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Travel weekender: Hong Kong

Where some destinations are built to foster feelings of romance and closeness between couples (the Maldives, for example), there are some cities in the world designed to do the same (with slightly less romance) for the best of friends. Think along the lines of Carrie and Samantha, shopping in New York.

But if New York is too much of a stretch – and let’s face it, any flight over 12 hours is asking a little too much when it comes to a weekend getaway – then hone your attention in on Hong Kong.

A tax-free haven just eight hours from Sydney, and with daily, comfortable flights thanks to the team at Virgin Atlantic, Hong Kong offers round-the-clock feasting on food, fashion, cocktails and handbags. And if handbags aren’t your thing (Louis-Vuitton-fake or otherwise), as the gateway to China there is more than enough culture to soak up, as well as the odd sandy beach.

Sandy beach? Right. If you thought Hong Kong was simply a city skyline, then think again. Behind the infamous Peak and heady Financial District of Hong Kong Island lies an idyllic series of coastal hamlets, nestled between soaring forest and turquoise waters. Although Stanley is perhaps the best-known of the tiny-island’s beach destinations, it’s worth making the extra effort to get to Shek O, an exclusive yet unspoiled beach-side village where you’ll fund rugged views and sinuous walking trails, quite at odds with the hustle and bustle of the city’s financial hub.

Hong Kong is the city that never sleeps, and it’s not until a night out in Lan Kwai Fong that you’ll truly appreciate this. Narrow, steep, cobbled alleys are lit up from dusk until dawn as revellers spill their parties onto the streets. Known as the city’s Party Central, you’ll find bankers still apparently fresh from their longer-than-12-hour working days, and plenty of well-dressed women hawking for attention. The name of the game is fun, however, and you’re bound to have plenty of it, along with plenty of cocktails.

Aside from the night-life, Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise. With sky-high malls connected by walkways shielded from the weather, you can shop to your heart’s content, from the early hours to, well, the early hours. Some of Europe’s favourite brands, including Zara, H&M and Marks & Spencer sit comfortably between the highest of the high-end names. But if your wallet is bursting at the seams, head to the night markets to bag yourself a bargain, in the shape of the latest (pleather?) Chanel or Hermes handbag.

Have you enjoyed a weekend in Hong Kong? What memories (or bargains) did you bring home? Where are you planning your next adventure?

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About the Author

Lizzy has more than ten years’ experience in the print and digital publishing arena and is the Editor at Single File. Having moved from the UK to Australia in 2008, Lizzy has worked for a number of leading publishers in Sydney and has particular expertise in the health, wellness and travel markets. If you have any questions for Lizzy, you can send them across by email to

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