Suggestions for a few days in Asia

Discussion in 'Asia' started by mhf, Jun 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mhf
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    mhf Silver Member

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    I'm planning a trip to Asia September 1-17. My only commitment is that I have to be in Hong Kong from the 9th to the 12th. I'll probably start in Tokyo before heading to HK, but I'm undecided on what to do after the 12th.

    The options I've come up with are:
    • Stay in HK: I've only been there once before, and it was a quick 2-day visit.
    • Go to Taiwan: I love Taipei, but I visited twice last year so maybe it's time for something new.
    • Go back to Japan: Kinda silly, but I love Japan.
    • Shenzhen: But those darn visa costs!
    What interesting places am I missing that are within range of HK and are worth the flight time for a few day's stay? A quick search on UA's site shows an SFO-NRT-HKG itinerary pricing out at around $1,300, and I'd be willing to add another $700 or so.
     
  2. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    We spent a full week in HKG 2 years ago. There's lots to do. Park yourself and enjoy.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Many would view a week as too long to play tourist in Hong Kong, but I would also disagree.

    Alternatives would include SIN and BKK or maybe Bali/Indonesia (purchase visa at airport for about $35). I've enjoyed Korea too. Early September is likely to be hot and humid from Japan south.

    Hong Kong and especially Tokyo/Japan are expensive, although you can eat cheaply in very modest places.

    If you do get the visa for China, instead of Shenzhen, go to Shanghai and perhaps spend a day or two in one of the nearby smaller cities easily reachable by good train service, for example to see canals.
     
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  4. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Years ago, UA flight attendants told me 3 days in HKG is enough. What they forgot to tell me is that they needed 3 days for shopping. Someone on the board(s) told me we'd need more than a week in HKG. They were right. At least we had a week to explore. FYI, we ran around the entire time. We were never bored. Truth be told, I'd love to head back for a long weekend.
     
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  5. mhf
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    mhf Silver Member

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    I think you guys are right--I'll just stay and spend more time in HK. If I run out of things to do I'll just jump over to TPE for a day and visit friends there.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    Remember, if you get bored in Hong Kong, you can either enter nearby China for a day (USA citizens need a visa) or take the hydrofoil to Macau. In fact, it could make sense to go to Macau for a day or two at the very end of your trip as you can then transit through HKG airport without re-entering Hong Kong, so it conveniently saves some waiting in line.
     
  7. mhf
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    mhf Silver Member

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    That's a good point. I'd forgotten about the Macau->HKG connection. I was planning on checking out Macau, anyway. Maybe I'll do it at the end.
     
  8. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    If you do jump over to TPE, you may not only want to visit friends, but you could also catch the high speed rail down to Taichung. It's an interesting city with a lot to do. (Terrific fine arts and science museums!) You can also take a bus from there (opposite the old train station) and go up into the tea growing mountains or the bamboo forests.

    Actually, a trip on Taiwan's high speed rail system is an experience in itself; I think it's even better than the Japanese Shinkansen!
     
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  9. TrueBlueFlyer
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    I just did Macau and Hong Kong a few weeks ago.

    Definitely a great combination. Plenty of ferries available at all hours, so its super convenient.

    There was a special for Macao Dragon by the way where round-trip cost half of what they typically charge one way, and that ferry company seems to be the cheapest from all the other HK players.

    Have fun!
     
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  10. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    If you do go to Shanghai US passports, among others, are eligible for <48hrs transfer without a visa. It's a way to get 2 nights in if you so choose.
     
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  11. MSPeconomist
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    IME two days isn't enough to see Shanghai for the first time. Also, you must be transiting from there to a third country and I'd be concerned that the airline could refuse to board one, even if no visa is required. Still, it is a way to save money and hassle.
     
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  12. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Indeed you are very correct about the necessity of going A-Shanghai-C for the transit. Otherwise it's a destination and no transit stamp for you!

    I recently had a 47:25 layover scheduled and when my arriving flight was early, an hour early, I had to walk very slowly out of the plane and figure out ways to be the last in the immigration line. It was slightly more time consuming to get the stamp than previous times, but they just wanted more assurance that it was really a transit.
     
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  13. mhf
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    mhf Silver Member

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    I took the HSR to Kaohsiung last year. I dunno if it was better than the Shinkansen, but it was definitely equivalent.
     
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  14. mhf
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    mhf Silver Member

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    I've never been to Shanghai, but I plan on visiting next year. As you say, I'd want to spend more than a couple of days there.
     
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