Vancouver Dining

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Vancouver dining reflects the diversity that embodies the city. Within the various neighborhoods that make up Vancouver visitors will find every cuisine imaginable. This article aims to help travelers in choosing which restaurants to visit. Listed below are six of the best eateries in Vancouver. Each of these Vancouver dining options in this article embodies a different eating experience. From fine dining to food trucks, no one will ever leave Vancouver hungry.

Blue Water Cafe – Fine Dining in Vancouver

Being next to the Pacific Ocean means any Vancouver dining list must include at least one restaurant that serves high quality seafood. For the freshest seafood and a fine dining experience look no further than Blue Water Cafe. Here you will experience top-notch service from a knowledgeable wait staff. The menu includes a plethora of seafood caught in local waters. The chefs create each dish with extreme care. These chefs understand that eating is more than sustenance. For those that enjoy oysters Blue Water Cafe’s extensive menu won’t disappoint. The seafood tasting for two is a perfect way to sample four different seafood dishes. Although not a traditional Japanese restaurant, the sushi rolls and sashimi are delicious. The main course seafood selections range from scallops to lobster to local fish such as the sablefish. Other than seafood Blue Water Cafe’s menu includes steak and chicken options.

Chatime – For When You Need a Drink Break

Walk the many streets of Vancouver and you’re bound to get thirsty. When it’s time for a drink break stop by one of Chatime’s two Vancouver locations. Chatime proclaims itself as being the world’s number one place to get bubble tea. Although the title for world’s number one is always up for debate, Chatime is in the discussion for a good reason. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan and is a tea based drink served with milk and either tapioca balls or fruit jellies. Chatime brews their tea fresh in store and that freshness is found in every sip you take. Natural ingredients and natural flavors combine to make sure that your drink will be delicious. Besides Vancouver Chatime has a store in the nearby cities of Richmond, Burnaby, and Surrey. Other than Canada, Chatime is available in ten other countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the United States.

Dinesty Dumpling House – A Chinese Restaurant Beyond Chinatown

To search for a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown is akin to searching for hay in a haystack. The trick is finding a good Chinese restaurant in parts of the city not designated a part of Chinatown. When the craving for Chinese food hits you and you’re on Vancouver’s busy Robson street head to Dinesty Dumpling House. Dinesty specializes in Shanghai style Chinese dishes. One of the more popular dishes is their Xiao Long Bao, dumplings filled with soup and meat. Diners can watch employees of Dinesty through large glass windows as they wrap the dumplings for each Xiao Long Bao order. Dinesty’s menu features traditional Chinese dishes and snacks. Other dishes worth ordering include spicy wontons, string beans with pork, and deep-fried prawns. Keep in mind that besides the Robson location Dinesty has three restaurants in Richmond and one in Burnaby.

Guu – Japanese Izakaya

With six locations in Vancouver, Guu has cornered the market on Japanese izakaya dining. Izakaya’s are Japanese pub style restaurants where diners order a variety of small plates. This tapas style dining experience makes Guu a great place for dining with a group. The more people in your party the more dishes you can order and try out. With Guu’s extensive menu making selections will be a difficult task. A refreshing seafood choice is the Tuna Tataki. The chefs sear the fish in this dish and serve it with a ponzu sauce and garlic chips. Another popular dish is the melt in your mouth Kakuni, known as pork belly. For noodles order the Yaki Udon. Those that enjoy beer will find Guuud Ale intriguing. This beer is a joint venture between Guu and the Russell Brewing Company. This beer is a perfect pairing fit with any dish you order.

Japadog – Street Food

Vancouver dining isn’t regulated to just restaurants. Along the streets of Vancouver you will find various food trucks. Before today’s food obsessed culture only the bravest of travelers dared to order food from a food truck. Times have changed and now food trucks lead the way in innovative cooking. Culinary fusion is at the forefront of many street food chefs. Japadog is no exception, serving Japanese style hot dogs. Each menu item is a twist on a traditional Japanese dish joined with a hot dog. A first reaction upon seeing the creations at Japadog might be curiosity. The moment you take your first bite any worry you might have had vanishes. The various flavors blend to form one perfect bite after another. Within Vancouver Japadog operates four stands, a truck, a trailer, and one store. Visit any location for a great food truck culinary experience.

Tim Hortons – Canadian’s Popular Restaurant Chain

For a Vancouver dining experience that screams Canada visit Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is one restaurant chain you won’t be able to avoid while visiting British Columbia.   In Vancouver alone you will find twenty Tim Hortons stores. Even those that have never been to Canada might have seen a Tim Hortons add while watching a hockey game. Tim Hortons may well be as synonymous with Canada these days as the maple leaf. You’ll even find two Tim Hortons at the Vancouver International Airport. Tim Hortons sells coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Lovers of donuts will enjoy Tim Hortons bakery selections. Their donuts are soft and fluffy, regardless of which chain you visit. Since you’re in Canada, be sure to try one of the maple-flavored donuts.

 

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Vancouver Dining

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Blue Water Cafe: 49.276155, -123.121129
Chatime: 49.286649, -123.128278
Dinesty Dumpling House: 49.290780, -123.134073
Guu: 49.284008, -123.125433
Japadog: 49.280244, -123.118355
Tim Hortons: 49.193316, -123.181198
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Blue Water Cafe
Vancouver Dining
Blue Water Cafe, Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Chatime
Vancouver Dining
Chatime Robson, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Dinesty Dumpling House
Vancouver Dining
Dinesty Dumpling House, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Guu
Vancouver Dining
Kitanoya Guu Original Thurlow, Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Japadog
Vancouver Dining
JAPADOG, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Tim Hortons
Vancouver Dining
Tim Hortons, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Domestic and International Terminals, Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC, Canada

 

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Overview of Vancouver, Canada

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Ask ten different people what their favorite thing to do in the Canadian city of Vancouver is and you are likely to get ten different answers. The reason you get varied responses stems from the fact that few places in the world compare to Vancouver. To the casual observer Vancouver is just another metropolitan city. Yet Vancouver differs from other major cities because it embodies diversity. In one day visitors can hike Stanley Park in the morning and then shop Downtown among the masses in the afternoon. Foodies buy produce at Granville Island one moment and enjoy fine dining in Yaletown the next. Convention goers attend meetings at Canada Place and then lounge waterside at English Bay Beach. Tourists walk historic Gastown before slurping noodles in Chinatown. These dichotomies exist in harmony with the diverse people of Vancouver.

With something for everyone Vancouver as a tourist destination appeals to even the most discerning of travelers. First time travelers looking at a map of Vancouver might notice that the city looks like an oyster shell. As anyone who loves oysters knows, you’ll want to crack that shell open and dig into what Vancouver offers. Vancouver isn’t a difficult city to navigate but the easiest way to get oriented is to begin somewhat in the middle of the city in the Downtown district. Downtown is home to the financial and business districts of the city. Among the skyscrapers you will find the Vancouver Central Library. This stunning building is an architectural contrast to the stark skyscrapers. In Downtown you’ll want to make your way to Robson Street. This is one of the main thoroughfares in Vancouver and stretches the length of the city.

On one end of Robson Street is BC Place, a stadium where one can catch either a sporting or musical event. Continuing on and around Robson Street you’ll find a variety of shops. A number of the stores are global brands but a few, such as Roots, are Canadian brands. Few tourists will walk the entirety of Robson Street, but those that do wind up at Stanley Park. If you don’t wish to walk, or don’t have a car, you will reach Stanley Park by bus. Stanley Park is a massive public space with paved paths for bicyclists, roller bladders, and walkers. Here visitors enjoy trees, totem poles, and the waters of the Vancouver Harbour.

To the east of Downtown you will find Canada Place. If you arrived by cruise ship, you will have most likely disembarked at this spot. Besides being a cruise ship terminal, Canada Place is home to a convention center and hotel. Near Canada Place is the oldest neighborhood in the city, the historic Gastown. First time tourists visit Gastown at least once, to see the Steam Clock and a chance to shop for souvenirs. Next to Gastown is Canada’s largest Chinatown. Vancouver’s Chinatown traces its history back to 1885 and to this day is full of shops and restaurants. While in Chinatown you will want to visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This tranquil spot is a wonderful place to recharge and center oneself.

West of Downtown, in simplest terms, is synonymous with food. The regions of the West End and Yaletown are quintessential foodie neighborhoods. Here you will find well-established diners among up and coming restaurants. Further west, across the waters of False Creek, is Granville Island. Here at the Granville Island Public Market are vendors galore. Visitors can buy fresh produce, straight out of the oven breads and pastries, and a plethora of other food products.

Regardless of how you spend your time in Vancouver you will find navigating the city easy. Those who enjoy walking will find wide avenues and flat surfaces. Bus routes traverse throughout the entire city. Ferries sail to Granville Island or further afield to places such as the city of Victoria. Vancouver’s rapid transit system, SkyTrain, runs through parts of Downtown. The SkyTrain connects Vancouver to the cities of Burnaby, New Westminister, Surrey, and Richmond. For those arriving in Vancouver by airplane, the SkyTrain’s Canada Line will get you from Vancouver International Airport to your destination in no time.

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Vancouver

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Vancouver Central Library: 49.279754, -123.115679
Robson Street: 49.284605, -123.124824
BC Place: 49.276750, -123.111999
Stanley Park: 49.298319, -123.137684
Canada Place: 49.289124, -123.116498
Gastown: 49.282808, -123.106688
Chinatown: 49.280600, -123.100553
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: 49.279649, -123.103913
West End: 49.285646, -123.130621
Yaletown: 49.275702, -123.119907
Granville Island: 49.270622, -123.134741
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Vancouver Central Library
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver Public Library- Central Branch, West Georgia Street, Central, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Robson Street
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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BC Place
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
BC Place, Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Stanley Park
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
and
Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park

Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Canada Place
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver Convention Centre West Building, Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Gastown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Chinatown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Chinatown, East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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West End
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
West End, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Yaletown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Granville Island

Overview of Vancouver, Canada
and
Vancouver’s Granville Island


Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

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Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii

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Locals and visitors to the state of Hawaii can attest that Hawaii encapsulates tropical serenity. The views of paradise stretch from lush green hills to white sandy beaches and warm ocean waters. Hawaii’s main islands for tourists are Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Island of Hawaii. The Island of Hawaii, referred to as the Big Island, is the largest of the islands. Visitors to the Big Island will be in for a topographical shock. Other Hawaiian islands are awash in swaths of greenery. Upon landing on the Big Island you will notice lava rock stretching for miles. The lava rock throughout the island reminds you of the surface of the moon. Yet the entire island is not just visible lava rock. There are lush hills and green trees aplenty. The Island of Hawaii is diverse not only in its topography but in its climate. One could start their day at the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, and on this the tallest peak on the Big Island see snow. In the afternoon you can warm up by flying over an active volcano or sunbathe at a black sand beach with turtles. Regardless how one spends their time on the Big Island the best way to end the day is by watching a sunset at one of the soft white sand beaches.

The Big Island: Hilo and Kona

To reach this island paradise visitors will arrive at either of the two main cities, Hilo on the eastern side of the island and Kona on the west. The fastest way between the two cities cuts through the island and is a 77-mile drive taking an hour and forty minutes. Another route includes more time by the coast but is over 90-miles and takes closer to two hours to drive. As the two cities aren’t close most visitors will choose to stay in one city their entire time. Others will decide to begin their trip in one city and then end up in the other. Hilo and Kona have their own airports. If you wish to see both cities the most time economical approach is to fly into one city and fly out from the other city. Hilo leans more towards the local scene with bed and breakfasts. It is the city to stay in for those wishing to explore the Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. The Volcanoes National Park is an hour away from Hilo versus two and a half hours from Kona. Kona has big hotel resorts and is within driving distance of many coffee farms. Most tourists stay on the Kona side of the island. With a rental car staying in Kona affords you the luxury to visit coffee farms, beaches, scenic overlooks, and petroglyphs. Not to mention go shopping and explore the historic districts of Kailua Village and Kainaliu.

Kona International Airport - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Kona International Airport

Kona International Airport

Kona International Airport is a tiny outdoor airport. Exiting your plane and feeling the warm island breeze is a great Hawaiian welcome. It’s not a perfect greeting when it’s raining so whether you are landing or waiting to leave keep an umbrella handy just in case. If you are renting a car follow the signs to the rental car van pick up location. You’ll be on your way to the rental car agency in no time. The airport has minimal shopping or dining options. When flying out if you plan on arriving early and want to eat at the airport consider bringing a lunch plate with you from a local restaurant.

Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook

Kona Scenic Overlooks

Routes 19 and 11 will be your primary highway arteries as you navigate the Kona coast. Each route has a scenic overlook worth the stop. On Route 19 the Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point is a great place to view Kiholo Bay and the surrounding lava fields. On Route 11 is the Kona Coast Scenic Overlook. Besides the ocean view you will find the Ohi’a Lava Tube Caves. This historic preserve of lava tubes run underneath the ground from the spot of the overlook to the ocean. Although access to the tubes is off-limits the lava rock and ocean in the distance make for striking photos.

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve

Kona Sights and Shopping

Close to the Waikoloa Beach Resorts is part of the Ala Loa Trail, or Kings Trail. This trail, once used for horse travel, leads travelers to the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve. At the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve you will find ancient rock carvings on sacred land. Visitors must stay on the well-marked trails, as tourists may not walk or climb on the sacred rocks. The trails are not paved so wear comfortable and sturdy shoes. Besides petroglyphs you will see cave shelters and rock shelters. For those staying at the Waikoloa Beach Resorts you will access the Kings Trail and Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve by foot. Visitors from other hotels may park at the nearby Queens’ Market Place or Kings’ Shops. Shoppers will want to spend time exploring the stores and restaurants offered at both the Queens’ Market Place and Kings’ Shops.

Mokuaikaua Church - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Mokuaikaua Church

Kona Historic Districts

The historic district of Kailua Village Kona is off Ali’I Drive. Ali’I Drive is where the Ironman Triathlon competition starts and finishes.   Kailua Village and Ali’I Drive have two historical buildings. Visitors will pass by the Huliheʻe Palace, a museum that was once a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. Close by is Hawaii’s first church on the islands, Mokuaikaua Church. Visitors stroll along Ali’I Drive while enjoying the waterfront and exploring the various stores and restaurants. Kona’s Farmers Market is a favorite tourist stop with over forty vendors selling souvenirs, flowers, and fresh fruits.

Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store, Dirty Balls - Milk Chocolate Covered Mac Nuts - Kealakekua, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store, Dirty Balls – Milk Chocolate Covered Mac Nuts

Another nearby historic district is Kainaliu off Route 11. Kainaliu is an old plantation town that is now home to specialty stores and restaurants. A popular store is the Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store. The store sells packets of various chocolate covered macadamia nuts named by using puns. You’ll find the labels on the packaging either hilarious or offensive. Puns aside the chocolate covered macadamia nuts inside the packages are delicious morsels that make for great souvenirs. Besides sweets The Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store sells a variety of BBQ rubs, packaged in the same witty style as the macadamia nuts.

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Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii

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Mauna Kea: 19.820611, -155.468094
Hilo Airport: 19.718834, -155.041687
Kona International Airport: 19.736916, -156.042925
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: 19.419370, -155.288497
Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point: 19.841805, -155.921574
Kona Coast Scenic Overlook and Ohi\'a Lava Tube Caves: 19.574186, -155.958996
Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve: 19.916992, -155.880135
Queens\' Market Place: 19.913617, -155.880590
Kings\' Shops: 19.916323, -155.882090
Kailua Village Kona: 19.637090, -155.990203
Huliheʻe Palace: 19.639334, -155.994352
Mokuaikaua Church: 19.639574, -155.993832
Kona Farmers Market: 19.637065, -155.991840
Kainaliu: 19.533105, -155.926751
Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store: 19.531545, -155.925824
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Mauna Kea
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Mauna Kea, Hawaii County, HI, United States
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Hilo Airport
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hilo Airport, Kekuanaoa Street, Hilo, HI, United States
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Kona International Airport
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kona International Airport, Kupipi Street, Kona, HI, United States
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI, United States
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Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kīholo Bay, North Kona, HI, United States
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Kona Coast Scenic Overlook and Ohi'a Lava Tube Caves
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Keauhou, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Waikoloa Petroglyph Reserve, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Queens' Market Place
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Queens' MarketPlace, Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Kings' Shops
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kings' Shops, Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Kailua Village Kona
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kailua Village, Kuakini Highway, Kona, HI, United States
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Huliheʻe Palace
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hulihe‘e Palace, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Mokuaikaua Church
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Mokuaikaua Church, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Kona Farmers Market
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kona Farmers Market, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Kainaliu
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kainaliu Union, Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI, United States
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Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store., Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI, United States

 

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Hong Kong Eats: Part Two

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In part one of our “Hong Kong Eats” series we highlighted seven privately owned restaurants serving delicious dishes to locals and tourists alike. In part two we explore eating options of restaurant chains and street vendors. As the restaurant chains have multiple locations throughout Hong Kong you will want to consult the restaurant’s websites for the location closest to you.

Front entrance to an Ippudo in Hong Kong, China

Front entrance to Ippudo

Ramen at an Ippudo in Hong Kong, China

Ramen at Ippudo

Ippudo

In 1985 Ippudo’s first restaurant served tasty ramen dishes to customers in Japan. Ippudo grew in popularity and expanded with restaurants now open in fourteen different countries. In Hong Kong alone you will find six Ippudo restaurants. Ippudo is most famous for its ramen, having won multiple awards for the delicious broth. The menu at Ippudo has a variety of broths you can select from such as tonkotsu, shoyu, and miso. Along with the broth you’ll find various ingredients such as pork, egg, bamboo, seaweed, and noodles. The flavor combinations of the broth and ingredients make a bowl of Ippudo ramen very satisfying and one of the best ramen bowls you can get without traveling to Japan.

A cup of coffee at a Pacific Coffee in Hong Kong, China

A cup of coffee at Pacific Coffee

Logo for Pacific Coffee - Hong Kong, China

Logo for Pacific Coffee

Pacific Coffee

Pacific Coffee has coffeehouses not only in Hong Kong but Macau, Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cyprus. Hong Kong alone has over 100 Pacific Coffee locations so chances are you’ll pass by one of these coffeehouses during your visit. When entering a Pacific Coffee you may get a distinct United States Pacific Northwest vibe from the decor. This is because the founder of Pacific Coffee was from Seattle, Washington. Similar to coffeehouses in the United States or Europe you can come to a Pacific Coffee and buy a cup of java and a pastry or sandwich. If you need caffeine to start your day or need somewhere where you can recharge after sightseeing, the place to go is Pacific Coffee.

Fish balls in sauce sold by a street vendor in Hong Kong, China

Fish balls in sauce sold by a street vendor

Eggettes from a street vendor in Hong Kong, China

Eggettes from a street vendor

Street Vendors

Throughout the streets of Hong Kong you will find food stands selling local snacks. These food stands are saviors if you need a quick bite to eat on the go. A variety of foods sell at these stands, such as chicken skewers or skewers with fish balls slathered in curry sauce. You can buy steamed buns filled with BBQ pork or steamed buns filled with lotus paste for those with a sweet tooth. There are carts that sell mochi that you can buy filled with fruits such as mango, kiwi, or durian. Other desserts include the Hong Kong style waffle snack called eggettes, or the dim sum favorite of egg custard tarts. Vendors may sell fruit juices made of real fruits such as peach, orange, and pineapple. These same vendors will sell milk teas filled with red bean, grass jelly, bubble tea pearls, or taro. Please note that the above-mentioned food stands will most likely only accept cash as payment.

Baked buns with BBQ pork at a Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, China

Baked buns with BBQ pork at Tim Ho Wan

Ha Jiao (steamed fresh shrimp dumplings) at a Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, China

Ha Jiao (steamed fresh shrimp dumplings) at Tim Ho Wan

Shao Mai (steamed pork dumplings with shrimp) at a Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, China

Shao Mai (steamed pork dumplings with shrimp) at Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan

A trip to Hong Kong isn’t complete without at least one dim sum meal. Dim sum refers to bite sized food portions served on small plates or in steamer baskets. Places that serve good dim sum can get crowded in particular on the weekends so arrive early if you don’t want to wait for a table. A well-liked dim sum chain is Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan has locations in seven countries. Hong Kong alone is home to five Tim Ho Wan restaurants. You can’t make reservations for Tim Ho Wan and the lines form the moment they open their doors. So if you plan to eat at a Tim Ho Wan arrive early. Once seated, you will find a paper menu with boxes you check next to the dishes you want to order. Steamed and deep-fried selections tantalize your taste buds and make choosing what to order very difficult. Popular dishes include the baked buns with BBQ pork, Ha Jiao (steamed fresh shrimp dumplings), and Shao Mai (steamed pork dumplings with shrimp).

Front entrance to a Triple O's in Hong Kong, China

Front entrance to Triple O’s

Hamburger at a Triple O's in Hong Kong, China

Hamburger at Triple O’s

Triple O’s

Triple O’s hails from Canada and is the place to visit if you’ve got a craving for Western style fast-food restaurants. Six Triple O’s are located throughout Hong Kong. The Triple O hamburger is bursting with a large beef patty, lettuce, tomato, and their signature sauce. On top of the hamburger bun you’ll find a thin slice of pickle. Just as any other fast-food restaurant you can order sodas and french fries to go with your hamburger. Unlike other fast-food joints Triple O’s will sometimes serve specialty burgers such as one filled with peanut butter, bacon, and jalapeno. If you’re feeling adventurous try one of the specialty burgers!

Breakfast at a Tsui Wah in Hong Kong, China

Breakfast at Tsui Wah

Front entrance to a Tsui Wah in Hong Kong, China

Front entrance to Tsui Wah

Tsui Wah

Tsui Wah is a Hong Kong style cafe serving traditional Hong Kong dishes. Established in 1967 Tsui Wah now has over thirty locations throughout Hong Kong. Tsui Wah’s dishes include roasted and barbeque meat selections, vermicelli soups, traditional Asian fried noodles and rice dishes, and grilled steak or pork. Tsui Wah is a great place to go to for breakfast with popular breakfast items such as crispy buns with sweet condensed milk and pineapple bun with butter. Both breakfast options come with your choice of coffee, tea, or milk tea. Besides locations in the city Tsui Wah is found within the airport terminal. Out of the food options at the airport Tsui Wah is one of the busiest and most popular but the order line moves at a quick pace. Tsui Wah at the airport is a great place to grab a snack or a meal before your flight. The eatery is near other dining options so plenty of seating is available. Keep in mind that you can ask for your food to go if you want to take it on board the plane.

 

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Hong Kong Transportation

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A key to being a world-class city is having accessible transportation. Hong Kong transportation doesn’t disappoint with a variety of options that will get you to where you need to go. From the moment you land at the airport to the end of your trip you’ll have made it around Hong Kong with ease.

Please note that any times, prices, and currency conversions listed below are only correct for February 2016. For up-to-date pricing visit the Hong Kong transportation websites.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

You’ve landed at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), gone through customs, and retrieved your baggage. Now you’re wondering how you will get to your hotel. Just as you leave baggage claim you will find a helpful desk that sells tickets for the Airport Express. The Airport Express is a train that runs on a track with station stops at Asia World Expo, Airport, Tsing Yi, Kowloon, and Hong Kong. Travelers with hotel reservations in either Kowloon or Hong Kong Island will want to exit at the corresponding station stop. The best Airport Express ticket for tourists that are staying in Hong Kong for three or more days is the Airport Express Travel Pass. This pass allows for round trip passage between the airport and either Tsing Yi, Kowloon, or Hong Kong Stations. In addition, the pass includes three consecutive days of unlimited travel on the Mass Transit Railway (MTR). This pass is only available to tourists and the round trip passes costs $350 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). With currency conversion that equals $45 United States Dollars (USD).

Once you have your Airport Express Travel Pass you will walk within the airport from baggage claim to the Airport Station. This short walk has you on your train in no time. Trains leave from the airport every 10-12 minutes and will have you in Central Hong Kong within 24 minutes. Another perk is that once you have arrived at either Kowloon or Hong Kong Station you can board free shuttle buses that will transport you to your hotel. Just read the signs for which bus line goes to your hotel, board the corresponding bus, and you are on your way. This same hotel shuttle is available for you to return to the train station to catch your return trip on the Airport Express.

Airport Express - Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong’s Airport Express

Station sign for MTR, Mass Transit Railway - Hong Kong, China

Station sign for MTR

Mass Transit Railway (MTR)

Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is fast, clean, and efficient. You will find stations throughout the city labeled in English and Chinese.  With only five dedicated (color coded) subway lines the MTR makes it easy to get around Hong Kong without having to rely on taxi drivers.  Signs posted throughout the MTR stations make it easy to decipher what direction you need to head to find your next train. For long distance destinations you transfer between train lines and walk to the correct platform. Station stops broadcast over loudspeakers within the trains in both English and Chinese so you won’t miss your stop. The only cautionary thing to keep in mind is that if possible avoid the MTR during peak commute times. During commute times so many people ride the MTR that you might be squished into trains. If you did not buy the Airport Express Travel Pass to ride the MTR you can buy tickets at the various MTR stations. If you plan on riding the MTR multiple times you can buy a one-day Adult Tourist Day Pass. The Adult Tourist Day Pass costs $65 HKD ($8.35 USD). A single ride ticket fare depends on the distance traveled and the cost ranges anywhere from $4 HKD ($0.50 US Cents) to $8.50 HKD ($1.10 USD).

Star Ferry

The Star Ferry has just one purpose. It takes passengers between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon by sailing over the Victoria Harbour. Tourists will want to ride the Star Ferry at least once during their trip for the magnificent views offered crossing the harbor. Ferries run every 8-20 minutes depending on the time of day. A one-way adult ticket is $2.50 (HKD) on weekdays and $3.40 (HKD) on weekends and public holidays. Converted into USD the fare costs 32 Cents or 44 Cents. This low fare makes the Star Ferry one of the cheapest modes of Hong Kong transportation, and the cheapest way to get between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Keep in mind that the Star Ferry can get packed with locals and tourists alike during commute hours.

Star Ferry with Kowloon in the background - Hong Kong, China

Star Ferry with Kowloon in the background

Star Ferry with Hong Kong Island in the background - Hong Kong, China

Star Ferry with Hong Kong Island in the background

There are three main piers for the Star Ferry. The Star Ferry runs between the piers of Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui and between the piers of Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. Kowloon’s pier of Tsim Sha Tsui is within walking distance to Nathan Road and various shopping opportunities. The Hong Kong Island pier of Wan Chai is near the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. From Wan Chai Pier you can walk twenty-minutes to the Wan Chai District, where you will find many great restaurant choices. The Central Pier on Hong Kong Island is a short walk to the MTR Hong Kong Station if you need to get to other parts of the city. In addition, the Central Pier is where you will catch other ferries to any of the neighboring islands.

Central Ferry Piers - Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, China

Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island

Island Ferry - Hong Kong, China

Island Ferry for Hong Kong

Island Ferry

If time permits you may take one of the various Island Ferries to nearby islands. Passengers embark on these Island Ferries at the Central Piers (accessible from either Central or Hong Kong MTR Stations). Many of these boats take travelers to outlying islands where locals live. Islands of note that tourists may find interesting to visit include Cheung Chau and Lamma Island. The cost of a one-way adult fare depends on two factors and the first is the ferry you take (ordinary, deluxe, or fast). The second is if you travel Monday to Saturday or on a Sunday and Public Holiday. Regardless of the ferry or day you select, fares are still cheap. One-way fares range from $13.20 HKD ($1.70 USD) at the low-end and $37.20 HKD ($4.77 USD) at the high-end. One of the 10 piers serviced by Central Piers is the Star Ferry service to Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.

Taxis

There are many taxicabs available to use as Hong Kong transportation.  Depending on your destination taxi fares are cheap. With cheap fares you may find cab drivers won’t take you to your destination if isn’t far enough or worth their time. Short distances are best traveled by the MTR. If you plan on taking a taxi have your destination written in both English and Chinese characters. Many taxi drivers are not fluent in English so having the place written in Chinese will make it easier for you to get to your destination.

Line of taxis - Hong Kong, China

Line of taxis in Hong Kong

 

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Hong Kong Transportation

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Airport Station at HKG: 22.316058, 113.936503
Kowloon Station: 22.304306, 114.161475
Hong Kong Station: 22.284681, 114.158177
Wan Chai Pier: 22.283391, 114.176217
Tsim Sha Tsui Pier: 22.293810, 114.168227
Central Piers: 22.287843, 114.157384
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Airport Station at HKG
Hong Kong Transportation
Airport Station, Hong Kong
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Kowloon Station
Hong Kong Transportation
Kowloon Station, Hong Kong
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Hong Kong Station
Hong Kong Transportation
Hong Kong Station, Hong Kong
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Wan Chai Pier
Hong Kong Transportation
Wan Chai Ferry Pier, Hong Kong
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Tsim Sha Tsui Pier
Hong Kong Transportation
Star Ferry Pier, Hong Kong
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Central Piers
Hong Kong Transportation
Central Piers, Hong Kong

 

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Transportation Options in London

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A trip to London is expensive for a variety of reasons. Americans who travel to London will have a currency conversion rate that won’t be in their favor. As of November 2015 on average 1 British Pound equaled 1.50 US Dollars. The cost of the airline ticket runs high since flying into and out of London includes a slew of various taxes and fees. Your hotel and meals will be a big part of your budget. The need to pay for ground transportation on top of everything else is daunting. Fortunately, it is possible to save money when it comes to transportation.

From London Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Express is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to get from Heathrow Airport into London. The Heathrow Express is a train that you board from terminals 2, 3, 4, or 5. Trains leave four times an hour. Depending on which terminal you board the train at it takes between 15 to 20 minutes to reach the London Paddington Station. From London Paddington Station you can connect to other parts of the city using London’s other means of transportation, such as the Underground. You buy tickets for the Heathrow Express online or at the station’s ticket office.

Heathrow Connect is a popular means of transportation for employees of Heathrow Airport because of its stops in nearby suburban districts. Heathrow Connect is a slower train alternative to the Heathrow Express, but it is useful for tourists. If you are not traveling into London but need rail connections to other parts of England then you might need to use Heathrow Connect. For example, you can buy your ticket at the ticket office and take Heathrow Connect one stop to the Hayes & Harlington Station. From there you can find a connecting train to Slough or any other train station that has multiple connections that can whisk you away to your destination.

Paddington Underground Station - London, England

London Underground

The London Underground, nicknamed the Tube, is an inexpensive and quick way to navigate London. Tickets available to ride the Tube include single ride tickets, day passes, multi-day passes, and a pay-as-you-go card. Two factors will help you decide which ticket to buy. The number of days you plan on staying in London and where in London you will be traveling. London is separated into various zones, the number of zones you cross using the Underground will help you decide which ticket you need to buy.

To save money you will want to buy either the Travel Card or the Oyster Card. The Travel Card is a paper ticket that can be used within the center zones of London for a set number of days. A seven-day Travel Card exists but is not available to buy in London and must be purchased before your trip. The Oyster Card is a plastic card that can be used in most zones. An Oyster Card has a balance that is deducted as you travel. A benefit of the Oyster Card is that it has a travel cap limit each day. This means once you’ve reached that limit any other journeys on that day are free. For that reason alone if your plans include many trips on the Tube you will want to buy the Oyster Card.

Transport for London is a UK government website with a plethora of information, including information on the various ticket buying options. Visit Britain, the “official shop of the British Tourist Board” has a page on their website with advice on which transportation ticket you should buy when in London. You can buy your tickets online through Visit Britain, including the aforementioned seven-day Travel Card.

Shard and Underground - London, England

Shard and Underground

Other London Transportation

The iconic taxis you can find throughout London are ready to take you to your destination. Each taxi driver must pass an intense exam to become licensed. The taxi drivers have memorized London’s streets and can navigate with ease without needing a GPS device. Besides taxis London has an extensive affordable public bus system. Additionally, various companies offer Hop on Hop off bus tours for a fee. Gray Line is a company that sells Hop on Hop off bus tours, specific tours of London, and day trips from London.

Taxis in front of Buckingham Palace - London, England

Taxis in front of Buckingham Palace

Destinations Beyond London

If your travels will take you elsewhere besides London you will want to consider purchasing a rail pass. It is pricey to buy just one-way point-to-point train tickets for multiple trips. With the right rail pass you can save money. BritRail Passes are not available to buy in Great Britain so you will want to be sure to buy them before your trip. Which pass to buy will depend on where you will be traveling. For example, if you will travel to popular tourist destinations such as Bath or Oxford then you will want to buy the BritRail South West Pass. If you plan on traveling through out Great Britain the best pass will be the BritRail GB Pass. Rail passes are bought for a specified number of days, used either on consecutive days or over a set number of days. The Visit Britain site has a visual breakdown of which destinations each BritRail Pass services. Besides Visit Britain, Rail Europe is another site with information on the various BritRail Passes available. You can buy the BritRail Pass through Visit Britain or through Rail Europe. During checkout the companies will ask what your departure date is to make sure that you will receive your tickets before your trip. Before boarding your first train be sure to visit a train ticket office to have your pass activated.

First Great Western train - England

First Great Western – one of the train companies operating in England

 

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