Hong Kong. A city in constant movement and flux. Each visit only affirms the belief that you’ll never run out of things to do here. Whether it’s your first time touching down in the city, or a veteran traveller looking for some new places to discover, get your pen and notebook at the ready, as Priscilla I’Anson has her (fashionably oversized) sleeves full of useful tips and local know-how worth stashing.
Priscilla is a woman resolute to make the world a more stylish place. As a stylist, her work ranges from styling commercials to celebrities to editorials to private clients. In 2015, she was enlisted as the new Fashion Director for Asia’s Next Top Model. That same year, she launched her own womenswear brand, PI’A, which is due to make its New York fashion week debut in September. Here, she shares her favourite plays, stays and short getaways in Hong Kong. But be warned, there’s an inordinate display of indulgent weekend brunches, discount luxury shopping and all-round luxuriating to inspire some serious travel envy.
Hong Kong’s vibe…
The energy in Hong Kong is limitless. There is a certain drive and ambition here that you just cannot find anywhere else in the world. People here work hard and play hard. It’s endlessly inspirational and the start-up community is refreshingly supportive of one another. Our style mimics the energy of the city. Hong Kong people dress for success. We take a lot of pride in the way we present ourselves.
Favourite thing about Hong Kong…
The sense that anything is possible here. Dream and it can happen.
Least favourite thing about Hong Kong…
There is a long history of ‘taipans’ in Hong Kong; a taipan is basically the scion of a large corporation and yields a lot of power. Many of these taipans are stuck in their old-fashioned ways and are unwilling to take a chance on something different. I think that in order for Hong Kong to continue to be regarded as a modern forward-thinking city, these taipans will play a huge part in allowing that to happen. They need to step up and do their part!
Fun fact about the locals…
As a greeting, instead of saying, “Hi, how are you?” we ask, “Have you eaten yet?” Food is an integral part of our lifestyle. We work hard so lunch hours are sacred, as are happy hour drinks and nice dinners!
Best time to visit…
My favourite time of year is October to early December. The heat dies down, the rain stops and there’s a slight shift in the energy as the year winds down and people start focusing on the holidays and spending time with family.
A useful local tip…
Some of the best restaurants and shops don’t open until the afternoon and stay open until past midnight. Make sure you check the opening hours of places you want to visit before heading there!
What to pack…
You have to pack one absolutely fabulous outfit. There will most certainly be some dinner, some party, some cocktail, some event that you will attend while you are here. Dress to impress. You can never be ‘overdressed’ in Hong Kong.
L: Hong Kong Skyline, R: Star Ferry
Hong Kong Black Book
The Peak — Do the hike up from Central if possible. It’s gruelling but short, and the view at the top is worth it.
Tamar Waterfront — Pack a picnic and take in the view across to Kowloon-side
Southside — Head for the beaches such as South Bay Beach or Big Wave Bay to experience a totally different side of Hong Kong.
The Big Buddha — Take the cable car from Tung Chung, the ride is an experience it itself.
The Upper House is my go-to recommendation. The staff service is unparalleled and they really make you feel like you’re at home. It’s convenient and the view from Cafe Grey is priceless.
The Mandarin Oriental is full of old-time charm. Head to the Captain’s Bar for colonial style drinks and live jazz.
The Island Shangri-La will forever hold a special place in my heart as I spent many birthdays as a toddler there.
The W Hotel is great for someone who wants to enjoy a more lively, modern atmosphere and they also have a pretty incredible rooftop infinity pool.
Tim Ho Wan is my number one recommendation for a seriously cheap Michelin-starred dim sum meal—just be prepared to line up. I suggest going to the IFC location, because you can grab a table number and do some shopping while you wait).
Ho Lee Fook is great for modern Chinese cuisine in a stylish, fun environment (and, yes, the name is deliberately cheeky)!
Cafe Caussette is my personal go-to for afternoon tea, their scones and rose jam are divine.
If you’re like me and can’t bear to drink bad coffee, head to Fuel for an excellent hit of caffeine.
L: The Peak Walking Trail, R: The Peak at sunset
I’m someone who loves to find a gem and so I personally love shops off the beaten track.
Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau is a building of floor-after-floor of warehouses from the likes of Lane Crawford, JOYCE, Chloé and Saint Laurent, selling off-season stock at excellent prices.
My secret shopping gem is called La Place and it’s filled with second-hand pieces from Chanel, Givenchy, Marni and more.
Head to PMQ to support local designers; the venue is filled with local designers and creatives.
Finally, I suggest checking out SoHo area in Central for some cute little boutiques for a cheap-and-cheerful find.
Hiking up to The Peak is one of my favourite things to do on the weekend.
A long brunch is another great weekend activity. My current favourite place is Grassroots Pantry; they do an excellent healthy pancake and cocoa acai bowl.
I also love having dimsum with my family on the weekend. Our go-to is Metropol Restaurant in United Centre; they still have the traditional pushcarts brimming with fresh steaming delights.
I also love to escape the city and head to the beach when I can. Usually I take my dog Foxy to Middle Island for a walk and a swim.
You can’t leave Hong Kong without…
I just love the Star Ferry. The journey across the harbour seems to get shorter and shorter (all that land reclamation!) but the view only gets better each time.