AsiaDestinationsReviews

Hong Kong Review

By June 15, 2018 June 20th, 2018 No Comments
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Hong Kong Review

In this post:

Why Visit Hong Kong

Since my first visit to Hong Kong three years ago, I always wanted to come back.  I have never seen a city with so much energy, amazing food, endless interesting shopping, and a perfect blend of the east and the west.  The great thing about this Asian city is that not only many people speak English but also has a fantastic culture with the East picking anywhere from food and culture of many of its Asian neighbors. Hong Kong it perfectly summarizes the New York of Asia, but on steroids.

Flight

Hong Kong is an incredible destination, but it’s not easy to get to if you come from the United States.  We had to catch a flight from Dallas and to arrive in Hong Kong it was another 14 hours and 45 minutes. Now once you get there, it’s all worth it.  However, it is not easy. So make sure you have plenty of rest, wifi, great movies and things to do on a plane because it is a long ride.

Airport Distance

Hong Kong international is next to Lantau island and around 45 minutes away from Hong Kong island. Most people stay on Hong Kong island, that’s where most of the happening is located, Lan Kwai Fong and other shopping areas.

How to Get Around

Keep in mind that taxi in Hong Kong is not the most friendly peeps in the world.  It is a much more delightful experience to grab Ubers. Taxi cabs are old school and very limited English.  One of the few negative points about this city. So when possible, go Uber.

Our Tour Guide Vincent was outstanding!

Safety

Hong Kong is as safe as it can be.  You can walk at night time with no issues in most parts of the city.  Other areas such as Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei appears to be not as safe at night.

Subways are clean, organized and easy to use

Weather

It is dry and cool from early November to late March.  You are probably not going to have had temperatures lower than 8 degrees Celsius.  It rains almost every day. The highest temperature is around 35 Celsius in most months of the year.  So not too warm or cold.

Language

Most population do speak Cantonese, Mandarin (Chinese) is the second choice, followed by English.  Lots of folks do speak English on the island (except taxicabs), and there are plenty of foreigners that live and visit the city.

Copy that


Currency

In most places, Hong Kong dollars is the only accepted currency.  You may also want to get an Octopus card that can be bought at the airport and subway stations, they are accepted in 90% of the shops.

Not a bad view from our hotel

Hotel & Where I Stayed

We stayed at Lan Kwai Fong Hotel only a few minutes away from the famous Lan Kwai Fong area.  This is the busiest area of the city, with endless choices of food, shopping, and nightlife. You want to stay as close as you can to this area.  The hotel was good with very excellent customer service. I always ask for high floors, which gave me an awesome view of the city.

View from the ferry from Hong Kong island to Harbour City


Local Tours (Boats and others)

We booked our guide to the Viator website (tourguides.viator.com).  The guide who showed up was excellent, but a different one from the site.  Also, the price was changed too. First time I had that kind of experience on the site, after booking over 20 tours.  I decided not to argue and continue with the two days booked tour. Life is short, so need to cry over small stuff. 🙂

Trip Highlights (Sightseeing musts)

Lan Kwai Fong area.
Harbour City.
Mong Kok (fantastic shopping area).
Kowloon Park (Flamingos, Hong Kong cultural center, beautiful view of Harbor).
Ozone bar at the ICC Tower at the Ritz Carlton.  At the 118th floor, this is the highest bar in the world.
Victoria Peak (best view of the city).
Temple street.

Star Ferry pier to Harbour City.
Ce la Vi rooftop, restaurant, and lounge.

Day 1 (Lan Kwai Fong area)
– 45 min ride from Airport to Central Hong Kong.
– Uber your way, taxis speak zero to minimum English and very unfriendly.
– Lan Kwai Fong is an amazing area for bars, restaurants, and shopping by Queen’s road central. Soho is another great area for restaurants.


Day 2 (The 1st tour day)
– Breakfast at the Cupping Room (amazing place).
– Vincent tour guide from Viator.
– Rickshaw sightseeing bus $33HK or $4 US Dollars.
– The Harbour City (canton rd, lots of shopping, food republic next to H&M. You can reach by ferry or bus).
– The Peninsula Arcade Hotel (stunning hotel).
– The Hong Kong cultural center, beautiful view of Harbor.
– Kowloon Park (flamingos).
– A Nice Gift (local favorite bubble teas).
– Fulum palace (Very traditional Hong Kong buffet dim sum snacks place).
– Ozone bar at the Ritz Carlton, highest in the world (floor 118, amazing view of the whole city). Sky 100 is just an observatory, no drinks or food. Order the Ritz Carlton signature smoky drink.
– Lan Kwai Fong: Start at D’aguilar street.
– Stormies bar Lan Kwai Fong: syringe shots + old school songs (lan kwai fong). Thumbs Up!
– Insomnia: Great bar with amazing live music in Lan Kwai Fong.


DAY 3 (Last tour day)
– Queen’s road central next to Lan Kwai Fong (great shopping).
– Drone tryouts. One should not fly drones where there’s a lot of signal interference and wind.
– Ferry to Harbour city. Only around 3 Hong Kong dollars (9 minutes ride to Harbour city).
– IFC mall. Incredible mall, you will find everything here.
– Temple street.
– Mong Kong (Crazy big shopping area, shopping lovers will die here).
– Goldfish Street (Tung Choi street where you can find many local pets for sale. Dogs, cats, turtles, fish, and lizards showcased.

You can buy Goldfish and many other animals

The best place to take a photo

Hong Kong Harbour, Victoria Peak, and Ozone Bar (highest in the world)

Victoria Peek View

Food & Restaurants

Make sure to try every food in Hong Kong.  This city has so many options it will blow your mind.  Lan Kwai Fong area has many restaurant options.
My Top Tips:
Breakfast:  The cupping room
Bubble Teas:  Everywhere, try one a day and pick your best one.  Look for where the locals are ordering.
Grill Thai BBQ Skewers by Lan Kwai Fong (check out my Vlog on that)
Ozone bar and restaurant (best view of the city at night)
Amazing Dessert Store: Cha-no-wa.  Look for the matcha cookies and chocolates.


Vincent Tour guides food tips:
Best hotpot restaurant is Haidilao near Yau Ma Tei subway station
Bubble Teas: A beautiful gift
Fulum Palace for really traditional Hong Kong buffet dim sum place

Nightlife

    Hong Kong is probably the best live music city I have ever been to, and most of the action is again in Lan Kwai Fong area.  There are several excellent bars around that area. You can also buy your drink of choice and walk the streets.
    For fancy drinking, check out Ozone bar, the highest in the world at the Ritz Carlton building.  Also, Ce La vi rooftop is a great choice in Lan Kwai Fong. Another option is Cafe grey bar at the Upper House Hotel.

Lan Kwai Fong Action


Shopping

    Mong Kok area is a bargain shopper paradise!  You can even buy goldfish and animals there. There are so many shopping stores you will lose your mind.  Just make sure to watch your pockets because the area is really busy.

For regular shopping, Lan Kwai Fong has many stores, local or international.  Main shopping is at Queen’s road central.

Mong Kok area is incredible for shopping


Casinos

No Casino visit to report here, many of folks that want to gamble grab a ferry and head to Macau.  Macau is just 1 hour away by ferry. There are some places next to Hong Kong island that allows gambling, but not in Hong Kong island.

Spas

We did not have enough time to visit spas there, relaxing is never on my schedule when I visit Hong Kong.

Overall Impression

Hong Kong is a thrilling of a city as one can find.  Not only is international, but it has an amazing character from so many other Asian countries such as the food and culture.  If you enjoy 24 hours cities, book your flight with ease. You will not regret this fantastic city. Be jetting and buy experiences!

Author:  Marcello Sobrinho from www.youliketotravel.com

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