Tokyo or Hong Kong for 2 days?

Old Mar 30th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Tokyo or Hong Kong for 2 days?

Just want to start the debate! I need to do a layover: either Hong Kong or Tokyo. I've never been to either China or Japan. Which one? I have 2 nights/3days and am traveling solo. Thanks for any input!
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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I just spent 2 nights in Tokyo and 3 in Hong Kong.

I vote for Hong Kong!
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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My vote is for Hong Kong too. Not that Japan is not worth seeing, but Tokyo, per se, is too big, too fast and way too expensive.

In Hong Kong, you can get yourself to Kowloon and to the jade markets, the herb markets, the Friendship stores, etc., etc. failry easily. Hong Kong is much more fun and much more friendly -- not to mention that some of the restaurants there are reputed to be the best in the world. Way to go Hong Kong -- definitely!
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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I'D also go for Hong Kong. You'll see more in two days, it's easier to handle for a solo traveller and, above all, it's just a nicer place to visit - a must-see in fact.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 07:14 PM
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I've been to both and enjoyed both but I have to agree with the others. If you have to choose only one, make it Hong Kong.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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Is this the same trip you have been posting on your other thread about 1 night in Hong Kong? Hard to keep track. I would also vote for Hong Kong because I think it is easier to get around for a short trip, and also because IMO there is more to see and do in a much more compact area. Tokyo really is a very, very large city with a very small amount for the tourist. There is more outside of Tokyo for the tourist and you donít have time for that. I find the subway system a bit daunting as is the lack of English. It is, however, so clean you cannot believe that like 9 million people live in the place (taxi cabs are immaculate, drivers wear gloves).

Another small thing is that the train from the Tokyo airport will take you over an hour each way just station to station and then you have to get to the station from your hotel, so you could have a longish trip for a short layover. Hong Kong is just under half an hour and then you usually have a short (and cheap) taxi ride to your hotel.

Japan has also instituted fingerprinting for all visitors, I think this has been worked out and there are no longer long lines at immigration as there were when this was first instituted, but I have not been back to Japan since they started this procedure a few months ago, perhaps others can speak to this. If there are still lines, again this will make for a longer trip for a short layoever.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 03:25 AM
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My answer would really depend on what OP enjoys--no brainer HK if he/she enjoys good and cheap foods and shopping. I'd go for Tokyo if he/she enjoys more cultural/scenary aspects.

I found prices for 4*/5* hotels to be not much different between HK and Tokyo.

Having said that, an advantage is that HK airport's train link is shorter and superb. I also love the ferry--for HK$2.20, this is the cheapest mode of transportation. Ease of communication/finding things in English is another advantage.

On the other hand, I'd be more inclined to stopover in Tokyo if OP is visiting now (ie cherry blossom season), or prefers shorter connecting flight (if flying to N.America afterwards).

I didn't find fingerprinting at Narita that offensive/or taking long time. No long queue when I was there last month.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 05:28 AM
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Japan (in general) and Tokyo in particular have are quickly becoming one of my very favorite places to visit. The gentility of the people, the contrasting harmonies of tranquility and constant movement, the triumph of form AND function -- I find it to be a fantastic travel experience.

That said, I'd choose recommend Hong Kong for all the reasons stated so far: much easier for a traveler, virtually no language issues, very compact size, and a huge WOW factor.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 03:39 PM
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We have lived in both places, and totally agree with the other posters. Visiting Tokyo is like visiting an enormous sprawling city and there is very little natural beauty-even now with the Cherry blossoms. Hong Kong is still gorgeous (despite the smog!)and it is easy to get to hiking spots or beaches from the inner city in a matter of minutes! Both cities are safe for a solo traveler but as mentioned, HK has much more English (in restaurants, shops, and on signs). It's easy to get around in HK via cheap and plentiful taxis or buses, and while the subways and trains of Tokyo are convenient, it is overwhelming at first.

Shopping is also easier and much cheaper in Hong Kong and the US dollar goes farther right now since it is pegged to the HK dollar-whereas the dollar has lost 10-20% against the yen in recent months.

One thing you don't mention though is the timing of your visit...Weather is very different in these two cities!
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 03:44 PM
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PS:
Having just been in Hong Kong and returned to Japan...Cicerone is correct: HK is more efficient and quicker at Immigration and also in terms of just getting to and from the airport (30 mins from HK Airport versus 2 hours or more to Tokyo from Narita).

Hong Kong is also just a more exciting city in many ways-even if you're not into the nightlife.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 04:20 PM
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thank you all. Hong Kong it is! Now all I have to do is change around some flights.

Any hotel recommendations- say in a good walking location, around $150plus/ night?
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 04:31 PM
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See if you can get a harbour view room at the Salisbury YMCA. They book up early. It is not a "normal Y."
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