Anthony Bourdain finds himself on a 48-hour layover in Hong Kong in the middle of summer, but the oppressive heat doesn’t slow him down. In The Layover: Hong Kong, Tony sets out to taste as much dim sum, roasted meat and Chiu Chow cuisine as he can before heading back to Hong Kong’s airport. We’ve pulled together a selection of Tony’s best tips for a trip to Hong Kong -- check them out before your next trip.
All Its Own
"Hong Kong. With 7 million people, it’s one of the most densely packed cities on earth, but it’s also densely packed with amazing food and every kind of craziness. China ... but not China. A thing all its own. Basically, if you can’t enjoy Hong Kong for a few hours or days, there’s no hope for you."
"Hong Kong Airport Express is a high-speed shot from tarmac to the center of town, that takes 24 minutes and costs as little as $13. Once in town, jump in a cab and you’re just about anywhere you want to be, right quick."
"The way they talk about their subway system around here, you’d think they were getting paid every time they mention it. And it is clean, easy to navigate, and gets you to over 60 destinations easily and comfortably."
How to Cool Down
"Go to one of the many tea restaurants, or cha chaan tengs, and get one of their carbonated drinks with preserved fruit like kumquats and lemons. A Sprite, for instance, is poured over pickled lemon and ice. Sounds like sour (bleep), but actually … very tasty."
What to Do
"People will tell you, when you say you’re going to Hong Kong … get a suit made. And they’re right. Hong Kong’s tailors are famous for drilling you out a good bespoke suit incredibly fast, and cheap. The whole process is designed for businessmen on layovers."
A Boat Ride
"Yeah, you really kind of have to do it."
The Cool Thing to Do
"If you want to do the cool thing, the off-the-beathen path thing … do like Denny, my mentor in all things Hong Kong, and go to the Aberdeen Fish Market, where true Hong Kongers shop. Just remember to wear your Wellingtons."
The Best Thing Ever
"Now I like pork, and I know I talk about it a lot and how it’s like the best thing ever. But in fact, the best thing ever is actually goose."
"Chiu Chow cuisine comes from the most northeast area of Guangdong province. Different from Cantonese, its popular big sister. Unlike so much Chinese food, chiu chow is made from fresh ingredients alright, but largely prepared in advance and then served at room temperature. It’s famously late-night food."
The Greatest Food City
"I’m constantly asked ‘what’s the greatest food city in the world?’ and no one can say you’re wrong if you say Hong Kong."
Want to learn more about Anthony Bourdain's layover in Hong Kong? Check out our Episode & Travel Guide.