melbourne's southbank - a model for hong kong

what a great food & wine city melbourne is!  not only it is super close from several great wine regions, yarra valley and the mornington peninsula among others, but the city is full of great restaurants and wine bars and each year they host a fantastic wine & food festival chock-a-block with delicious activities for a whole 3 weeks each year.  talk about a strong wine and food culture, the place oozes with passion!

but one thing that really gets me excited when i compare melbourne with hong kong is the southbank development along the yarra river in the middle of the city.  the stretch between spencer street and st-kilda road was built-up with all kinds of casino/hotels/apartment complexes and they are packed with great restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities, all with terraces and amazing views over the city across the river. a super great place to be on a nice balmy summer night, for dinner, for drinks, or simply to walk along the "prom".

now, hong kong has, in my opinion, the best harbour views in the world.  in fact, this is an understatement.  the harbour views in hong kong are in a league of their own, unmatched by far.  yet, it must be one of most under developped in the world. sorry, yes, there is café habitu in the ocean center.  yes, there is isola and red bar in ifc.  yes, some super luxury hotels and super expoensive restaurants that offers super exclusive views over the harbour.  yes, there is the "avenue of the stars" on the tst promenade.  but these are isolated, scattered, and somewhat disjointed.  there is not one "multi-tasking" development where one can dine, be entertained, leisurely walk, and feels part of some of a community.  instead, hong kong builds shopping malls, ugly ferry terminals, and highways along its harbour.  it makes its views super exclusive or super uncomfortable to enjoy, and argues forever without any decision about the development of its west kowloon cultural district.  i don't understand.

and so, i love the southbank development in melbourne.