Friday, June 22, 2018
Travel

Hong Kong's SoHo scene is hopping

HONG KONG

Exploring Hong Kong can be challenging, with its compact neighborhoods and narrow alleyways.

But an area often referred to as the SoHo of Hong Kong is easy to navigate and offers plenty to do and see: boutiques, art galleries, antiques shops, lively bars and restaurants serving a variety of international cuisines.

SoHo is the area south of Hollywood Road, one of the first roads built in the city during the mid-1800s. Hollywood Road runs through SoHo and offers plenty of tiny yet chic and comfy hotel rooms.

Take the meandering flight of steps down from Hollywood Road to reach the flea market on Upper Lascar Row, where street vendors sell everything from teapots to paintings in alleys behind pricier galleries and shops. Bargaining with vendors for a better price is expected.

The Man Mo Temple at 124-126 Hollywood Road is one of the busiest temples in the city, yet it offers a peaceful respite. Built in the late 1840s, it's filled with burning incense displayed in coils in a row as worshippers enter.

If you need a break from all the great dim sum and other authentic Hong Kong cuisine you'll find around the city, in SoHo you'll find everything from French bistros to burger joints. Chachawan, at 206 Hollywood Road, has an indie vibe and serves Isaan Thai food, known for spicy flavors, and specialty cocktails.

Quinary, 56-58 Hollywood Road, made it to Drinks International's 2015 list of the World's 50 Best Bars thanks to its imaginative cocktails. The drinks engage all your senses by combining different textures, appearances and even sounds.

One of their signature attention-getting cocktails is the Earl Grey caviar martini, which along with vodka contains elderflower syrup, apple juice, Cointreau, lemon and lime. But don't worry, the caviar isn't actually fish eggs. It's made by mixing Earl Grey tea with sodium alginate, which produces beads that pop in your mouth, much like the tapioca balls in bubble tea.

For more on Hong Kong's SoHo, go to tbtim.es/zeh and tbtim.es/zei.

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