A Hong Kong Day Trip

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A great Hong Kong day trip is one where the experience differs from that of the districts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Hong Kong is more than just city escapades through skyscrapers and shopping malls. Allocating part of your trip to visiting other districts of Hong Kong allows you the opportunity to see another side of Hong Kong. A Hong Kong day trip means seeing first hand a bustling fishing village or hiking lush green hills. You can pay homage to a gigantic Buddha or soak in Portuguese influence. These Hong Kong day trips give you a glimpse into how locals live on outlying islands. Four unique Hong Kong day trips are those to Cheung Chau, Lamma Island, Lantau Island, and Macau.

Boats in Cheung Chau's harbor - Hong Kong, China

Boats in Cheung Chau’s harbor

 

Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau is part of Hong Kong’s Island Districts. You reach Cheung Chau by boat in under an hour from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5. Unlike Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, Cheung Chau is a bustling fishing village. The harbor is full of fisherman working on their boats. At the waterfront vendors sell fish at markets while restaurants serve up fresh seafood dishes. Besides seafood tourists will enjoy Cheung Chau’s narrow streets with their shops, bakeries, and food stalls. Cheung Chau may translate from Cantonese into “Long Island” yet the island itself is small enough to entice visitors for a few hours. This makes Cheung Chau a perfect island for those tourists on a time crunch but still wanting to explore one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands.

Check out our article on Cheung Chau for more on visiting this island: Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island

 

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail - Hong Kong, China

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail

 

Lamma Island

Lamma Island is one of Hong Kong’s largest islands and one of the closest to Hong Kong Island. The island’s proximity and size is why Lamma Island is a perfect day trip for those visiting Hong Kong. The lush green hills of Lamma Island and lack of vehicles makes this Hong Kong day trip a peaceful change of pace from Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Lamma Island has two main villages, Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan. These villages connect to one other by a concrete trail that takes 1-1/2 hours to walk. The trail has amazing views of the island and the surrounding waters. Besides the trail, Lamma Island has beaches that are great for hot days and restaurants that serve delicious seafood. Visitors will reach Lamma Island by boat in under an hour on direct sailings from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 4.

Check out our article on Lamma Island for more on visiting this island: Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

 

Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island - Hong Kong, China

Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island

 

Lantau Island

Lantau Island is Hong Kong’s largest island and one of its least populous islands. What draws visitors to Lantau Island is the giant Tian Tan Buddha. Located at the Po Lin Monastery this bronze Buddha is one of the largest seated outdoor Buddha statues in the world. Visitors can get closer to the Buddha by climbing a staircase consisting of 268 steps. Travel to the Monastery and Buddha begins by reaching Lantau Island using either MTR (Mass Transit Railway) or by boat. The MTR Station you need to arrive at is Tung Chung Station, Exit B. If you are traveling by boat you will leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 6 to Mui Wo. Once on Lantau Island you will travel on a gondola (Ngong Ping 360) or bus to the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha. The gondola ride leaves from the MTR Tung Chung Station and is a 25-minute ride. Buses from either MTR Tung Chung Station or Mui Wo Ferry Pier will get you to your destination in 40-minutes.

 

St. Paul Ruins - Macau, China

St. Paul Ruins – Macau

 

Macau

Of the four destinations listed in this article Macau is the only one not part of Hong Kong’s Islands District. In fact Macau isn’t part of Hong Kong but its own city. As Hong Kong was once under British rule, Macau was once part of Portugal. The mix of Portuguese and Chinese influence makes Macau an interesting Hong Kong day trip. To visit Macau from Hong Kong visitors must leave from the Macau Ferry Terminal on Hong Kong Island. The trip takes an hour by boat. Tourists will want to visit the ruins of St. Paul and the Kun Iam Statue and Temple. Besides the sights enjoy walking the mosaic-tiled streets amid buildings painted in calming shades of yellow, orange, and red colors. Take your time exploring the neighborhood’s shops and restaurants. A quirky spot to visit is the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Centre’s buildings are replicas of ancient Greek and Chinese architecture. Visitors who gamble will enjoy Macau’s status as the Las Vegas of Asia. There are plenty of casinos to gamble at such as the Sands Macao, Wynn Macau, Venetian MacauMGM Grand Macau, and Casino Lisboa.

 

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Hong Kong Day Trips

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Cheung Chau: 22.201618, 114.026501
Lamma Island: 22.200006, 114.135017
Lantau Island: 22.253985, 113.904984
Macau: 22.198745, 113.543873
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Cheung Chau
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island

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A Hong Kong Day Trip

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
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Lamma Island
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

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A Hong Kong Day Trip

Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Lantau Island
A Hong Kong Day Trip
Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong
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Macau
A Hong Kong Day Trip
Macau

 

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Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island

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Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau

 

Cheung Chau is part of Hong Kong’s Island Districts. Located less than an hour away from Hong Kong Island, Cheung Chau allows visitors a chance to glimpse a different side of Hong Kong.   Here in Cheung Chau is a bustling fishing village. The harbor is full of fisherman working on their boats. At the waterfront vendors sell fish at markets while restaurants serve up fresh seafood dishes. Besides seafood tourists will enjoy Cheung Chau’s narrow streets with their shops, bakeries, and food stalls. Cheung Chau may translate from Cantonese into “Long Island” yet the island itself is small enough to entice visitors for a few hours. This makes Cheung Chau a perfect island for those tourists on a time crunch but still wanting to explore one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands.

Central Ferry Pier 5 - Hong Kong, China

Central Ferry Pier 5 – Hong Kong Island

Cheung Chau Ferry Pier - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau Ferry Pier

 

The Ferry to Cheung Chau

Ferries to Cheung Chau leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5. Departures are daily and either on the ordinary or fast service ferry. Ordinary service will get you to Cheung Chau in an hour while fast service will get you there in half an hour. Ticket prices vary depending on which ferry you board and if you travel Mondays to Saturdays or Sundays and public holidays. The most expensive fare is the adult fare on the fast ferry on Sundays and public holidays at $37.20 HKD ($4.80 USD). Ferries that leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5 sail direct to Cheung Chau Ferry Pier.

Boats in Cheung Chau's harbor - Hong Kong, China

Boats in Cheung Chau’s harbor

Fisherman heading to his boat - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Fisherman heading to his boat

Bicycles along Cheung Chau's waterfront - Hong Kong, China

Bicycles along Cheung Chau’s waterfront

Dried Seafood - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Dried seafood for sale

Egg custard from a food vendor in Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

Egg custard from a food vendor

San Hing Praya Street - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

San Hing Praya Street

 

Arrival in Cheung Chau

The moment you disembark the ferry on Cheung Chau the famous golden arches of McDonald’s will greet you. This fast-food restaurant is on the main road called San Hing Praya Street. If possible resist this American temptation and look back towards the water where you will see an overabundance of boats and fisherman. There aren’t many docks along the waterfront and fisherman make their way back to land on floating platforms attached to shore by ropes. Cheung Chau is an active fishing village and if you are a fan of seafood you will want to save your appetite for dining options other than McDonald’s. Along San Hing Praya you’ll notice rows of bicycles belonging to the hard-working people of Cheung Chau. Cars are not allowed on Cheung Chau so locals use bicycles or small-motorized carts to travel around the island. Continue your introduction to Cheung Chau by exploring San Hing Praya Street. Here you will find shops with souvenirs and food stalls where you can buy dried seafood or desserts such as mochi or egg custard. At the end of San Hing Praya Street is Pak She Praya Road. This road is full of restaurants selling seafood and this section of town is a great place to eat a meal at if you are hungry.

Pak Tai Temple - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Pak Tai Temple

An altar inside the Pak Tai Temple - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

An altar inside the Pak Tai Temple

 

Cheung Chau Temple

From the Cheung Chau Ferry Pier turn left on San Hing Praya Street. Turn right past the playground at Pak She Third Lane. This street will take you to one of the main temples on the island, Pak Tai Temple. Walk Pak She Third Lane until you reach Pak Tai Temple on the right-hand side. The temple is open to the public but remember, be respectful inside this holy place of worship. Dedicated to the Taoist God of the Sea the temple has four stone lions that great you as you ascend the steps to the shrine. Before entering the temple notice the ornate statues of dragons at the top of the temple. Throughout the temple you will see various figurines and murals such as that of a tiger and their cub.

Steamed buns sold by a street vendor in Hong Kong, China

Steamed buns sold by a street vendor

Tung Wan Beach - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Tung Wan Beach

 

Tung Wan Beach

From Pak Tai Temple you will walk towards the direction you came, but this time on Pak She Street and San Hing Street. These streets include bakeries selling various steamed buns and food stalls selling different flavored fish balls. From the food stalls and stores take either Kwok Man Road or Tung Wan Road towards Tung Wan Beach. This beach is popular with tourists and locals alike on hot days.   After you’ve enjoyed the sun, water, and sand continue exploring the various streets around Tung Wan Beach. Along these streets are stores used by locals such as apothecaries, grocery stores, and stores selling household goods. As you walk among the streets notice the small altars dedicated to various deities.

A street in Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

A street in Cheung Chau

An altar in the streets of Cheung Chau - Hong Kong, China

An altar in the streets of Cheung Chau

 

Tai Hing Tai Road

Make your way through the various streets, heading past the Cheung Chau Ferry Pier and on to Tai Hing Tai Road. On Tai Hing Tai Road is Cheung Chau Market. Inside are various vendors selling meats, seafood, and fruits to locals. Around the market are hawker style food stalls and restaurants. Pick any of the restaurants to eat at and enjoy fresh seafood dishes such as salt and pepper crab or seafood combination fried rice.

Cheung Chau Market - Hong Kong, China

Cheung Chau Market

Salt and pepper crab - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Salt and pepper crab

Seafood combination fried rice - Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, China

Seafood combination fried rice

After your delicious seafood meal continue to explore the various streets before heading back to Cheung Chau Ferry Pier. Here at Cheung Chau Ferry Pier you will catch your boat ride back to Hong Kong Island.

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Cheung Chau

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Cheung Chau Ferry Pier: 22.208517, 114.028364
San Hing Praya Street: 22.209453, 114.028527
Pak Tai Temple: 22.212387, 114.027883
Tung Wan Beach: 22.210419, 114.029939
Tai Hing Tai Road: 22.205559, 114.026941
Cheung Chau Market: 22.206856, 114.028119
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Cheung Chau Ferry Pier
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Cheung Chau Ferry Pier, Hong Kong
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San Hing Praya Street
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
San Hing Praya Street, Hong Kong
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Pak Tai Temple
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Pak Tai Temple, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
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Tung Wan Beach
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Tung Wan Beach, Hong Kong
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Tai Hing Tai Road
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Tai Hing Tai Road, Hong Kong
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Cheung Chau Market
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island
Cheung Chau Market, Hong Kong

 

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Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

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Lamma Island is one of Hong Kong’s largest islands and one of the closest to Hong Kong Island. Its proximity and size is why Lamma Island is a perfect day trip for those visiting Hong Kong. Lamma Island is what you get if you cross California’s Catalina Island with Italy’s Cinque Terre. Similar to Catalina Island, Lamma Island has no cars, which makes Lamma Island a peaceful change of pace from Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Lamma Island is comparable to Cinque Terre in that both have villages you reach by foot using trails. On Lamma Island a concrete trail that takes 1-1/2 hours to walk separates the two main villages, Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan. This trail takes you through lush hills with amazing views of the island and the surrounding waters. Besides the trail, Lamma Island has beaches that are great for hot days and restaurants that serve delicious seafood.

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

Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island

Ferry to Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Ferry to Lamma Island

The Ferry to Lamma Island

Visitors reach Lamma Island by ferry in under an hour on direct sailings from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 4. Depending on which ferry you board, ordinary or fast, your journey will take anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour. Upon arriving at Central Ferry Pier 4 you will buy your ticket for the ferry from the ticket booth. Fares vary for adults, children, and those over the age of 65. Besides age the cost of the fare depends on whether you travel Mondays to Saturdays or Sundays and public holidays. The most expensive ticket is the adult Sundays and public holidays fare from Central to Sok Kwu Wan at HKD $29.80 (USD $3.84). If your travel plans are flexible aim to visit Lamma Island during the weekday. On weekends Lamma Island is a popular place for locals looking to exercise on the trail or lounge on the beach.

One may explore Lamma Island starting at either of the main villages, Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan. Separate ferries from Central Ferry Pier 4 can take you to either location. More ferries run between Central and Yung Shue Wan so we recommended you end your day at Yung Shue Wan. This way you won’t have to wait too long for a return ferry back to Hong Kong Island. Once aboard the ferry try to sit at a window seat so you can enjoy the view of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon while sailing through Victoria Harbour.

Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Sok Kwu Wan village

The Village of Sok Kwu Wan

As your ferry approaches Sok Kwu Wan you’ll realize how you are in a place much different from Hong Kong Island or Kowloon. Underneath the shadow of a small green hill lies a short row of two-story buildings. In front of these buildings various awnings nestle up along side the waterfront. These awnings belong to open-air seafood restaurants. You will exit the ferry at the Sok Kwu Wan Pier and turn right, on to Sok Kwu Wan First Street. Here you will find yourself in the midst of the buildings you saw upon your approach on the ferry. The two-story buildings house the working part of the restaurants, such as the kitchens and aquariums. Besides restaurants you will find convenience stores and shopkeepers selling dried fish. There aren’t any souvenir stores or homes in this section of Lamma Island. This village is just for seafood eating. If you are hungry be sure to eat at a restaurant and enjoy the waterfront view. Before embarking on the trail consider buying snacks and a bottle of water from one of the convenience stores for your trek.

Street in Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Street in Sok Kwu Wan

Restaurant with waterfront seating in Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Restaurant with waterfront seating in Sok Kwu Wan

Lamma Island’s Trail

With the hill on your left and the water on your right you’ll walk along the street through Sok Kwu Wan. As you reach the end of this street and Sok Kwu Wan’s seafood row you will come upon a temple. This is a Tin Hau temple, one of three on the island. Tin Hau is the Goddess of the Sea and of Fishermen, a helpful deity for locals given Lamma Island’s proximity to the water. From the temple you will continue on the main trail, known as Lamma Island Family Walk. Abundant signs throughout the trail keep you heading in the right direction, towards the village of Yung Shue Wan.

Tin Hau Temple in Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Tin Hau Temple in Sok Kwu Wan

Walking uphill on the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail - Hong Kong, China

Walking uphill on the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail

Kamikaze Grottos

The entire Lamma Island Family Walk trail is concrete. The trail goes up and over a hill and takes 1-1/2 hours to complete. After leaving Sok Kwu Wan you will pass a few dwellings but the majority of housing on Lamma Island is in the other main village, Yung Shue Wan. Just continue to follow the signs to Yung Shue Wan so you don’t wind up in someone’s backyard or off the beaten path. After you’ve walked 8-minutes from the Tin Hau Temple you will see one of several small caves on the island. Locals call these caves Kamikaze Grottos. During World War II the Japanese army had troops stationed on the island and were planning on using the caves to hide speedboats. Those boats were for future suicide attacks on Allies’ warships. Before the Japanese carved out the caves large enough to hold boats the war ended. The caves have remained untouched ever since and serve as a reminder as to Lamma Island’s status during the war.

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail - Hong Kong, China

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail

Kamikaze Grottos, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Kamikaze Grottos

Hilltop Pavilion

From the Kamikaze Grottos you will ascend the hill and reach a scenic point with a view of Sok Kwu Wan and the Lo So Shing Port. The viewpoint with its hilltop pavilion offers benches for those looking to rest before continuing on the trail. As you continue on the trail you will soon reach the top of the hill. It is at this point you will see off the coast a massive building with three tall pillars. This building is the Lamma Power Station. The Lamma Power Station provides power to Lamma Island and Hong Kong Island. The Lamma Island Family Walk trail won’t lead you to the Lamma Power Station. During the rest of your walk you will continue to see the building until you reach Hung Shing Yeh Beach and Yung Shue Wan.

View of Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View of Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan

Hilltop Pavilion over looking Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Hilltop Pavilion over looking Pichic Bay and Sok Kwu Wan

Lamma Power Station, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Lamma Power Station

Hung Shing Yeh Beach

Hung Shing Yeh Beach is a sandy beach marred only by the garish view of the Lamma Power Station as you gaze out into water. The beach itself is popular with tourists and locals alike on hot days. There are public toilets next to the beach, ideal if you need a restroom or a place to change into your swimming suit. On one end of the beach you will find benches underneath large trees that offer generous amounts of shade. These benches make for a great escape from the sun and a nice picnic spot. After you leave Hung Shing Yeh Beach you will reach the village of Yung Shue Wan in 25-minutes.

Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Hung Shing Yeh Beach

Trees with benches at Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Trees with benches at Hung Shing Yeh Beach

View from Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View from Hung Shing Yeh Beach

View of Power Station from Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View of Power Station from Hung Shing Yeh Beach

The Village of Yung Shue Wan

As you leave Hung Shing Yeh Beach behind you will continue on the trail and walk past homes, both old dwellings and newer apartment buildings. This section of Yung Shue Wan is home to many foreigners. Yung Shue Wan has a much more relaxed vibe than the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. You’ll know you’re in the heart of Yung Shue Wan when you pass shops selling bakery items such as pineapple buns. There are more convenience stores in Yung Shue Wan than in Sok Kwu Wan so you can restock your water or snack supply if need be. Along with the stores you will once again find seafood restaurants, such as Lung Wah, along Yung Shue Wan Main Street. Enjoy a plate of clams in black bean sauce or salt and pepper squid to rejuvenate after walking the trail.

Buildings in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Buildings in Yung Shue Wan

Housing in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Housing in Yung Shue Wan

Bakery in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Bakery in Yung Shue Wan

Clams in black bean sauce at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Clams in black bean sauce at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan

Salt and pepper squid at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Salt and pepper squid at Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant in Yung Shue Wan

Once you reach the end of Yung Shue Main Street you may continue on the Lamma Island Family Walk trail. A 10-minute walk will take you to the Tai Peng San Cheun viewpoint. Or you can walk the rest of the Lamma Island Family Walk, which includes the Pak Kok Tsuen Pier to Aberdeen. This trail circles around back to Yung Shue and is another 50-minutes of walking. When you are ready to leave Lamma Island head to the Yung Shue Wan Pier to catch your ferry back to Central Ferry Piers in Hong Kong Island.

View of Lamma Power Station from Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

View of Lamma Power Station from Yung Shue Wan

Street with shops in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Street with shops in Yung Shue Wan

Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island - Hong Kong, China

Yung Shue Wan village

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Lamma Island

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Sok Kwu Wan Ferry Pier: 22.205580, 114.131170
Tin Hau Temple: 22.203795, 114.130942
Kamikaze Grottos : 22.204247, 114.127530
Hilltop Pavilion: 22.204378, 114.126472
Lamma Power Station: 22.217979, 114.107147
Hung Shing Yeh Beach: 22.218653, 114.119803
Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant: 22.226601, 114.111669
Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier: 22.225002, 114.110643
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Sok Kwu Wan Ferry Pier
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Sok Kwu Wan Ferry Pier, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Tin Hau Temple
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Tin Hau Temple, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Kamikaze Grottos
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Cave Kamikaze, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Hilltop Pavilion
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Lo So Shing Sitting-out Area, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Lamma Power Station
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Lamma Power Station, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Hung Shing Yeh Beach
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Hong Kong
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Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
Yung Shue Wan Development Pier, Lamma Island, Hong Kong

 

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Mickey Mouse’s House: Hong Kong Disneyland

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For fans of Walt Disney’s theme park, Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. Regardless of how many times they visit the famed park a sense of joy overwhelms them. The park’s ability to bring forth the inner child in adults and to captivate the minds of children makes Disneyland a special place to visit. In 1955 the original Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, U.S.A. Since then Disney has built five more parks around the world, including Hong Kong Disneyland. Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 on Lantau Island. Fans of Disney will find Hong Kong Disneyland a great addition to the roster of theme parks.

Mickey Mouse ears on the train for the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Line - Hong Kong, China

Mickey Mouse ears on the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Line train

Statue of Minnie Mouse on the train for the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Line - Hong Kong, China

Statue of Minnie Mouse on the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Line train

Arriving at Hong Kong Disneyland

The easiest and most convenient way for visitors to reach Hong Kong Disneyland is by using public transportation, Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Whether you are arriving straight from the airport or leaving your hotel on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon you will take the MTR to the Sunny Bay Station. Once at Sunny Bay Station you will board the Disneyland Resort Line bound for Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. On the Disneyland Resort Line train you will have your first chance to get into the Disney mood. The train’s windows are in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears and throughout the train are statues of various Disney cartoon characters. Sit back and enjoy the short six-minute ride journey to the Disneyland Resort Station.

Welcome sign for the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Welcome sign for the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Fountain with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse located outside the entrance to Hong Kong Disneyland - Hong Kong, China

Fountain with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse outside the entrance to Hong Kong Disneyland

Once you’ve arrived at the Disneyland Resort Station’s immaculate platform you will walk towards the welcome sign and on to the ticket booth and entrance to the park. What you will notice is that signs display both English letters and Chinese characters. The signs within the park and the signs for rides are in English and Chinese. Attractions and shows have either English audio or English subtitles. Anyone who understands either English or Chinese will navigate the park with ease. To enter the park you will need to buy tickets. Tickets are available ahead of time on-line or at the park’s ticket booths. Ticket prices in 2016 for a 1-day ticket: General Admission HK$539 (US$69), Child HK$385 (US$50), and Senior HK$100 (US$13). The 2-day ticket price: General Admission HK$739 (US$95), Child HK$525 (US$68), and Senior HK$170 (US$22).

Those who have visited Disneyland in California will find the low admission price a welcome surprise. The Hong Kong Disneyland General Admission 1-day ticket price is a third cheaper than the same ticket in California. Keep in mind that the cost differential could relate to the size of the parks. Hong Kong Disneyland is not as large a park as the one in California. If you visit Hong Kong Disneyland on an off-peak day you can ride every attraction and see every show within one day. If your schedule is flexible you will want to visit the park on an off-peak day. A mid-week day during non-holiday, non-school vacations, is the best chance to visit the park with the fewest amounts of people.

Mickey Mouse flower bed in front of Hong Kong Disneyland's Main Street Train Station - Hong Kong, China

Mickey Mouse flower bed in front of Hong Kong Disneyland’s Main Street Train Station

Sleeping Beauty Castle (Top portion of the Castle was going through renovations when this photo was taken) - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Sleeping Beauty Castle (top portion of the Castle was undergoing renovations when this photo was taken)

Inside Hong Kong Disneyland

After you have purchased your tickets you will enter the park. As you enter the park grab a map and the Times Guide with up-to-date information on when the parade, fireworks, and stage shows start. Once you pass the entrance gate visitors first see a flowerbed of the familiar face of Mickey Mouse and the Disneyland Main Street Train Station. Continue past the flowerbed and you will find yourself on Main Street. This replica of a Main Street in U.S.A. has shops filled with souvenirs, clothes, and candies. Walk Main Street to the Sleeping Beauty Castle. This location is a great meeting spot for groups that may get separated at any point during the day. From this central location you can reach any of the six lands found within Hong Kong Disneyland. Each land has attractions, shops, and eating venues. Choose from starting your day at Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, or Toy Story Land.

Tomorrowland - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong Disneyland’s Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland's UFO Zone - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Tomorrowland’s UFO Zone

Tomorrowland

Hong Kong Disneyland’s Tomorrowland has four attractions that are found in California’s Disneyland. Rides include Space Mountain, Orbitron, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and Autopia. Besides those rides two other attractions are in Hong Kong Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. The UFO Zone is a place for kids to play with water. The other attraction is the Stitch Encounter, an interactive video featuring Stitch from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch. In 2016 Tomorrowland will open a unique attraction, the Iron Man Experience. The Iron Man Experience will be the first official ride by Marvel inside any of the six Disney parks. Details at a Disney expo showcased how the ride has you flying alongside Iron Man as you help save the city from a villainous attack.

Mad Hatter Tea Cups ride in Fantasyland - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Mad Hatter Tea Cups ride in Fantasyland

Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride in Fantasyland - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride in Fantasyland

Fantasyland

The land next to Tomorrowland is Fantasyland. Attractions include Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Cinderella Carousel, “it’s a small world” and The Mad Hatter Tea Cups. The Mad Hatter Tea Cups ride is similar in design in both the Hong Kong and California parks. Except the Tea Cups in Hong Kong is underneath a covered roof as opposed to under the open sky as in California. Another ride in Hong Kong Disneyland’s Fantasyland is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This is the same ride found in Critter Country inside California’s Disneyland. A unique attraction to Fantasyland is “The Golden Mickeys”, a live action show celebrating Disney characters and movies. The show’s dialogue is in Chinese and large monitors on both sides of the stage display English subtitles.

Tarzan's Treehouse in Adventureland - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventureland

Jungle River Cruise ride entrance with English speaker line in Adventureland - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

English speaker line for the Jungle River Cruise ride in Adventureland

Adventureland

From Fantasyland you will find yourself in Adventureland. Here visitors who’ve been to California Disneyland will find the familiar Tarzan’s Treehouse and Jungle River Cruise. As you enter the Jungle River Cruise attraction you will notice three different lines you can choose from to board the ride. The lines relate to what language the tour guide speaks on the boat you board. Choose the line for the language you know best, either English, Cantonese, or Putonghua/Mandarin.

Old West jail in Grizzly Gulch - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Old West jail in Grizzly Gulch

Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars ride in Grizzly Gulch - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars ride in Grizzly Gulch

Grizzly Gulch

After you’ve visited Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Adventureland the similarities between Hong Kong Disneyland and California Disneyland lessen. The land next to Adventureland is Grizzly Gulch. Grizzly Gulch is a recreation of an Old West town. The buildings are straight out of the Wild West complete with a bank, hotel, and a blacksmith. There is even a Grizzly Gulch Jail where you can have your photo taken as a wanted criminal poster. The main attraction is Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, a ride that shares a resemblance to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in California’s Disneyland. Part of the ride has a mountain peak shaped as a bear. A similar peak is found in Disneyland’s other California park, California Adventure. The only other attraction in Grizzly Gulch is a zone set aside for water play.

Mystic Manor in Mystic Point - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Mystic Manor in Mystic Point

Three statues become one in the Garden of Wonders - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Three statues become one in the Garden of Wonders

Mystic Point

Mystic Point is the one land unlike any in California’s Disneyland but only has two attractions. One is the Garden of Wonders, with various sculptures that create 3D illusions. The other attraction is one of the best rides in the entire park. Mystic Manor is the ride you get from combining California Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and Indiana Jones. The Manor is the home of Lord Henry Mystic and his monkey friend Albert. Riders board carriages that take them throughout the mansion. As you travel through the mansion you view various artifacts Lord Henry has accumulated on his journeys. Albert joins you on your travels and his hijinks cause a few commotions to keep you entertained. This lighthearted ride is super fun and worth riding multiple times since you won’t find this ride in any other Disneyland parks.

Sheriff Woody welcomes you to Toy Story Land - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Sheriff Woody welcomes you to Toy Story Land

Rex welcomes you to Toy Story Land - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Rex welcomes you to Toy Story Land

Toys and Games in Toy Story Land - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Toys and Games in Toy Story Land

Slinky Dog Spin ride in Toy Story Land - Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China

Slinky Dog Spin ride in Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land

The final land in Hong Kong Disneyland is Toy Story Land, based on the Toy Story movies. This land’s vibe resembles California Disneyland’s Mickey’s Toontown, but none of the rides or buildings in the two lands is the same. A gigantic replica of the Toy Story’s Rex welcomes you from one entrance to Toy Story Land and at the other entrance is a replica of Woody. Buildings are in the shapes of popular toys such as Lincoln Logs. Throughout the land you will see massive replicas of popular toys such as Tinker Toys, Dominos, Checkers, and Barrel of Monkeys. Attractions in this land lean more towards those found at traditional roller coaster theme parks. The Toy Soldier Parachute Drop is a ride where you sit in a carriage that is pulled up into the sky and then dropped at various speeds. The Slinky Dog Spin puts you in a carriage within Slinky Dog from the Toy Story movie. This ride goes around and around in a big circle. The final ride in Toy Story Land is the RC Racer where you race on a U-shaped track.

Dessert options at Hong Kong Disneyland - Hong Kong, China

Dessert options at Hong Kong Disneyland

Laksa and chicken satay at Hong Kong Disneyland - Hong Kong, China

Laksa and chicken satay at Hong Kong Disneyland

Food at Hong Kong Disneyland

Fans of Disneyland theme parks can buy their favorite snacks at Hong Kong Disneyland. On hot days you’ll still be able to cool off with a traditional Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar. Besides Mickey Mouse you can select Minnie Mouse Ice Cream Bar or a Sherbet Bar based on either Stitch or Lotso from Toy Story. Food carts sell churros, turkey legs, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. Within food halls you can buy hamburgers and other Western style cuisine. Food carts sell more localized cuisine such as red bean waffles, fish balls, and Hong Kong style tea. The food sold at Hong Kong Disneyland includes dishes from other Asian countries. For example you can buy a bowl of Laksa or chicken satay. Food carts even sell Korean squid and fish cake. The various dishes will keep you fueled up as you navigate the park.

Leaving Hong Kong Disneyland - Hong Kong, China

Leaving Hong Kong Disneyland (in the background on the left is the MTR Station)

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Hong Kong Disneyland 22.315412, 114.039881 Mickey Mouse’s Other House: Hong Kong Disneyland

 

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Buying a Suit in Hong Kong: Sam’s Tailor

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Discovering Sam’s Tailor

In November of 2004 I found myself flipping through an issue of the magazine GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly). Within that month’s issue I saw an article titled “The Quest: Find the Perfect Suit… in Hong Kong”. The author, Greg Emmanuel, was retelling his experience of flying from New York to Hong Kong. His entire reason for the trip was to buy a suit at Sam’s Tailor. To me it sounded insane that someone flew sixteen hours to buy a suit when they could just visit a tailor in New York where they lived. Except then the author detailed the cost of the trip versus buying a high-end tailored suit in New York. It was at this point I realized Greg Emmanuel wasn’t crazy but a brilliant fellow. In the article he wrote, “I found an $850 round-trip flight and a $100-a-night hotel. Factoring in a three-night stay and a reasonable budget for food and drink, I planned to spend only $1,500 on the entire trip – in other words, about half the cost of a custom suit back home” (GQ: Gentlemen’s Quarterly; Nov 2004, Vol. 74 Issue 11, p106). Flying to Hong Kong to have a tailored suit custom-made fascinated me. After reading the article I ripped it from the magazine and sequestered it in a safe place. I figured it be best to hold on to as reference just in case I ever wound up traveling to Hong Kong.

Signs on Nathan Road directing you to Sam's Tailor - Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, China

Signs on Nathan Road directing you to Sam’s Tailor

Visiting Sam’s Tailor

I’m not as adventurous as Greg Emmanuel, I never traveled to Hong Kong just to buy a suit. Yet two years after reading the article, in 2006, I found myself in Hong Kong on vacation. As I prepared for my trip I re-read Greg’s article. I knew that during my time in Hong Kong I was going to get myself a tailored suit. After I arrived in Hong Kong I made way to Kowloon. As I walked along Nathan Road a slew of shopkeepers bombarded me and asked me if I wanted to get a tailored suit. I realized how fortunate it was that I found and read that article in GQ. Without Greg’s recommendation I do not know how I could have selected which tailor to visit. Yet there I stood in front of the door to Sam’s Tailor, just as Greg Emmanuel had two years prior. Before visiting Sam’s Tailor I’d never owned a piece of custom-made clothing. I admit I was nervous but excited that my dream of owning a custom-made tailored suit was going to come true.

Two things struck me the moment I entered Sam’s Tailor, how small the shop was and how many types and colors of fabric lined the walls. As I gazed upon the various fabrics I noticed photos hanging on parts of the walls. I moved closer to the photos and realized that these were not random photos, but photos of celebrities from around the world. There were politicians, musicians, actors, and athletes getting measured for a suit at Sam’s Tailor. When I saw these famous faces I realized that I was at the right tailor shop. It was my lucky day because behind the counter there was Sam himself. In an instance I recognized him from the photo in the GQ article. I came to find out that Sam’s real name is Manu Melwani, who took on the business from his father. Manu welcomed me and even asked if I wanted a beer while I perused the various color and fabric samples. The beer helped calm my nerves, and I narrowed my fabric and color selections. Manu and his colleagues answered my questions and after a while I’d settled on a black pinstripe suite. In addition to the suit I ordered two custom-made dress shirts, one white and one light blue. With my color and style of suit decided upon it was time for my measurements. Another tailor took my measurements and told me to return in two days for another fitting.

I was fortunate on this trip to Hong Kong in that I was in town for over a week. This allowed me the luxury of being able to return to Sam’s Tailor for a fitting during the sewing of the suit. If you aren’t in town that long Sam’s Tailor claims they can make a suit for you within 24 hours. Even if you won’t be in town that long you can have the suit shipped to your home. Best-case scenario though is to return to Sam’s Tailor over the course of a week to make sure that the suit being made will fit. At the fitting the suit still appeared rough, with a missing sleeve, and inner lining bare for the world to see. What this fitting ensured was that the length of the jacket sleeves and pants was correct. The tailor checked the size of the waistband and if the jacket closed without issues. After the fitting the tailor told me to return in two days.

On my next visit the tailor handed me my completed suit to try on one final time inside Sam’s Tailor. It was amazing how well the suit fit. Every part of the suit lay upon me in perfect proportion to my body. Unlike an off the rack suit there were no unseemly bulges or bulky shoulder pads. The suit just fit. I felt as if I was James Bond and I couldn’t ever again imagine owning a non-tailored suit. When I left Sam’s Tailor I felt happier than I’d ever had leaving a department store with one of their suits.

I’d heard horror stories of suits from Hong Kong disintegrating once tourists arrived back home. The pinstripe suit I bought still hangs in my closet and to this day not one seam has ever come undone. I wore the suit on many occasions, and it has withstood the test of time. The only issue I ran into was that I’d outgrown the suit. Since 2006 I’d lost over forty pounds through diet and exercise. I didn’t believe it was worth having the suit altered considering my waist size had decreased six inches. Truth is it saddened me to not have a suit that fit me so well anymore. Then in 2015 an opportunity arose for me to once again visit Hong Kong. Without hesitation I knew a return trip to Sam’s Tailor was in store for me.

Entrance to Sam's Tailor - Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, China

Entrance to Sam’s Tailor

Returning to Sam’s Tailor

On this trip to Hong Kong after I landed and checked into my hotel I wasted no time and went straight to Sam’s Tailor. Although nine years had passed since my last visit the shop had not drastically changed. Sam’s Tailor is still in the same location on Nathan Road and still run by the Melwani family. In fact Manu’s son, Roshan, is following in the family’s footsteps and these days is running things at the shop along with his father. In the nine years since my last visit the shop had become more popular, with more shoppers and more staff to accommodate them. Even with the extra people a controlled chaos emanated throughout the store and I received the same great customer service as on my first visit years ago. A woman who worked there helped me pick out a color and fabric and asked me what style I wanted for both my suit and shirt. This time around I went with a slim fit dark gray suit and a traditional white dress shirt. I was in town for a week and able to return for the fitting and to pick up my new suit. Once again Sam’s Tailor created the suit of my dreams. A year later and the suit and shirt are still in perfect condition.

Twice in my life now Sam’s Tailor has made me a happy customer. To this day I have no buyer’s remorse with the two suits I bought at Sam’s Tailor. Over the years I’ve received countless of compliments on both of the suits. When asked where I bought the suits I grin and say “oh from my tailor in Hong Kong”. If I’m fortunate enough to visit Hong Kong again I will for sure go back to Sam’s Tailor. There is something satisfying in flipping through fabric samples in person. If I’m not able to go back to Hong Kong I can contact them on-line to have a brand new suit sent to my home. Either way I will always look forward to the times I wear a custom-made Sam’s Tailor suit.

Inside Sam's Tailor - Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, China

Inside Sam’s Tailor

Tips for Visiting Sam’s Tailor

Your first visit to Sam’s Tailor is overwhelming, especially if you have never bought a custom tailor-made suit. Before you go, I recommend you skim through magazines and clip out the photos of any suits you fancy. Take those clipped photos with you and show them to the employees at Sam’s Tailor so they know what style of suit you want made. Besides the style of the suit it’s a good idea to have decided on what color suit you want. It’s hard enough deciding on color at the shop when every color has a wide spectrum ranging from light to dark. For example if you’ve narrowed your color to gray you’ll still have tons of color swatches to browse through at the shop. Along with color you will want to think ahead of time what fabric you want, for example wool or linen. This decision-making beforehand will make things easier on yourself once you are at Sam’s Tailor. If you have questions while there don’t be afraid to ask as the workers at Sam’s Tailor are knowledgeable and will help you.

One perk of being a customer at Sam’s Tailor is that each person is given a unique number. That number is kept on record at Sam’s Tailor and includes what you bought and your measurements. With that information on file you can contact them via their website, e-mail, or by phone and order another suit. In 2015 Sam’s Tailor could ship a new suit to the United States for a shipping cost of only twenty-five U.S. dollars. Even with the added shipping the final cost of the suit is still a bargain compared to having a custom-made suit made in the United States.

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Sam\'s Tailor 22.299237, 114.172290 Buying a Suit in Hong Kong: Sam’s Tailor

 

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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 Eats Part 1: Wan Chai

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In simplest geographic terms two separate halves create Hong Kong. Intersected by the Victoria Harbour you have Kowloon to the north and Hong Kong Island to the south. This breakdown continues past geography with Kowloon as the shopping region and Hong Kong Island is where you go when you are hungry. Except to say Hong Kong Island is only a place to eat is an oversimplification. Hong Kong Island is where you feast on scrumptious dishes made to break your palate and not your wallet.

The largest concentration of restaurants on Hong Kong Island is within the Wan Chai District. You reach the Wan Chai District by taking the Star Ferry to the Wan Chai Ferry Pier or on the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and exiting at Wan Chai Station.

Entrance to Wing Wah Noodle Shop - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Entrance to Wing Wah Noodle Shop

Wontons at Wing Wah - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Wontons at Wing Wah

 

 

Wing Wah

If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat and are craving noodles Wing Wah is the place to go. The restaurant is tiny so be prepared to share tables with the locals. Menus printed in English and Chinese contain photos of the dishes and prices. Portion sizes are not enormous but what Wing Wah lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality. Wing Wah boasts they make their noodles by hand using bamboo sticks. The truth of this statement is found in how fresh and soft the noodles taste. For over fifty years Wing Wah has been making their dishes from scratch and the customers get to reap the benefits of that cooking knowledge. The best dish to get to experience this cooking mastery is the noodle soup with shrimp wontons.

BBQ pork at Hay Hay Kitchen - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

BBQ pork at Hay Hay Kitchen

Meat hanging in Hay Hay Kitchen - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Meat hanging in Hay Hay Kitchen

 

Hay Hay Kitchen

One of the more popular meals to get while in Hong Kong is a traditional rice plate. The dish consists of your choice of meat and rice. Restaurants specializing in these dishes, such as Hay Hay Kitchen, are the ones you pass by that have roasted poultry hanging in the window. Hay Hay Kitchen’s generous portions are enough for two people to get full off of eating an order for one. The BBQ pork is sweet and succulent. Include an order of the Chinese broccoli as it tastes good and you’re being healthy by having vegetables. Hay Hay Kitchen is near the nighttime action in the Wan Chai District and they are open late to accommodate the night crowd. Any time of the day that you are in the mood for a meat and rice plate you’ll know Hay Hay Kitchen will be ready to receive you.

Sign for Joyhing - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Sign for Joyhing

Roasted duck with rice at Joyhing - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Roasted duck with rice at Joyhing

 

Joyhing

Joyhing is another restaurant in the Wan Chai District that serves roasted meat rice plates. Once seated, you tell the waiter who takes your order the meat you want. Choose between roasted duck, BBQ pork, or steamed chicken. You will receive your meat along with a scoop of rice. Keep in mind that Joyhing is not a restaurant to bring a romantic date. The restaurant is tiny, gets packed, and stays busy but service is fast and efficient. Turnover is quick and you won’t have to wait long to get seated and eat. Get cozy with the locals as space is at a premium and nibble on your roasted meat with glee. If you enjoy the sauce poured over the meat that same sauce is available at each table. Grab that bottle and drizzle the sauce over the meat and rice.

Xiao Long Bao at 3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Xiao Long Bao at 3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant

Front of 3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Front of 3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant

 

3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant

As the name implies 3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant specializes in Shanghai style cuisine. The restaurant is spacious and with many large round tables a great place for big groups. The staff is very welcoming to tourists and locals frequent the restaurant. English menus are available upon request. Regardless of what dishes you select be sure to include an order of the Xiao Long Bao. Xiao Long Bao, or steamed buns, is a specialty of Shanghai cuisine. The dough used to make the steamed buns is soft and the perfect density, not too thin and not too thick. The soup inside the steamed buns is mouth-watering delicious.

Wok fried sliced pork with flat rice noodle in black bean sauce at Harbour Kitchen - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Wok fried sliced pork with flat rice noodle in black bean sauce at Harbour Kitchen

Sauteed string beans and minced pork at Tasty HK - Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China

Sauteed string beans and minced pork at Tasty HK

 

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

If you are attending a conference at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre chances are you won’t have time to venture too far into Wan Chai for a meal. Two restaurants are nearby enough that you can stop by for a bite to eat. Harbour Kitchen is a Hong Kong style cafe that serves traditional dishes in a relaxed environment. Menus are in Chinese and English and the menu has a large variety of dishes. Select from noodle dishes, rice plates, porridges, local specialties, and desserts. Besides Harbour Kitchen, another nearby restaurant is Tasty HK. Located across the street from the Convention Centre, use the connected walkways to cross over the busy streets. Tasty HK cooks up dishes that will be familiar to those who eat at local Chinese restaurants back home. Tasty HK’s dishes will fill you up and have you back at your conference in no time.

Chana Masala at Aladin Mess - Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, China

Chana Masala at Aladin Mess

Lamb Curry at Aladin Mess - Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, China

Lamb Curry at Aladin Mess

 

Aladin Mess

Aladin Mess is the only restaurant on this list not in the Wan Chai District but still on Hong Kong Island. If you enjoy dining on Indian dishes you will find a great meal at Aladin Mess. This restaurant is to the east of Wan Chai District in Causeway Bay. Aladin Mess is not a restaurant you chance upon randomly as the restaurant is upstairs on the second floor of a building. Yet you will want to ascend to the second floor for authentic Indian cuisine. Aladin Mess is open for lunch and dinner. Menu items include traditional Indian dishes such as masala, biryani, and a variety of curries.   Add rice and naan to compliment your selections.

 

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Wan Chai Eats

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Wing Wah: 22.277679, 114.171819
Hay Hay Kitchen: 22.277933, 114.171439
Joyhing: 22.278159, 114.176655
3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant: 22.278919, 114.173077
Harbour Kitchen: 22.281015, 114.172926
Tasty HK: 22.281081, 114.175597
Aladin Mess: 22.278814, 114.183424
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Wing Wah
Hong Kong Eats Part 1: Wan Chai
Wing Wah Noodle Shop, Hong Kong
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Hay Hay Kitchen
Hong Kong Eats Part 1: Wan Chai
Lockhart Road, 86, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
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Joyhing
Hong Kong Eats Part 1: Wan Chai
再興燒臘 (Joy Hing Roasted Meat), Hong Kong
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3.6.9. Shanghai Restaurant
Hong Kong Eats Part 1: Wan Chai
3.6.9. Restaurant Shanghai Food, Hong Kong
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Harbour Kitchen
Hong Kong Eats Part 1: Wan Chai
Harbour Kitchen, Hong Kong
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Tasty HK
Hong Kong Eats Part 1: Wan Chai
Harbour Centre, Harbour Rd, 25, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
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Aladin Mess
Hong Kong Eats Part 1: Wan Chai
Russell St, 60, Hong Kong

 

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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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Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia

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English-speaking travelers will find Hong Kong an accessible gateway to future travel through out Asia. Hong Kong was once a British colony and many who live in Hong Kong today speak English. With the language barrier removed Hong Kong is a perfect city for English-speaking travelers to acclimate to life in Asia. You will find signs and menus written in both English and Chinese. First time travelers will stick to the two main sections of Hong Kong, Kowloon in the north and to the south Hong Kong Island. Victoria Harbour separates Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and to sail across Victoria Harbour you will board the Star Ferry. Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is another way to travel between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. MTR is the fastest way to reach the parts of Hong Kong you will want to visit for sights, food, and shopping. The top two sights for Hong Kong are Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak. Those who wish to shop can find stores in Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui district and on the streets around and on Hennessy Road on Hong Kong Island.

View overlooking Convention Centre, Victoria Harbour, and Kowloon - Hong Kong, China

View overlooking Convention Centre, Victoria Harbour, and Kowloon

Victoria Harbour

You will enjoy iconic views of Hong Kong while sailing across Victoria Harbour. As you sail through the harbor you’ll be able to take fantastic photos of the buildings on both the Kowloon side and the Hong Kong Island side. If you’re lucky a junk boat will pass by just as you’re snapping your photo to enhance the image. The easiest form of transportation across Victoria Harbour is on the Star Ferry. It is possible to traverse Victoria Harbour underground using the MTR but you won’t see the scenery traveling that way. The Star Ferry operates every 8-20 minutes depending on the time of day. So if you miss the ferry you know another one will be along soon. At the time of writing this article a one-way adult ticket was $2.50 Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) on weekdays and $3.40 HKD on weekends and public holidays. Converted into US currency that translates to 32 cents and 44 cents. This low fare makes the Star Ferry one of the cheapest modes of transportation in Hong Kong, and the cheapest way to get between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

Sailing over Victoria Harbour towards Hong Kong Island - Hong Kong, China

Sailing over Victoria Harbour towards Hong Kong Island

Victoria Peak

Besides Victoria Harbour the other place in Hong Kong to take postcard worthy photos is atop Victoria Peak. The journey to the top of Victoria Peak is part of the sightseeing. From the MTR Central Station you take the J2 exit, which places you in the middle of Chater Garden, a garden surrounded by striking skyscrapers. From Chater Garden you will continue ahead up Garden Road. As you walk Garden Road you will pass St. John’s Cathedral. The Anglican cathedral may appear out-of-place in the middle of the financial district yet this simple cathedral is an oasis of peace. The cathedral is open to the public during the day unless a religious service is taking place. Continue on Garden Road from St. John’s Cathedral and follow the signs to the Peak Tram Terminus.

Exterior of St. John's Cathedral - Hong Kong, China

Exterior of St. John’s Cathedral

Doorway into St. John's Cathedral - Hong Kong, China

Doorway into St. John’s Cathedral

At the Peak Tram Terminus you will buy tickets to board the Peak Tram. The best ticket to buy is the round-trip Peak Tram Sky Pass, which allows you passage on the tram and access to the Sky Terrace 428. The Sky Terrace 428, located atop the Peak Tower, offers stunning panoramic views of Hong Kong. At the time of writing this article the round-trip Peak Tram Sky Pass for adults is HKD $83 (US $10.64). The Peak Tram operates everyday from 7am to 12-midnight and departs every 10-15 minutes. Both the Peak Tower and Sky Terrace 428 are open from 10am to 11pm (Monday through Friday) and 8am to 11pm (Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays).

Peak Tower on Victoria Peak - Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, China

Peak Tower on Victoria Peak

The Peak Tram can get full of tourists so the earlier you can arrive at the Terminus the more peaceful your journey will be. As you exit the Peak Tram you will find yourself right inside the Peak Tower. From here you will go either to the top of the building or outside to the ground level of Victoria Peak. There are shops and restaurants within the Peak Tower and nearby at the Peak Galleria. Within Peak Tower you will ascend multiple escalators to reach Sky Terrace 428. Once there you will see a magnificent view of Hong Kong. Included in the view is the financial and downtown district of Hong Kong Island you walked through to get to the Terminus. You will see a multitude of office buildings, housing, and in the distance Victoria Harbour and Kowloon. Once you’ve soaked in the scenery return to the Peak Tram and retrace your steps back to the MTR.

View From Victoria Peak - Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, China

View From Victoria Peak

View From Sky Terrace 428 on top of Peak Tower on Victoria Peak - Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, China

View From Sky Terrace 428 on top of Peak Tower

Shopping

In Kowloon shopping is king. Whether you arrive by ferry or subway the moment you disembark your form of transportation you will find yourself in front of a store. Begin either at the shopping centers of iSquare and Tsim Sha Tsui Centre & Empire Centre or by walking Nathan Road with its many stores. In the evening the Temple Street Night Market comes alive in the streets on and surrounding Jordan and Yau Ma Tei.

The entirety of this shopping goodness is in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon. This is a mecca for shoppers looking to buy tailored suits or watches. If you are traveling to Hong Kong with the express intention of purchasing tailored clothing or jewelry you must do your research before your visit. Tourists are easy prey for con artists selling inferior products. Prior to your trip use the Internet to find reputable businesses to make sure the products you buy are of high quality and will last you a lifetime. As for the pushy sales people on the streets just smile and say “no thank you” as you walk by them.

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of Tsim Sha Tsui is too much to handle. For a reprieve and a chance to escape the crowds duck into Kowloon Park, located just off of Nathan Road. This large public park has trees, a garden, and a playground for children. On Sunday enjoy a free demonstration of Kung Fu or a lion dance. Decompress in this sanctuary of serenity before reentering the throng of people on Nathan Road.

Times Square shopping center in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island - Hong Kong, China

Times Square shopping center in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island

On the other side of Victoria Harbour, concentrated in the eastern part of Hennessy Road, is the shopping on Hong Kong Island. This section of shopping is accessible from the Causeway Bay MTR Station. Here you will find the Times Square shopping center and stores throughout the many streets leading off of Hennessy Road. Farther south on Hong Kong Island is the outdoor Stanley Market. Stanley Market is a tourist trap but even so it makes for a great place to find souvenirs for your loved ones.

 

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Hong Kong Sights

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Victoria Harbour: 22.287826, 114.174385
St. John\'s Cathedral: 22.278691, 114.159750
Peak Tram Lower Terminus: 22.278069, 114.159554
Victoria Peak / Victoria Tower / Sky Terrace 428: 22.275883, 114.145532
Nathan Road (Kowloon Shopping): 22.310549, 114.171156
Kowloon Park: 22.298716, 114.171936
Hennessy Road (Hong Kong Island Shopping): 22.279765, 114.182689
Stanley Market: 22.219052, 114.212853
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Victoria Harbour
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
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St. John's Cathedral
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
St. John's Cathedral, Hong Kong
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Peak Tram Lower Terminus
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus, Hong Kong
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Victoria Peak / Victoria Tower / Sky Terrace 428
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
Victoria Peak, The Peak, Hong Kong
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Nathan Road (Kowloon Shopping)
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
Nathan Road, Hong Kong
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Kowloon Park
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
Kowloon Park, Hong Kong
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Hennessy Road (Hong Kong Island Shopping)
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
Times Square, Hong Kong
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Stanley Market
Hong Kong: A Gateway To Asia
Stanley Market, Hong Kong

 

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