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Hong Kong Has More Hidden Gems Waiting To Be Discovered, And These Influencers Can Vouch For It.

Written by Esquire Philippines

Hong Kong—the one destination we all wish we could go back to in the near future. Prior to the pandemic, traveling to Asia’s World City has always been memorable, no matter how many times you’ve been to HK. We can all agree that there’s always something new to discover and experience in Hong Kong—from hidden holes-in-the-wall to stunning landscapes that you wouldn’t have guessed were parts of the sprawling urban region.


To help you get the most out of your next trip to Hong Kong and to prevent being overwhelmed with all of the things to do and ground to cover, advertising director Patrick Martin and interior designer Nix Alañon—two influential wayfarers who have frequented the country in recent years—share with us how they indulge in HK, including hidden gems that many tourists have yet to discover.

The Star Ferry is probably the best way to take in the view surrounding Victoria Harbour.

Take in the view

Whatever your preferences are when it comes to landscapes, from natural wonders to inspiring urban design, Hong Kong has something for you. For Nix, the latter is particularly awe-inspiring.


“From retail to hospitality spaces, HK is at the forefront of commercial design and I always look forward to getting inspired each time I come to the city,” shares Nix. When he visited the city with his entire design team, they came back to the Philippines energized and very much inspired.


Both Nix and Patrick were enraptured by the mesmerizing natural landscapes that can be found in Hong Kong, particularly from hiking the Dragon’s Back and Lion Rock.

Dragon's Back is widely hailed as one of Hong Kong's best urban hikes, which is why Nix had to experience it for himself.

“I climbed Lion Rock twice in one day—one during sunrise, and one during sunset. It was very random, but I knew that going there in those two magical hours of the day will give me two very different experiences, and it didn’t disappoint,” shares Patrick, adding that for Dragon’s Back, hiking is best done in the morning and while wearing a windbreaker since it can get a little chilly.

Patrick always makes a stop to Sha Tin district to experience Lion Rock, which is 495 meters high.

For those looking to experience a part of Hong Kong that offers a seamless blend of the old with the new, Patrick recommends a trip to Sheung Wan. Visit temples, antique stores, and art galleries while marveling at the preserved heritage of one of Hong Kong’s earliest settlements. While you're there, make sure to swing by Contemporary by Angela Li, one of HK's top galleries for contemporary art!

Sheung Wan is home to laid-back eateries, cultural stores, and 19th century temples

Have your fill

A Hong Kong trip wouldn’t be complete without covering food. The culinary scene caters to all tastebuds—from high-end Michelin-star restaurants to authentic local establishments.


Boasting one Michelin star and renowned for its authentic Cantonese cuisine and unique ingredients, The Chairman at Central bagged the number 10 spot in the 2021 World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards.

The Chairman also won 'Best Restaurant in Asia' and 'Best Restaurant in China' at the 2021 World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.

“Just thinking about it now makes my mouth water,” confirms Nix. Watch this to learn more about one of Hong Kong's most prestigious restaurants:

For dinner and drinks, both Nix and Patrick swear by Mott 32, a contemporary Cantonese restaurant that also has a branch in Las Vegas in the United States. “Words aren’t enough to describe the Mott 32 experience,” explains Patrick, while recommending neophytes to consider ordering the Peking Duck and Crispy Prawns.

Co-designed by Maximal Concepts and award-winning interior designer Joyce Wang, Mott 32 is located in a basement that once served as part of the bank.

Duddell’s, another Hong Kong restaurant with one Michelin star, is the place to be for a modern Chinese dim sum brunch, according to Nix. Aside from the food, you’ll also have your fill of art since Duddell’s also regularly features art shows and screenings.

Duddell’s is a cultural and social destination for people who have an active appreciation for the arts.

After a hearty meal, we can all agree that the best way to burn the calories is to walk around and consume the arts and culture some more! Patrick and Nix both recommend visiting K11 MUSEA—a cultural-retail destination on Victoria Dockside that features 250 retailers, 70 destination restaurants, 40 artist installations, and a wide array of educational programs.

After 10 years of planning and building, K11 MUSEA opened its doors in August 2019.

"I also like shopping in Lane Crawford for fashion, home and lifestyle goods," adds Nix. "Joyce is another favorite for the latest in global design and merchandising."


After a day of exploring and getting delightfully surprised, the best thing to cap your day with is probably having a drink or two at OZONE—a rooftop bar inside Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong that serves inventive cocktails and promises a mesmerizing view of the city skyline.

While known as a popular nightcap destination, people also love doing their Sunday brunches at OZONE.

Allow yourself to be surprised

Ask the millions of people that have been to Hong Kong about the best part of their trip and you’ll get a variety of answers. You can go through the first-time tourist route and have the most awesome experience, or go off the beaten path and discover another side of Hong Kong that you’ve never imagined to exist.

Nix once stayed in The Upper House, which has rooms that start at 730 square feet—the largest in Hong Kong.

For Nix and Patrick, however, Hong Kong is at its best when visitors are prepared and spontaneous at the same time.


“Research on places ahead of your trip so you can plan your days, accommodations, and budgets accordingly. Outfits included!” quips Nix, “At the same time, my mantra in HK is to just go with the flow and indulge in every experience.”


“Hong Kong is a destination that is full of surprises, and you’ll never get bored as it has a lot to offer,” adds Patrick.


The verdict: Plan your Hong Kong trip accordingly, but also be prepared to go off-script. Whether you're planning to go back or visit Hong Kong for the first time, the idea of having an abundance of choices is something every tourist always looks forward to.


For more indulgent experiences in Hong Kong, visit the Discover Hong Kong website. You can also watch the video below if you want to see Michelin star dining options for your next Hong Kong visit:

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