kowloon or hong kong?? please HELP

Old Nov 28th, 2002, 03:40 PM
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kowloon or hong kong?? please HELP

I am trying to plan a trip to hong kong and I find myself confused when it comes to choosing a hotel. I do not know whether to stay in hong kong or kowloon. Which is regarded more posh? WHich is safer? cleaner? WHere is the designer shopping?
Old Nov 28th, 2002, 05:52 PM
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There is very little difference really. If you want a posh hotel they exist on both sides of the harbour, for example the Peninsula in Kowloon the Mandarin on Hong Kong side.

Both sides are equally safe and clean and both have a plethora of shops selling designer labels.

I am, of course, referring to the CBD on Hong Kong side and the main shopping area in Kowloon. Further a field such as North Point on Hong Kong side or Mongkok on Kowloon and the picture changes somewhat.
Old Nov 28th, 2002, 06:13 PM
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I am a Hong Kong resident and I can tell you the hotels below are all very safe and mostly convenient. The choice of hotels depends on your budget and your shopping appetite. But as you said you want to see designer¡¦s shops, so here are my suggestions:

Option 1: Top designer shopping (such as Gucci, Salvatore Prada etc.) plus 5 star hotel, your choices are:

Hotels near shopping and MTR station:
Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carlton (Room room is very nice, but with not very grand hotel lobby) (Central) ¡V Shopping at Landmark
Island Shangrila, Conrad (Admiralty) ¡V Shopping at Pacific Place
Peninsula (Tsim Sha Shui, Kowloon) ¡V Shopping at Ocean Terminal (New Wing)

Less convenient choice is Grand Hyatt in Wan Chai but is quite grand.

Option 2: Trendy and more local (i.e non-European fashion) shopping and/or average hotel, your choices are:

Very convenient hotels close to MTR:
Parklane, Excelsior (Causeway Bay)
Sheraton (Tsim Sha Tsui)

Option 3: Budget hotels but still convenient

Newton (North Point), the hotel right at Mongkok Rail station (sorry I forgot the name), Rosedale (new in Causeway Bay)

But afterall, in terms of more posh, Ritz-Carlton (their rooms), Shangri-la and Peninsula are the best. Mandarin is a bit old.

See if this helps.

Old Nov 28th, 2002, 06:47 PM
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You sound very much like a Hong Kong side girl!

There have been many posts on this topic, with lots of pros and cons of each side. The consensus on this board seems to be for Kowloon side so that you can have a view of Hong Kong side.

Either way, the ferries and metro can get you to the "other" side in 5 minutes, so it could be argued that the difference is negligible.

Personally, I GREATLY prefer Hong Kong side. The last couple of visits, I haven't even made it over to Kowloon side.

Kowloon seems to have more streets lined with small, inexpensive shops. There's a fun chaotic atmosphere that makes the whole area feel like one big outdoor market. But I live in Shanghai, where we also have a lot of that, and it's not what I go to Hong Kong for.

Hong Kong side is everything I love about Hong Kong. The city just throbs with money against a backdrop of its unique colonial history.

When I worked for a company with an office there, I would stay at the Bishop Lei House, and every morning would walk down Robinson Road to the famous Hong Kong escalator, which would take me past a great mosque to the hip restaurants and bars and unique shops of mid-levels. I’d stop for a coffee at Staunton Café, one of the best places to people watch (not so much in the morning, but in the afternoon and evening). The ride on the escalator itself is a great way to see Hong Kong – seemingly impossible numbers of skyscrapers packed next to one another, signs on every surface, air conditioners hanging from every window.

Then I’d continue down the escalator to Hollywood Road, with its wonderful antique shops (a particular favorite is Wattis Fine Art, which has original maps and new prints of colonial Hong Kong – up a narrow stairway on Wyndham just opposite the imposing police station, built in the 1920’s and still used today). My office was on Wellington in the DotCom House (it’s probably now obvious why I’m no longer with the company . . . it no longer exists!).

A few blocks over is the heart of Hong Kong night life, Lan Kwai Fong, which has to be seen to be believed - several blocks of bars and restaurants, with thousands of people spilling over into the streets.

Throughout Hong Kong, one can find street markets (with clothing and souvenirs) and wet markets (with all sorts of colorful foods and spices). Continuing down the escalator would bring me to the heart of Central, with incredible shopping (Shanghai Tang, Hermes, Tiffany, Prada), and the world-famous skyscrapers (the Bank of China building designed by I.M. Pei, and my favorites, the Lippo buildings).

My favorite quote about Hong Kong is: “Hong Kong is a city where money doesn’t just talk – it sings like Pavarotti” . . . and no where is that feeling more prevalent than on Hong Kong side.
Old Nov 28th, 2002, 09:57 PM
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Dear Kim:

Dear Kim:

I agree with the messages above. FYI, both areas you mention are in Hong Kong. What you are calling Hong Kong is really Hong Kong island, and Kowloon is part of mainland China across the harbor from the island. Both areas constitute Hong Kong.

I think you will be doing most of your sightseeing on Hong Kong island rather than Kowloon, so it may be a bit more convenient to stay on the Hong Kong "side" as it is often called. If you stay in Kowloon, you would need to take the ferry or the subway (the MTR referred to above) to get over to the Hong Kong side. The ferry is actually quite charming with the best view of the harbor in the world for 25 cents, and takes about 10 minutes. The MTR is even faster. However, it may get old after a while to have to be going across the harbor all the time.

On the other hand, if you have a harbor view room at your hotel on the Kowloon side, it will be breathtaking. It is from the Kowloon side that you see the famous skyline/mountains of Hong Kong. So, there is an advantage in staying on that side as well. Also, the Temple Street night market is on Kowloon, and is the vast shopping area on and around Nathan Road.

Even more confused? I would say it would depend upon the prices you can get at the various hotels, and maybe some more research on your part as to what you want to do. For my money, a room at the Intercontinental (formerly the Regent) with a harbor view is one of the most incredible sights in the world, day or night.

By the way, when you say designer shopping, I assume you are talking about designer discount/seconds, as shopping for designer clothes at Chanel, etc in Hong Kong is not cheaper (and may in fact be slightly more expense) than the US. The only savings may be that there no sales tax or VAT in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, in my opinion (lived there for 5 years until February), there is very little discount designer shopping left in Hong Kong. You will find some in the Peddar Building in Central on the Hong Kong side, the Causeway Bay area on the Hong Kong side, and there may be some in the outlying areas of Kowloon. Try researching shopping in Hong Kong on the net. There is a book called "Born to Shop Hong Kong" which may be helpful. There are also organized tours to outlets in the Kowloon area, check the website for the Hong Kong Tourist Association. However, if your principal aim in going to Hong Kong is designer discounts, I think you will be a bit disappointed. But there is so much more to Hong Kong! Also there is some interesting shopping at Stanley Market, etc for souvenirs and other things, and the Temple Street night market is fun. (You will find fake LV, Prada and other handbags at the night market. Personally, I think Bangkok is a much better place if you want fakes.) I just wanted you to have an understanding of the current state of affairs in Hong Kong. Rents are simply too high now to support a lot of that. One last bargain in Hong Kong are Rolex and other watches, which are about 30% cheaper and no sales tax. Cameras and electronics as not any cheaper, and I would not buy anything there (especially on Nathan Road), as you can't be sure of the quality or genuineness of what you are buying, plus you may have warranty issues.

Hope this helpful.

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