Side Trip: Hop Over to Hong Kong

“Skyscraper City” is ready to show you the future

So you’re in Taiwan and want to do a day trip to mix it up. Just a 90-minute flight across the South China Sea will get you to the world capital of Hong Kong. Buy yourself a cheap day pass on Hong Kong’s MTR (short for Mass Transit Railway—gotta love the simplicity), and zip into the city center.

Of course, in Hong Kong, where exactly is the city center? This booming metropolis of 8.8 million residents is smaller than most, but earned its nickname of “Skyscraper City” for obvious reasons. It seems to be comprised almost exclusively of glowing towers as far as you can see, even from the 100th floor of Sky100. Tsim Sha Tsui at the southern end of the area called Kowloon is a good place to begin. There you can begin what will inevitably become a day of shopping and strolling along the Victoria Harbor Walk.

Head west to reach the historic Star Ferry, which still operates the same wooden boats from decades ago. It is quite possibly the last glimpse of the past—a real working artifact—in this utterly contemporary metropolis, and should not be missed.

You can head across the harbor to the Central pier, or to Wan Chai. Both will kick off excellent walking tours. Just beware that Hong Kong loves its air-conditioned interior plazas and connects them via sky bridges—which means you may have to navigate more by the name of each building rather than old-fashioned street signs. This system thankfully lets pedestrians escape the heat, and ends up feeling like you’re in a spotless version of the movie “Blade Runner.”

Queer life is just as bustling as the economy in Hong Kong, and there are a slew of parties and hotspots to check out. Put on your evening attire for cocktails at Central’s Psychic Jack, or hit up a neighborhood hangout like Déjà Vu or Zoo. Thumping clubs like Propaganda are where the late-night dancing is found, drawing the biggest crowd on Friday night.

Look up the lesbian party series Les Peches before your trip so you can plan to be in town for one of their splashy events. Beautiful partners Abby Lee and Betty Grisoni have been running Les Peches for several years, hosting dance nights every third Saturday and lounge nights every first Tuesday at Central club Lakage. Another monthly party called Fruits in Suits attracts both gay men and women.

And even if you’d only planned a day trip to Hong Kong, who knows—you may find a reason to stay longer.

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