Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hong Kong, Addresses


  • Hutong
    28th Floor 1 Peking Road TST.
    good Chinese restaurant on Kowloon side with a great view
    This will be relatively expensive
  • Maxim's
    (City Hall)
    Dim Sum lunch upstairs on Sunday Lunch
  • Ye Shanghai
    Pacific Place (Admiralty)
  • CafĂ© Deco
    At the Peak
  • The Peak Lockout
    At the Peak

Bars / Disco

  • Volar (Disco)
    Basement, 38-44 D'Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong (near Lan Kwai Fong)
  • Lotus (Bar)
    (37-43 Pottinger Street, Central)
  • Felix (Bar)
    (At the top of the Peninsula hotel, in TST)
  • Aqua (Bar)
    29th Floor 1 Peking Road TST.
  • Isola (Bar)
  • Red (Bar)


  • Cosmos
    375 - 377, Queen's Road East, Wan Chai

General Tips

  • Pick up a Tourist Map and Guide (free) at the Airport as soon as you get in. They are strategically placed right before Immigration and also at the baggage claim exits to the Arrivals Halls.
  • Hong Kong is meant for walking. The density, sights, and sounds of Hong Kong mean that it’s best experienced on your own two feet. Not only can you experience urban Hong Kong on foot, but you can also experience nature by trying the nature trails outside of the urban areas. Here are some suggestions for some great walks around Hong Kong
  • An Octopus card is your best friend. The Octopus card is stored-value RFID card that you can use on almost every form of public transport, with the exception of taxis. You can even use them at supermarkets and convenience stores for purchases. You can pick one up at any MTR or KCR station and recharge them at the MCR, KCR, or convenience stores. There is a small deposit to obtain a new card, but the value is fully refundable.
  • Public transportation is world-class. Hong Kong’s public transportation system is ultra-convenient and efficient. Use public transport to reach areas not easily accessible by foot. See list below for types of public transport.
  • Money, money, money. The exchange rate for Hong Kong is HKD7.8 = USD1 (roughly HKD8) or HK10.12 = EUR1 (roughly HKD10). Exchangers are available almost everywhere. Foreign ATM cards also work in Hong Kong. There is no sales tax in Hong Kong. Also, small tips (in the order of a few dollars) are common but not required.
  • Shopping is insane. Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay are among the best places to shop. “Retail clustering”, where many small shops selling similar products line a particular street, is prominent in several districts. This is great for bargain hunting if you’re a shopper. Also, feel free to try and bargain at the smaller mom & pop stores. Chain stores and department stores are fixed-price.
  • Hong Kong has some amazing vistas. The combination of some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, green mountains, and expansive ocean make Hong Kong’s skyline and scenic beauty quite amazing (when conditions are good, of course). Make sure you get a chance to view it from the Peak or Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront.
  • Basic facts. 6.8 million people live in Hong Kong, about 95% are Chinese. The official languages are Cantonese and English, with Mandarin growing. Despite conversion of major public transportation systems to low-emission LPG fuels, air pollution has become an increasing problem in recent years, due primarily to factory output in the northern Guangdong province across the border. Be careful if you’re sensitive to air pollution.
  • Weather. Cool and dry in winter, hot and humid in summer.

Popular Modes of Transport

  • Airport Express: Links the airport to Kowloon and Hong Kong Island within 30 minutes. A great ride on first arrival to get a nice view of the city. You can also check in your baggage at the Hong Kong and Kowloon Airport Express Stations on the day of your flight, before actually arriving at the airport.
  • MTR: Hong Kong’s advanced and efficient subway system linking Lantau Island, Hong Kong Island, and greater Kowloon.
  • KCR: Hong Kong’s train system which links Kowloon to the New Territories and China.
  • Taxis: Inexpensive and plentiful, fares start at HKD15.
  • Double-decker buses and minibuses: Really cheap and everywhere, fares start at HKD3 or less. Bus route maps are posted at every bus stop. On some of the hilly roads, the rides on these buses gets interesting!
  • Trams: A quick and cheap mode of traditional transport on parts of Hong Kong Island.
  • Ferries: These ferries Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and also the dense urban areas to outlying islands like Lantau Island, Lamma Island, and Cheung Chau. Also, you can take a ferry to Macau which takes a few hours by hydrofoil.

Hong Kong Island - Highlights

  • Go to The Peak in late afternoon, take the Peak Tram in Central (remember to sit on the right). Assuming the conditions are good, you will get an awesome view of Hong Kong from the top (sunset view and night view). Take bus no. 15 to get down from the peak but this time sit on the left on the upper deck. Get off at Central, then go to Lan Kwai Fong for drinks if it is Fri/Sat night. You can't miss LKF on Sat/Fri night after 1100pm!
  • Take a tram ride from Kennedy Town to Happy Valley. Only HKD2 per ride. This route is the shortest and should take you the least time but gives you a good tour of Hong Kong Island. There is also a popular racetrack at Happy Valley.
  • Other attractions:
    o Causeway Bay, a shopping mecca
    o Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Garden
    o Stanley Market on the south side of Hong Kong Island
    o Ocean Park, Hong Kong’s biggest theme park (with reef aquariums, panda exhibits, rides and more) and one of the most popular theme parks in Asia
    o Repulse Bay, one of Hong Kong’s most picturesque beaches

Kowloon - Highlights

  • Take the Star Ferry to cross Victoria Harbor, from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) or vice versa. Try the lower deck. When you get to TST, walk along the seaside walk where you can get a great view of Hong Kong Island. The Avenue of the Stars also lines the seaside walk and is home to a famous statue of Bruce Lee. If you are along the TST harbourfront at 800pm, there will be a lights show.
  • Go to Mong Kok by MTR, go to the Ladies’ Market which bustles the most in the evening. And don’t forget to bargain. On Sat and Sun, it’s one of the most crowded and densely populated urban areas in the world. Mong Kok (and nearby Prince Edward) is home to many examples of “retail clustering” and has a sporting goods street (Fa Yuen St), electronics street (Sai Yeung Choi St), goldfish market (Tung Choi St), bargain fashion street (Fa Yuen St), flower market (Yuen Po St and Flower Market Rd) and bird market (Yuen Po St). Mong Kok is also home to a lot of local restaurants and street food vendors. Don’t be afraid to sample the local cuisine. For the authentic local dimsum experience, try London Restaurant on Nathan Road in Mong Kok, about three blocks south of Argyle St/Nathan Rd.
  • Other attractions:
    o Wong Tai Sin Temple
    o Kowloon Park Mosque
    o Temple Street Night Market
    o Hong Kong Museum / Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui

New Territories – Highlights

  • Sai Kung is on the eastern side of the New Territories and is home to a nice seafood market. Take the MTR to Choi Hung and then the minibus labeled “Sai Kung” for an exciting ride through the outlying area. In addition to nice seafood, you can also take boat rides at the pier in Sai Kung.
  • There are many country parks, walking trails, and other natural adventures

Outlying Islands – Highlights

  • If you like traditional Chinese culture, you may consider sparing half a day to go to Tung Chung. Try visiting the Giant Buddha statue (the biggest outdoor Buddha statue in Asia) and Po Lin Monastery. You can also try taking the new cable car attraction, Ngong Ping 360, though I heard there’s often a long wait since it just opened.
  • If you’re looking for something more peaceful and local, try taking a ferry to Cheung Chau or Lamma Island from Central Ferry Pier. There are temples, beaches, and local seafood restaurants and markets on each island.
  • Other attractions: Disneyland Hong Kong

For more information