4 days in Hong Kong

Aug 10th, 2004, 02:24 AM
  #1  
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4 days in Hong Kong

What is the best way to spend 4 days in Hong Kong? All your ideas and advice will be very welcome. Thank you, Marijke
Smalley is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 09:33 AM
  #2  
 
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Take the peak tram to the top of the peak, walk around the top and then if you have the energy down the hill.

Take a stroll along the Kowloon Water front for the new light show in the evening.

Go to the horseracing at either Happy Valley or Shatin (Check Dates)

Take the star ferry from Kowloon to central or vice versa. (I could spend a day just going back and forth - costs about $2 HKD for a 15 minute trip - the transport bargain of the world)

Visit the flower market and bird market early in the morning.

Visit the Ladies market early in the afternoon.

Visit the temple street night market.

Take a trip to the New territories.

Ride a tram along the streets of HK island.

Take a trip to Aberdeen and Stanley.

Go Shopping! Whereever you go you will be able to shop. Just ask your hotel concierge what you're after and they'll tell you where to go for specialities. (i.e Tsim Tsa Tsui for electronics, cat st for antiques. If you just want cheap chinese knick knacks - they're everywhere)

Have a drink in the lobby lounge at dusk at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Take lunch or afternoon tea at the Clipper Lounge at The Mandarin Oriental (I prefer this to the Peninsula - a bit less touristy)

Visit the walk-in aviary near to the peak tram terminus.

Take a day trip to Macau or China

Have a suit made at Sam's

Have a dim sum lunch

Take a harbour cruise

err err err
And if i've forgotten anything wander in to the Hong Kong Tourist Authority's offices by the Star Ferry in Kowloon, i'm sure they'll find you another 100 or so things to do!
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 11:04 PM
  #3  
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Thank you Walter, you have given us plenty of ideas to spend our 4 days.We'll be in Hong Kong either in March or September, what kind of wheather can we expect?
Smalley is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 03:52 AM
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Hi

My wife and I had 4 days in HK in March last year. We were just when SARS hit town so it was not the best timing. But I have posted a trip report with pictures from our stay on my personal homepage gardkarlsen.com Maybe you can find some useful information there

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
gard is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 04:33 AM
  #5  
 
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If you have a choice, pick March for Hong Kong. September is very, very hot and humid (upper 80s to upper 90s F and almost 100% humidity), and is also the typhoon season which generally means lots of rain if not an actual typhoon. March is the end of "winter" (a relative term there) and temps will be in the mid 70s F, with very little rain and lower humidity.

The suggestions above are very good, but a good guidebook also helps a lot as well, like giving bus numbers (for the trip to Stanley), tram lines, times the Peak Tram runs, etc. At a minimum, click on "Destinations" at the top of this page and scroll down to Hong Kong and see the info and itineraries put together by Fodors. Also check the Frommers.com website.

A night or afternoon at Happy Valley racetrack is a lot of fun, and a real chance to see locals in action at their favourite activity: gambling. Races are held Wednesday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons from September to June. The basic admission price is HK$10 (US$1.30), which is for standing-room only. However, you can watch from the more exclusive Hong Kong Jockey Club members' enclosure by purchasing a temporary "member's badge" for HK$50 (about US$6.50). It's available upon showing your passport at either the Badge Enquiry Office at the main entrance to the Members' Private Enclosure at Happy Valley; or an easier way is to go to one of the off-track betting centers like the one near the Star Ferry piers in Central or on Nathan Road in Kowloon where you can buy the badges up to 5 days in advance. Take a look at the website for the Hong Kong Jockey Club at http://www.hkjc.com/english/index.asp. Click on "Come Racing" and then "Overseas Visitors" in the text. The easiest way to get there is to take a taxi from the Star Ferry in Central and have him drop you at the Members Enclosure Entrance. You can also take a tram to quite near the racetrack.
Where are you staying?
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 12:10 AM
  #6  
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Thank you all again. We'll probably visit in march 2005. Any ideas which area to look for a hotel?
Smalley is offline  
Aug 12th, 2004, 02:09 AM
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Where to stay in Hong Kong is the subject of some debate: Kowloon side for the billion dollar views of the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, or Hong Kong Island itself for convenience, restaurants, shopping and the fact that most sights you want to see are on the island (the views are also not too shabby either). It is a personal choice. You can get across the harour in about 15 minutes for under US$1 on the wonderful old Star Ferry, or take the subway. Budget is a consideration as well. In terms of best value for money, I would pick the YMCA right on the harbor in Kowloon. Standard rooms from US$90, but if you pay a bit more, you can get a great harbour view room. For about the same price, I like the Bishop Lei International House on Hong Kong Island. It is in mid-levels, a nice residential area (all high rise residential, this isn't' the Peak), and great views.

For big money, you can stay at the Intercontinental on the Kowloon side, same view as the YMCA, but much more luxurious (and expensive). If you don't stay there, tea in their lobby or lunch in their café with 3 story windows is good as well. There is a course the legendary Peninsula in Kowloon or the Mandarin on Hong Kong Island. Prices and quality are all over the map in Hong Kong. Can you give us an idea of your budget range. Also run a search here, as Hong Kong hotels is a popular subject.

Info on some of the hotels is below.

1. YMCA Salisbury Road
41 Salisbury Road Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon

This is a great place, fantastic location, it gets good reviews on this site. It really is a nice 4* hotel disguised as a YMCA. They are very popular and often fully booked, so if you are interested, make a reservation soon (you can always cancel). They have standard rooms from $90 a night, and have suites from US$129. The standard rooms tend to be small so I would opt for a suite if possible. Website for YMCA hotels in Asia is /www.ymca-hotels.com/

2. Bishop Lei International House
4 Robinson Rd
Mid-levels, Hong Kong Island
Tel: 852-2868-0828
fax: 852-2525-1551.
bishopleihtl.com

The hotel is in mid-levels which makes it very convenient. The rooms are small but very nice, and the location is good, in a residential neighborhood near the top of the escalator and on a bus route. It is just above the zoo in the botanical gardens and you can hear the orang utans in the morning, quite unusual in the middle of the city. . . Many of the rooms have great views over the city and the harbor. They have a pool and restaurant, and there are other restaurants in the neighborhood. They have standard rooms from US$73 and suites from $96. The rooms tend to be small, so I would go for a suite if you can which will give you two rooms and you won't feel so cramped.

3. The Peninsula Hotel
Salisbury Road, Kowloon
(852) 2920-2888
http://hongkong.peninsula.com

The grand daddy of Asian hotels. Pure white marble lobby. Carpets you sink into. Their corner suites have telescopes (as if you could improve on the view.) Standard rooms from US$346, standard rooms with view from US$400. (but you should pay for the view or stay elsewhere, IMO). Numerous excellent restaurants, including Felix on the top floor.

4. Intercontinental Hotel
18 Salisbury Road
Kowloon
Ph: (852) 2721-1211
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com

Right on the water, best view in town really, night or day. Great views from the lobby and several restaurants. Nice outdoor pool area looking over the harbour. Standard rooms with no view from US$200, harbour view from US$270.

5. Mandarin Hotel
5 Connaught Road, Central
Phone: 852-2825-4028
mandarin-oriental.com

Also a venerable institution. Margaret Thatcher and other VIPs stay here. Rooms have balconies, a rarity in Hong Kong hotels. Views are not anything compared to those from the Penn or the Interconti, ask for a harbour view rather than a mountain view. Very convenient location to everything. Tea in the lobby is an experience as well. Several excellent restaurants, including Vong on the top floor. Standard rooms with no view from US$250, harbour view from US$300.

Cicerone is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 05:59 PM
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Good suggestions above for things to do in Hong Kong. If you have the time and inclination , you might also think about a day trip to one of the islands for a different aspect of Hong Kong..eg Cheung Chau, Lamma, Lantau. In my opinion , for your first visit,I think you would appreciate the atmosphere on Kowloon side best and do quick trips across the harbour when you want to.Can you let us know what your budget is, although there are good suggestions above. Cheers!
Peteralan is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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Hi PeterAlan-I'm planning my trip to HK-and I think I'll have no shortage of things to do there! Maybe 2-3 days in Macau, but I'm thinking someplace like Cheung Chau-which I don't know about! Lantau-of course I'll go there. Anything you can tell me about it would be helpful!

P.S. I think I've gotten a GREAT airfare to HK from US over the New Year's holidays-but ssh! it's a secret!
Spygirl is offline  
Aug 13th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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Thanks, Cicerone, for the info.-I've been quoted at YMCA Salisbury US116, double, over New Year's holidays (not Chinese) full harbor view. I'm looking forward to staying there, and going to the Penn and other luxe hotels for the bar/restaurant scene and whatnot.
Spygirl is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 12:26 AM
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I'm a big fan of the Shangri La chain of hotels. I've stayed at the Kowloon Shangri La several times - it is an excellent hotel. Their newley remodelled & refurbished executive harbour view rooms are fantastic. The views from these rooms are superb.

The price at most times of the year is one step down from The Pen and Intercontinental. Booking through a travel agent you can often get 5 nights for the price of 4, Free upgrade to an Exec Harbour View room, free breakfasts - or as I have done all 3.

The location is right on the East Tsim Tsa Tsui waterfront about 10 mins walk along the waterfront to the star ferry or nearest metro station
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Aug 14th, 2004, 08:03 AM
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The Kowloon Shangri-La is nice-and it sits right on the waterfront in a great location, but if you can get the YMCA with a full harbor view for some US200 less/nt., then why not do that and save the money for other things, I think! For that reason, I've pretty much made up my mind for the YMCA.
Spygirl is offline  
Aug 15th, 2004, 08:05 AM
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Spygirl- My husband and I took a ferry over to cheng chau last october-it was fantastic! It is a small, walkable island with wonderful waterfront seafood restaurants. It was such a nice respite from the neon and hustle-bustle of hong kong. It really was one of the most enjoyable parts of our trip. Be sure to go!!
dperry is offline  
Aug 15th, 2004, 09:31 AM
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I'll add it to the itinerary, thanks for that, dperry!
Spygirl is offline  
Aug 15th, 2004, 02:52 PM
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Hi Spygirl! Yes Cheung Chau is an interesting diversion from the wonderful hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and Kowloon.I think it is the closest island to visit..not a huge amount to look at but a nice atmosphere and you can have your main meal of the day at one of the interesting little restaurants on the water front before your leisurely ferry trip back. Also I agree with your comments about the YMCA which is in a great position and would have beautiful views if you can get a harbour view room. Have a great time!
Peteralan is offline  
Aug 15th, 2004, 04:40 PM
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Cheung Chau is about an hour from Central by the "slow ferry" and about 30 minutes by the faster catamarans. I haven't been there for like 10 years, but I will definitely go visit next time I'm in Hong Kong. I used to go there many times a year while living there.

It's a very "local" and authentic fishing village. I'd say probably the last one in Hong Kong. All the others have either been reclaimed to land, or being basically clusters of seafood restaurants, or in the case of Lamma becoming a little haven for expats.

But Cheung Chau still has a large local population, and not quite enough local tourists to change the atmosphere too much. However, there really isn't quite enough for a whole day trip, unlike the much larger Lantau with Po Lin Monastery/Big Buddha. So, I'd suggest going there in the afternoon, stroll around a little, have dinner, and take the ferry back - you get to see the harbor lights from water too.
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