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Entries about hong kong island

The Final Gong for Hong Kong

sunny 30 °C
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Hong Kong - Asia's world city

Our final word on Hong Kong

The Good

Hong Kong is a fantastic place for tourists. It is a great gateway to Asia, a stepping stone to helping tourists become comfortable with the sights, sounds and smells of Asia, just don't expect the rest of Asia to be as accommodating!

  • The people are incredibly friendly and helpful, going out of their way to ask you if you need help.
  • Most people know some English and are happy to use it.
  • The streets are immaculately clean
  • Public transport = amazing!
  • Food choices are diverse and you can try anything from authentic Szechuan cuisine to award winning Italian
  • Affordable prices (apart from accommodation)

And my favourite thing about the city that makes it a tourist paradise, the signage. On most street corners there are tourist signposts pointing out tourist attractions in bright pink, and practical things like the MTR and Public toilets in blue (a life saver after spicy food!!!). Its almost impossible to get lost.. not sure where you are? Look for the glimpse of pink in the distance and you'll be delivered safely to the MTR - which is full of maps and will whip you quickly and safely home.

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The Not So Good

  • "Copy watch, Copy bag, Tailor for suit" - The non-stop harassment in the tourist areas by touts becomes infuriating after one day, and they just don't give up!
  • The air pollution - I just don't think you can get a smog free shot from the Peak at any time any more - it's a shame!
  • Shopping centres!!! Maybe because we're non-shoppers we just don't understand... but do you REALLY need 4 high-rise shopping centres in a city block? Do you need 2 Channel, Dior and Cartier stores one street over from each other? Do you?! We think not, but each to their own and the crowds seem to love it!
  • The nightly light show - really quite lame!!!

Top tips for Hong Kong

  1. Always carry a umbrella in Monsoon season - in fact any time of year...
  2. Use the MTR!
  3. Carry a cardigan - the restaurants and museum pump out the AC!
  4. Try a restaurant with no English on the menu - at least you know its authentic and the excitement waiting to see if you're getting what you think you ordered is almost as fun as the eating!
  5. Use the free Wifi in the parks
  6. Buying your pre-drinks at 7-11 saves your budget
  7. Stay in Central/Causeway bay if you want night life and in Tsim Sha Tsui if you want shopping.

Mei Lam Guest House

Housed in the less notorious Mirador Mansion (in comparison to Chungking Mansion) in Tsim Sha Tsui (right next to MTR), Mei Lam GH is an affordable, comfortable option. The rooms are incredibly tiny (request one with a window if you can or you'll get claustrophobic!) but they are clean, AC is great, TV, bar fridge and super fast Wifi make up for the size. They are also surprisingly quiet (unless you have noisy neighbours in the room next door). The worst things are that the lifts are always busy so you will need to line up or take the stairs, and every time you leave you step right into a nest of annoying touts. Overall, in a city where accommodation is pricey this is a cheap option for the budget conscious. We like!

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Posted by travellinglise 07:41 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged hong_kong_island mtr mei_lam_guesthouse Comments (0)

Living the island life - Hong Kong Island that is!

overcast 22 °C
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Hong Kong island has a population density of 16,390 per square km, Melbourne has a population density of 1,567 per square km... that's 16 times the number of people living on this small island. No wonder every second building is a high rise!!

Foodie moment

Last night we headed over to Hong Kong Island for the first time to grab a bite not really knowing what to expect. Just a short walk from Central Station we found ourselves in bar and restaurant paradise, Lan Kwai Fong. With so many options we were hard pressed to make a choice, but we were extremely happy with the quality of food we experienced at the Moi Thai / Vietnamese restaurant we found. Sorry Victoria Street, but these guys give you a running for your money!

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After a lazy sleep in we were starving, so we decided to head back to Food Republic at Silvercord Mall for some more awesome value for money food. This time we had Szechwan Cuisine self serve. Not knowing what half of the things on offer were, we picked ingredients on look alone. The result was a really delicious (if not extremely spicy) soup. Yum!

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We had read somewhere that if you're in Hong Kong, you have to try the egg tarts. Not knowing exactly what they were, we stumbled across them on display at a local market on the way to our tram ride. We gave them a go, and they were pretty good, as the name suggests, egg flavoured tart with lovely crumbly pastry.

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Now feeling the effects of the extremely spicy breakfast soup, we were after something a little more stable for dinner. We walked around behind our hotel and found the Gourmet Tower. An entire mall dedicated to food! Don't know how we missed this one. In the lower basement level at a forgetably named Chinese restaurant, we had steamed dumplings. Something we hadn't had before was the steamed pork and sticky rice dumplings

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Cultural moment

Everywhere you look in Hong Kong, you can still see the traditional ways in use. A good example of this is the bamboo scaffolding they use for construction. The seemingly flimsy platforms that look like they can blow over in a small breeze are a stark contrast against the modern buildings they are propped up against. Old ways are often still the best...

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Wow moment

So today we decided it was about time we checked out the most urbanised area of Hong Kong, the cleverly named Hong Kong Island! We had heard the best and cheapest way to see a good amount of the island was via tram ride. The trams over here are double decker skinny things that look like something out of a Harry Potter movie. When I say these are cheap, I mean it, $2.30 HK (30 cents AU) for one journey anywhere. We started east of the city and spent the next hour and a half cruising through to the west.

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What we learnt today

Not unlike an iceberg, it seems that as many buildings and people that there are above ground in Hong Kong- there are just as many below. All shopping centres have at least one basement level which houses shops and food courts. The MTR (train system) has massive sprawling underground stations that double as subways for pedestrians to cross busy roads. Our station (Tsim sha tsui) has 16 different exits bringing you out onto any street corner you wish to visit in the area.

Posted by travellinglise 19:19 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged hong_kong_island tram lan_kwai_fong double_decker moi_vietnamese/thai_restaurant egg_tart Comments (0)

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