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International Commerce Centre
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe International commerce Centre is Hong Kong’s tallest building (and eighth-tallest in the world) and stands at a head-spinning height of 1,588 feet. It comprises 118 floors, the most notable two tenants being The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong (floors 102 to 118) and the Sky100 observation deck, often touted as the premiere indoor viewing point in the entire city. While many tourists think they need to decide between a trip to Sky100 and one to Victoria Peak, those who indulge in both will attest to them offering a completely different perspective on this most eclectic city. If you can, we’d highly recommend you do both.
What’s It All About?Construction of the commerce center took eight years to complete and was unveiled to the public in 2010. The enormous Elements Hong Kong Shopping Center is located in the basement of the skyscraper and comprises an astonishing one million square feet of retail space. The greater majority of the skyscraper's floors are leased for commercial use, with only the top 18 being of most interest to visitors. The Sky100 observation deck was first opened to the public in 2011 and includes interactive displays on the history and culture of Hong Kong, as well as telescopes and touch-screen indicators to help visitors pinpoint various other landmarks in the city.
The ride up the high-speed elevator is a bona fide attraction of its own accord, and will see you reach the 100th floor in merely 60 seconds. If you find this mind-boggling enough, spare a thought for participants of the annual Sky100 Run, who must dash up the stairs instead.
Other FacilitiesVista at Sky100 is a café and restaurant which you’ll find alongside the observation deck. It’s a great spot to indulge in some delicious food whilst soaking up the views. Sky100 sells combination tickets which include admission to the observation deck and a plethora of food choices at Vista, including afternoon tea, dim sum set and 3-course meals. The café also has an a-la-carte menu which is ideal if you just want to enjoy a cup of tea or light snack when visiting. Treats range from a HK$28 ($3.64) plate of French fries to a HK$138 ($18) oven-baked pizza. A bottle of Dom Perignon Vintage champers will set you back about HK$2,180 ($283).
Just one floor above Sky100 is where you’ll find a few fine-dining restaurants and, if your heart is set on a real splurge, then we’d suggest you skip Vista altogether and head up here instead. Dragon Seal Restaurant is renowned for its extensive, international wine list and plethora of gastronomic delights sourced from every corner of the globe. Don’t mind the shark-fin soup. Inakaya is the Japanese mecca of ICC and offers a myriad of authentic cooking styles and sets. The teppanyaki, sushi, sashimi, robatayaki and tempura are all superbly fresh and, for the eye-watering prices, they’d want to be.
For a nightcap, after your delectable meal is over, head up to the Ritz-Carlton’s Ozone bar on the 118th floor and drown your (by-now-surely-bankrupt) sorrows in a mouth-watering dry martini.
Now smile, you’re on top of Hong Kong!
Ticket PricesThe standard admission ticket is HK$168 ($22) which can seem more than a little steep. To get your money’s worth, make sure to visit about half an hour before sunset. This way, you get a bird’s-eye-view of this incredible skyline by day and its transformation into a neon-light extravaganza as darkness falls. Of course, you may well be joined by a gazillion other visitors at this popular time. If you prefer to admire the views without any need to elbow your way to the front of the windows, then it'd be best for you to visit in the mid-afternoon on a weekday. Whatever you do, steer clear of weekends if you can.
- Admission and afternoon tea at Vista: HK$566 ($74)
- Admission and dim-sum lunch at Vista: HK$266 ($35)
A 10% discount is offered if you pre-book your ticket online, but make sure you do this on the day to ascertain weather conditions. Best visited on a clear and (relatively) smog-free day in Hong Kong. The ever-friendly staff may try to lure you in with a ‘photo op’ as soon as you arrive, but the photoshopped reward is thought not to be worth the money by the few who accept the offer.
How to Get ThereThe MTR has a convenient stop at Kowloon Station, where both the C1 and D1 exits will see you emerge at the Elements Shopping Mall. On the second floor (Metal Zone) is where you will find the entry and ticket booths of Sky100.
- West Kowloon Promenade
- Union Square
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Author: Convergence. Last updated: Jan 26, 2015