Your Neighbourhood Guide to Central in Hong Kong

The sun rose on the horizon, casting rays of light onto Hong Kong harbour, emitting warmth through the windows of the IFC. The International Finance Centre is not just a landmark to be admired, but also a mall by which numerous go hither and thither all day everyday.

Central is not merely the CBD, it is the essence of Hong Kong, its energy palpable. The footbridges connected to the series of buildings, frequently trodden, lead to various well known places, like the GPO, Jardine House, and further along through Chater House, you’ll find the Landmark and then the always popular Lan Kwai Fong (aka LKF).

Hong Kong Central Iconic Skyline Night View

The one connected to the back of the IFC mall can lead to the ferry piers, which goes to quite a few locations, from Discovery Bay to Lantau Island (home to one of, if not the biggest Buddhas in Asia), as well as just simply crossing the harbour to Kowloon. At the Central Ferry Piers Clock Tower, restaurants there have one of the best views of Hong Kong harbour, and also feature cuisines from Indian to Chinese. Amongst all the restaurants in this vicinity,

Watermark, a continental restaurant, is definitely worth visiting, even if you’re not a tourist. During the weekend brunch, there is a buffet with plenty of choices from seafood to sushi and eggs benedict to indulging desserts such as a Mango Creme Brulee — fancy that on a hot summer day?

HK Observation Wheel & AIA Vitality Park
HK Observation Wheel & AIA Vitality Park

If travelling by ferry seems like dilly- dallying to you, you can also catch a train to anywhere in Hong Kong at the MTR station by simply heading to the bottom-most floor of the IFC mall, or crossing the street to Exchange Square, the biggest bus terminus in Hong Kong. From there, you can hop on one of the buses heading to the Peak, Repulse Bay or Stanley, amongst other scenic locations.

The airport express is also conveniently located in this lively shopping mall, and in twenty-three minutes, you can expect your speedy yet steady train ride to come to an end at the Hong Kong international airport.

Back at the IFC, there is another footbridge that faces the Exchange Square. On Sundays, this is where Filipino domestic helpers converge to dance, sing, sway on a makeshift catwalk and gossip about the week’s happenings. It is located near TWG, a luxurious place where you may want to rendezvous with some friends over a tall and refreshing glass of Silver Moon tea. The footbridge extends in a few directions - turn right and then left towards the Hang Seng Bank building and continue along, arriving at the central escalators, one of the longest pedestrian escalators of its kind, to go to Soho which is crammed full of bars and restaurants.

If instead, you want to go for a day trip to Macau, you can stay on the footbridge
at Exchange Square, or otherwise, walk out of the right end of the IFC, walk past the Four Seasons hotel and continue walking to the end of the footbridge for the Macau ferry terminus. In just one hour, you can arrive safely in Macau for a different pace of life.

Central Western Market Historical Building
Central Western Market Historical Building

Back on the ground, you can find some of the oldest streets in HK with shops from party costumes to knick- knacks to egg tarts, these are juxtaposed with electronic shops, local eateries and western franchises.

Many regard Hong Kong to be an insignificantly small cluster of islands, but it is full of shopping districts and restaurants, all worth visiting. But if you only have 24 hours in Hong Kong, be sure to visit Central and be surprised by the cultural diversity intertwined in harmony.