Hong Kong Question
August 13, 2015 10:16 PM   Subscribe

My wife, 2 kids (aged 3 and 1) and I are going on a trip to Hong Kong for 3 nights next month. I booked through a travel agent who put us up in a nice hotel at Sha Tin. For a variety of reasons I didn't really check where that hotel was before locking it all in, and I realised afterwards that its about 30 mins from Hong Kong itself. Has anyone stayed in that area and have any advise on whether we should stay there or move to a more central hotel?

From my perspective, I think it'll be OK. It looks like a gorgeous area, and away from the crowds of Hong Kong. My wife and I already live in a crowded city and a break from that for a few days sounds appealing. It looks like there is plenty to do around Sha Tin and the hotel has a shuttle bus to Kowloon/Tsim Sha Tsui that takes around 30 - 40 mins depending on traffic.

On the downside, it might feel like we are missing out on Hong Kong (this is our first time there), and the shuttle bus trip could be a drag.

We are looking to see the sights, my wife is very keen to get some shopping done, be it department store, cheap and cheerful or street markets. I'm keen to pick up a Xiaomi phone, if anyone knows if they have a store there or where best to look for that kind of thing, and perhaps look at watches.

Any other Hong Kong advice welcome as I know nothing about the place at all.
posted by Admira to Travel & Transportation around Hong Kong (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I guess it depends what your goals are for the trip. Do you have a list of must sees and activities on HK island? If so, probably a bad location as I wouldn't want to haul the kids an extra 30 mins each way every day. If your goal is to just experience being in HK and you're more flexible, I think you'll be ok.
posted by falconred at 11:16 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a Xiaomi MiHome shop/experience/thing in Hollywood Plaza in Mong Kok, right in the middle of Kowloon and near the Mong Kok MTR station.

Sha Tin is out there but still convenient. If you can avoid rush hour the MTR will be doable with little ones, and Sha Tin station to Mong Kok East station on the East Rail Line is well under 20 minutes. Plump for first class if need be and think about taxis too, which are very reasonable.
posted by mdonley at 12:51 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's a bit out of the way, but the commute is acceptable and you'll see a different side of Hong Kong. I'd say it's fine.
posted by outlier at 1:46 AM on August 14, 2015

If you want a break from a big busy city, HKG is not the place to go. Immerse yourself in the craziness and stay in a hotel near TST or Mongkok; it's your first time in HKG, so spend as much of it shopping and eating, not commuting (especially with 2 small children). Having a hotel close to where you'll be spending most of your time means you can rush back to the room if you forget something, or the kids need a break etc. I can recommend the Eaton Hotel as a well-priced place to stay, esp. as it's close to one of my favourite department stores: Wing On (sells everything but food, reasonable prices, and the kitchenware section is fabulous if you love cooking). Another favourite Dept. store is Sogo - basement full of great shoes and handbags, and their food department is a good showcase of food trends in HKG. PM me if you need more advice. Have a great time in one of the coolest cities on Earth!
posted by travellingincognito at 4:46 AM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

travellingincognito is right. With very young kids, you need to be able to get back to the hotel pronto in case of meltdowns, tiredness, accidents, etc. You never want to leave in the morning and feel like you have to be "out" all day with no respite. HK is great but intense and it does lack parks and open spaces where you can catch a break compared with other cities. I resorted to taking Star Ferry back and forth when I wanted to sit down (also because I love Star Ferry).
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:57 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

It seems like it might be a pain to shift the hotels now, but being there with two small kids and taking shuttle buses to the main destinations each day will be a major annoyance. Stay in the city in a decent hotel and your experience will be much less about commuting and "getting there" and schedules, and much more at your own pace.

This goes TRIPLY for a major, busy crowded city like Hong Kong!
posted by barnone at 7:49 AM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a huge, popular shopping mall in Sha Tin (your hotel might even be on top of it) but otherwise, it doesn't sound like a good location for you. I agree that HK is stressful and you'll want to be able to pop into your hotel for a break, so something more centrally located would be better.
posted by ceiba at 11:25 AM on August 14, 2015

I work in Shatin, and live on Hong Kong Island-- so I commute every day. Feel free to memail me with specific questions about the area.

Honestly, when coworkers come from other parts of the company globally for their first trip, I never recommend they stay in Shatin. It has some beautiful parts (10000 buddhas monastery, hiking trails) but it isn't really a Hong Kong experience. What kind of shopping do you hope to do? There is a huge mall in Shatin, but it is mostly aimed at tourists from the Mainland. So if extra expensive European brands are what you are looking for, the shopping is fine. (If you live in in Asia already then it might be less extra expensive European brands, so that could be fine. If you are coming from the US, you'll faint at the prices.)

You mention a shuttle bus, and if they have a shuttle bus to Hong Kong Island from the hotel, then that's a good thing. There is no direct train from Shatin to Hong Kong Island, sadly. You need to change in either Hung Hom (for a bus) or Kowloon Tong. If you don't want busy and crowded, neither of these options are good.

I generally direct my friends with kids to hotels in the Midlevels or Stanley. Stanley feels more isolated, but you have the beaches and it's only a short taxi/bus to Central.
posted by frumiousb at 5:57 PM on August 14, 2015

I also work in Shatin and live on the island. If it's your first time in HK and you're only here for a few days, I'd suggest getting a hotel in a more central location.
posted by modernnomad at 8:00 PM on August 14, 2015

Hi, just checking back in post trip to say the majority consensus was right which I ignored at my own cost, I should have changed hotels but didn't and paid the price in lost time.
posted by Admira at 12:24 AM on September 28, 2015

« Older Autism spectrum resources   |   What savoury foods are as dear as salt? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.