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Wanchai as a place to stay

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So Hong Kong is one of my favorite places on earth to visit. I love the non-stop clamor, the noise, the smells, the throngs of people moving everywhere all the time, the leventyseven million places where you find amazing food, the oases where you can get away from it all and find sublime tranquility. I first came here 25 years ago when you'd swoop past the apartment buildings into Kai Tak airport, then drive past the jaw-dropping neon lights on Nathan Road. Those are gone (well, Nathan Road is still there but not worth a detour anymore), but I've returned a dozen or so times, always tickled pink to be back.

I'm staying in a new area for me, Wanchai, at the Hotel Indigo. I've been through here before many times, as the old wet market has always been something to behold -- one of those things you see in Asia and not many other places. But I'd always stayed either in TST (old and new Hyatts, the IC, Sheraton, Shang), Pacific Place (Conrad & Shang), or Causeway Bay (Crowne Plaza). Got to admit, I absolutely love staying in Wanchai. I'm not sure Wanchai would be my 1st suggestion to a first-time visitor to Asia (the more Western setting of one of the Pacific Place hotels, or the view from one of the harbourfront TST places would work well), but it's at the top of my list for everyone else.

The Indigo is in the middle of an area that's as much residential as it is commercial: it's next-door to the relocated Wanchai market, and the place is absolutely bustling. There are approximately 11,855,216 places to eat within 3 blocks, many of them well-known -- the Happy Cake place for custard tars, fook lam moon for upscale Cantonese and dim sum, 22 Ships wine/tapas bar, Joy Hing for BBQ, Kam Fung for egg tarts and milk tea, and on and on. Unfortunately, I will be able to try only about one-third of the 11 million places in the 4 days I'm here, but there's always next time.

Between meals, this is also an interesting neighborhood to be around. I walked around the blue house cluster around the corner from the hotel, and I'm looking forward to exploring a bunch of places in the next days -- sun, moon, and stars streets; the tong laus, jumping on the trams (just a block away), etc.

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