Hong Kong

Hong Kong Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
Mongkok Market
On the first of July this year Hong Kong celebrated its 10th anniversary of the British Hand back to China, and I was fortunate enough to visit Hong Kong again 3 days after this event. Hong Kong has long been a favorite city of mine and ten years ago I wondered whether the magic would be lost with the return of Chinese rule. It is fair to say that magic is well and truly alive and well and the Latest slogan of the Hong Kong Tourist Board of "Live It - Love It" couldn't sum up the atmosphere better.

In their wisdom the Chinese have left the city as it was as a thriving centre of commerce and business. The city still grows at an alarming rate (some have often joked that if the reclaimation continues you will be able to walk across Victoria Harbour between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
Mongkok Ladies Market
) and the evidence of development is everywhere. There have been some significant changes, however. The cities infrastructure has improved significantly over the last ten years and even over the last two years since my last visit. The old rutted footpaths and dirt and litter that used to mar a Hong Kong experience has all been cleaned up. New areas along the foreshore on the Kowloon side often a great vantage point to view the island both by day and night and give the best view of the nightly light show, the "Symphony of Lights". The wide pedestrian mall stretched right from the Star ferry terminal to the "Avenue of the Stars" in front of the entertainment complex.

A major new development has occurred on the peak, above the Peak Tram terminal. A new muti-level entertainment complex has been opened offering some of the best dining in Hong Kong with arguably the best city view in the World.
Jade Market
On the roof of the complex is a new observation deck that gives a superb view over Victoria Harbour and Kowloon on one side and the South China Sea over Aberdeen on the other. The views are great both during the day and at night and now with escalators and lifts are accessible to anyone. In my view the trip is worth doing twice during a visit to see the city lights at night.

The other major redevelopment has been the building of a new Star Ferry terminal on the Hong Kong Island side right next to the interisland ferry terminals. This makes for a very easy transition to the outer islands or to the business centre or MTR via a new elevated covered walk way.

Most people visiting Hong Kong do so for the shopping. With the strength of the Australian dollar at the moment Hong Kong is extremely good value for money with most "Brand" items being now approximately two thirds of prices in Australia.
Symphony of Lights
The shopping reliability has also now improved with a Hong Kong Tourist Board accreditation system. Every brand in the World is available in Hong Kong with the best places still Harbour City, Causeway Bay and Mongkok Stay clear of the tourist area of Nathan Road.

Market shopping for clothing and imitation goods is always great fun in Hong Kong and no visit is complete without a visit to the Ladies Market in Mongkok, The Temple Street night market, Stanley Market, the Jade Market or even a walk down old Shanghai Street. As a guide tee shirts sell for around 5 dollars, jeans for around 8 - 12 dollars and handbags for between 10 and 30 dollars. Bargaining is a must in any of the markets and the best buys are to be had early in the market sessions or towards close.
Victoria Peak
A little known area in Hong Kong is the antique market on Hong Kong Island near the famous ladder street. Brass, Jade, Glass, and Ceramic items of good quality are all available in this precinct.

Tens years ago I would have said that Hong Kong wasn't the place to take children. That has now largely changed for two reasons. The first is the opening of Disneyland which gives Hong Kong two major attractions for children with the Ocean Park. Disneyland opened late last year and is still small consisting of Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fastasyland, and Adventureland. The park is being expanded with further construction underway. It is designed for younger children at this stage with the only really serious ride being Space Mountain. Having said that it is still a full day and night of activity to cover the entire park and the night fireworks. The main advantage over other parks in the Disney Stable is the relatively short queue times, rarely longer than 15 minutes and often as short as 5 minutes. The one constant all over the world is the Disney magic. Hong Kong is no exception and while is sounds like a cliche Disneyland is truly the happiest place on Earth!! (and that is coming from a 49 year old)
I said earlier that there were two reasons Hong Kong had become more child friendly, the second is eating. Ten years ago eating was either expensive in Hotel coffee shops, expensive in good restaurants, or very Asian in street type stalls not really suitable for western children. The evening meals could often cost as much for a family as their accommodation over the course of a week. Hong Kong is now full of cheap American style fast food outlets, coffee shops, and good quality but very well priced Asian food courts. Eating with kids is now not only relatively inexpensive but can be a lot of fun.

Hong Kong has always been one of the great cities of the world and one of my personal favorites. Over the last ten years it has got better and now offers a far broader range of activities for people of all ages. Whether it is shopping, taking in the sights, visiting the many outer islands taking the kids to the attractions or relaxing on the beach, Hong Kong will surprise you. Hong Kong is a vibrant city that has a pulse all of its own - the more you live it, the more you will love it.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Mongkok Market
Mongkok Market
Mongkok Ladies Market
Mongkok Ladies Market
Jade Market
Jade Market
Symphony of Lights
Symphony of Lights
Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak
Sponsored Links