tom911 goes to Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by tom911, Apr 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Hello this Wednesday morning from Hong Kong. Weather here has been very nice so far with cloud cover alternating with bright sun on and off throughout the day. Temps have been around 78F (25C) which is great for walking around in shorts and a polo shirt. Sunset around 7pm. This segment will cover travel through 5pm Tuesday.

    I covered my air travel here in a separate thread:
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...a-in-first-class-on-the-lufthansa-a380.33024/

    I came into the Kowloon district by bus from the airport ($7 round trip). I could have done the train at $12.50 one way but that means backtracking from across the harbour in Central to Kowloon and I really don't end up saving any time in the end. Just over 30 mins by double decker bus. I have done the train once before when I was staying on that Central side of the harbour. Hit an ATM at the airport before setting out.

    This trip I'm at the Nathan Hotel which is around the corner from the Novotel where I stayed a few years back on a half price sale (no sale this time—I'm paying $125 a night plus 10% tax). My rate includes wi-fi and a very good buffet breakfast, so I'm able to enjoy both hot food (omelette and bacon) and cold (yogurt, pineapple, peaches, banana). They even have a salad bar for breakfast. I'd pay $12.50 plus tax if my rate didn't include it and I'd have to say it's worth it. The Novotel was available the first three nights for slightly more, but then the rate doubled on Thursday due to an electronics trade fair coming up this weekend. I found other hotels that also had a rate jump, so glad to find this one where the rate did not change and I don't need to move out until departure.

    Got some photos uploaded and sent out my Monday e-mail, then was out the door around 3 for a walk down Nathan Road., probably about 2 miles. Popped into a couple shops and then ended up near the Star Ferry. There is a huge shopping mall there (Harbour City, 700 stores) that I always stop at to see what's new in electronics and computers. There's several stores adjoining each other. Had late lunch/.early dinner here at Fresh Burger where I had a good old hamburger with mustard, ketchup, onion and tomato with a drink and odd looking fries (they looked like small waffles) and Diet Coke for $8. Just what I needed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back out and walked along the waterfront over past the Intercontinental, watching an assortment of boats and ferries in the harbour. Headed underground from there to find a train station and must have walked 20 minutes until I found the right entrance to the line that goes to my hotel. There is a maze of hallways under some of these train stations so just because you're at the entrance doesn't really mean you're at “the” entrance, but rather just in the area. I was back at 8 and sound asleep at 9. After two nights of sleeping in planes a very comfortable bed was most welcome.

    TUESDAY

    Was out the door after 8 and walked up Nathan Road to window shop and people watch. Entered the Metro at the second train station I saw and worked my way out to Tung Chung ($2 fare) with a train change at Central (Central is a maze to itself—I must have walked a mile to connect between two train lines there). The stations is filled with small shops ranging from 7-11s to bakeries and hallways that appear to never end. Must have taken an hour to get there, but I did come back on a different routing that was only 30 mins.

    On arrival at Tung Chung I walked over to the Ngong Ping cable car line. Waited in line about 20 mins and killed some of that with free wi-fi. Sent out a twitter message on the tablet with a photo of the cable car entry line – first time I've tried that while traveling so some of you received that in real time. Bought a round trip ticket ($16), and they rebate $2.50 of that in coupons that can be used on arrival (used mine for an orange juice going and s Starbucks iced tea lemonade coming back) Tried to do this last trip but the cable car was down for maintenance. That might have been the time one of those cars fell off the cable and it was down for a safety review.

    It's about a 25 minute ride and you see the hills and valleys of Lantau Island, as well as the airport. I saw some people walking a trail underneath it but those hills would be too much of a challenge for me.

    After walking through the touristy area adjoining the cable car I hiked up the steps to the Giant Buddha. They do sell meal tickets at the entry point for a vegetarian lunch at the nearby Po Lin Monastery, but wasn't interested and have done that before sitting with groups of people I didn't know.

    [​IMG]

    Came down from Buddha and toured the Po Lin Monastery. You'll see people outside the gates purchasing incense for burning in several places designated. Very colorful building and they are adding on to it in an upwards direction. Stopped in a Starbucks in the village on the way back to the cable car and borrowed the wi-fi signal from the Subway sandwich shop next door.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Arrived back in Tung Chung and visited the City Gate outlet mall. They had a food court so I stopped for dim sum and pork buns ($4) and then went to another vendor and had red beef curry with rice ($5). Looked around at the shops but nothing interested me. Was back at my hotel at 5.

    Next segmentwill cover Tuesday night onward.

    Coming up on 10am Wednesday here and I'm heading out for another day.

    New photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Asia/2012-Hong-Kong-Part-I/22382330_kx2g5D#!i=1789012963&k=5SFT3fs
     
    Leumas, uggboy, marcwint55 and 11 others like this.
  2. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,948
    Likes Received:
    9,455
    Status Points:
    7,525
    Great trip report so far!
     
  3. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,746
    Likes Received:
    10,555
    Status Points:
    10,520
    Great report!

    For future reference there is an Airport Express train stop in Kowloon which has free shuttle buses that stop at most of the Kowloon hotels. No need to go all the way to Central and backtrack. If you use it on the way home you can check in for your flight and check your luggage at the Kowloon train station. (You can do the same at Central as well.)
     
    uggboy, tom911 and Flyer1976 like this.
  4. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Fantastic report!
     
    uggboy likes this.
  5. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Hello this Thursday morning from Hong Kong. Will be checking out of my hotel about 24 hours from now for the flight home.

    Tuesday after dark I set out to tour two different night time markets. The first was the Temple Street Market which is only two blocks from my hotel. It features everything from iPads (it's amazing all the street vendors that sell iPads) to flashlights to clothing. A clothing brand called “Bathing Ape” seemed to be popular as I've seen it in several locations including the outlet stores I visited on Tuesday afternoon.

    [​IMG]

    The Ladies Market, two train stations away in Mong Kok (I walked) had all the designer handbags once could want to buy. They also had clothing, backpacks t-shirts and toys so not entirely marketed towards women.

    With the big lunch I just grabbed a whopper junior meal while I was out there ($4) and was back at my hotel at 11.

    One thing I noticed about my hotel is that they have a wine buffet (all you wine you can drink) starting at 5pm for around $15. Price goes up later in the evening. First time I've seen something like that.

    WEDNESDAY

    Blue skies! Today was going to be Peak Tram day. Couldn't do that on my last visit because the cloud cover never lifted, but it's ideal today. Temps were in the low 80s and humidity at 66% when I checked.

    [​IMG]

    Started off at 10 with a walk down Nathan Road to the harbour. Took some skyline photos on arrival and then boarded the Star Ferry (upper deck, 40 cents—lower deck is less) towards Central. Between the ferry ride, walk uphill to the Peak Tram terminal (you quickly feel the humidity here when you walk up hill), and then ultimate arrival on Victoria Peak, I was in transit for a full hour. Fare for the Peak Tram is $5 round trip.

    Stopped in the tram terminal on Victoria Peak at Pacific Coffee for some iced tea with a great view towards the harbour to accompany it. Finished that and poured some water over the remaining ice as I was still thirsty (always have the water bottle here). The highlight of my visit here was the 4km (2.4 mile) walk around a trail, originally called Morning Glory Trail and then splitting off into a one lane roadway for the way back. Got some great city photos as I walked around the trail and road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Headed back down around 4 and walked over to the Queensway and Pacific Place shopping centers thinking I could find something to eat there, but only saw a Subway and higher end restaurants (Pacific Place has a Versace and Dolce and Gabbana for reference, so a little pricey). Maneuvered the overhead walkways between buildings and made my way to the Central train station and then back to Jordan, near my hotel ($1 fare).

    Decided to stop at Spaghetti House which has locations all around Hong Kong They had an afternoon tea special featuring a cream soup with chicken and corn and a salmon salad with fruit, as well as a drink, for $9, and that was perfect as I knew I needed to eat something but with the heat and humidity today didn't want to do a large meal.

    Headed back out after dark to Mongkok Computer Center, near the Mong Kok train station, which is a long street with multiple electronics stores including Fortress and Broadway which I've seen on other locations. There were at least three singers performing along the road, and one had quite a crowd of over 100. Thousands of people walking about. I was back at my hotel at 10 and sound asleep a few minutes later.

    New photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-Asia/2012-Hong-Kong-Part-II/22398699_ZbkgFh#!i=1790457521&k=HH3s9hf
     
    sgkis, YULtide, uggboy and 1 other person like this.
  6. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Hello this early Friday afternoon from the Cathay Pacific International First Class Lounge at the Hong Kong Airport. About a 50 minute ride out here by bus and experienced my first rain of the trip along the way with more due today (been very fortunate this week—not a single drop of rain while I've been out). Just had some Asian items for breakfast (dim sum, noodles, pork buns) with a cream soda and now I'm over in the separate lounge area. The usual restaurant they have here is closed for remodeling so I just ordered some items at the Noodle Bar and picked up other items from several in a serving area. Figure I'll make up for that once on board the aircraft. Right now I'm enjoying a orange magic cocktail consisting of vodka, cranberry juice and orange juice.

    Thursday morning I was out a 9 and walked down Nathan Road to Kowloon Park, an oasis in the city. There's a pool and aviary there, and you're surrounded by tall buildings. Even some flamingos.

    [​IMG]

    After I walked through I caught the Star Ferry over to Central 9 (lower deck this time, 25 cents), and then walked down to Pier 6 for the 50 minute slow ferry ride to Mui Wo and Silvermine Bay. That would ordinarily be the departure point for buses to the Giant Buddha, but in my case I just did a walk around the Bay and beach. I paid extra for “deluxe” class on the top deck as it has air conditioning ($3).

    [​IMG]

    Only spent 50 minutes on the ground and turned back around on a fast ferry ($3.50) and was back in Central about 35 minutes later. Walked to the nearby Star Ferry terminal and found a vendor on the upper level for Indian food, and with several Indians dining there figured it would be good, and it was. I had butter chicken and rice for about $8. Stopped at the IFC Mall nearby for a walk through, including a visit to the Apple Store. Also stopped in an international store where I purchased some candy from Australia and saw a wooly mammoth exhibit that had opened just that day. Back across the harbour on the Star Ferry and eventually back to my hotel from the Kowloon side by train.

    [​IMG]

    Back out after 6 for my final walk down Nathan Road. I explored some of the side streets near my hotel, walked through the Kowloon Park, and arrived on the waterfront just in time for the 8pm Symphony of Lights, a display involving lasers and flashing building lights across the harbour in Central. Looked for somewhere for a light meal in the area and ended up at a Kentucky Fried Chicken for a sandwich and corn cobb for $4. Also ran across a transformer display for an upcoming movie in that area. Walked back to my hotel.

    [​IMG]

    Only regret this trip: I didn't get to the YMCA Hotel, next to the Peninsula Hotel, for their lunch buffet. That's one place I do try to visit each trip but it really didn't fall into my plans this time.

    That's it from Hong Kong. Boarding starts in about an hour.

    New photos start here:
    http://tom911.smugmug.com/Travel-As...t-III/22417960_dbZkrF#!i=1792138961&k=k6jGp2s
     
    joanek, sgkis, LauraPDX and 3 others like this.

Share This Page