Hong Kong//4 Night..3 days

Sep 1st, 2004, 07:40 PM
  #1  
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Hong Kong//4 Night..3 days

Will be in HKG after touring around India on the way home to Canada..So what would be the most important and fun things to do? Will be staying at Salisbury YMCA..Harbour View (can't wait)..Will be exhausted after a 15 day tour of India/Nepal..Love to shop, eat, and see as much as possible...On a moderate budget, but will splurge if necessary..Like to eat where the locals do..Also would like to see the Bird Park..(not sure what it is called)..Can you recommend what you would do in 3 days and what MTR pass we should get..Thanks!!
TracyB is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 08:47 PM
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With 3 full days in Hong Kong, I'd do the following:

Day 1: cross the harbor by Star Ferry and then ride the Peak Tram up to the peak for a panorama of the city/harbor. Take it easy in the afternoon - do some shopping, etc...

Day 2: Go to the south side of Hong Kong Island: Stanley, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen.

Day 3: Lantau Island by ferry. Go to Po Lin Monastery to see the big buddha and go to the Tai O fishing village.

For each evening, you can go to the night market on Temple Street and/or the Ladies' Market on Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok. For food, just eat at wherever you see. Eateries are everywhere. Besides the Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok areas, another good area for shopping/dining is Causeway Bay on HK Island.

For the "bird park", are you thinking about the bird market instead? That's near the Prince Edward MTR station, just north of Mong Kok. It's open early and close early. So, do that in the morning. [There's also a small aviary at the Hong Kong park, and probably another at the Ocean Park, but I doubt that's what you're talking about.]

As for transportation, the MTR company sells a one-day MTR pass for HK$50, which I don't think is a good deal at all, because you can't use them on buses, ferries, trams, peak trams, etc... So, I'd pass on that. What you really need is a "Octopus" stored value card. There's a regular one, which you can get at the airport or any MTR/KCR/Airport Express station for HK$150, with $100 of credit and $50 of deposit, which you can get back after your trip. Or if you decide to take the Airport Express to the hotel, then you can also buy the "Airport Express Tourist 3-day Pass" with one or two AE trips. These are special type of Octopus card with the one or two AE trip, plus 3 days of unlimited MTR rides, plus HK$20 worth of credit for other transportation/purchase, and you can add money to it.

So, in short, if you decide to ride AE to and from your hotel, then get the HK$300 3-day pass with 2 AE trips. If you decide to ride the AE only one-way, then get the HK$220 3-day pass with one AE trip. If you decide to get to your hotel by other means, then buy a regular Octopus card. But you must have some sort of Octopus card with you to travel around Hong Kong.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 08:51 PM
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This may be helpful:

http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/train/ae_tourtickete.htm
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 09:02 PM
  #4  
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I think we are taking the airport shuttle to the hotel both ways, so I guess we just need a regular Octopus card..I will read the website you suggested for more info on it..Thanks for the recommendations..I was talking about the bird market..We are really into birds, so I think this would be of interest to us...I think your suggestions are just what we had in mind, but just double checking..I am sure we will end up in HKG again some day, but just in case we don't, we wouldn't want to miss out on anything...Thanks again!!
TracyB is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 07:25 AM
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TracyB - If you are taking the hotel shuttle, then you can wait until you get to Tsim Sha Tsui before buying your Octopus card. Or you can get it at one of the two Airport Express kiosks at HKG's arrival hall. If you want to wait, then you can get it at the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, which is just a couple of blocks from the YMCA, with entrance on Nathan Road. Just make sure you bring cash. The Octopus card can be bought and recharged with cash only.

Definitely go to the bird market in the morning. A lot of locals will bring their own birds to the market. So, you not only see the birds for sale, but also those that already have owners.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Run a search here for "Hong Kong AND restaurants" and many posts should come up, this is a popular topic.

Don't forget that many of the "locals" have incomes equal and in many cases in excess of you or me or anyone else, and you will find them eating in restaurants in hotels and other places where you might expect only "foreigners" would eat. You would be missing some of the greatest food going if you skipped hotel restaurants and restaurants where tourists and expats eat.

Many Yuppie Hong Kongers eat in the Lang Kwai Fong/Soho areas where all the other ex-pats hang out, and which has some excellent restaurants, so again its hard to say where the "locals" eat. Many, many, many locals eat in McDonalds and similar fast food places. The local version of Chinese fast food would be Café de Coral, very average, but almost entirely locals. A lot of middle or working-class families go out for dim sum on Saturday or Sunday, but otherwise eat mostly at home, as momma cooks the best. . . . Don?t forget that a truly "local" place is not going to have English menus or much of an English-speaking staff. If you want a really local restaurant, get on the MTR and go out to someplace in the suburbs of Kowloon like Wong Tai Sin. Get out to the street, walk around and go in when you see something interesting. Most likely no English menus, and no English speakers, and most likely not a truly great dining experience, but heh. . .seriously, that "we like to eat where the locals eat" makes me a little crazy because first of all, many of the "locals" in HK are just like you, and secondly, if you don't speak Cantonese or read Chinese or are with a Chinese-speaking friend, it will be hard for you to do this.


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Sep 2nd, 2004, 11:35 AM
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Dot
 
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Definitely try to go for dim sum lunch at Jade Garden Restaurant -- there are many of them. A very, very neat experience/with the locals on lunch break!
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Well, since I am Chinese and grew up in Hong Kong, maybe I can tell you what normal working or middle class people eat most often. And that's also how I eat when I visit Hong Kong. Like most locals, I have never eaten at the Peninsula, either of the Shangri-Las, the Mandarin Oriental nor the Ritz Carlton.

But for the better (but not the best) Western food, I have eaten at many of the other 4* hotels, up to about 2-3 times a month.

For breakfast, most of the people eat one of three things:
- Dim sum at a Chinese restaurant. It's not the cheapest, but for people who have time, that's the time to read the newspaper, have some tea, chat with other dim-sumers, etc.
- Congee (rice porridge) or hot soy milk, along with various fried dough or cheong-fun, at small eateries that serve those things and noodles for the rest of the day.
- Sandwich at 7-eleven or other convenience store.

Lunch:
- Fast food, including McD, KFC, etc. Plus the local places like Cafe de Coral, Maxim's fast food, etc. Either eat in, or take it back to office or eat at a park.
- Dim sum and real Chinese food at a restaurant.
- Noodles at a noodle shop.

Dinner:
- Cook Chinese food at home.
- Fast food again.
- Go to real Chinese restaurant, and have real Chinese food. Can be local Cantonese or various cuisines from various parts of China - Pekinese, Shanghaiese, Szechuan, ChiuChow, etc...

These restaurants are every where in Hong Kong, but if this is for a little more special occassion, like meeting with friends, then one mostly will go to one of the fancier ones in Tsim Sha Tsui or Causeway Bay.

Locals may also go to have more fancy seafood meals, mostly on weekends. Places like Lamma Island or Sai Kung are popular.

Like others have said, Lan Kwai Fong and Soho are mostly for expats, but also the yuppies - most of them have gone to college abroad. Those places are fun and have great atmosphere, and I've eaten there once in a while, but definitely not cheap, and the vast majority of locals will never go eat there.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 01:46 PM
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Well usually when we travel, we walk and if something looks interesting, we stop in...That is what we have always done...Definately we will have to have a Dim Sum, as we eat them regularily in
Canada..And we certainly don't speak Cantonese or Chinese, but we can point good!! Anyhow, thanks for the replies..Who knows, we may end up at McDonalds!! (after 2 weeks eating Indian Food)
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 01:58 PM
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Tracy-I'll be staying at the Salisbury some months after you, so will be looking forward to your report!
Spygirl is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 02:11 PM
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I will definately let you know how it was...Can't wait!!
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 02:40 PM
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I definately agree with the recommendations made by rkkwan. I would add 2 others:
1. A cocktail at the Intercontinental hotel lounge, truly the best view of Hong Kong harbor.
2. A ferry trip to Cheng Chau island, a small fishing village for over 1000 years. Great waterfront seafood restaurants.
We're going back to HK next month (along with BKK, Beijing and Hanoi). It's a great city - enjoy.
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 02:48 PM
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Wow, all sorts of ideas..Too bad we didn't have more time!!
TracyB is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 02:57 PM
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rkkwan, i didn't I almost didn't notice your last post..but my husband love's congee..But I guess what it boils down too, is what we find when we get there!! We get very excited when we see something of interest, and sometimes will just jump right to it and don't even remember what we were going to do in the first place..I do appreciate all of your help..You have some great ideas..And dperry, that ferry ride to Cheng Chau island for waterfront seafood sounds excellent!!
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 03:37 PM
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Yes do consider a trip to Cheung Chau or Lamma as suggested by others for the experience and to have the seafood.Please don't think about MacDonalds...there is so much choice in Hong Kong...a great food experience. One of my favourite restaurants is Spring Deer in Mody Road...great, authentic food and a reasonable price and good service.The majority of the clientele is Chinese. You will need to reserve a table in advance. A word of warning when you arrive you will be turned off by the entrance to the building. PLEASE ignore your misgivings and get in the lift or walk up the stairs to the first floor. You will be so glad you did!Other suggestions..when you go up to the Peak, consider going one way in the cable car and back by bus, also do the walk around the Peak ( about 1 hour).One very interesting thing to do too is the Museum of the History Of Hong Kong on Kowloon side. I also strongly agree with dperry's suggestion re the cocktail at Intercontinental or at least walk along the harbourside outside for that spectacular night view. Enjoy that wonderful city!
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:01 PM
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peteralan, I really was just joking about McDonalds, however, we rarely eat at McDonalds, as we don't have any kids, but sometimes after being in a country for so long, a hamburger sometimes tastes good!! I don't know what it is, but we always end up eating at McDonalds at least once no matter where we have travelled to...So maybe I wasn't joking!!!
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:23 PM
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There are reasons to go to McDs in Hong Kong. For example:

- To use the bathroom.
- To get the fried apple pie. It's so good.
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:30 PM
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Oh yes, McDonalds to use the washroom.....WE even do that here in Canada!!
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Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:33 PM
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Tracy- I especially want to try one of those home-based kitchens Peter and Sameera spoke about-particularly the one with the opera singer!
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Sep 3rd, 2004, 11:29 AM
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Les
 
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Tracy,
I'm not much into local food, but I do enjoy memorable meals.
Try the Y's breakfast, it's great, and of course, it's convenient if you're staying at the Y.
Reserve a window table with a view of the city at the Peak at sunset (there are some choices of restaurants, but we really enjoyed the Deco Grill). Enjoy your dinner and drinks as the sun goes down and the city lights up. It's an experience you won't soon forget.
Les
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