If you’re becoming tired of run-of-the-mill sunshine holidays in the Med, then why not throw caution to the wind, do something completely different and travel somewhere you’ve always dreamed of.

For me, this place was Hong Kong.

Since watching the spectacular handover ceremony back in 1997, I’ve always wanted to visit this cosmopolitan country with its spectacular skyscrapers, 24-hour shopping and lively, fast-paced nightlife.

Hong Kong long been a popular stopover, but it easily justifies itself as a stunning holiday destination all on its own.

My husband and I also decided to start the trip off in real style by flying premium economy in a British Airways World Traveller Plus cabin.

With loads of extra legroom and privacy, we arrived feeling refreshed, energised and more than ready for the bright lights of Hong Kong.

After a straightforward train ride to Kowloon, it was then just a brief taxi ride to our hotel, the lovely Holiday Inn Golden Mile, centrally located on Nathan Road, one of the more popular shopping districts.

The best thing to do on your first night in Hong Kong is simply wander around and try and take it all in. There are masses of shops, teeming markets and food stalls selling all sorts of local delicacies as well as street hawkers who’ll offer you ‘Rolex’ watches and ‘Rayban’ sunglasses for ‘very cheap price’.

The dazzling Hong Kong skyline is spectacular and no photographs will ever do it justice, so don’t waste too much time behind your lens.

Each night at 8pm, there is an extraordinary laser light show that was so breathtaking; we watched it each of three nights we were there.

A ride across Victoria Harbour on Hong Kong’s famous Star Ferry is an absolute ‘must do’, and costing the equivalent of just 20p, you could just ride back and forth all evening if you wished. However, with some serious shopping to be done, we returned to Kowloon ready for some hard-core haggling.

As you might expect, shopping is big business in Hong Kong. And whether you’re a dedicated designer shopper or a savvy bargain hunter, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The Ladies’ Market in Mong Kok and Temple Street Night Market are amongst the best shopping areas if you’re short on time, but remember, Hong Kong is duty free and the variety of merchandise is huge, so make the most of it!

The ideal antidote to the chaos of the neon-crazed streets and endless shops with everything from Cartier watches to fake designer handbags is the majestic Peninsula Hotel, which overlooks Victoria Harbour.

Privileged guests at the Peninsula are picked up from the airport in either a Rolls Royce or a helicopter, no less, to arrive in style on the hotel’s very own helipad.

Helicopters, sadly, were a little over our budget, so we opted for the more modest afternoon tea in the lobby. This ritual is rooted in British custom as The Duchess of Bedford is credited with launching the fashion of afternoon tea back in 1830.

Just a short train ride away from the soaring skyscrapers and hustle and bustle is Lantau Island, home of the big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery and reached by a half hour cable car ride.

Standing a lofty 85ft high, this mighty bronze statue is among the largest seated Buddha images in the world.

Be prepared to queue though – after nearly two hours, I was starting to wonder if Big Buddha was actually worth it. But give him his due, he was.

The formidable Big Buddha weighs 250 tonnes and climbing the 268 steps to reach his feet was arduous, but well worth it for the views alone.

Having built up an appetite – and as a great believer in ‘When in Rome’ - I decided it was time I sampled some local cuisine at one of the many restaurants on Lantau Island. So, with a deep breath, I ordered snake soup for starters, followed by baby pigeon, while my husband looked on in amusement as he tucked into his sweet and sour pork.

The soup wasn’t great, so snakes can rest assured that they’re safe from me from now on, but the pigeon was delicious – there just wasn’t much of it.

The following day, I reverted back to Dim Sum, a popular dish consisting of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes and suchlike that is often eaten at breakfast time.

My personal Hong Kong highlight was Victoria Peak, the 396m-high mountain at the centre of the island, and the journey up on the historic peak tram - a 45-degree funicular railway. At the summit there are dramatic views of the city, which are literally breathtaking.

There are also plenty of gift shops, cafes and restaurants to enjoy and I have to confess to purchasing the obligatory fridge magnets and some Chinese chopsticks.

After a whirlwind few days, it was time for us to leave Hong Kong. Yet there was so much left to see and do – such as getting a suit tailor-made, taking a day trip into mainland China, having a flutter on the horses at Happy Valley and of course, much, much more shopping. Needless to say, I’ll be going back.