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April in Paris…. Nope… April in Bangkok!

April in Paris…. Nope… April in Bangkok!

Old Apr 24th, 2011, 02:53 PM
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A good weather forecast site for HKG is http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/currwx/fnd.htm. As you'd expect for April, the forecast is for moderate temps (70-80F), and very, very humid.

Don't search too hard for the Marco Polo on Nathan Rd -- you'll have a much better chance of finding it a couple of streets over, next to the Ocean Terminal on Canton Rd. Connected to a huge shopping center, which will surely be a big problem for OP.

For a very fine Chinese dinner, try Hutong, almost across the street from your hotel. Upscale, and exceptionally good.
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Old Apr 24th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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there is a pub in the ocean terminal---at the end near the star ferry that has good american food like hambys and ribs---Ryan something or something Ryan is the name... it belongs to my neighbor's brother and is very good...
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 03:42 AM
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We made it to Hong Kong in spite of some minor near misses along the way. Dear Meang, bless her heart, she 'runs' on Thai time. I had asked her to be at Adelphi no later than 6am because our flight to HKG is international, and a person should be at the airport at an earlier time, to allow for immigration, security, etc. Long story short, she arrived about 6:30, it was raining in BKK so traffic was moving at a slower pace, the check in line was quick at Cathay Pacific... everyone was already at the gate (!!!), immigration was very s.l.o.w.... snail's pace.... and then the beeper went off at security, so Maeng had to take her (buckle) shoes off.... We finally RAN thru the terminal to our gate, boarding along with the 'final call' to HKG! Whew...!

Marco Polo Hotel (by the boat terminal, yes, not Nathan Rd, is perfect. I paid extra for a harborview room, which we have overlooking the cruise ship dock! We've seen two different cruise ships already... one is a large Royal Carib ship, the other was a smaller one I did not recognize.

There is a sofa, two chairs, writing desk, nice bathroom, two twin beds, a walk-in closet for storing bags and belongings. VERY nice! I'm glad I chose this hotel on Kowloon side.

We must have walked four miles after dumping bags at our room on the 16th floor. My feet are very tired. We walked up Nathan, Chatam (past the Hong Kong History Museum) and onto Austin Road. We saw some interesting shops along the way, but the only purchase was a cheap pair of sunglasses for me. Maeng looked at shoes, but she says her size is so small that very few shops have what she needs. I think she's a size 5 or something.

Anyway, long walk in the beautiful HKG sunshine (BKK was raining cats and dogs this morning when we left!).

Time for dinner. Maeng is looking at her HKG guide book to see what might be interesting, and not too far away. Ribs at Ryan's... I think not, Bob. We'll do Chinese or maybe Thai tonight. Maeng's daughter was here several months ago, and she says Maeng will love the food here. Probably the food court at one of the malls nearby would have a good selection.

Oh... Maeng and I always have adventures when we travel. She 'stole' some dishes and silverware (all cheap plastic) from the Cathay Pacific flight breakfast... haha. They'll never miss it. Probably throw it away after useage anyway.

I promise more later. I can tell, this is going to be a fantastic several days in HKG. We're certainly off to a good start.

Oh... we took a taxi from the airport rather than the train. It was 235 HKG dollars. Exchange rate at the airport for my US$ was 7.8 or somthing like that, so nearly 8 to 1. Gotta get used to the exchange rate so I know how much I'm spending. Haha...

Carol and Maeng from Hong Kong
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 04:44 AM
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Sounds like you are off to a good start. I hate that feeling of boarding a plane on the last call. We just had that happen in Madrid...as I was running toward the gate (and Bob was draging up the rear), the attendent was saying "are you Karen and Robert?" Yikes!

Have fun in the nice weather and keep the info comming.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 06:00 AM
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Hi K... yep, we're off to a good start. I agree.

Dinner was at a food court just about a block down. Maeng tried Taiwanese food, some pork dish, but she said it did not taste like Thai food. Not sure if she was very impressed with it or not. I ate a bowl of macaroni/chicken with broth and some green veggie sprouts. Bland but good. I don't 'do' spicy stuff. My tummy is full, so I'm happy.

We then took a walk just around the back of our hotel and found the Star Ferry terminal just minutes away. The Marco Polo is in a very handy location, I have to say.

Took some great photos of the HKG skyline. It's fabulous!!! as those of you who've been here already know...

My body is tired from all the walking. Hope to sleep like a baby... but we'll see. This IS the first night in a strange place after all. Gotta get used to the feel of the bed and the noises around here, although it should be pretty quiet. We have a corner room, so windows on two sides. However, only one side has a beautiful harborview, the other is just the side of an office building.

Tomorrow we will go over to Hong Kong island. Maybe Stanley Market, and then lunch over there. We also want to do the Peak, but that totally depends on the weather. If it is too hazy, then not worth the ride up there.

Cicerone.... if you are reading along, we LOVE local markets. I read your lengthy thread from a few years ago, which was just topped in the last day or two. The aggressive touts are just part of the atmosphere here. All you have to do is say no and walk away. They get the idea, sooner or later. Maeng and I love looking at the cheap stuff. For sure we are not in HKG to buy Prada or Gucci, LV or Chanel. And we don't want copies either. BTW, you should see the long queues waiting to go into those stores!

Something I took note of today. HKG does not have all the beggars on the streets and BTS stairways like in BKK. Rather nice not to see that. Hong Kong also feels cleaner than BKK. There are no street vendors on the sidewalks... at least not around our hotel. This is the high end shopping area of Kowloon. Maybe no street vendors are allowed! If we go to the night market, which I think we will try to do tomorrow night, we may find that it resembles BKK a little more than here around our hotel.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 06:18 AM
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I agree, Bangkok and Hong Kong have totally different characteristics/characters. It's rare to see street beggars, and most of the touts are restricted to the block in front of Chungking Mansions on Nathan Rd (and even that has been cleaned up a great deal in the last 10 years).

I'm sure that Maeng would get a kick out of one of the wet markets in Hong Kong. HKers insist on their food being fresh, and it's still common for women to head to the wet market, pick out a live chicken, and get it slaughtered and cleaned on the spot. A very accessible wet market is in Wan Chai, just 2 MTR (subway) stops from your hotel. (Take the MTR 1 stop to Admiralty, then change to the other line -- just like 90% of the other people will be doing -- and go 1 stop to Wan Chai. When you exit from the station, head uphill toward Johnston Rd/Thompson Rd -- there are excellent area maps in all the MTR stations.)
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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as i remember there is also a big market very near to you....you might ask at the hotel... seems to me it is just nearer to the water than the park on Nathan Rd... it was fantastic...

skip those food courts and go get real food...
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 09:54 AM
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CJ, please say hello to Maeng for me and everyone else for that matter. I was just looking at photos Gene took of HK and Macau and can see why he loves the place. Keep the birthday boy out of trouble, at 45 he will probably need more adult supervision than ever. Leny says hello and is looking forward to seeing all you bring back. See you soon.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 03:36 PM
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We had a wonderful sleep! Up about 7:30 this morning, going to drink coffee and tea and then get ready to head out. The Peak is not visible this morning... too hazy... probably something to do with the humidity here. Anyway, I would guess we'll visit Stanley today.

The big cruise ship is gone... must have left 'us' about 5 this morning.

I'll let you know all about day #2 in HKG later!
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 04:55 AM
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Lots of times that haze burns off in the Pm. The peak may be an afternoon event. Ride he Bus to Stanley and sit up top. Lots of good viewing.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Hello again, from Hong Kong. Day #2 was really busy. I'm exhausted from all the walking we did today.

We were up around 7:30, and ready to leave the hotel just about 9am. A stop at McD's for breakfast, and then the trip across the harbor on the Star Ferry. We caught the #260 bus to Stanley, sitting upstairs in the front row. OMG, that bus just misses a lot of the shrubs and tree branches sticking out from the rock walls along the road to Stanley.

The market was somewhat interesting. The ride getting there was great! Really awesome views. The bus went thru the Aberdeen tunnel, but that didn't really cut much of great scenery, imo.

On the way back to Kowloon, we took the #793 (?) bus, upstairs, front row once again, which did not go through the Ab tunnel. It went around the island, pretty much following the coast. We see a very large what appeared to be fish market. We also saw lots of amazing architecture. This bus goes all the way to Kowloon, by way of the harbor tunnel. I long ride, but again, the views were great.

A short rest and then back out exploring. Lunch was late, like around 3pm, at a place on Austin Rd. The name was in Chinese so I don't have a clue what it is called. We had piglet's legs, hot pork with garlic, steamed chicken, and some rice. Very authentic Chinese, I'm sure. Quite tasty.

Maeng saw something yesterday that she was hoping to find again, but although we must have walked 10 miles, we never passed the shop that had what she wanted again. I told her she must have dreamed about it! Anyway, we walked and walked, and then stopped off at a Haagen Dazs for ice cream and a rest.

We did a couple of the big tourist things tonight that Cicerone would frown on. We went to the ladies market, and then wanted around the far north end of Nathan Rd, which certainly seemed like a night market to me. Lots of junky stuff. You saw the same items time and time again. Oh well... it was an experience.

We peeked into a lot of different restaurants and saw lots of street food being cooked out on the sidewalk, but opted to dine at Harbor City, the huge mega mall that is next door to our hotel. We found a Thai place... but Maeng was not very happy with the Thai food there. Not the same as BKK.

It's 9:30-10;00pm and we are back at the hotel, ready to crash for the night. I'm sure I'll sleep well, as will Maeng.

Tomorrow, the Peak and the Big Buddha. Or at least we 'think' that's the plan. We have no set schedule. We play it by ear. It is more adventurous that way.

Anyway, day 2 was great fun, even though we're both really tired!

John, I did say hi to Maeng for you. She says 'hello' right back at ya.

Rizzuto, I mentioned the wet market. Maeng has already done this sort of thing in BKK, so was not all that interested. I don't know if I, personally, would enjoy it...

Another difference between HKG and BKK, from Maeng's point of view, is that the night market isn't really a 'local' market. Also, Bangkok doesn't have the concentration of tall buildings in such a short amount of space. We have seen apartment structures that are incredibly tall! Amazing that they have that many people to fill them, living in HKG.

OK... time for sleep.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 06:30 AM
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McD's, Haagen Dazs - are these new Chinese restaurants?
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 08:04 AM
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you might enjoy a ride up on the big escalator on HK island...you get to see a lot of neighborhoods....be warned however that it goes either up or down, but not both depending on the time of day.... it's easy enough to get a ride in the other direction...

have you seen a light show yet on the buildings of kowloon?? con't miss it at night from the promenarde...
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 08:05 AM
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i also love a ride back and forth at night on the star ferry just to see the lights....just ride over and then back...
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 09:08 AM
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There's a nice outlet mall near the cable car to see the big buddha.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 09:47 AM
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This is fun to read. It's been 40 years since I've been to HK. Following Bob and then Andy's reports, and now yours I've added HK to my list for the next time I head to SE Asia. How is the weather? Is this a good time of year temp wise? Also, are you finding things expensive (hotels/food/travel?)
Looking forward to more, like you, don't know if I'd like the wet market. Regretfully, I still remember the puppy dogs, also huge frogs, in cages there all those years ago.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 10:16 AM
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Sue ..good question. How are the prices compared to BKK Carol? Food, Hotel, subway etc.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 04:11 PM
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Hi everyone. Good questions.

Haagen-Dazs and McD's... the 'newest' Chinese restaurants? SURE, Craig! haha... but surely you've read about Maeng's and my love of that HD ice cream. We seek it out where ever we go. Maeng has taken photos of me in front of HD places in Krabi, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and now Kowloon. She also takes a picture of the ice cream treat she gets each time. I always do a two-scoop Sunday with hot fudge and whipped cream. Maeng is adventurous, always opting for one of the items in the fancy photos on the menu!

As far as McD's, what can I say... it was very handy on our way to the Star Ferry, and my poor tummy wanted SOMETHING... I was not particular at that point.

Bob, we'll have to check out the light show on Kowloon tonight! I had forgotten .... is it best viewed from the promenade or where? And what time?

mcbg, we'll check out that outlet mall by Big Buddha. Maeng and I are true shoppers, after all. Funny you should mention it... when we came to Hong Kong, I said that Maeng and I (WE) would be shopping. She said not to include HER in that statement. Well.... guess who's buying the most things here? Uh huh, it's Maeng! (I'm wondering how she plans to get it back to BKK since she has one small suitcase... Now she'll see while I always travel with a big one to check on the plane.

Re: prices. HKG is definitely more expensive than BKK. The exchange rate for my US$ is about 7.75 to $1. This hotel, and granted, I booked a harborview room (and we have what seems to be more like a lovely corner suite) is probably at least $150/nt more than a person would pay in BKK for something similar.

Lunch yesterday at the 'authentic' Chinese place with the Chinese name was 101 HKG dollars, or about $16. That was reasonable. We had several dishes, plus a bowl of rice to share. The Thai meal at the big mega mall food court last night was more like 200 HK dollars. Not a lot more food than the lunch, but twice the price. The location in the mall is no doubt a factor in that. I'm not sure we will seek out any upscale restaurants on this trip, so cannot really compare our dining her to, say, Kinnaree on soi 8 or a buffet at the Conrad/Marriott/Sheraton.

The bus to Stanley was about $2 in either direction. A real bargain, considering the ride is a good 30-45 minutes. We have not taken the subway so I cannot compare that to BKK price. The subway in BKK from Asok to the weekend market is 35 baht, so about $1.15. Reasonable.

Taxis are not too bad, although the base price on the meter when you hop in and drive away is over $2, and it jumps up a lot quicker than the taxi fare in a BKK cab. It probably ends up being quite a bit more. Time/distance from BKK and HKG airports being somewhat the same (HKG maybe slightly longer).... in BKK I pay about $10-15 for the ride. Here in HKG it was 235 HK$, so about $30.

I note that the HKG traffic is at least MOVING. You don't see places where cars are sitting, looking like a parking lot, like you do in BKK! Traffic lights don't sit on red (or green) for as long as they do in BKK either. You'd best move along when that crossing light is green, because it will be warning you to get out of the way for the 'other guys' in pretty short order.

Today is day #3 in Hong Kong. Our last full day. We go back to BKK tomorrow afternoon, so not a lot of time tomorrow, other than last-minute purchases as needed.

Today... the Peak and the Big Buddha on Lantau. I don't know what else will be included. Hopefully that light show, if we can stay awake. Maeng says we don't see any lights at night.. not even in our hotel room (that means we're sound asleep!!!)

Time to get going!
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 07:29 PM
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not sure of the time....the hotel can tell you.... force yourselves to go over and see it....nothing like it in bkk for sure
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 09:21 PM
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8:00 pm for the laser light show iirc
The Promonade is the best venue.

Aloha!
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