BUSINESS TRAVEL: Frequent Flyer - David Marsden's guide to Hong Kong

HOW TO GET THERE: There are about 35 non-stop direct flights a week between London and Hong Kong. I fly economy with Cathay Pacific or BA to Hong Kong International airport. The flight is 12.5 hours out and 13.5 hours back.

by David Marsden, director, UK & Ireland, of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

AIRPORT TO TOWN: The new airport is marvellously simple - passport control, baggage reclaim and the airport express train are all on the same floor. The Airport Express Line runs every 10-15 minutes to Hong Kong and Kowloon stations. Journeys take about 25 minutes and a one-way ticket is HK$100 (about £7).

BEST HOTEL: One of my favourites is the Renaissance Harbour View 1 (1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, +852 2802 8888), which has such wonderful views that guests sometimes ask to eat in their rooms so they can look over the harbour. In Asia, the star system is better than we're used to: a 3-star hotel is more like a 4-star and so on. The service is nearly always excellent, whatever your budget. If you fancy a luxury hotel, try the Grand Hyatt 2 (1 Harbour Road,, +852 2588 1234) or the Island Shangri-La 3, the Conrad 4 or the Marriott 5 (all at 1 Pacific Place).

BEST BUSINESS RESTAURANT: Hong Kong has more restaurants per capita of the local population than any other city on earth. You can choose from any type of cuisine and budget. I like the small, family-run restaurants where people stop on their way home from work. They're quick and friendly, and are more likely to serve tea and beer than wine. There are hundreds around Wan Chai. For a top-of-the-range restaurant, try Niccolino's at the Conrad hotel (, +852 2521 3838). The Italian food is wonderful.

BEST BARS: For an expensive trophy bar, try Cyrano's at the top of the Island Shangri-La hotel (, +852 2877 3838). The views are stunning. Expect to pay about £10 per drink and dress accordingly - smart/casual at the least. Another swanky cocktail bar is Tango Martini 6 (3rd floor, Empire Land Commercial Centre, 81-85 Lockhart Road). Two or three of its martini cocktails will keep you merry all evening. A more relaxed bar is the relatively new Chinatown 7 (72-82 Jaffe Road).

A FEW HOURS TO KILL?: My favourite is a Star Ferry trip across Victoria Harbour 8. Go at night when the skyscrapers glitter around you - it's a fantastic eight minutes and the best HK$2 you will spend. If you have more time, take the funicular tram 9 (Garden Road, near Hong Kong Park) up Victoria Peak 10. The views are great, there are nice, if touristy, restaurants and you can spend an hour walking around the summit.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: Hong Kong people are smart dressers, so always wear a jacket and tie, especially for a first meeting. Generally, the business etiquette is Anglo-American. Always take far more business cards than you think you'll need. In HK, a business card is almost a form of identity - your hotel bellboy probably has one. If you don't have one to give out, you won't be taken seriously.

BUSINESS LOCATIONS: The city centre spreads either side of Victoria Harbour. The banking district is in Central, while trading firms tend to be in Wan Chai or Causeway Bay. Manufacturers cluster in Tsim Sha Tsui.

BUSINESS EXPENSES: Service is often included in restaurants, but add slightly more if the service has been good. Taxis are cheap and you may want to round up a fare to tip the driver.

HIDDEN GEMS: To escape, take a bus to the south side of the island and head for Repulse Bay, which has blue sea and beautiful white sand. Check whether it's safe to swim, as HK has a shark season. If you prefer small, crowded and atmospheric markets, head for Stanley Market, which sells all sorts of designer goods at discount prices. It's fantastic for presents.

SECRETS OF THE JET SET: If you're visiting in the summer months, take a cab to meetings. Hong Kong is hot and humid, and you will get horribly sweaty if you walk. The cabs, meanwhile, are cheap and air-conditioned. On an early trip to HK, I was advised by my client to take a cab to our meeting. I thought I knew better and duly arrived looking very sweaty. His first remarks were: 'I see you didn't take my advice. You'd better take off your jacket.' Deciding to walk there really wasn't worth the discomfort and embarrassment.

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