48 HOURS IN: HONG KONG
Of the Asian cities I have been to (albeit limited to Shanghai, Bangkok and HK), Hong Kong is definitely the favourite.
It has a Western vibe brought by a thriving expat community and this, in turn, has had a massive impact on the quality of restaurants and the nightlife.
Here are my to-dos in two days:
How to travel: Grab an Octopus card, load it up and it's super easy to start navigating your way around the city by subway.
Where to stay: I stayed at the Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay (http://www.metroparkhotel.com/eng/), 4 stars, and perfectly acceptable for a city trip. If you're looking for something more glam then this isn't the one but it's a great base in terms of location, cleanliness and the staff are more than helpful. An additional plus point was the rooftop gym - a great location for a training run, I ran 10k on the treadmill in prep for the London Marathon!
Where to visit: Lots of places to fit in on this whistle-stop tour. Victoria Peak is a must do for the amazing photo opportunities at the top. Whilst there, drop by The Peak Lookout (http://www.peaklookout.com.hk/) for a quick drink to really soak up the beautiful, almost rainforest-like scenery.
How to exercise: The Dragons Back is a ridge in the southeast of the island. The Dragons Back Trail has been voted the best urban hike in Asia by TIME magazine so it really is a do-not-miss! Walk or run the 8.5km trail and you'll feel like you've really earned your evening meal!
Where to breakfast: A few options for you here. Classified (http://www.classifiedfood.com/eng/locations/) can be found in a few locations and is very good for the Western version of brunch. We actually went here for 2 out of 2 of our breakfasts - I love my breakfasts so had to sample both the granola and the poached eggs!
Where to coffee: Pacific Coffee or Simply Life - various locations. Very similar to a Starbucks but if, like me, the day doesn't start for you before your first caffeine hit, this place will do the trick.
Where to lunch: For pizza, pasta and good meat dishes head to Al Dente, Soho (http://www.aldentegroup.co/#!al-dente-soho/c98v) or The Burger Room (http://www.burgeroom.com/) for homemade beef patties.
Where to supper: For a more authentic Eastern experience make sure you head to Lan Kwai Fong, otherwise known to locals as LKF. It's in the Central district and is a cluster of streets with great food and drink options.
Where to shop: For shopping, HK is just as well stocked as any Western high street. Fashion Walk is a great place to start for a range of high-end international fashion designers. The fairy-lights adorning the pedestrianised streets indicate where at night the restaurants will spill out of their doors and create a great vibe for al fresco dining or just a post-shopping cocktail!
Where to watch some sport: Perhaps my most favourite activity in my short trip to HK, was a visit to Happy Valley to watch horse-racing. Put on every Wednesday night, it's a lively, party atmosphere whilst watching some top level sport. You don't need to be a racing whizz to enjoy this night out! http://happywednesday.hkjc.com/en/index.aspx