in Hong Kong

Catarina Gomes Machado

Maître de Cabine (28 years old, with SWISS since 2012)

Thanks to her profession, Catarina Gomes Machado has already travelled above the clouds around the entire globe. Among all those destinations, she found the megalopolis of Hong Kong particularly impressive. “I’m always happy to return to this city. It simply has something for everyone!”

Skyscrapers and more skyscrapers – as far as the eye can see. With more than seven million inhabitants, Hong Kong is one of the most populous cities in the world. But not everything is ultra-modern; there’s a plethora of traditional sights to see. It’s incredible how much there is to be found in this district. Hong Kong is great for a visit in any season. However, Catarina recommends travelling to Hong Kong in spring or autumn. “That’s when the temperatures are at their most comfortable”. SWISS flies to Hong Kong (HKG) daily from Zurich (ZRH).




The best place to enjoy the most important meal of the day is Passion by Gerard Dubois. “Passion is a wonderful café with a cosy atmosphere and lots of delicious things to eat”, raves Catarina. Those who prefer not to rise too early can also enjoy brunch or lunch there. Tea aficionados will be particularly pleased by the choices. “There are countless kinds of tea to sample. I love it!”



One thing you absolutely must experience in Hong Kong is the shopping. Catarina always suggests Shanghai Street. The speciality there is kitchen and baking equipment. “My favourite shops are “I love cake” and “Chan Chi Kee Cutlery Co.” – I can spend hours wandering the aisles.”



After grabbing a quick bite on the road, head up to the most famous mountain in Hong Kong. At 552 metres, Victoria Peak is also the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Catarina’s tip: “For the best experience, pick a particularly lovely, clear day. Otherwise, you can’t enjoy the amazing vista from Victoria Peak to its full extent.” On your way up, you’ll have spectacular views of the city. During the day, the glittering skyscrapers practically beckon you to photograph them, while the orange and pink panorama during the evening is just fascinating. Once you reach the top, there’s only one thing to do, says Catarina, “Far above the hustle and bustle of the city is a great place to take your time, breathe deeply and relax”.



Off to the next attraction: the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island. Originally given the colloquial name “Big Buddha”, this is one of the five largest Buddha statues in all of China. Even after seeing it multiple times, Catarina is still fascinated by it. “There’s this gigantic Buddha right in the middle of all this nature. It’s incredibly beautiful”. The paths visitors take to reach it are also picturesque. For those who don’t like long walks, there’s a cable car to Tian Tan Buddha: “The floor of the cable car is even made of glass!”


After these phenomenal experiences, it’s time for an aperitif. “The Ophelia Bar is one of the most beautiful bars ever! The designer based the bar interior on the colourful feathering of exotic birds. The ambiance is a real feast for the eyes. On the weekends, the wait staff are dressed to fit the decor. Starting at 8:00 PM, various shows take place every hour,” Catarina adds.



Whether by day or night, a ferry trip from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon is completely worth the time. “You’ll get a one-of-a-kind view of Hong Kong’s skyline during this breath-taking ride,” raves Catarina. Once you reach the harbour, find yourself a good place to enjoy the light show. The ultimate insider tip: “If you’d like to enjoy the show all on your own, without being surrounded by tourists, head for the rooftop of the parking garage of the Harbor City Mall”.


Time for food! Catarina loves to head to Nomads for a hearty dinner. “Here they serve an all-you-can-eat buffet with both Chinese and Mongolian specialities. When you decide which dish you want, you can watch it being prepared fresh in a great ambiance”.


There’s nothing like a little dancing to ring out a day full of new experiences. At the Mahalo Tiki Lounge, salsa and bachata fans will definitely be thrilled. “They host a dance event nearly every weekend. Super music and a super atmosphere are guaranteed”.