We think a great cultural immersion tactic is to visit a local drugstore or supermarket, and Hong Kong should be no exception. Here, we always make a beeline for a Watsons (there’s one right downstairs at Pacific Place, but you can find any number of them around the city). Sure, there are plenty of items we don’t know what to do with (lamb placenta essence, anyone?), but we we’ve gotten hooked on the colorful retro packaging of traditional Asian apothecary items, like White Flower Oil and Tiger Balm. Even the cough syrup looks great! Not only are they super-useful (stiff necks, sinus congestion, and persistent airplane coughs be damned), they make great kitschy souvenirs too.
Where verdant greenery reaches up into a science-fiction skyline, head down from Hong Kong Park via the twisting Supreme Court Road. Past the Conrad Hong Kong Hotel, enter the sprawling shopping plaza from Justice Drive. You’ll find Watsons in the centre of the plaza.
WATSONS: Shop 145, L1, Pacific Place,Phase II 88 Queensway; +852-3169-3333; watsons.com.hk