22 hours in Hong Kong - what to do and see
March 3, 2015 4:53 AM   Subscribe

First time visitor has a layover from 1 pm to 11 am the next day in Hong Kong. Was advised to see the action and stay in central Hong Kong instead of Kowloon. I am looking for a centrally located hotel costing about $250 (is that possible???) and need suggestions on what to do. I am having problems finding a "centrally located" hotel because I don't know what I should see. Single female traveler. I understand it is very safe even to venture out after dark to see the dramatic skyline. Anything I should definitely do or see? Up for a hectic and fun time before I sack out on an overseas flight the next morning. Thanks, hive.
posted by dublin to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would argue that Kowloon is more centrally located than Central. The Kowloon side also has a great view of Central and it takes only a 10 minute MTR ride or ferry ride to get there. (although you might have to walk a bit to get from ferry to MTR and vice versa). I enjoyed the Royal Garden Hotel which is a bit cheaper than the Shangri-La, Regal Kowloon is cheaper still, but all are clean and good quality. 250 USD should be enough for Royal Garden.
posted by Akke at 6:00 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I visited Hong Kong in 2011, I found that most of the excitement at night was in Tsim Sha Tsui in southern Kowloon, just across the harbor from Central. That's where all the late-nite shopping, restaurants, bars, clubs and the night market are, the neon-lined streets you probably have in your mind when you're thinking Hong Kong. I'm not sure why you were advised to stay in Central and not southern Kowloon, as I'd have to imagine that's where you'd get the most out of a brief stay; I certainly found Tsim Sha Tsui to be hectic fun.

One of the best ways to see the dramatic skylines of Hong Kong is by taking the ferry between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, so in any case, you should almost definitely visit both places at some point in your trip.

That said, I stayed in a hotel in east Central Hong Kong near the Taikoo Shing apartments - which was a little sleepy at night, but pretty nice, and around $250 if I remember right - and I had no problem shuttling between Kowloon, the Central business district and the east side of the island on the MTR subway and the ferry.
posted by eschatfische at 6:21 AM on March 3, 2015

Try the Peak Tram + the "Peak circle walk" (Lugard Road looping around to Harlech Road if going counter-clockwise or vice versa if you wish). 2-mile paved flat walk that circles around Victoria Peak. Info here and you'll find more on the Peak Tram with a web search. Great views unless foggy or hazy (which it often is) but a wonderful nature walk even if the weather isn't cooperating.
And yes, the Star Ferry. On the Tsim Sha Tsui side next to the Star Ferry you can walk along the waterfront looking back at the skyline of Hong Kong Island while enjoying the antics of the tourists from the China mainland and elsewhere doing the same thing.
You can stay either on the Island or in TST, transportation is convenient throughout HK. Great subway (called the MTR), ferries, buses. Taxis aren't too expensive. (I lived in HK for 20+ years.)
posted by mono blanco at 7:30 AM on March 3, 2015

Yeah, TST is probably more of the kind of the cinematic stereotypical Hong Kong that you're looking for. Central is more of a business/banking district.

I stayed in this place on the Northern side of TST for $180/night and was happy with it:

Good access to the MTR.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:23 AM on March 3, 2015

On one of my Hong Kong visits, I ended up in the Panda Hotel in Tsuen Wan, which my hosts profusely apologized for. But on a later visit I actually ended up MTRing up there 'cause the morning smells from the bakeries, and the street foods, were more fun.
posted by straw at 11:55 AM on March 3, 2015

Response by poster: Such good info, everyone! Thank you for your 2 cents - not sure why I was advised that, but the hive wins - will look to stay in TST, starting first looking into your suggestions. Thanks - and how did i forget anthony bordain? Gotta watch that too. Any other suggestions on things to make sure i squeeze in are welcome!
posted by dublin at 12:35 PM on March 3, 2015

The Peak Tram and the circle walk, if you time it just before sunset, you get to see it in daylight and at night with all the lights, spectacular.

On the HK side, catch the double-decker tram and sit in the front row upstairs. The route that loops around Happy Valley racecourse is my favorite.

Even just walking the streets in TST will be entertainment enough but at night hop onto a double-decker bus going up Nathan Road through Yau Ma Tei, again sitting upstairs in the front seat for lots of neon goodness.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:20 PM on March 3, 2015

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