Hong Kong is an exercise in extremes. An opulent jewel of the Orient, its liminal character as a European outpost in an Asian land has made it one of the most culturally vibrant and complex cities on the planet. From the densely packed apartment blocks to rich, impenetrable jungle forests; from glittering skyscrapers to traditional fishing villages in secluded bays, it can be a difficult place to really get a grip on.
Churning at a pace arguably faster than New York, it’s vibrant and eclectic in a way that is truly unique. It’s infectious – I’m typing this while speeding down a highway between meetings, constantly crossing back and forth from the island to Kowloon-side. Fortunately, the expat community means the luxuries Western professionals expect are in plentiful supply, with a rich coffee and food scene. Often the best spots take a bit of digging to discover, hidden down tiny side-streets and on the highest rooftops.
As a fashion centre, Hong Kong continues to come into its own. With a burgeoning local scene putting unknown Asian designers on the racks, there’s plenty of new looks to get on board with, not to mention a serious preoccupation with vintage stores. With that said, it’s hard to walk more than a block around Central without coming across a high-end boutique: Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Louis Vuitton and the rest of the best have a heavy presence.
After a long day on your feet in the sticky, tropical humidity, there’s nothing better than having a drink and watching the sun go down and the incredible skyline light up around the harbour. Hong Kong has a pulse like no other, and it’s a given that I’m going to be back as soon as possible.