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More Help - Hong Kong and ?? in December

More Help - Hong Kong and ?? in December

Jun 9th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 317
More Help - Hong Kong and ?? in December

I'm still trying to plan this December trip. I'm trying to make some decisions about where I want to go besides Hong Kong (if anywhere) before I can purchase tickets, and would love some suggestions.

I have anywhere from 8-12 days, starting around Dec. 20. I'm travelling alone, first trip to Asia. Originally I thought Hong Kong and Beijing but I'm not so sure I want to be there when it's cold. I usually spend Christmas in NY and am tired of going there in winter (I live in Los Angeles).

I'm pretty active, plan on doing lots of walking, probably some hiking in HK. Interests are varied - I want to see all the highlights plus more off the beaten path places as well. Beautiful scenery and spectacular locations are a big plus. I'm very excited about Hong Kong, and would pick Beijing as a second choice if it weren't for the weather factor.

So... my thoughts are:
1. Just Hong Kong for 6 or 7 nights
2. Hong Kong/Beijing (in the cold)
3. Hong Kong/Tokyo (a stopover if I fly AA for maybe 2 days in Tokyo on the way)
4. Hong Kong/Taipei (a stopover if I fly Eva, which has some great fares that even make flying business class seem almost possible. But - no offense - who goes to Taipei??
5. Somewhere else I haven't considered that you guys will come up with...
JohnH is online now  
Jun 9th, 2005, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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6-7 nights are probably too many for Hong Kong alone. You must have some interest in going the Mainland China, so how about Guilin or Kunming? Or get a cheap flight and head down to Thailand?

And while there's not much to see in Taipei, there are other parts of Taiwan that are quite scenic - along its East Coast and on its central mountains.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 9th, 2005, 06:30 PM
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Tokyo will be cold, too. The New Year in Japan is really fun though...visit a shrine to get your fortune for the year, big sales, most people have time off.

Since you mentioned that you weren't so interested in the cold, have you considered Bali? It's about 4 hours from Hong Kong. It will be warm there, and there is some very nice hiking. It is rainy season in Bali at that time of year...but typical of Asian rainy season it is usually not raining most of the day, and there are some brief downpours in the afternoon. We were there last Dec/Jan and had lovely weather...it did rain on some afternoons, one morning...but we were so busy we didn't notice it at all. Part of Bali that might interest you are Ubud, Munduk, Amed, Pemuteran...all are stunning, and offer fantastic nature and culture.

Or, you could just stay in Hong Kong. We've been 3 times, for 5 days each time, and for us, it just isn't enough. There is so much to explore...I don't know, we are kind of "settle in and get a feel for the place" travellers so it's easy for me to imagine 2 weeks in Hong Kong and not being the least bit bored. Depends on your style and what your expectations are for this trip I suppose.
KimJapan is offline  
Jun 9th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Consider Vietnam. Hanoi is 1 hour away by air from HK. If you fly United I know they fly to HCMC (Saigon) so you could consider that. Hanoi is very picturesque - great city to explore on foot. You could also take a cruise out to Halong Bay as you said you enjoy scenery. 6 days HK plus 4 days Hanoi incl Halong Bay would work well. Or you could do a little longer in Vietnam and add Hoi An or Hue or even a beach (Nha Trang e.g) Pull up earlier posts re Vietnam. One big advantage of Vietnam over say Tokyo - other than more moderate weather - is Vietnam is cheap so your money will go far.
hobbes is offline  
Jun 9th, 2005, 10:55 PM
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How about 2 or 3 days in nearby Macau in conjunction with your Hong Kong trip? The weather should be similar but the Portuguese flavour makes Macau quite different from Hong Kong. Have fun!
Peteralan is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 07:44 AM
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I'll put in a vote for Kyoto as a wonderful complement to Hong Kong.

Kyoto is a lovely city, combining the conveniences of a major city with a beautiful location. An enormous cultural heritage, plenty of opportunities for hiking (both urban and rural hills), and generally a good place to visit. Logistically, it's extremely easy from LA, as you can fly to LAX-HKG-KIX-LAX on AA partners, all on non-stop flights.

I agree that Bali is another good choice, but the trip from Bali to the States is *extremely* long.

(Kyoto is a bit chilly in late December, but nowhere near as cold as New York.)
DonTopaz is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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Thank you everyone!

From what I've read, I was under the impression that Macau is best done as a day trip from Hong Kong. Is it really worth 2-3 days?

Guilin, Hanoi and Kyoto all sound intriguing. I need to read up some more on those.

Am I right that December weather in Guilin and Kyoto would be 40s-50s, a little warmer in Hanoi?
JohnH is online now  
Jun 10th, 2005, 08:14 AM
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For something different - try the Philippines- your $ goes a long way there, everyone speaks english, and the people are warm,friendly.
BillT is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 11:30 AM
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Macau is worth a day or slightly more. I generally suggest visitors to go there in the afternoon, spend two nights there, and come back the 3rd morning. Hotels in Macau are significantly cheaper than in HK, and this way you can walk around Macau all day without having to carry your bags.

Pretty good nightlife there.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 10th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Sounds like you want to stay in urban centers. How about Singapore- the weather will be hot, it's got 3 main Asian cultures (Chinese, malay, Indian), lots to see and do. You could do 4 nights in Hong Kong and 4 nights in Singapore.
rv224 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2005, 03:33 PM
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Yes you can do a day trip to Macau from HK and I have done this. I've also stayed a couple of days ...one to look at the sights of Macau proper and the other to wander around Taipa and Coloane. Enjoy whatever you decide on!
Peteralan is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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If you like to hike/walk, then December in HK is great. You should go up to Sai Kung (NE of HK) and do some walks in the Sai Kung country park - up to Big Wave Bay (Dai Long Wan) where you could actually camp out overnight (definitely off the beaten track - even for locals). While HK is a great place, 7-8 days might be a bit much. If you want to limit the amount of travel you do but want to see more, then you should probably spend 3-4 days in HK (getting oriented, over jet-lag), then 1 day in Macau, then perhaps 3-4 days in China (going to Guilin/Yangshuo) and then a final 2-3 days back in 'civilisation' in HK.

Stop off in Tokyo is better than Taiwan unless you want to see Chinese Art museum. Can ski in Japan 2 hours outside of Tokyo, but quite expensive. Tokyo in itself is great place where you could easily spend 3-4 days (and perhaps go to Hakone - 2 hours away - for the hot springs and traditional Japanese inns).
GJSO is offline  
Jun 25th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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OK thanks again to all of you. Some progress has been made! Think I'll start a new thread with specific itinerary questions.
JohnH is online now  

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