Thursday, June 19, 2008

Travel Hong Kong Guide - Full of joys in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

Travel Hong Kong Guide Lan Kwai FongWe admit it, we love Hong Kong. "Where East meets West", "The Jewel of South East Asia", "Asia's World City"; Hong Kong is all this and more. It is the economic powerhouse of Asia, it's a launching pad for new electronics and cool gadgets, it boasts an innovative vibrant film industry, it's at the forefront of fashion, the people are beautiful, flowers are beautiful, the weather, the shopping, and oh my God, the food!!!

Throw in an extensive transit system that gets you from A to B faster than you can say Tsim Sha Tsui, and every part of

Hong Kong is ready for you to explore. Tram it up to The Peak for a falcon's view of the city, walk the Avenue of Stars on Victoria Harbor, gawk at the sky–scrapers of Hong Kong Island, revel in the madness of Mongkok's shopping stalls or admire the Pandas of Ocean Park. BUT friends, there is one place you need not miss, one very, very special place.

Lan Kwai Fong. Saying it tingles the tongue like a dark ale.
Hong Kong's famous restaurant and pub quarter lies next to the central business district, but exists as if in a different dimension. With over 100 restaurant and bars lining cobblestone streets, it is Hong Kong's premier place to go for drinks, festivals and parties.

Originally an area dedicated to hawkers selling flowers and wares (Lan Kwai Fong literally means street filled with orchids and fragrances), the area was revamped in the early 80's by German–Canadian businessman Alan Zeman. Wanting a place to entertain overseas clients, he purchased and converted one of the main buildings in the square into a group of western restaurants. Paired with a couple existing nearby discos, the area soon became the nightlife hotspot for tourists, expats and the nearby business crowd.

The easiest way to "The Fong" is to take the MTR to Central Station on Hong Kong Island and navigate the crowd to exit D2. Find your way up onto D'Aguilar Street and head uphill. Start out in the afternoon and stroll down the cobblestones to check out the chic and trendy boutiques and spas. Window–shop if you like, indulge if you must. Pop into one of the numerous pubs for a late afternoon pint or sit on one of the various patios enjoying the afternoon sun and watch the people start to filter through.

Aromas soon emanate from everywhere, urging you to quell the growing cravings. This is no easy task with so much to choose from. Obviously the Oriental choices are abundant with
Asian cuisines like Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese restaurants nearby, but there is also French & Italian fine dining, or feast at one of the Russian, Nordic, Australian, Spanish and International restaurants in the area as well.

Eating is sure to take you well into the evening and as you step out of the restaurant you'll realize that trendy little pub district has transformed into "The Fong". Beautiful people are everywhere as celebrities, actors and models come to be seen. High heels click and clack on the street like manic metronomes trying to catch the thumping bass from the clubs. "The Fong" has suddenly become one very, very large street party as people move from club to pub, trying to find the hottest spot to dance and mingle. With bars and pubs nearing capacity, people move onto the street, which is now cutoff to all vehicular traffic. In the end it's the street party itself which is the biggest attraction, as people stop to chat and laugh, enjoying a pint or many.

There is always something going on in "The Fong", be it street festivals during the Halloween and New Year's celebrations or the Beer and Food Festivals that pop up in the summer. If you want good food, good times or just to people watch, make sure Lan Kwai Fong is part of your trip.

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