Indira Pun is Director of Concierge and Guest Experience at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, which overlooks Victoria Harbour. She was born in Hong Kong and, in her early years, spent time in Nepal from where her parents hail. Indira has been with the hotel for 14 years and enjoys meeting guests “from around the world who have different interests which lead to a variety of requests”. Noted for its interior decoration, the hotel closed, in 2005, for US$150 million renovations then re-opened in 2006, marking the event with a black-tie gala hosted by Dame Edna Everage! Let’s find out what Indira has in store for us in Hong Kong…
Favourite locale when enjoying a day off
I enjoy walking or hiking through nature with a nice scenic view. In Hong Kong, my favourite walk is to Victoria Peak because it’s beautiful and close to the city centre.
Where Indira takes her own guests when they visit
I’m a Nature lover so I would take my guests to a little trail behind my home in the New Territories which leads to a beautiful reservoir overlooking Tsing Ma Bridge. Afterwards, I’d head for a dim sum lunch and do a cruise on Victoria Harbour.
It’s a rainy day but we want to explore, what we should do
I’d visit the museum and art galleries, in particular the History Museum or the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. And just five minutes from Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, is the Pedder Building where guests can explore popular galleries such as Hanart, Pearl Lam, Gagosian, and Ben Brown.
Night-time entertainment recommendations
I would highly recommend having drinks on the 25thfloor of the hotel at our M Bar, followed by dinner at our Michelin-starred restaurant Man Wah, which serves authentic Cantonese cuisine. Both M Bar and Man Wah offer great views of the city. In addition, we can also help to arrange access to China Club which is a private, members-only club for guests who wish to experience a traditional Chinese meal. And within walking distance from the hotel is Lan Kwai Fong and Soho area for nightlife and has many restaurants, bars and clubs.
Key phrases visitors should learn
“How are you?” in Cantonese is “Nei Ho Ma” which is a great way to start a conversation, and “Thank you” is “Dor Jeh” to end with.
The best shopping
Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise and for those looking for a unique souvenirs, I would recommend PMQ which is Hong Kong’s Old Police Married Quarter which hosts small, local boutiques made in Hong Kong. In addition, a souvenir from Shanghai Tang is also a great keepsake and is within walking distance from the hotel. And for gourmands, our Mandarin Cake Shop is renowned for our signature Rose Petal Jam and homemade legendary tea.
A child-friendly thing to do or place to go
Hong Kong has a beautiful, natural side so I would suggest taking kids to visit Nan Lian Garden, a beautiful Tang Dynasty Garden located at Diamond Hill. Hong Kong also has an amusement park called Ocean Park which is great for children.
Best kept secret or favourite hidden treasure
When you visit Victoria Peak, walk another 15 minutes to go all the way to the top where you will find Victoria Peak Garden. The view is amazing and it is a very tranquil place from which to take in the city.
Best way to get to the airport
If you are travelling with a lot of luggage, I would recommend booking our hotel limousine. If you are travelling light, I would take the Airport Express Train which only takes 24 minutes to the city centre.
Best time of the year to visit
The best time would be October – November when the weather is pleasant and cool.
Anything else we should know when visiting
Hong Kong has many nature trails to explore and enjoy so I would pack a comfortable pair of sports shoes. And most taxi drivers may not speak English so remember to always ask your concierge to translate your destination prior to leaving the hotel.
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