hop on hop off buses

Old Jan 30th, 2011, 02:26 PM
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hop on hop off buses

my wife loves these hop on hop off buses there are multiple brands of this in hong kong has anyone tried one opinions?
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Old Jan 31st, 2011, 12:59 AM
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I know you only have 48 hours in Hong Kong, so look carefully at how long these tours take. The routes on all are quite similar I believe. The Big Bus has a Kowloon tour. All have open tops.

I love those buses in other cities, but am I not sure they work very well in Hong Kong. From what I have seen, they spend a good bit of time sitting in traffic. (I keep promising myself that one of these days I will take one, but you do see them in traffic all the time.) Other than the harbour and the view from the Peak -- neither of which require an organized tour bus trip to appreciate --- Kong Kong does not have a signficant building or sight like the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, etc so touring around in a bus trying to "see" the sights can be hard here. The best parts of Hong Kong are not visible from a bus (like the little side streets and wet market areas of Wan Chai and Central) or are closed to traffic entirely (like the Peak). In some cases, the size of the bus may overwhelm the narrow street and could make viewing from the bus difficult (like the Man Mo Temple area). The Kowloon tour frankly looks very boring to me and is mainly a tour of the busiest streets, very little to be seen from it, IMO.

Personally I would just take the lovely street tram from in front of your hotel (JW Marriott) toward Happy Valley. Sit upstairs. You will get a great view of street life in several areas and also a nice ride through green(ish) Happy Valley. If you see something you like, get off and wander around; as it only costs HK$2 for each ride, so you can afford to hop on and hop off the tram as well as a tour bus. Take the tram to the end, have a drink at the Jockey (see http://www.thejockey.com.hk/). Then get on a tram heading toward Central or take a cab from there back to Central.

If you want to see street life in Hong Kong, then the JW is well-positioned for this. Go out to Queens Road, the busy road on which the hotel is located. Turn left. Walk down this road staying on the right hand side of the street. You will cross a street, walk under a road overpass, cross another street and then come to Queen’s Road East veering off on the right. There are all sorts of little streets off of Queen’s Road East with interesting bits, esp the Wan Chai Market which starts at Spring Garden Lane. When walking down Queens Road East, after about 10 minutes around #127 is a Tin Hau temple on the right, worth a stop. Then keep walking another five minutes or so until you come to a tall, white round skyscraper on the right set back a bit from the street. This is Hopewell Centre (#183 Queens Road East). With the Hopewell Centre at your back, cross the street, turn right and walk a block or so looking for Spring Garden Lane on your left. Turn left down Spring Garden. This will take you into the heart of the market, when it intersects with Cross Street. (On the right just at the intersection is a shop selling incense, paper “hell money” and other offerings for the dead). Go right into Cross Street, which is pedestrian-only. The market is roughly in the shape of a capital letter “H” with a another dog-leg bump on the left side. The cross bar of the H is called Cross Street. There are 3 or 4 streets branching off here which are all worth a wander to see the butchers and live fish, etc. Wander around as long as you have time or inclination for.

A stop at the Pak Tai Temple on Stone Nullah Lane would also be interesting. A map of the area will help, IMO, a good one is the map of the area surrounding the Wan Chai MTR station, you can find this on-line at http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/facilities/lm.html, scroll down to “Island Line” then click on “Wan Chai” and a map of the streets surrounding the Wan Chai market will come up. It is quite detailed and shows all the MTR exits from the Wan Chai station, the market areas, major buildings etc. You can enlarge it and print it out. You can find similar maps for areas around all the MTR stations.
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Old Jan 31st, 2011, 01:03 AM
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Sorry my directional dyslexia is at work to. In the 4th pargarph above, to get to Wan Chai from the Marriott, go out to the busy road (the road with all the buses, street trams and traffic) and turn RIGHT. All other directions are OK.
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 04:12 AM
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you are great> I have been looking at the tram as the backbone of my touring. There are six 'routes' for a neophyte a little bewildering. Are all the trams ok to take in front of the marriott? Initially thinking of going to the peak upon arrival wednesday afternoon. Do have reservations for 9pm at hutong rest. My wife suggests just do the tram after arrival at the marriott. Maybe weather visibility most important but suspect my wife as always is right! From my reading some say to go to northpoint. Your suggestions: ok any tram eastward from the marriott? Sugguested itinarary for late wed afternoon, making into to clocktower to see (even if disappointing) the light show prior to dinner at hutong. Suspect the weather will be a the cool side, may limit nighttime wandering. Any opinions on taking a junk (posssibly the time invlved not worth it). Suspect most fishing villages are not superauthentic and any real ones too out of the way to merrit a trip for such a brief time. Thanks for all your input
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 06:00 AM
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Trams heading east from the JWM will all go through Wan Chai. The "Happy Valley" tram will go south to the racecourse. "Causeway Bay", "North Point" and "Shau Kei Wan" trams will continue east on the main route, and terminate at any of those three points. To ride to the eastern end of the line, you need to take the "Shau Kei Wan" tram.

Trams heading west from the JWM will all go through Central, and then terminate at "Western Market", "Whitty Street" or "Kennedy Town". To ride to the western end of the line, you need to take the "Kennedy Town" one.

Forget about the different "lines". Look at the map of the Tramway, and identify those "terminals", and it's very easy to understand which tram you can get on and which you can't.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 07:49 PM
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As noted above, there is only one set of tram tracks. This line runs basically along the Hong Kong waterfront for 10 miles. (Due to reclamation over the decades, the line does not in fact run along the water at any point other than in Kennedy Town where you will be closest to the water.) There is a small spur which cuts off from the waterfront line and goes south to Happy Valley and back. The “lines” refer to the fact that some trams go further than others, the “line” is named for the last station on that line. Shau Kei Wan is the furthest you can go east, Kenney Town the furthest you can go west. Happy Valley is the furthest you can go south.

IMO it would not be a good idea to take the tram “the whole way”, as this would take 6 hours or so just one way. The line is close to 10 miles long. The Marriott is basically in the middle of the line. From the Marriott to the end of the Shau Kei Wan line running east from the hotel the trip is a good 2.5-3 hours one way. To Kennedy town running west from the hotel, it is about 1.5 -2 hours. The trams go relatively slowly, and stop frequently. You don’t have that kind of time. With your limited time, you might take it for 1-2 hours or so, and possibly break up the trip with stops to see places like the Wan Chai market or the Sheung Wan area in the other direction.

IMO either way is scenic, however going east toward Shau Kei Wan or Happy Valley will bring you almost immediately into the local market areas. Going west toward Kenney Town, you have to pass through the Central business area for 10 stops/ 20-30 minutes or so before you start getting into the more traditional neighborhoods.

The Hutoung actually has a nice junk and they do an evening cocktail tour, that might be fun before dinner. You could time it to be on board for the lightshow. See the website for info.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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JWMarriott to Kennedy Town is under 6km, and should take about 45 minutes. JWMarriott to Shau Kei Wan is under 9km and should take under an hour.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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The aqua luna does have symphony cruise which on paper sounds great but the only real comment on trip advisor fro may 2010 states that the boat was packed when it is supposed to have only twnety and many were standing. Does anyone know about this- then it is not worth it
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 05:32 AM
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The few times I have done the Hutong cocktail cruise, it has not be overly crowded. But it could depend on time of year, a special event, etc. It is hard to say. If you are going in the cooler weather, you may have fewer people.

With regard to the tram, you can't go by mileage alone. I have done the Kennedy Town trip from Central more times than I can count, and it takes more than an hour. From Shau Kei Wan it is far longer than an hour to the Marriott; just to North Point alone it is over an hour in my experience, and then you have about another hour to get to Central. My estimates are based on my long experience here, and I believe them to be accurate.
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 07:39 AM
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thanks youhave been very helpful. My wish to wander a little prior to the light show inTST that evening with the crowds I go in two days
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 09:11 AM
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If someone's going to place a big enough bet to see if it's closer to 2 hours or closer 6 hours any time of the day to get from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan by tram, I'll go ride it and take photos with time tag along the way since I am in Hong Kong right now.
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Old Feb 10th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Hm... It would have taken only 85 minutes to ride the tram from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan early this evening:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...au-kei-wan.cfm
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