The Peak & Stanley - in one day?

Reply

Jan 30th, 2011, 05:17 AM
  #1
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
The Peak & Stanley - in one day?

We're staying in Kowloon (Sheraton Tower room for the view) and trying to plan our limited time in HK (3 days). Top on our list of things to see are:
The Peak
Stanley
Chai Lin Nunnery
Hollywood Rd & Man Mo temple
Central West (Sheung Wan) - herbal medicine streets & the HK Museum of Medical Sciences
Lock Cha Tea Ware Museum
The mid-levels escalator

We were planning on taking the tram from central to the Peak and the No 6 bus from central to Stanley on two separate days. But it seems that doing that will take the better part of those two days. Is there a way to combine them in one day or are we better off going to each separately and spending the second half of each day seeing other sites? It is so hard to plan this as it seems we could spend an entire day just visiting Stanley!

Also, What is the best way to get to Hollywood Rd & Sheung Wan from the Star ferry pier on Central, or directly from TST on Kowloon? Any help with logistics is MUCH appreciated. We just don't have a sense of distances & how to get to all of these divergent areas. Cicerone, I'm sure you could plan this out perfectly.
CFW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 30th, 2011, 05:38 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,580
I spent a morning in Stanley last spring (with about an hour or less in the market area) after taking the bus from Central.

I did not feel as if I needed much more time there, so I see no reason why you could not do both in one day, weather permitting.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 30th, 2011, 08:25 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,985
With a short time in Hong Kong, I'd suggest dropping Stanley from your itinerary. The trip there is fun, in an odd sort of way, but Stanley itself doesn't really offer anything extraordinary. Of course, if it's not so nice weather when you plan to visit The Peak, you could visit Stanley instead.

From the Star Ferry in Central, you can walk to Sheung Wan, or you could take the MTR (subway) -- Sheung Wan is 2 stops away. Walking would be way more interesting, of course.
DonTopaz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 30th, 2011, 08:26 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
You can definitely do it in one day. Instead of returning to Central, you can take Bus 15 down from the Peak. After the junction of Stubbs Road and Wong Nai Chung Gap Road, get off the 15, cross the street and pick up bus #6 or #66 to Stanley.

To get to Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan from TST, just take the MTR to Sheung Wan (with switch in Central). Short walk through the older part of HK to Hollywood Rd. From the HK side of the Star Ferry, you can take a taxi; or take bus #7 at the bus terminal right across from the ferry. Get off on Queens Road West @ Hollywood Terrace. Walk up the steps on Ladder Street and you're at the Man Mo Temple. But #7 is not that frequent.

http://www.nwstbus.com.hk/routes/rou...exactMatch=yes

Actual distances is short between Star Ferry and Sheung Wan, but traffic can be slow; and when one walks, there are lots of streets to cross and sidewalks often crowded.
rkkwan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 30th, 2011, 02:21 PM
  #5
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Thanks. Very helpful. If we take Bus 15 from the Peak to get Bus #6 to Stanley, is there a map of the stops on the #15 bus so we will know when to get off to get the #6?

Is it worthwhile to get an Octopus card for 3 days so we don't have to worry about coins & change for the buses or trams?
CFW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 30th, 2011, 07:44 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I actually would suggest you do the trip in reverse: go to Stanley first and then hit the Peak at sunset and dusk and stay until dark so you get night and day views. That will save you time as you have such a short amount of it, i.e. you won’t need to make two trips to the Peak. If your trip is in Feb, there is a better than even chance that the days will be overcast and possibly foggy (not to mention our air pollution which is significantly worse in the winter), so day views from the Peak may not be much, but at night the lights can cut through a lot of it and you can still get decent views. So bus to Stanley, have a look around and have lunch or late snack, then bus to the Peak. It would be perfectly doable to start for Stanley at about Noon, have lunch and a shop, and then head to the Peak after that. So you could have a morning in other areas. You could even have dinner on the Peak. In any event, take the Peak Tram down in the evening at the end.

The point of Stanley is not the market, which is certainly fun, nor the restaurants along the water, which again are a nice little spot for a lunch but nothing gourmet or anything. The point of Stanley is, IMO, the bus ride up and over the mountains. So by combining the #6 bus with the #15 you will get some great views. (I would also say that Stanley has a WWII cemetery definitely worth a visit if that is your interest. It also has a nice beach. But with a limited amount of time, IMO it is all about the bus ride.)

Sunset varies a bit between winter and summer, so see sunrisesunset.com to get an idea of when twilight and sunset will be. In February, sunset is around 6:15 pm and it is light for about a half hour after that – while we don’t get great sunsets here, the blue post-sunset colour we do get is quite magical, IMO. Esp in winter when temps and humidity are lower. IMO you want to be at the Peak about half an hour before sunset – an hour or more if you want to do the whole Lugard/Harlech Road loop around the Peak (not totally necessary these days given the overgrown trees). If you have time and it is clear, the Severn Road walk would offer much better views, see http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...d-the-peak.cfm. The trip from Stanley to the Peak by bus will take 45 minutes to an hour. So plan backwards from there.

It is quite easy to switch the from #6 to the #15. The bus stop you need to get off at is Bowen Road/Stubbs Road. The website noted above will show you photos of the bus stops. The problem is that the bus stops often look nothing like the photos, as they are taken from the opposite side of the street in an uphill shot, when you will be approaching going downhill, etc. (Which is exactly the case IMO with the photo of the Bowen Road/Stubbs Road stop on the website.) The best thing to do is ask a passenger. My directions would be as follows: Sit upstairs as close to the front as you can so you can enjoy the view and also so you can see the landmarks mentioned. From Stanley you will be on the bus for probably 20 minutes or so, going along the water, you will then turn right and head up a longish hill. You will reach the crest of the hill, and start heading downhill. You will go through a traffic light, and will pass an Esso gas station on your left. You may notice the Hong Kong Cricket Club and the Tennis Centre on the right. After maybe ¼ to ½ mile more, still heading down hill, the bus will approach a small roundabout (traffic circle). You want the next stop after the traffic circle, so hit the red button. (The stop is about 10 feet on the other side of the traffic circle.) Alight from the bus, turn left and head uphill a few yards to the concrete stairs on the right which will take you up and onto Stubbs Road. Cross the street, turn right, walk past the Adventist Hospital entrance and in about 2-3 yards you will come to a bus stop. Take the #15 bus which will take you to the Peak. You could also take a cab from there, would take about 15 minutes and cost about HK$40 or so.

My other thoughts are as follows:

1. I believe from your other messages that you will be in Hong Kong sometime in Feb. If your trip is before or during Lunar New Year (which starts this week), than I would alter my reccos, i.e. a trip to the flower market in Victoria Park, making plans to have a good view for the fireworks, trying to catch a lion dance, etc. Also street markets and shops in Sheung Wan are going to be closed for the most part for a few days during the holiday, so going there may not be necessary. If you can confirm your dates, I might have different reccos.

2. An Octopus card is worth it, IMO. It saves having to find change, and you can use it in 7-11 and Circle K stores to buy stuff you might want like water, newspapers, snacks, etc. However if you are not taking the Airport Express train to and from the airport, DON’T get the “tourist octopus” Tourist Pass, as you will be paying for train rides you won’t be taking. The other thing with the Tourist Pass is that is DOES NOT included buses or ferries, but you can “top it up” with cash and then can use it on the ferries, Peak Tram, tram, buses. But if you aren’t planning on taking the Airport Express, then I would just get a “standard on-loan” Octopus stored value card. This is good for all forms of transport, including the Peak Tram. The card costs HK$150, which includes a refundable deposit, and you will get HK$43 back when you return the card. The card comes with an initial stored value of HK$100. However, once you run through the HK$100, you can “top up” the card with cash and continue using it. See http://www.octopus.com.hk/get-your-o.../en/index.html for information.)

3. Please don’t make a special trip to see the escalator, go as part of a trip for a meal or sightseeing on Hollywood Road. You have a limited amount of time, and the escalator may underwhelm. It is very useful to get to and around the Hollywood Road area, but it is not one long non-stop escalator, and you may be expecting more than it can deliver. It’s really an elevated walkway with escalators in parts. Also if you take it, you will miss great sights like the wet market areas of Peel and Graham Streets. So take it one way, but walk the other.

4. I am not entirely sure I would include the Chi Lin Nunnery. While quite interesting from an architectural standpoint, it is not an overly active temple like say Wong Tai Sin. If you want to see an active temple, this is not, IMO, a good choice. It’s much more of a peaceful/contemplative place, which can be great, but if you wanted to see people making offerings and lighting joss sticks and tossing the sing pui, then there are other temples which would be better choices. If you want to see retrained Buddist/Taois temple architecture, then it would be a good choice. The gardens near the Nunnery are quite pretty if you like highly-formal Chinese gardens, but again, I am not sure this would be top of my list for a first-time visitor who only has three days. I would certainly say that you try to combine this with a trip to Wong Tai Sin, which is on the same subway line so seeing both is possible. Esp if your trip is close to the Lunar New Year, when Wong Tai Sin will be packed with worshippers.
Cicerone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 31st, 2011, 10:37 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,009
Cicerone, I've seen you mention the "wet market" in a couple of posts this morning. What is the wet market?
sf7307 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 31st, 2011, 11:09 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,580
A wet market is a fresh food market.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 31st, 2011, 01:10 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,009
Thank you!
sf7307 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2011, 05:03 PM
  #10
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Cicerone, as always WOW! Your detailed information is amazing. I am copying & will bring your whole post with me. We will be arriving in Hong Kong at about 6:00 p.m. on 7 Feb, so just after the New Year. Will the flower market in Victoria Park be decimated by then?

We do like interesting architecture and gardens and the photos we have seen of Chi Lin Nunnery really appealed to us, but will definately combine with Wong Tai Sin.

What is the best way to get from TST to Hollywood Rd (antique shops), Sheung Wan area & the streets there with wet markets, medicinal herbs & the HK Museum of Mgdical Sciences. Don't know why but that museum sounds interesting to me, and neither of us are doctors! Guess it is just the alternative medicine aspect and the difference between East & West. Star Ferry to Central & then ???
CFW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2011, 05:15 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Chinese New Year flower markets end in the very early hours tomorrow morning, Feb 3rd.

From TST to Hollywood Road, just take MTR to Sheung Wan.
rkkwan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2011, 08:01 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I am a gal who is all about the journey, and not just the destination, so I personally would never take the subway to cross the harbour and get to Sheung Wan. Especially in Hong Kong where the above-ground scenery is so interesting! There are two options you can use to get there, depending on whether you wan to go to Sheung Wan first or the Hollywood Road area first. It probably is easier to go to Hollywood Road first, as directions are easier to understand. It’s also down hill from there to Sheung Wan. So I will give directions for that option.

I would get a good street map of Central/Sheung Wan for this. The tourist office at the Star Ferry pier in Kowlon/TST may have maps. Some guidebooks come with maps.

Star Ferry to Escalator to Hollywood Road to Sheung Wan area: Take the Star Ferry to Central. Take the first class (upper deck). From the exit on the Hong Kong side, follow signs for the “footbridge” (elevated walkway). You will not go down to the street, but will go up stairs to walk above the streets toward downtown Central. You will walk straight down a covered walkway for a few hundred yards over a big construction site. There is a dogleg turn, right then left. At this point, you will see a walkway off to the right which is the entry to the IFC Mall. Go right, up the few stairs and into the Mall. Go straight, walking along the corridor inside the mall, with windows to the outside on your left. Walk the entire length of the mall and out past the concierge desk into a large circular atrium area. Go to the left and down a few stairs and out the glass doors here. Walk straight ahead onto the walkway going over the street. Once across the street, follow the walkway to the right, then left and up a few stairs. You will now be in a covered shop area, with some shops on the left (7-11). Walk through this area and continue straight ahead on the walkway over the street below you. You are now at the beginning of the famous escalator. It is unmissible. (It runs downhill until 10:15 am every day, so you may have to walk up the stairway next to the escalator if you reach it before 10:30 or so when it starts going uphill.) The walk from the Star Ferry to this point will be 15 minutes or so.

Take the escalator until you get to Hollywood Road. There are signs at the various exits (look up, the signs hang from the ceiling), Hollywood Road will be at a point after you make a sharp right hand turn on the elevated walkway and hit the first down escalator of the trip. There is a Pure Fitness gym on the right as you go down the escalator. Hollywood Road is behind and below you. Take the ramp donw hill to the street. Turn left, walking down Hollywood. There are antique shops and art galleries along here mixed in with restaurants and bars. (There are also a few shops in the other direction, including the wonderful Teresa Coleman if you like textiles, she is at #79, see (http://www.teresacoleman.com ). Note that many shops are closed on Sundays, but you can always window shop.

Otherwise, keep walking down Hollywood. G.O.D. Design is at #48 on the left and may be worth a quick stop for kitschy Chinese stuff. (They have a poster of Hong Kong as a ski resort with runs down the mountains which just cracks me up. See http://www.god.com.hk/ ) At the corner where GOD Designs is located, is Graham Street and next is Peel Street, both of which are small pedestrian lanes with street “wet” markets running downhill from Hollywood. You can wander those (Gage Street is a connecting street between Graham and Peel and also interesting, lots of butchers) and come back up to Hollywood. You can also go left up Graham or Peel to get to Staunton and Elgin Streets which have a ton of restaurants and boutiques. Then come back down to Hollywood. Continuing west down Hollywood, you will come to the Man Mo Temple on the left. Worth a stop for sure. Off to the right here is Cat and Ladder Streets/Lascar Row, worth a wander.

At the corner of Hollywood and Ladder, at the Man Mo Temple, you can go up to the Museum of Medial Sciences. From Hollywood Rd, with the temple on your left, go left at the corner onto Ladder Street. Take it one block to Square Street, then turn right down Square Street which will end at Kul in Fong where you have to go left. Walk up Kul in Fong about 2 blocks until you see the museum on your left at Caine Lane. This is all uphill a bit.

When finished at the museum, I would come back down to Hollywood and keep going left/west. Keep walking down Hollywood until it ends at Queen’s Road. Turn left here onto Queen’s Road. At #290 B on the left is the lovely Lock Cha teashop, perhaps a good marker. See http://www.lockcha.com/. At this point you are in Sheung Wan.

Follow Queens Road for a maybe 300-400 yards, you are looking for Wilmer Street which will be on the right about five minutes walk from where you entered Queen’s Road. But this whole area is quite interesting as well, lots of little local shops, and ‘nary a tourist. Any of the streets or lanes on the right here would eventually get you to Des Vouex Road, but I am trying to take you via major streets where you can’t get lost. When you get to Wilmer, turn right. This will take you one block to Des Voeux Road, which is a very busy street with the street tram line running down the middle. This is the dried fish, medicine shop area. You can go right or left, IMO, going left onto Des Voeux is a bit more interesting. And just wander along and around here as long as you want. If you are tired of walking, you can also take the street tram west (facing the water, take any tram running to the left) all the way to Kennedy Town where the tram ends. Very scenic if you don’t feel like walking. Then to get back to Central, take any tram east. Get off at the stop at the intersection for Dex Voeux Road and Pedder Road. (You may have to ask someone. This would be the Landmark shopping mall. Also the Central MTR stop.) To go back to Kowloon, you want to head toward the water and the ferry, you will have to take an elevated walkway, so cross Des Voeux walking down Pedder toward the water and look for some stairs going up on the right. If you want to go back toward Central and the bars/restaurants of Lan Kwai Fong, then go up Pedder away from the water. Shanghai Tang is in the Pedder Building at #12 Pedder Street, and is worth a stop, then you can go towards Lan Kwai Fong from here. You could also walk to the Peak Tram from here in about 10-15 minutes.

I am in an airport lounge now, and running out of time, but get a street map and you can figure out your options from that point.
Cicerone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2011, 08:48 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I am the biggest fan of traveling slowly by Star Ferry, trams, buses and on foot. Just depends on how the OP wants to spend their limited time.
rkkwan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 2nd, 2011, 02:06 PM
  #14
CFW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,482
Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time Cicerone, and enjoy your flight. Hope you are going someplace fun.
CFW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 4th, 2011, 06:05 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
To my own anal retentive post, I want to add some points and a correction:

1. Thanks to my friend Sue, who lives on Wong Nai Chung Gap Road, I have some landmarks for you when taking the bus from Stanley to the stop at Bowen. As you are approaching the stop, you will see a brownish/silver sign on the left which says “Nicolson Tower”. You will then see a very large blue and white traffic sign on the left, showing the circle which is just ahead and the various directions drivers can take from the circle. Hit the stop button at this point, as the stop you want is just after the circle.

2. If you go to Stanley and then the Peak, when you switch buses at Bowen Road, you can take the 15 or 15B bus to the Peak. These are the only two buses on the route and they both go to the Peak.

3. If you walk to Sheung Wan from Hollywood Road, ignore my comment that you will find Lock Cha Tea House at the intersection of Hollywood Road and Queens Road. The shop is actually a few blocks earlier, so you won’t intersect with it if you walk to the end of Hollywood. (In my mind’s eye, I saw it at the corner, but have just looked on their website and see that it is further back Queens Road toward Central. If you want to go to the shop, then after the museum, walk back to Hollywood Road and the Man Mo Temple, and walk downhill Ladder Street to Queens’ Road, the tea shop is on the right at the bottom of Ladder at the corner of Ladder and Queen’s Road. From the shop, to get to Des Veoux, walk west down Queens’ Road for a few blocks, you can take any right after Possession Street/Bonham Strand, any of these lanes will take you to Des Veoux. The area around the tea shop, like Hillier St, is worth a wonder too.) If you don’t want to go to the shop, then just use the directions above and ignore the reference to Lock Cha.
Cicerone 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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:01 PM.