Hope Me Enjoy Hong Kong
May 28, 2012 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Four, maybe five days in Hong Kong in September. What should I do/see/go to/eat? What's the best neighborhood to stay in for someone who wants to see as much as possible and take lots of pictures? Off-the-beaten path is great, but touristy is also OK.
posted by bardic to Travel & Transportation around Hong Kong (10 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've only been out there a couple of times, and mainly for business, but here's a few suggestions:

Staying in Central is probably going to be the easiest in terms of getting around the city since, as the name would suggest, it's right in the center of things. The downside is that many of the hotels there are very expensive. (Think business travelers with expense accounts.)

Definitely go to the Hong Kong Museum of History and plan to stay a few hours. It covers everything from geology and prehistoric cultures all the way up to the present day. It's across the water from Central in Kowloon, but quite easy to get to either on the subway. For a more leisurely trip across the water, take the Star Ferry.

Hong Kong Park
has a few small museums that are interesting and worth a quick stop. It also houses a surprisingly large aviary.

If you're the gambling type, head to Macau. The ferry takes about an hour each way and is rather inexpensive. (You WILL need your passport to get in and out.) If you go, I strongly recommend Fernando's for some awesome Portuguese food. It's kind of out in the sticks though, so it's probably a good idea not to go too late so you can get a taxi back. And bring some coins and small bills - we almost got stranded out there and had to take the bus back to Cotai.
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 1:21 AM on May 29, 2012


HK is remarkably easy to get around - the underground/subway is cheap, quick and thoroughly reliable and on my visits I've never found the actual location of a hotel - other than being within quick walking distance of a station - to be a massive concern - particularly when combined with an Octopus card. There's frequently deals on the Octopus combined with cheap airport rail transfers available at the airport.

All that having been said, I personally wouldn't choose to stay on the Island and last time out thoroughly enjoyed being in the heart of Mongkok.

As to what to see, well the major stuff is all easy enough to google (The Peak Tram, the waterfront at night, the Night Market).

I do remember my first day in HK fondly though - up and out bright and early (jetlag) to Kowloon Park picking up street food on the way, for a stroll through the park watching people doing Tai Chi and taking caged birds out for some air, Chungking Mansions for a curry lunch, Stargreen Ferry across the bay and to the peak for sunset and the view. Then back down off the peak, grab a tram across to the escalators to find a bar and a cold drink.

Kowloon Walled City Park was a nice excursion, some of the islands are pleasant to visit, this history museum was worth a couple of hours - and you can daytrip to Macau if you want to lose money gambling or collect some more passport stamps.
posted by Hobo at 1:30 AM on May 29, 2012


I only went once, during a work trip, and we stayed at the Wellington Butterfly Hotel. It was surprisingly very well located! Honestly everything was just a five minute walk away for us and really great staff and pleasant rooms. Taxis are super cheap for more local commuting and if you go on the subway, get an Octopus card which you can top up at a lot of convenience stores.

For food
You must go to Tim Ho Wan - SO cheap and pretty darn good, although I have to say the pork buns were really the star of the show. Go by 10am, prepare to queue. But if there is a host standing outside you can ask for a number and come back.
Kau Kee for noodles - amazingly cheap. You can get the standard beef brisket, but if you're more adventurous I highly recommend the tendon.
Another great noodle restaurant - Mak's
If you need a break from Chinese, there was a great little Vietnamese place called Nha Trang right by the hotel.
posted by like_neon at 1:51 AM on May 29, 2012


If you want to spend most of a day outside of the city, do it on Lantau Island. Take the MTR there,
use the cable car to fly over the green hills towards the largest, sitting, outdoor Buddha. Then take a bus to Tai O to look at the stilt houses, visit the fish market and take small trip on a boat to watch pink dolphins. Then take the bus to one of the beaches at the south side of the island (Cheung Sha or Tong Fuk). After spending some time there, take the bus to Mui Wo and take the ferry back to Central.
posted by Akke at 2:14 AM on May 29, 2012


the Anne Black YWCA is a good cheap hotel in kowloon and walking distance from the markets. I stay there every time I go to HK.
posted by jannw at 2:23 AM on May 29, 2012


Some of my favorites in Hong Kong:
1) Hiking Dragon's Back to Shek O. It's amazing that you can leave such a densely populated area and hike along top of a mountain and end up in a small beach village. Great views and good seafood at the end of the hike.
2) Lamma Island. Take the ferry and eat at Rainbow Seafood Restaurant.
3) Lantau Island. I liked the cable car ride and the Buddha and temple, but a lot of the surrounding attractions look like Epcot (fake bodhi tree, crappy souvenirs, etc.).
4) Victoria Peak. It's probably worth a quick visit if the weather is nice. I was disappointed with the peak. It was cloudy when I went and there's almost a vertical Times Square on top. I was crushed when I saw that the restaurants with the best view in Hong Kong are a Bubba Gump's Shrimp and a Burger King.
5) Food. My two favorite menu items were soup dumplings (xiao long bao) at Din Tai Fung and gorgonzola ice cream with dates, iced celery and red port wine reduction at Domani.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:11 AM on May 29, 2012


Food! Try Under the Bridge Spicy Crab, Kau Kee for beef brisket, and for an interesting take on modern Chinese there's Chung's Cuisine in Times Square.
posted by spaceheater at 7:59 AM on May 29, 2012


Lots of good suggestions here already. May I recommend High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel. An HK landmark, a colonial relic, and frankly, it's just awesome. I'd say that you should dress a bit nice, since you might feel a bit tacky in you are in shorts and t-shirt.

The yum cha place with the best view in town (of the harbour and the skyline) is at City Hall's Maxim's Palace. Here's a write up. It's a bit pricy - you are paying for the view, and the silver tea pots, but it's also a nice experience.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:52 PM on May 29, 2012


The Dragon's Back hike is very nice. If you like birds, the Hong Kong Wetland Park is also good for an escape from the city.
posted by Quonab at 8:11 AM on May 30, 2012


Great suggestions already. You might also find some utility in my recent post here.
posted by milquetoast at 11:40 AM on June 12, 2012


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