Locked in tightly by the commanding Peak to the south and the splendour of Victoria Harbour to the north, the buildings of Admiralty, Central and SoHo have really had nowhere to go but up, which they do in a stunning competition of glittering skyscrapers. The shopping also heads upward and the city’s financial district is also a major concentration of luxury goods and high-fashion.
Arguably, this shopping neighbourhood begins with the beautifully designed Pacific Place, which, along with Queensway, is connected to the MTR Admiralty Station. Moving west from here, you reach The LANDMARK and a stronghold of up-market malls, including Landmark Alexandra, Landmark Chater, Jardine House, Exchange Square, Landmark Prince, and the spectacular harbour-front ifc mall. These are all connected by an elaborate network of covered walkways, meaning that, once you’ve arrived, you never have to come back down to earth.
Along Hollywood Road and south of it in SoHo (which is where its name comes from) the shopping experience turns more boutique-style, although that doesn’t necessarily mean cheap! Things are equally as exclusive here, where antiques shops, art galleries, fashion boutiques and chic eateries cater to a cosmopolitan clientele (sometimes even with bodyguards in tow). At night, the area transforms as it begins to throb to the beat of its vibrant nightlife.
But even here in the modern streets of Central, the ancient feel of an Asian bazaar perseveres. Between towering walls of glass and steel, Li Yuen Streets East and West invite you to squeeze into crowded lanes to discover what treasures hide within endless stalls of inexpensive clothing and accessories.
Central must be viewed from many angles to be truly appreciated, and while you’ll probably marvel at its world-famous skyline from across the harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui, or from high above atop The Peak, its fast-moving street level is the best way to experience the neighbourhood up close. So, indulge in a spot of five-star shopping, or just slip into a mall café to people-watch for a while. But, whatever you do, make sure you take some time to soak in the luxury side of Asia’s world city.