As someone who travels for a living, I have favorite destinations on every continent. But if you asked me which place out of all that I have seen is at the top of my list, I would have to say Hong Kong.
It’s been 23 years since I’ve visited Hong Kong … an eternity! But it stands out in my memory as an incredible place that opened my eyes to how wonderfully food can be prepared, presented and, most of all, enjoyed. Hong Kong — Chinese but with a blend of British influence, that thrilling mix of East and West – offers the full spectrum of experiences. It encompasses the highest levels of luxury and the simplest basics of life, all in a small space about the size of Rhode Island in the U.S.
I first traveled to Hong Kong in 1988 on the original Sea Princess, one of my favorite ships. At the time, I was 29, the youngest head waiter on board. I already had worked in the sophisticated restaurants of London and been with Princess for six years.
I thought I was a seasoned traveler, but the approach to Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor was so breathtaking, so stunning and unique, I immediately realized that the world still had surprises in store for me. The view of towering skyscrapers above and simple houseboats below, the high and the low, had my head nodding up and down, just trying to take it all in.