Hong Kong Travel Tips
Hong Kong Travel Tips Reviews
Nov 27, 2006
• Take Travellers Cheques to change when you reach Hong Kong, there are Money Exchangers in every public building who will give you a better exchange rate than the Banks, and you will make most purchases with cash not card.
• When arriving at Hong Kong airport, go to the circular public desk in the arrivals hall and buy your Octopus Card. I recommend putting HKD$100.00 on as a start, then HKD$50.00 for every day after the first one that you intend to stay. Your Octopus Card is a transport card, you scan it at the entrance to public transport (busses, trains, ferries) and have the cost of the trip deducted. You can also use it to buy water from 7/11 stores, but I recommend getting water from local shops as it is a lot less expensive. Be careful when buying the Octopus Card as some vendors only sell cards for the train, you want one for busses and ferries as well.
• Kowloon is the main shopping district, The Tsim Sha Shui area, with Nathan Road as the main thoroughfare will give you access to some amazing shops and markets, including the Night Markets. If you are brave, have your evening meal at one of the shops dotted around the markets. Most of them have at least one English menu; you may have to insist, as they prefer not to bring them out.
• Near the Star Ferry Terminal in Kowloon, there is a Government booking office where you can register for your free harbour cruise on the Chinese Junk, the Duk Ling. You will need your passport to register, and will enjoy and excellent tour of the inner Hong Kong waterfront. It is well worth the time.
• At 8pm every night, if you go down to the Avenue of Stars at the end of Nathan Road, you can watch the light show. It is amazing, and a sight not to be missed.
• Soho on Hong Kong Island has the best eateries, the longest escalator and the Western Markets. The shopping on Hong Kong Island is great and you will find western sizes there, and the Markets definitely cater to Westerners.
• It is on this side of the harbour where you catch the tram up to the peak, where you can while away your time looking at the view. There are a few restaurants up there, but the prices are quite high. If you get the chance, stay at the Peak to watch the sunset and see the harbour lights. Just after sunset, everyone tries to head down at once, so I recommend you stay a little while longer.
• Take the time to go to Lantau and see the Giant Buddha. With approx 600 steps up to the top, it is excellent exercise and the view is spectacular. The ferry station on Lantau has a couple of good restaurants nearby; the Turkish on in particular is particularly good. The bus ride around from the ferry has some interesting view, including a prison, which looks more like a resort.
• You can take a day trip to Macau or Shen Zen, Macau has some good shopping, including great Jade, and is a little more western friendly. Shen Zen is where you will get your electronics.
• Stanley Markets around the far side of Hong Kong Island are well worth a visit, but don’t expect to bargain much, prices are fairly well set. You can get most of your copies here, and if you want touristy things like kimonos, pasminas etc, this is the place.
• Getting back to the airport, you might want to consider a taxi. From the centre of Kowloon you can expect to pay about HKD$400, and if there are a few of you to share, it’s worthwhile. To go by public transport, you will pay about HKD$130 per person, it is easier by taxi as well, with all your luggage (and extra shopping). It is quicker by taxi, only 30 – 40 mins, with public transport taking about an hour and a half. It is a good idea to get your hotel to write a note with where you would like to go in a cab as some drivers speak very limited English.
Have fun, Hong Kong is an excellent travel experience. Just get use to hearing “Missy, Missy, you buy more.”
Part of the Hong Kong November 2006 travel blog
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