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5 Cool Hunters


These designers and lifestyle aficionados offer their takes on what to eat, buy, see and do in Southeast Asia's cities.

Published on May 16, 2012

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City: Hong Kong

Guide: Kobe Ho, bookshop owner



Housed in the Foo Tak Building, a vertical artists’ village, ACO (1/F, 365 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai; +852 2893 4808; has an eclectic array of literature and books on social science, philosophy and history. “I don’t look for balance, I look for variety,” says Ho. Grab something to read—the selection is mainly in English—and take a seat next to the front window, where you can nosh on dishes made with locally-grown organic ingredients.


After nearly dying out in the 1980s and 90s, local farming is making a comeback. Mapopo Community Farm (Ma Shi Po Village, Fanling; 852/6121-8961; grows everything from crunchy choi sum to remarkably sweet tomatoes. Visit on Wednesday and Sunday to buy fresh fruit and vegetables; there are also regular tours and farming workshops.
High above the teeming streets of Causeway Bay, Hit the Road Café (15/F, 26 Leighton Rd., Causeway Bay; +852 2882 9522) describes itself as “the slowest café in Hong Kong.” The decor is subdued, the conversation relaxed and the menu well-stocked with affordable comfort food—try the apple crumble.


You don’t have to look hard to find a shop selling the Hong Kong specialty of che zai meen, or cart noodles, where you can build your own soup with a choice of ingredients like egg noodles, beef brisket, pig intestines and plenty of others. But finding one like Sun Kee (49B Tang Lung St., Causeway Bay; +852 2573 5438) is another matter altogether. “With most cart noodles, it’s just cheap stuff to fill up your stomach, but the ingredients at Sun Kee are much better quality,” says Ho.


Ho lives on Peng Chau (Central Ferry Pier 6) where a century-old fishing community is now home to people looking for a more laid-back kind of life. “The ferry from the city is a calming-down process,” says Ho. She recommends taking a day to wander the car-free lanes, chill out by the water and indulge in some fresh seafood. “It’s only 30 minutes from Central, but the island is like another world.”

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