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Things to do in Hong Kong

Feel the sand between your toes

If white sandy beaches are your jam, get a ferry (www.lantauonline.com/lantau-ferries) to Lantau Island and kick back at Cheung Sha. Lantau is also the location of the vast Shek Pik Reservoir Dam, with its mind-boggling 24 million cubic meters of water.

Hike the Maclehose Trail

Head across the New Territories on Hong Kong's longest hike, the 100km-long (62-mile) MacLehose Trail. If the full stretch sounds a little daunting - which it is - the route has been split into 10 sections, each taking from 90 minutes to five hours. Information on the route can be found on the official Enjoy Hiking website (http://hiking.gov.hk).

Ogle the pretty goldfish

How you feel about the aptly named Goldfish Market (www.goldfish-market.hk) will largely depend on your opinion on fish in captivity. Thousands of plastic bags containing goldfish of every hue line the walls of these shops in Mong Kok, and are destined for bowls and aquariums across the city.

Tuck into Hello Kitty

The Hello Kitty image of image is famous the world over, but in Hong Kong Kitty’s so popular there’s a restaurant (tel: +852 8202 8203; www.hellokittychinesecuisine.com.hk) that’s been fully licensed by the owners of the brand. A must stop-off for any foodie, their Kitty-decorated dim sum are the ultimate banker for Instagram likes.

Walk amongst the flotsam at Chunking Mansions

Chunking Mansions (tel: +852 9316 8547; www.chungking-mansions.hk) achieved cult fame when it was featured and name-checked in Wong Kar-wai's 1994 film Chunking Express. This 17-floor building was ground zero for vice in Hong Kong for quite some time, but since a facelift in 2004 it's no longer quite the den of iniquity it once was. The three vast shopping malls that have taken their place are still worth walking around, though.

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Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

The Mandarin Oriental, which overlooks Victoria Harbour from its perch right in the middle of Central, is a Hong Kong institution. The 501 rooms are known for their elegance, and its tearooms and buffets also enjoy a loyal following. The lobby has style to spare with a somewhat recherché art deco flavour.

W Hong Kong

This design-led Hong Kong hotel offers incredible skyline views from all 393 rooms. The interior draws on inspiration from the environment with tree-like columns in the main entrance, and the rooftop swimming pool on the 76th floor is one of the highest in the world. Its plush lounge, the Living Room, is great too.

Hotel ICON

 This 4.5 star hotel is situated in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, offering a unique window on Hong Kong and the most vibrant and genuine experience of city life. It provides delicious local and international cuisine, cocktails on the club floor, a stylish pool and also spa floor.

J Plus Hotel by YOO

Meaning 'home' in Mandarin, JIA is the first boutique hotel in Asia designed by Philippe Starck. This Hong Kong hotel has 32 studios and 24 suites including two luxurious duplex penthouses, all of which include fully equipped kitchens, marble bathrooms and home theatre systems. Guests are also entitled to exclusive perks such as entry to slick private members clubs, complementary champagne in selected bars, and a free harbour cruise.

The Luxe Manor

The interior of this quirky Hong Kong hotel is a charming mix of grand old architecture fused with the surrealist art and design of the early 20th century. There are 153 rooms and 6 themed suites, each with marble bathrooms, and six themed suites ranging from Nordic to Safari. For Italian fine dining, head to the hotel's restaurant, Aspasia, or sip a cocktail in Dada bar.

The Upper House

Andre Fu, one of Asia’s most heralded designers, is the man behind this hip hotel, which has won awards and garnered much press in recent years. Rooms are located from the 38th floor upwards, with staggering views and decor to match (think: bamboo walls and limestone bathrooms). Facilities are first rate, with a lounge and gym, plus a garden for lolling in.