Where: Hong Kong
Who: Mr & Mrs Wanderlust
When: Sept 2018
What: Long Weekend escape for Mr & Mrs. Read more to check out what we did.
How To Get There:
Many flights from major airports and airlines in and out of HKIX.
From HK Airport, it is easy to go to your accommodation, you can either:
1. Ride Airport Express train to Kowloon, then connect to the nearest MTR station of your destination. It costs $100HKD per person and per way and takes around 25 minutes.
2. Taxis are available outside the airport and they are color coded by areas so let them know where you need to go so they can help you catch a cab. Rates are around $300HKD (including toll fees and extra luggage fees) from Airport to our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui area for about 30 minutes.
3. Buses are also available around the airport, though you have to do more research about their routes if you choose to use this mode of transport. Most likely they are the cheapest of the choices, but might take a little longer than both.
- If you are staying 3 or more days, it would be better if you purchase Octopus Card (prepaid stored value cards) rather than using single journey tickets.
- If traveling with a group, approach the Airport Express services, which provide discounts up to 40% for those who travel in a group or family (up to 4 persons).
Where To Stay:
There are plenty of accommodation choices in Hong Kong, it depends on what your itinerary is and what you will be doing for your stay. We see to it that we book a different hotel every time we are in HK, in that way we are able to discover more, and experience varying levels of accommodation.
This trip, we were just looking for a simple accommodation with modern amenities, not too expensive yet has good value for your money..I mean, after all, you won't be staying in your beautiful expensive hotel room all day because you'd be out exploring, so might as well cut down on luxury choices (but totally fine if you have money to burn).
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Review
+ Location is excellent, near MTR station, convenience stores, and malls.
+ Staff are all helpful and was able to assist us with all our needs.
+ Lobby was small, but they have a bigger function room open for guests at its 1st floor
+ Medium compact size (26m²) room, clean and comfortable and modern design.
+ Bathroom was clean, no leaks, with hot water and has most amenities you may need.
+ Has a complimentary "Handy Phone" that can be used for calls & 4G internet while outside.
+ Restaurant/Wine bar on site, though we werent able to try aside from breakfast
+ Free WiFi, even in rooms, good signal and reliable speed.
- Free breakfast, choices were few, (bacon, hashbrown congee, breads, cereal) but still good.
Price: $$ 4-7,000PHP per night for 2 pax
Service: 4.8 star - Service & staff were very helpful and nice.
Facilities & Amenities: 4.5 star - modern designed rooms, complete in room amenities, but still lacking in some aspects.
Restaurant (foods): 4 star -Free breakfast, but very limited choices but still good
Bar: 4 - There is a bar in the hotel, more on serving wine, looks good and cozy but only few people.
Overall: 4.33 /5
What To Do:
You can never run out of things to do, see, and experience in Hong Kong, just do some research and see which activities and places interest you. But most of all, the shopping scene in Hong Kong is big as it is considered to be Asia's fashion capital, still it has its own charm when it comes to its culture which mixes perfectly with its modern cosmopolitan city.
1. Enjoy The Food
It is good to be a foodie in Hong Kong, so many good food and world class restaurants just waiting for you to be discovered and appreciated by your taste buds.
2. Ride the Crystal Gondola
Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Intended to improve tourism to the area, the aerial lift was previously known as Tung Chung Cable Car Project before acquiring the Ngong Ping 360 brand in 2005.
This is the easiest and best way to travel to Lantau Island with the nicest view of the islands as your cable car reaches top of the mountain going on to the other side.
The cable car ride is an attraction in itself as you can see the view of the city and nearby islands from where you are seated.
It is really accessible as you just need to ride MTR and get to the red line going to Tung Chung station. From the station, just a few meters of walk to the Ngong Ping station.
Protip: It gets crowded on weekends and holidays so try to be avoid booking on these days, but if you can't avoid, just get early 9AM on weekends -10AM on weekdays. Aside from getting discounts from the prices of the ride, queuing would be a breeze if you book early via apps like klook, kkday, etc. , or online thru their website. so you can skip the long lines for the tickets and go directly to the queue for the ride.
3. See Big Buddha
Known as Tian Tan Buddha, tucked in what looks like remote place in HongKong, hidden behind mountains and long nature trails full of lush flora, first thing you would think is that it must be hard to get there. But knowing HongKong, they always find an efficient way to go from one place to another with their awesome transport system, you can actually travel from your hotel in Kowloon to the Big Buddha monument in just about an hour.
There are a couple of ways to get to the Big Buddha, from Tung Chung station of MTR;
1) Ngong Ping 360 cable car (if operating) to Ngong Ping.
2) Ride Lantao Bus 23 to Ngong Ping
3) Take blue taxi to Ngong Ping
4. Explore the dense local residential buildings
Rising high in the city, you cannot miss seeing these residential buildings densely packed together. The "Monster Building" nicknamed by locals isn't actually just one building, but a complex consist of 5 buildings - Oceanic Mansion, Fook Cheong Building, Montane Mansion, Yick Cheong Building, and Yick Fat Building which were built in the population boom of the 60's to offer government subsidized housing for residents that are on the lower bracket of income.
You can get there by going to Quarry Bay station of MTR, then walk a couple of blocks to get to the complex, the entrance is near a convenience store, and that photographers and tourists alike are warned (and signs you would see around forbidding pictures) and not to disturb the local residents.
Protip: Just stand on the concrete in the middle of the ground floor for best view included
5. Have a date with booze at Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong is Hong Kong's most popular nightlife hot spot and is where almost around a 100 restaurants and bars are located. Different ambiance for each bar, from wine pairings, to cocktails, overflowing draft beer and jellyshots. Diverse groups, locals, and tourists alike will never run out of choices. The official street sign is actually very popular as it is one of the most photographed places much more than the celebrities that frequent the clubs. But mostly though, crowds are locals from around Central area just trying to get away from work and unwind with friends.
Getting there is easy, as it is near Central MTR station, exit D2 and walk along theater lane and d'aguilar street.
6. Get Lost Around Central
Central is the business district of Hong Kong and has lots of towering skyscrapers and malls, and many retail shops. It also has lots of bars, restaurants and places to visit and enjoy.
Also not to miss in central are the hidden streets with arts, other galleries, and curiousities which reflects the local culture mixing with modern arts.
7. Get lost in the hustleand bustle of Mongkok
Mongkok needs no introduction as it is one of the busiest places in HK, buzzing labyrinth of tight streets that is known for its shopping scene. Filled with malls, restaurants, retail shops, clothes souvenirs and other novelty items. Also famous among sneaker heads is whats known as Sneaker Ave. that is filled with almost all sports brand you know, with the most famous sports brands in huge 3 storey shops, you would definitely see many limited items. And of course, for the streetwear enthusiasts, there are lots of legitimate hard to find items such as limited edition sneakers, branded clothes and items that are on display at a significantly lower price compared to other re-sellers on the market.
Ladies market nearby is also a great shopping scene as you would find cheap (but be careful because some brands are not legit) but the best place to find souvenirs from shirts, toys, and many other items, you would surely be able to find something to bring home to your friends.
8. Get inked at HK's Local Tattoo Legend: Jimmy Ho
Jimmy Ho learned his trade from his father, James Ho who was the first tattoo artist in Hong Kong. His father ran a tattoo shop in 1946 and has been doing tattoos since he was around 14 years old to fill in the demands of American soldiers getting tattooed (it was times of war). Then Jimmy had his own shop in 1958. It was Korean war those years, when Jimmy and his 3 apprentices would tattoo as many as 30-50 soldiers a day where they start at 11am and end at 4am.
Jimmy was largely influenced by his fathers style yet he has still his own unique style. Traditional Chinese, Oriental, with American style, and his specialty are dragons. He was also known to be confident enough to do tattoos without the aid of stencils.
In his 40 year long career of tattooing, he has inspired and taught many aspiring international tattoo artists as well as now well known tattoo artists of HK as his apprentices. Jimmy was also in demand to do body painting for supposed to be tattoos of gangster actors in films. But now in his sixties, he only does tattoos when he is in the mood, and most of the time has the help of his apprentice, Justin Ng, yet Jimmy still there to guide just like a master that he is.
Right in the middle of Mongkok, it might be hard to find Jimmy Ho's Tattoo shop as it is on an upperfloor of a building that you wouldnt easily see unless you do research. Inside the shop which also looks like where Jimmy currently resides, you would see all his tattoo flash / posted on the wall.
rates as of Sept 2018)
* $100 USD = 750 HKD
* 5,000 PHP = 725 HKD
Accommodation - High End - 2,000 +++ HKD
Accommodation - Mid - 940 HKD
Accommodation - Budget - 390 HKD
Transport - Taxi from Airport to TST - 300 HKD, but around the same area about 100HKD
Transport - MTR - 10 - 30 HKD depending on location
Food - Snacks -10 - 30HKD
Food - Restaurant (set meal for 2) - 200 - 300HKD but can reach 1000HKD for upscale restos.
Food - Fastfood Meal - 50 - 70 HKD
Drinks - Beer 10-15 HKD at convenience stores, 100+ HKD at bars in Lan Kwai Fong
Drinks - Bottled Water -10 HKD
Souvenir - T-Shirt -50 - 100 HKD
Souvenir - Magnets / Keychain = 20 - 30HKD
Souvenir - Premium items, Chocolates etc, - 50 - 100 HKD
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