Hong Kong is famous for duty-free goods, with visitors spending up to 60 percent of their money on shopping. Probably no one has ever left empty-handed, but if time is short there are many malls selling international designer clothing and accessories, electronics, jewelry, antiques, home décor and more. These include gigantic Harbour City, with more than 450 outlets (cruise ships dock alongside it for a reason), and Central’s classy ifc mall.
For Chinese souvenirs and crafts ranging from artwork and porcelain to jade and Chinese-style jackets, good hunting grounds are the upscale Chinese Arts & Crafts stores; chic Shanghai Tang; the more pedestrian Yue Hwa Chinese Products department store; and Hong Kong markets including Stanley Market on Hong Kong Island’s south side, narrow Li Yuen Street East and West in Central and Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon.
Hollywood Road has long been the place to go for antiques, but Horizon Plaza, a huge warehouse in Aberdeen, has more than a dozen antiques shops, while both Christie’s and Sotheby’s hold antique and art auctions in Hong Kong.
In recent years, Hong Kong has also established itself as Asia’s foremost market for Chinese and international art. In addition to annual exhibitions like Asia International Arts & Antiques Fair in spring and Fine Art Asia in autumn, many internationally renowned galleries have set up shop. The greatest concentration is in Central’s historic Pedder Building, where Ben Brown Fine Arts, Gagosian Gallery, Hanart TZ Gallery, Pearl Lam Galleries and Simon Lee Gallery have all found new homes.
For all its cosmopolitan trappings, Singapore remains, at heart, a tropical island. The city planners determinedly preserved gennery and the high groves of concrete and glass, and for a complete escape from urban bustle there still remain patches of the jungle and mangroves that covered the island when Sir Stamford Raffles first established a trading outpost here in 1819.
In this era of 6,500-passenger mega-ships, any cruise vessel conveying fewer than a thousand voyagers is considered a small ship, including high-end luxury liners, deluxe expedition ships and the world’s riverboats. The focus on many small ships is the destination rather than the conveyance, the expert chat rather than the Broadway show, the watersport rather than the casino, the scenery and culture rather than the full-service spa and specialty restaurant. Passengers make a travel style choice, forgoing the options and pleasures of a resort-sized vessel for the deeper, more immersive experience of a yacht-scaled ship.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Air Tahiti Nui resumed service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete (PPT) last week. To welcome travelers back to French Polynesia, Air Tahiti Nui offers fares starting as low as $775 round-trip from Los Angeles, and $789 from San Francisco (SFO). The airline also allows a free date change on all of its tickets.
Turkish Airlines, already flying to more countries than any other airline, announced its 10th U.S. gateway: Newark Liberty International Airport. Service will launch May 21, with four flights per week between EWR and Istanbul (IST). Beginning June 1, the frequency increases to daily.
Magdalena, a Maryland Bistro in The Ivy Hotel partnered with Uncle Nearest premium whiskey to create a Preakness-inspired cocktail ahead of this weekend’s event. The Laws and Lilies libation honors the contributions of Black jockeys in the early days of American horse racing. Emmanuel S. West, Jr., director of food & beverage, The Ivy Hotel, crafted the cocktail using Uncle Nearest’s 1856 Premium Whiskey.