In celebration of Chinese New Year: the best places to visit in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong
Kung Hei Fat Choi!
China's capital city, Beijing, is a great spot for tourists seeking to widen their horizons, as it offers many sightseeing staples including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and The Great Wall of China - the latter being located approximately an hour and a half by car from the city centre.
For an artistic and visual treat, The National Art Museum, which is currently exhibiting its 'Chinese New Year Celebration Exhibition', focusing on over 200 pieces of traditional Chinese paintings and sculptures, will please.
If, however, you're seeking a more local experience, an evening at the Donghuamen Night Market promises to spark curiosity with its diverse offering of cuisine, where you can sample a variety of unusual food items such as scorpions and lizards on sticks.
The Opposite House Hotel, designed by renowned Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, provides a unique stay in Beijing. With a gallery located on the ground floor, displaying a sculpture collection created by a mix of local and international artists, it's more than just your typical lobby. Combining a mix of traditional and modern, the boutique hotel takes its name from the guest house located on the opposite of a traditional courtyard style home.
Occupying one of the city's oldest buildings, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, claims to offer its guests an experience exemplifying the utmost in luxury. Boasting charming interior design features of chandeliers, marble floors, walk-in wardrobes and bathrooms stocked with Hermès products.
Arts lovers will enjoy the exhibition, 'Bold, Beautiful and Damned', ongoing until February 23 at 10 Corso Como, which explores the work of the late fashion illustrator, Tony Viramontes. Those visiting will be able to view and buy works from the illustrator who worked alongside fashion icons Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Lauren and Valentino, to name a few.
For an evening of indulgence, visit Jade on 36 - an award-winning restaurant located on the 26 floor of the Shangri-La Hotel Pudon. The restaurants Chef de Cuisine Franck-Elie Laloum, brings a wealth of experience to the table, having worked at some of France's top Michelin-starred restaurants. Some of the signature dishes available include roasted lobster with crustacean butter and crunchy caramel and chocolate tube.
Yuyuan Garden, a classical and expansive Chinese garden that homes the 'Exquisite Jade Rock' - is a peaceful getaway from the bustling city and a popular tourist attraction. Another well-liked landmark is the museum and former home of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a revolutionary who is recognised as the founding father of the Republic of China.
There's definitely no shortage of shopping malls in China's largest city. Nanjing West Road is thriving with developments including Citic Square, Shanghai Centre and Plaza 66, where luxury fashion brands Prada and Hermès house their latest designs. IFC is another retail complex, home to Louis Vuitton, Gucci and many more.
For mesmerising views of the city head to Aqua Spirit, located on the 30th floor of a high-rise development in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It's one of the best spots to watch 'A Symphony of Lights' - a decorative laser and light multimedia show that takes place daily at 8pm.
Lantau Island, home to the Big Buddha - is a hit with visitors thanks to its endless photo opportunities - and exciting cable car ride.
Victoria Peak is another noteworthy attraction. Many tourists opt to travel aboard the peak tram, which itself is an experience. There's an array of shopping and dining outlets, as well as hiking trails that offer out-of-this-world views of the city's skyscrapers.
If you're looking for a unique find, Hollywood Road is packed with promising galleries and antique shops. Many of the stores specialise in rare Chinese crafts and antiques, such as Oi Ling, which offers high-end pieces including furniture, pottery, stone and bronze works.
On the hotel front, the old world charm at The Peninsula Hong Kong is hard to beat. The world-famous hotel developed in 1928, features classic architectural design combined with modern amenities such as the Roman-style pool. Guests are welcome to use the spa to experience its signature treatments including Peninsula ceremonies - which commence with a Peninsula tea ceremony, followed by a consultation and calming foot ritual.
Foodies will be able to enjoy Chinese New Year celebrations at One Harbour Road, located at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, which is offering a special menu for its guests until February 10. Diners can choose from a menu offering salmon sashimi with hamachi; steamed garoupa with ginseng, dates and chrysanthemum.