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Trip Report Hong Kong Report and Ideas

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Just returned from a trip to Asia with a few days (too few) in Hong Kong and want to share some things while still fresh in my mind.
This was our 4th time there and it just keeps getting better. We were concerned after our first visit while under British rule that the changeover to Chinese would not be positive but now it seems at least to my eyes to be better than ever.
With the booming economy and special status for the city it has really been revitalised with a fantastic public transportation system, roads, housing, hotels and cultural institutions. The setting is dramatic with all these huge fancy skyscrapers at the waters edge with each billionaire property developer competing with the next to build the best one. It is densely populated but there is still a lot of green space spread out over many islands. And it is clean, orderly and safe ! Walking there is great but often you are not actually on the ground because in the central area it is so packed that sidewalks are above in elevated walkways, or through buildings, or underground.

Real estate is very expensive and so are hotel prices but the quality is high and bargains can be found in restaurants and the transportation system which is super efficient.
This was our 3rd time staying at the Salisbury YMCA Hotel which is a good value and a fantastic location, by the waterfront in Kowloon, 10 minutes walk to the Star Ferry ( a must do experience). The rooms are not large but adequate and well kept. Our room, 1135 had a great view of the harbour looking across to the main island, perfect for viewing the 8:00 PM sound and light show.

On arrival at the airport we bought return tickets for the express train to downtown for $160HKD pp. from the information desk near the train boarding area. This is a great service and value, running every 5 minutes and takes only 21 minutes to Kowloon station where a complimentary shuttle bus brings you to your hotel door ! Also at this desk we purchased Octopus Cards good for the main transportation system, eg. MTR subway, buses, trams. These are good value and convenient as you just swipe on boarding but you have to pay a minimum $150HKD so if you are only taking a few trips it may be better to pay as you go. However we used up the remaining balance at a McDonalds and 7-11.
We went all the way around the main island using the subway then double decker buses for a really good 3 hour tour costing about $4.00. We started with the subway to Sai Wan Ho station then bus #14 to Stanley Market. Then took bus # 973 all the way back to our starting point, hotel in Kowloon . Try to sit on the upper level at the front for the best view, and the views are amazing, some lovely beaches, parks, hiking trails, and of course some busy streets.

As for food, you can get take out Chinese from a 7-11 and it is actually good ! For a treat we went to one of the top rated Chinese restaurants called Lung King Heen which was really special - barbecue pork to die for ! A few years ago Michelin Guides judged the restos in Hong Kong and Macau and rated many with 1, 2, or 3 stars. Compared to restos with similar ratings in Europe these are a bargain. The evening meal at Lung King Heen, a 3 star , for 2 cost $190 US including wine and we actually ordered too much. It is in the Four Seasons Hotel, with a nice ambience, great service, and beautiful setting looking out over the harbour to Kowloon. The food is Cantonese with many Hong Kong specialities and an extensive wine list.
For lunch we ate at Din Tai Fung , 30 Canton Rd. in Kowloon, which has 1 Michelin star, this was only $25USD for 2. Their specialty is dumplings, (xiao long ba) and they are delicious.

Another enjoyable experience for us (we are real foodies) was the City Super Store in the International Finance Centre in Central district. This is the same complex where the Four Seasons Hotel is and just a short walk from the Star Ferry Terminal. The store is a food supermarket with a lot of deli take out, wine , amazing selection of tea etc.etc. and all very high end goods.

So after a couple of long flights, and even though we love traveling it is always nice to go home.

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