Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > Hong Kong for Chinese New Year 2015
Notices

Hong Kong for Chinese New Year 2015

Reply

Jul 27th, 2014, 06:39 AM
  #1
alg
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 315
Hong Kong for Chinese New Year 2015

My husband and I will be in Hong Kong for 4 nights over CNY before heading to Vietnam to celebrate my 40th. We arrive the evening of 2/20 (Friday) and depart the afternoon of 2/24 (Tuesday). I've read a few older threads on this topic but of course have questions.

1. I understand that most places will be closed for the first 2 days (which I think are 2/19 and 2/20) but then shops, restaurants etc reopen on the third day of the festival which in this case would be Saturday 2/21. Can anyone confirm?

2. We have the Po Lin monetary and Big Buddha on our list. I think these are open everyday including public holidays. Is there a better day to visit in terms of crowds?

3. I was hoping to book a guided food tour but am concerned about availability / tour companies closing for the holiday. Feel free to share any suggestions or recommendations for a tour guide!

4. Any suggestions for our third full day? Wet markets, flower markets, etc? Should we try to visit the Chi Lin nunnery and Nan Lian Garden? This is our first trip to Hong Kong and we are primarily interested in food and culture. And my husband is a huge history buff.

5. Finally, I'm thinking of staying at the Ovolo hotel on Arbuthnot Rd in Central Hong Kong? Thoughts? Would Kowloon be a better location? Hoping to stay under $500 a night (under $400 would be even better).

Thanks in advance!
alg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 07:33 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,081
My only suggestion is a general one regarding choice of hotel. Having been there for New Year inadvertently on my first visit there and had an unobstructed harbor view room, I'd suggest you do the same. I'm not a big fan of fireworks but HKG's are something to behold. Set off from barges in the harbor, if you stay alongside the water you'll be rewarded. In our case it was the Salisbury in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 10:44 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,081
This is the place, a highly regarded moderately priced hotel and I've stayed again since, great location, very near the Star Ferry terminal:

http://www.salisburyhotelhongkong.com/
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 01:06 PM
  #4
alg
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 315
Thanks for the recommendation! I love fireworks so it sounds like a harbor view room is a priority.
alg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 05:27 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 11
After you visit the Big Buddha and if you have time, you should check out Tai O, which is just a bus ride away. Tai O is a fishing village before and is known for their stilt houses on water. It's an interesting place to check out if you are interested.
http://www.yoninja.com/hk/hong-kong/...i-o-islands-nt

I think Chi Lin Nunnery and the Nan Lian Garden are nice places to visit. There is also the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin.
worldtraveler17 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 05:38 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,081
Cheung Chau also makes a nice destination from the city. Take a ferry from, if I recall, Central to this pedestrian island with well-groomed paths for walking all over. Places for lunch in the town. http://www.cheung-chau.com/
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 05:59 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Specific things about CNY in HK:

Big fireworks the evening you arrive, 2/20. Most shops, restaurants etc that a normal tourist will visit will be open basically throughout the time you'll be here.

To avoid crowds to Big Buddha, I highly suggest you go on Monday, 2/23. And go by ferry to Tai O, then hit the monastery and then ride the cable car down. This will be against the flow of most visitors.

CNY is slow period for the higher end hotels catered to international business people. Your budget will go pretty far during this time. You can aim for one of the better hotels.
rkkwan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 06:36 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1
My wife and I spent a week in Hong Kong several years ago. We have traveled all over the world and to Hong Kong on several previous trips but being there for Chinese New Year was an outstanding vacation and I highly recommend it.

I will try to answer as as many of your questions as I can. First other than the small stands and markets almost everything will be open. The government is closed but the malls have extended hours and most of the attractions will be open.

There are three things I highly recommend you see that are unique to New Years in Hong Kong.


First is the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade. You should arrange in advance for tickets. We arranged though Discover Hong Kong to purchase seats. Our seats were right next to the Government Officials and right where the judges sit. As each group would come by bright lights would illuminate the participants. I was able to get exceptional pictures. I can't remember the exact cost but I believe it was less than $20 per person for assigned seats. I called Discover Hong Kong to get the tickets. The tickets only become available a few days before the parade so I had to have them delivered to the hotel. They were there when I checked in.

Next is the Fireworks. We arranged for a boat tour to take us to the harbor as the fireworks are shot off from barges in the harbor the night after the parade. Our boat tour provided refreshments. The fireworks and all the building decorated for New Year are another photography experience. There were probably 15 people on our boat and there were hundreds of boats in the harbor. I think it cost about $50 each. It could have been less. The water tin the harbor can get rough so if you get sea sick don't take this tour. We really enjoyed it and met some really nice people.

Next is something free. It is the Flower Market. It is blocks and blocks of fresh flowers some I had never seen before. It takes place for the two days prior to New Years. We took the MRT from our hotel. Matter of fact we used the MRT and rarely took a taxi.

Those are the three things that are specific to New Year's in Hong Kong.

There are several other things I recommend. We took the train to see the Big Buddha and monastery and didn't find it to be crowded any more than usual. You will want to take the cable car to the peak if it is a sunny day. If it is cloudy don't waste your money.

We have stayed in Kowloon but prefer Hong Kong. Of course you can get anywhere within a few minutes by taking the MRT.

We stayed at the JW Marriott in Hong Kong. It is an exceptional five star hotel. The staff is great and we were treated like royalty. The room comes with an amazing Western and Eastern buffet breakfast. There is food as far as you can see.

Where family spend time at home for the two days the following day is usually spent out with friends. Most good restaurants are booked that day. We were lucky and were able to get reservations at the Chinese restaurant at the JW Marriott. We didn't realize it at the time but it is one of the highest rated restaurants in all of Hong Kong.

It was one of the most rememberable meals we have had during our lives. My wife is of Chinese descent and her father had several Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles but she said this was the best Chinese meal she has ever had.

A block from the hotel was the botanical garden and a netted area full of butterfly. This was all free. We spent a full day there. On the other side of the garden is the zoo.

We spent a couple of days in Macau but decided we would not ever go back. We stayed at the Paris hotel which is modeled after the Paris Hotel in Vegas but it is 2 to 3 times bigger. The hotels are so big it is impossible to walk between them.

We did take a tour of local area in Macau and went to a monastery which was very good as it let us see the local culture and sights but it is not worth the ferry cost to get to the island.

Finally be very very carefully with your purse, wallet and other possessions. Like everywhere else in the world pick pockets use the occasion with the crowded MRT, ferries and streets to rob people.

While on the ferry to Macau my wife had someone steal her iPad from her luggage. We were sitting in first class on the upper level. This is the first time in our life this had happened and we should have been more careful. Our plane was delayed and we had been traveling for over 20 hours and we let our guard down.

As info we bid on the seven day JW Marriott stay on CharityBuzz.com and got it for a really good price.

I hope you have as much fun as we had.
DarrylTBurns is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 10:38 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
The parade is on New Year's Night. 2/19. The OP will have missed it.
rkkwan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 10:47 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,453
<>

I used to have an office in Arbuthnot Road, for me its not an ideal location, its uphill from the rest of Central, so if you have any mobility issues, you will need to use a taxi unless the hotel has a regular shuttle service
Geordie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2014, 01:48 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Just look at Expedia - there can be cheaper deals elsewhere, for the OP's dates, these are all available for under US$500 a night, though some rates are non-refundable:

JW Marriott - Premiere harborview room
Kowloon Shangri-La - Deluxe harborview or side harborview room
Hyatt Regency - Harborview
Langham Place - Studio Place room

Also keep in mind that some hotels with harborview may be charging more for the night of Feb 20 since one can see the fireworks straight from the room. If you're arriving after 8pm, you're "wasting it", and may consider booking a room not facing the harbor for that first night, if you don't mind the hassle of switching rooms (or even hotels) later.
rkkwan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2014, 05:39 AM
  #12
alg
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 315
Wow, thank you for all the thoughtful replies!

I am sad to say that our flight on 2/20 doesn't arrive in Hong Kong until 10 pm so it sounds like we will miss the fireworks. Will there be fireworks other nights? Unfortunately our travel dates are set for work related reasons as I am sad to miss the parade too.

I will look at the JW, also the hotel ICON gets good reviews and has a great (though non refundable) rate during our stay.
alg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2014, 08:55 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
No, the big fireworks only on 2nd night of Chinese New Year (and on Chinese National Day, Oct 10, if it's not cancelled again this year; and on July 1 every 5 years, or something like that). On other nights, there's the laser show "Symphony of Lights" from buildings on both sides of the harbor, but it's not fireworks.
rkkwan is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:22 AM.