Da skinny on H.K.
September 12, 2005 7:06 AM   Subscribe

I'll be in Hong Kong this weekend, just a short 2-day visit on Friday and Saturday, and I know virtually nothing about the city. I want to do a couple of the touristy things (harbor cruise, Mt. Victoria), but also some out-of-the-way-coolness. Any suggestions?
posted by zardoz to Travel & Transportation around Victoria, Hong Kong (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was in the same situation as you - just a weekend visit to HK on my way to Vietnam. Also, I'd never been there before.

In any case, I asked for suggestions from the Flickr HK Group, got great recommendations and reported back after my trip. The relevant thread is here. Hope it helps.
posted by vacapinta at 9:15 AM on September 12, 2005

I'm currently living in HK - in 2 days, you want to take Star Ferry from Kowloon to Central at night (if the weather is nice and visibility is up), wander the Peak (with funicular up) sometime during the day, and check out the markets in Mong Kok if interested - but that's all touristy. You could fit that all into a day, doing TST as well...You could also do Lantau if you like big Buddhas.

Off the beaten path:
Last week I had one of the best dinners in my life after a nice hike on Lamma Island, you may want to take in horse racing at Happy Valley, you must get a dim sum meal (the more suburbian, the more authentic - avoid Maxim chains, unless you treasure the english menu), and maybe do a walk in the New Territories.

If you want specific advice, or even a Gwai Lo tourguide, please drop me an email at robbie DOT chaplick {at} utoronto DOT ca. You also may want to consider staying for Sunday, as that will be the Mid-Autumn festival...Be in touch.
posted by evadery at 9:31 AM on September 12, 2005

Disneyland Hong Kong opened just today!
posted by DandyRandy at 11:04 AM on September 12, 2005

Best answer: I spent three days in Hong Kong in November (second visit, showed my wife the town) and actually had time to spare. Here's our agenda, which focused on both sightseeing and soaking up some local lifestyle and culture.

First, location: Stay islandside. In Kowloon, you get a view, but the real action is on the island. I absolutely loved the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which while not scenic in location is very convenient, and the service and rooms were top-notch. (We also stayed affordably in the off-season.)

Day One

Morning: explore Central, then take the escalators to the mid-levels. Discover high-end shopping (Shanghai Tang is particularly recommended), antique stores and hipster shops higher up the hill, and a good open-air market deeper into the neighborhood. Grab lunch near Elgin Street or at Luk Yu Tea House.

Afternoon: head to Stanley and/or Repulse Bay. They are on the far side of the island, and require a ~ US$15 cab fare, but one or the other is worth visiting, just to see the difference in lifestyle from the morning. Repulse Bay is more scenic, while Stanley has nice bars, eateries and a fun market.

Evening: dine and drink at the restaurant of your choice in Lan Kwai Fong. Walk around to experience the expat lifestyle. Hong Kong is 98% Chinese; the other 2% hang out here.

Day Two

Morning: take the funicular to Victoria Peak. Take photos, go for a little walk and soak up the view. If you love being on top of the world, book dinner at one of the restaurants, and head back at night for a completely different view.

Afternoon: take the Star Ferry to Kowloon. Walk around Nathan Road to do some more shopping. Have lunch or afternoon tea in the lobby of the Peninsula, which is worth experiencing. If you love the view, take the ferry back; if you're a transportation fan, check out the subway system and its long, open cars.

Evening: if you love the cityscape, take a short tourist boat ride around the harbor. You may want to avoid a trip that requires a riverboat dinner, but the mini-cruises go parallel to the shore and give a more sweeping view of the city. Afterward, try a meal outside Lan Kwai Fong, and if you go to Kowloon, revisit the Peninsula and head to the Felix bar for a final, unbeatable view of the city.

This sounds like a lot, but it's a doable few days, and your fast pace will match Hong Kong's. It's a great whirlwind of a weekend.
posted by werty at 1:09 PM on September 12, 2005

Rather than pay US$15 for a taxi to Stanley, why not try the #6 Bus from Central for just a buck. Sit on the top right for great views!

Also, a day on Lamma Island is a treat! Take the 1-hour walk from one village to the other, and have a great meal at one of the resturants.
posted by DickStock at 4:34 AM on September 13, 2005

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