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Going to Hong Kong for the first time on April 10

Going to Hong Kong for the first time on April 10

Mar 25th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Going to Hong Kong for the first time on April 10

I noticed that Gray Line Tours offer tours to China for one day. I do not have a travel Visa, just a U.S. Passport. Their website says bring your passport and a copy of your airline ticket--which is electronic. Can I do a one day escorted tour of China without a Visa?

Also, any other tour companies one would recommend? I will be there for seven days and I'm staying at a hostel in the downtown area near SoGo Department Store on Causeway Bay. Anything I should not miss?
wally34949 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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One of my friends did something like this, but I would check with Gray Line directly re the visa exemption.

But Wally, those guides on bus tours make announcements the entire time...
lcuy is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Do you really want a tour to China for one day? There is so much to do in Hong Kong, I'd avoid the canned bus tour and do something else.

What attracts you to this bus tour? What do you think you will do/see/experience that will add to your experience of Hong Kong?
Kathie is online now  
Mar 25th, 2012, 07:17 PM
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I also won't recommend it, but yes you can indeed take one of those tours to China without having a regular Chinese visa.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 25th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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i would not waste my time.. plenty to do in HK
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for your responses. I purchased a travel book and it says, "the journey by hover ferry to Shenzhen, the bus trip to Guangzhou, and the trip back by KCR railway provided good vistas of the surrounding countryside and the duck and fish farms, rice fields, banana groves and simple living conditions." That seems like quite a day--more than I could accomplish in one day.
wally34949 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 07:26 PM
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Toss that book into the trash, Wally. First, all hover ferries had retired from these waters for over 20 years. Second, the whole area from Shenzhen to Guangzhou is basically built up. In fact you'll see more greeneries and undeveloped areas inside Hong Kong, in parts of the New Territories region.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Wally, rkkwan is telling it to you straight. I have done that drive from Shenzhen to Guangzhou and it was not scenic, more likely to prompt a spiritual crisis about the seemingly endless tracts of land defiled by factories that make all the stuff that we all consume because...because... If you want to see that manufacturing base, then go, but I would not expect an idyllic romp through rice fields and banana groves.

In Hong Kong, you will find the extraordinarily densely populated metropolis that you expect to find but also islands, parks, coastal areas, hills to hike in -- remarkable diversity that you might not expect to find. There is so much more to do than you have time for on this trip.

If you want to leave HK, I would recommend saving China for another trip altogether and make your day trip a boat trip to Macau where you can see both the Portuguese-influenced old parts of town and the crazy 'new' casino complexes. The trip is enjoyable if you like being on the water.

Let us know what you decide. There are reasons to go see the phenomenal transformation of Shenzhen from sleepy village to Special Economic Zone, and reasons to see Guangzhou so that you can understand China. If you are looking for a scenic sidetrip from Hong Kong though, you are most likely to be disappointed.
marya_ is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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I second the idea of substituting Macau for Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Also second rkkwan's idea of just staying in HK and perhaps go to Lantau Island if you want to leave "Downtown" Hong Kong.
easytraveler is offline  
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