an incredible shop on Jalan Monkey Forest that has great indigo fabrics done in a Japanese style. My mother actually lives in Jakarta, so we go down to Bali often to stay at her villa. Indonesia feels more like a second home, but it's still a favorite and frequent travel destination.

 

Hong Kong, City Secrets: Rugby Sevens

June 29, 2010

04.06.2010

I have a confession. I went to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens during a spell of what I?d to believe was temporary amnesia. I trooped to the Hong Kong Stadium at Causeway Bay ? despite my annual post-Sevens vow that I will NOT endure another year of the wheat-stenched South Stand (the stadium?s hooligan headquarters) madness, which includes urine-filled beer jugs flailing about, indecent exposure and a whole lot of drunken debauchery from expats and tourists alike.

I have a confession. I went to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens during a spell of what I?d to believe was temporary amnesia. I trooped to the Hong Kong Stadium at Causeway Bay ? despite my annual post-Sevens vow that I will NOT endure another year of the wheat-stenched South Stand (the stadium?s hooligan headquarters) madness, which includes urine-filled beer jugs flailing about, indecent exposure and a whole lot of drunken debauchery from expats and tourists alike.

 

In Hong Kong, the Rugby Sevens is to men what Halloween is to women. The female wardrobe du jour (a sweeping generalization) fell into a few categories: cheerleader, air hostess, tutu-dressed-something, discount-Avatar, and the curious choice of Where?s Waldo. But the men dominated the dress-up game with through-the-roof effort. I saw everything from Steve Erwin, the boys from The Hangover movie, pharaohs, an Arab sheikh, an iPhone, sushi, TinTin and Top Gear?s The Stig, to the Mad Hatter and a cross-dressed Alice in Wonderland, Tiger Woods, Care Bears, and Mao Zedong. To say the least, it was an impressive turnout. What was more interesting was how the costumed Sevens zealots were a living, breathing ?year in review.? (Case in point, ?Tiger Woods? was humping every girl he encountered. Slightly crude behavior aside, you can?t deny their wit.)

 

Frankly, I?m not too sure where this dress-up phenomenon began. How did dressing in your country?s color evolve/devolve into a fancy-dress wildcard spectacle? But, as they say, if you can?t beat them, join them.

 

P.S. ? I went as Farmer Joe. Better yet, someone asked my friend and I, ?Are you Paris and Nicole from The Simple Life?? Psssssh ?. !

 

Visit www.hksevens.com for details.

 

Hong Kong, City Secrets: Temptation Island

June 29, 2010

03.30.2010

Every time I?m in Causeway Bay I make my routine stop at a little 4-story mall called Island Beverley. (That usually means I am there 3 to 4 times a week.) Situated at the corner of one of the busiest streets of Hong Kong, Island Beverley is the heart of local Hong Kong fashion.

 

Every time I'm in Causeway Bay I make my routine stop at a little 4-story mall called Island Beverley. (That usually means I am there 3 to 4 times a week.) Situated at the corner of one of the busiest streets of Hong Kong, Island Beverley is the heart of local Hong Kong fashion. After going up the escalators to the first floor of the mall, you are immediately greeted by dozens of tiny boutiques just a tad bigger than a telephone booth, crammed with funky accessories, shoes and clothing. Inventories are updated frequently, which explains my just-as-frequent visiting schedule. While some of the stores showcase local designers, others carry hard-to-find Japanese and Korean brands. Every store has its own character: edgy, bohemian, androgynous, fashion-forward. You name it, they?ve probably got it. While it?s true that Hong Kong residents are completely obsessed with luxury name brands and would rather save up for the ?It? bag of the season or scour designer outlets, Island Beverley is still a hit. Thanks to the reasonable prices, young locals and expats alike enjoy this emporium; it?s the perfect way to try out new trends without worrying about their imminent expiration dates. My favorite fashion finds from Island Beverley? Alexander Wang-inspired exposed-zip jeans, a lambskin leather shoulder bag that I have used to death, and an old-school gold Casio digital watch.  

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