5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

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wrxsti
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5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by wrxsti » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:03 pm

I will be traveling to Hong Kong (with the family) for about 5 days. Any suggestions on what to see/do and where to stay? Is it easy find vegetarian food there? Is it advisable to use US credit card for purchases or use cash? Appreciate if you can share any information.

Thanks!

barnaclebob
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:14 pm

Go watch the horse races in the city at night. It's cheap for tourists and fun to watch even if you don't bet.

Oblivious
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by Oblivious » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:35 pm

You'll need cash, a lot of restaurants including Michelin star restaurants are cash only. Victoria Peak is worth it. There's a lot of great food spots that aren't that pricey.

travelspot
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by travelspot » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:48 pm

Be sure to take the ferry tour of the Harbour. Doesn’t take very long, includes some snacks and you get great views from the water.

Also as posted previously, Victoria’s Peak is worth the trip (we just took a cab).

Not sure how touristy you are, the Big Buddha is quite a sight but is fairly new (touristy, lots of shops and stuff). Probably the best part of Big Buddha is taking a cable car to get there - more great views.

Yes I think you will need cash for restaurants. I was able to use credit card but it seemed most use cash. Bring a lot. Very expensive city!

Enjoy, it’s a great, vibrant city.
If you don't do stuff, then you don't do stuff.

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MossySF
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by MossySF » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:51 pm

If you don't have a no-free international ATM card, the best place for USD money exchange is Chung King Mansion -- right outside Tsim Sha Shui metro station.

dumb_luck
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by dumb_luck » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:02 am

If you visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, you can get vegetarian food at the Po Lin Monastery: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/see- ... astery.jsp

I would also recommend Victoria's Peak. The views are nice, both day and night. If you don't want to take the tram up, there's a public bus that's much cheaper.

You can take a day trip to Macau. It's about an hour's ride on a high-speed ferry.

When are you planning to go? Chinese New Year is Feb 5 and the festivities last for 2 weeks.

stufunds
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by stufunds » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:29 am

wrxsti wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:03 pm
Any suggestions on what to see/do and where to stay?
I recently visited Hong Kong in the springtime. I was a first-timer, but I was with a longtime friend (also American) who’d been there “at least a hundred times.”

I found the following to be at least “not bad”:

Courtyard Hong Kong
https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... hong-kong/

Luk Yu Tea House (partly for the atmosphere . . .)
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... _Kong.html

The Globe (only had the beer)
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... _Kong.html

Jennifer’s Kitchen
https://www.facebook.com/pages/category ... 480988528/

The Peak
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/see- ... e-peak.jsp

Peak Tower (& Sky Terrace 428)
https://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/the-peak- ... r-overview

HSBC Main Building
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/see- ... ilding.jsp

The Phoenix Restaurant & Bar
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... _Kong.html

Under Bridge Spicy Crab
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... _Kong.html

The Big Buddha
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/see- ... astery.jsp

Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... _Kong.html

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
https://www.np360.com.hk/en/

The Lobby Hong Kong Afternoon Tea
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRev ... _Kong.html

Eye Bar (for A Symphony of Lights)
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... _Kong.html

Hutong’s Feng Wei Brunch
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRev ... _Kong.html

Affordable Art Fair (5/17/2019 – 5/19/2019)
https://affordableartfair.com/fairs/hong-kong

Yip Man Martial Art Association (near Chunking Mansions) (my friend wants to take lessons someday)
http://samlau-wingchun.com/

Cheung Chau Bun Festival (vegetarian) (5/9/2019 – 5/13/2019)
http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/see- ... stival.jsp

Uncle Padak
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_ ... _Kong.html


wrxsti wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:03 pm
Is it easy find vegetarian food there?
See Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant and Cheung Chau Bun Festival above.

Also . . .

“McDonald’s joins meat ban at Cheung Chau Bun Festival”
http://www.ejinsight.com/20170418-mcdon ... -festival/

I walked past the McDonald’s several times but missed out on the veggie burgers.


wrxsti wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:03 pm
Is it advisable to use US credit card for purchases or use cash?
For what it’s worth, HSBC ATMs are everywhere.
Save Early, Save Often

Topic Author
wrxsti
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by wrxsti » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:21 am

Thanks for all the responses. They are very helpful.
dumb_luck wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:02 am
When are you planning to go? Chinese New Year is Feb 5 and the festivities last for 2 weeks.
We are going in the last week of March.

caffeperfavore
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by caffeperfavore » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:33 am

I took the tram up Victoria's Peak at night and was rewarded with some great views of the city. Imagine the city lights reflecting off the water with whispy clouds sneaking in between. I'm no poet, so I can't really convey it that well, but it made for a nice picture. I think the family will enjoy the tram/cog train much more than the bus. I also enjoyed the night markets in Kowloon. The Star Ferry is the cheapest "attraction" in town and gives you some nice views of the city. You can use it to shuttle back and forth between the island and Kowloon on the mainland.

There's a lot of interesting shopping on and around Hollywood Road if you're into antiques, ceramics, or just odd things. I'm not sure how old your family members are, but a silly thing to do nearby is to ride the world's longest set of escalators up the hill.

I didn't explore some of the nearby islands, but I wish that I had. Macao is a day trip and might be worth a look.

Shallowpockets
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:39 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:14 pm
Go watch the horse races in the city at night. It's cheap for tourists and fun to watch even if you don't bet.
I second this. It is great. It is right in the middle of everything. Lights, action. You can stand real close to the track. Beers are cheap. I would go back to these races. Was a highlight.
Hong Kong has a great metro underground system. But be aware that sometimes you may walk a long ways underground. But there are shops and restaurants in there.

sergio
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by sergio » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:58 am

I was there a while back and stayed at the Holiday Inn East Kowloon (actually in Tseung Kwan O) since we got an absolute bargain price on our stay. It looks far from the action, but the MTR station is inside a (very nice) mall that the hotel is built on top of - super convenient. The hotel itself was pretty nice as well and had a great ocean view and nice breakfast buffet as well. My wife is Chinese and raved about the Chinese style food they served at the buffet. Most places of interest are a 20 minute MTR ride away. Unlike the disgusting and embarrassing subways in the US, the MTR is a pleasure to ride except during some peak rush hour times. Even then, it's not bad, just really crowded.

I'm not going to repeat the "must see" attractions since those are pretty well known.

We spent a ton of time just going out without a concrete plan and wandering around the random markets, bars, malls, hole in the wall restaurants, universities, jewelry stores etc. Every time we went out there was some cool hidden gem that we'd run across. Before we knew it, it started to get dark outside. Of course we all saw the usual touristy things (The Peak, Victoria Harbor, Disney, etc.)

And despite eating a ton, I don't think I ever lost as much weight in a single week as I did when I was in HK.

dumb_luck
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by dumb_luck » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:15 pm

wrxsti wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:21 am
Thanks for all the responses. They are very helpful.
dumb_luck wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:02 am
When are you planning to go? Chinese New Year is Feb 5 and the festivities last for 2 weeks.
We are going in the last week of March.
If it fits with your itinerary, I'd recommend checking out the HK Flower Show in Victoria Park: https://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/hkfs/2019/index.html

There are activities for all ages and a lot of displays made entirely out of flowers -- kind of like the Rose Parade floats in Pasadena.

hmw
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by hmw » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:26 pm

We have been to HK a few times but we only stayed 2-3 days each time. 5 days in HK sounds a little too long to me. There isn’t that much to do if you are not big into shopping or eating Chinese food.

Maybe consider a day trip to Macau or Southern China?

SoAnyway
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by SoAnyway » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:08 pm

sergio wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:58 am
I'm not going to repeat the "must see" attractions since those are pretty well known.

We spent a ton of time just going out without a concrete plan and wandering around the random markets, bars, malls, hole in the wall restaurants, universities, jewelry stores etc. Every time we went out there was some cool hidden gem that we'd run across. Before we knew it, it started to get dark outside. Of course we all saw the usual touristy things (The Peak, Victoria Harbor, Disney, etc.)
Ayup. This is exactly how to do HK. I disagree with the earlier poster who said there's not much to do outside of shopping and eating. I could spend a month or more there easily keeping myself fascinated, even beyond the awesome food.... (I hate shopping.)

OP, have a blast - I'm jealous. Don't leave without making sure the whole family tries dim sum/dumplings somewhere (the soup dumplings are amazing and I'm sure you can find vegetarian options), a HK-style egg tart, and a foot massage. All three can be had on a VERY BH-friendly budget.

If you're staying in a hotel, the concierge/front desk can direct you. FYI, whenever I'm there, after a day of walking all over the place I get an AMAZING foot massage every night from a masseuse who comes to my hotel room for ~10-15 bucks including tip.....
Nothing in this post constitutes legal or medical advice. | Consult your attorney or physician to verify if/how anything stated might or might not be applicable to your specific situation.

Stick5vw
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by Stick5vw » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:24 am

Go to the peak - amazing views of the spectacular HK skyline. True boglehead style, take the bus up/down (costs about $2 USD) instead of waiting on line (sometimes for hours - esp if there are Chinese tour groups in front of you!) for an overpriced tram ride up the mountain. Or, just take a taxi which is also faster & cheaper than the tram. Once there, walk around to the side of the mountain for photos - don't pay to go to the top of the tourist center where you can get the same photos.

If you have the time, get a suit or two made. Search online for the best places, which I believe are in Kowloon. Ignore the touts on the street offering to bring you to a tailor and/or sell you a (fake) rolex.

Star Ferry over to TST - esp to watch the Symphony of Lights at 8pm every night

Mid Level escalator - good way to cruise through the center of town. Lots of nice bars/restaurants all around

Big Buddha is okay - but the cable car rides to/from have amazing views

Kowloon Walled City Park

Eat at Din Tai Fung in Causeway Bay

For a splurge, have a drink on the rooftop bar of Sevva

Macau is indeed a good day trip. Go to the Old City Centre

If you're into hiking, check out the "Dragon's Back" hike on the south side of HK island.

Most places should take credit card. Visa/Mastercard accepted everywhere, AMEX less so. However - taxis only take cash!

sergio
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by sergio » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:22 am

SoAnyway wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:08 pm
sergio wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:58 am
I'm not going to repeat the "must see" attractions since those are pretty well known.

We spent a ton of time just going out without a concrete plan and wandering around the random markets, bars, malls, hole in the wall restaurants, universities, jewelry stores etc. Every time we went out there was some cool hidden gem that we'd run across. Before we knew it, it started to get dark outside. Of course we all saw the usual touristy things (The Peak, Victoria Harbor, Disney, etc.)
Ayup. This is exactly how to do HK. I disagree with the earlier poster who said there's not much to do outside of shopping and eating. I could spend a month or more there easily keeping myself fascinated, even beyond the awesome food.... (I hate shopping.)
And if you (or your wife) loves shopping, you'll probably be able to keep yourself fascinated for a long time. Just going to all the markets, malls, stores etc. could keep you occupied for a few months.

Topic Author
wrxsti
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by wrxsti » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:31 pm

Thanks for all the feedback. I know US citizens don't need a visa for Hong Kong if the visit is less than 90 days. Do I need any other documentation other than my US passport and a printed copy of my return ticket?

interestediniras
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by interestediniras » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:43 am

I like to get off at random MTR stops and wander. IMO a great way to travel in general around Asian metropolises.

harrychan
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by harrychan » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:08 pm

wrxsti wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:31 pm
Thanks for all the feedback. I know US citizens don't need a visa for Hong Kong if the visit is less than 90 days. Do I need any other documentation other than my US passport and a printed copy of my return ticket?
No but I keep a copy of my passport, credit cards in my dropbox (note NOT google drive) so I can access it and print it as I need it. My google drive has two form authentication so if I lose access to my google drive if I lose my phone, I have other means to access it.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Caduceus
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by Caduceus » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:07 am

I found Hong Kong a little boring in the day but superb at night. I loved the random markets and the bustle in general. There's lots of interesting knick-knacks (don't bother buying anything, especially not the jade). Also, it sometimes seems like all of Hong Kong is still up near midnight eating somewhere.

Their desserts are to die for, and plenty of vegetarian options for you, happily. All made of peanuts, walnuts, almonds, egg (not sure if you can eat egg) - I would sit at places for two hours eating bowl after bowl with a Kindle in hand. And so inexpensive too.

Don't bother eating or waiting for hours at the Michelin restaurants. Eat like the locals do - the street food is amazing. I regretted paying so much money to eat at fancy restaurants. My friends in Hong Kong always laugh when I ask them about this Michelin restaurant or that - they will recommend different local places that actually have good food.

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wrxsti
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by wrxsti » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:52 pm

harrychan wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:08 pm
wrxsti wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:31 pm
Thanks for all the feedback. I know US citizens don't need a visa for Hong Kong if the visit is less than 90 days. Do I need any other documentation other than my US passport and a printed copy of my return ticket?
No but I keep a copy of my passport, credit cards in my dropbox (note NOT google drive) so I can access it and print it as I need it. My google drive has two form authentication so if I lose access to my google drive if I lose my phone, I have other means to access it.
Thanks for the tip. I have a similar setup.

Topic Author
wrxsti
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by wrxsti » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:53 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:07 am
I found Hong Kong a little boring in the day but superb at night. I loved the random markets and the bustle in general. There's lots of interesting knick-knacks (don't bother buying anything, especially not the jade). Also, it sometimes seems like all of Hong Kong is still up near midnight eating somewhere.

Their desserts are to die for, and plenty of vegetarian options for you, happily. All made of peanuts, walnuts, almonds, egg (not sure if you can eat egg) - I would sit at places for two hours eating bowl after bowl with a Kindle in hand. And so inexpensive too.

Don't bother eating or waiting for hours at the Michelin restaurants. Eat like the locals do - the street food is amazing. I regretted paying so much money to eat at fancy restaurants. My friends in Hong Kong always laugh when I ask them about this Michelin restaurant or that - they will recommend different local places that actually have good food.
Thanks for the heads up.

rooms222
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by rooms222 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:59 pm

In Macau, we hired a guide hanging around the ferry station. He used to work for one of the tour companies. For about 75 dollars total, he took six of us on a day trip. He paid all bus fares and also knew which free buses to take to get around. We went to the old city, the unfinished cathedral, and all of the major casinos to look at the gaudiness. He got us in to get a free picture at the Eiffel Tower. We rode the gondola into the Wynn. He knew where adults could go on the gaming floor to get a free water bottle, and where to take good photos. Most importantly, he knew how to go from point to point hit all the major aspects of the casinos worth seeing without wasting time, and energy. It was well worth it. We did not pay until back at the ferry station.

likashing
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Re: 5 days in Hong Kong - Seeking travel tips

Post by likashing » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:56 pm

Most restaurants take credit cards - Visa or Master. Amex is hit or miss and don't bother with Discover.

Local eateries and street food is 100% cash.

ATMs are everywhere (literally every 100 steps) including HSBC, Hang Seng, Bank of China, Citi, etc etc. You can use any one of them. If you really can't find one on the street, just enter any MTR station and there are always a couple inside the station. None of them charge a fee and everyone has good exchange rates. Just make sure you have an international no-fee ATM card so you don't get a fee from your bank. The local bank never charges you any fees.

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