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Flying To Hong Kong, Help Please!

Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:20 pm

My brother graduates with his Masters in Business from Texas State in the fall and I want to take him to Hong Kong for a grad gift. What I want to know is places to take him and what carrier to fly with the best service. I'm not rich but I have a nice savings for this trip. I've been saving for 2yrs since he started on his MBA. I got about 4500-5000$ for this trip and want to know from ppl that travel to HKG frequently what places to see and what to skip and mainly who to fly and when to buy my tickets. Any help is great.

Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
Posts: 5857
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Flying To Hong Kong, Help Please!

Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:54 pm

Some information:
As you may know, Hong Kong lies within the area that sees typhoons during summer and fall. In order to play safe and avoiding that a typhoon spoils your trip, you might want to consider travelling outside this time of the year.

Hong Kong gets cold in winter. If the wind blows from Mainland China, it is not uncommon to get some morning-frost even at sea-level especially in the New Territories.
OTOH winter is the time in which hotel prices are lowest. And I find cold weather more bearable for roaming a city than hot & humid weather.

I've been to H.K. several times in February and in general this is a pleasant time, maybe a bit on the cool & damp side. I've also been to H.K. in June once and the hot&humid weather was killing me; plus I now understand why some footpaths in places like Tuen Mun have a roof: They are very handy during those heavy rain showers !

For hotels:
There are two areas to stay: Either on Hong Kong Island or in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). Personally I prefer staying in TST not further north than Kitchener Road. This gets you within walking distance to places like Kowloon Park, Ocean Terminal, Star Ferry and the waterfront. Those hotels on the waterfront of TST offer the shortest walking distances, but prices need to be compared. In that area, I've stayed at the Sheraton and at the New World. The Nikko is also in a okay location close to the waterfront, but a bit to the east.
Also were handily located are those 3 hotels in Ocean Terminal: The Hong Kong, Prince, Marco Polo (I hope, they haven't changed names). And between Prince and Marco Polo used to be my favourite pub in H.K.: The "Friar Tuck" We had a great time in that spot during the 1998 Soccer World Cup in France … Does anybody know if the "Friar Tuck" is still around ?

Up north on Kitchener Road, I've stayed at the Kimberley (okay) and the Stanford Hillview (technically on Observatory Road).
Be very cautious in those bars at the end of "Knutsford Terrace" (pedestrian street running in parallel north of Kitchener Road): They used to try to charge for everything ! If you do not order any peanuts and the waiter brings you some, either be prepared to find them on your bill or refuse them instantly.

If staying on Hong Kong Island, get a hotel in either Central or Wan Chai, but perferrably not further east.
To my experience, comparable hotels seem to be more expensive on Hong Kong Island than in TST.

For things to do:
- Extensively make use of Star Ferry
- Go up onto Victoria Peak: Up by Tram, down by either Tram or bus.
- Ride the Tram on Hong Kong Island
- Visit the sad remains of what once was proud "Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport"

Of course there is much more to do, but the a.m. things are the essentials.

For flights to HKG:
What will be your departure airport ? AUS or something else ?
Personally I would go for an option that allows interlining all the way to the final destination.
CX is praised for its product in Economy class (but I cannot comment on this).

That's all for now,
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:55 am

RE: Flying To Hong Kong, Help Please!

Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:52 pm

HT has given a lot of advice, I just add some more things for you:

- as regards best time to go, I would really suggest November - you can have wonderful weather, not humid, and possibility of beautiful blue sky (unless the pollution does not go away !). However, hotel prices at this time of year increase

- people always think of HK as being a busy city, but there are wonderful country walks very near. You could go to Sai Kung (by bus), then there are different walks to do, of various lenghts. This is great, especially when it is not too hot. Or you could take the a ferry to one of the outlying islands like Peng Chau (small, no cars, very typical) or Lamma Island for a day

- be sure to enjoy the mix of Western and Chinese culture, there are some very small eating places where you have a real mix of styles. Before your visit, you can send me an instant message if you need more advice

- I would avoid tourist trips to Aberdeen, not worth doing in my view

Hong Kong is an amazing place, with always something new to see, you will enjoy it.
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Flying To Hong Kong, Help Please!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:37 am

Quoting DernierVirage (Reply 2):
- I would avoid tourist trips to Aberdeen, not worth doing in my view

Indeed ! Back in 1997 I went onto a tourisit's tour that also included Aberdeen, but even by then there was almost nothing special left too see. My sister who accompanied me on this trip had been to Aberdeen about 2 years before that trip, was extremely disappointed that things had changed that much back then.

Quoting DernierVirage (Reply 2):
wonderful country walks

While I haven't been on any hike in Hong Kong on my own, back in 1997 we took a organized tour of the New Territories which offered stunning (and unexpected) views of the countryside; trails, that looked very well from a distance, were also indicated.

If you perfer to visit H.K. off the beaten track, you might want to consider having a look into the guidebook "Hongkong, Macau & Canton [Guangzhu]" published by famous "Lonely Planet" of Australia. I found these extremely helpful in verious parts of the world (including H.K.), both as a backpacker as well as a "regular" traveller.
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
Posts: 894
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:47 am

RE: Flying To Hong Kong, Help Please!

Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:36 am

I went to Hong Kong in June for almost 2 weeks. It was my first time to Asia and I had an awesome time. Some other things to add to HT's list:
-Wong Tai Sin Temple
-Sham Shui Po (cheap electronics shopping)
-Stanley Market
-Lantai Island (make sure you get the good vegetarian food where the Buddhist monastery)
-Tai Fu Tai Mansion (It would be nice to have someone that can translate for you because there is so much history here)

I would defiantly make sure to get to the Peak at night. Seeing the city at night is beautiful. If you plan to leave the city for any excursions, I would recommend going to Taiwan over Singapore or Macau. I'm not really a gambling type person so Macau wasn't all that interesting to me. If you don't plan on gambling then you can see the sites of Macau in one day. We went to Taiwan for three days and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would love to spend some more time in the area because there was so much to see. Make sure you have the coffee in Taiwan. I would have to say I had the best coffee I've ever had in Taiwan. I was so wired! My gf really doesn't recommend going to Guangzhou since it is pretty much a business city. Basically don't get a Chinese visa just to go to Guangzhou just because it is close by.

Quoting BoeingFever777 (Thread starter):
CX is praised for its product in Economy class (but I cannot comment on this).

We took CX to TPE in economy. CX definitely has a superior economy class product. The food was great. In fact they are running a thing right now where their menu's are prepared by famous chefs in Hong Kong. The seats are also extremely soft, and they have footrests!

And now for my shameless plugs.
My trip report to HKG: UA 4 Long Haul: IND-ORD-BOS-SFO-HKG-ORD-BOS W/Pix! (by Zone1 Jul 23 2006 in Trip Reports)

My full Hong Kong trip report. It is 7 pages long, so just click the links at the end of each page:

I'd also recommend looking at Christao17's recent trip report to HKG: Thai BKK-HKG + Disneyland! (Pics, Video) (by Christao17 Jun 26 2006 in Trip Reports)
It has some good recommendations for restaurants with great views in Kowloon. I wish I went to some of them. Maybe next time.
/// U N I T E D

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