A May 2000 trip
to Hong Kong by Harry Potter
Quote: We only had 2 days during a stopover to Thailand to explore this exciting city often compared to having the same pace as New York, so in a NY minute or a Hong Kong instant, we hit several great spots on Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
If you're unfortunate enough to lose your passport in Hong Kong, don't panic as Hong Kong is one of the most efficient places to have your passport replaced from the U.S. Consulate. We found this out when my friend lost hers and she had it replaced in a few hours.
This city takes littering seriously. The streets are kept clean because of the fines imposed for littering. Think twice before you drop something on the street and find a garbage can instead - they are plentiful.
Several options abound for public transportation including the double decker bus, the tram that runs on tracks along side the buses and somewhat resembles them too, and the subway, plus taxis are abundant
Beware that the world's longest escalator only goes up, leaving you on your own to find your way back down the hills. Since I didn't opt to follow the stairs back down alongside the escalator it took me quite a long time to finally arrive back down to the Star Ferry station.
Hotel | "Salisbury YMCA"
The hotel location was very convenient to reaching the Star Ferry and shopping on Nathan Street. We had a great view of the river from our window eventhough we weren't paying extra for a Harbour View room. We overlooked the Hong Kong Cultural Center across the street. The skyline of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbor were just beyond it.
Our standard room was painted a pale yellow and not very large, but it was quiet, comfortable and clean and included a TV, air conditioning, mini-bar and coffee maker. The hotel also offered several sports and recreational options with its 2 pools, jacuzzi, sauna, fitness center, squash courts, climbing wall, dance studio, shops and tour activities desk. It is also child friendly and offers baby-sitting service and has a children's library.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 23, 2002
The Salisbury YMCA of Hong Kong
41 Salisbury Road
Kowloon, Hong Kong
The prix fixe breakfast at the well spaced tables in the elegant lobby was very good. There were plenty of available tables and no need for reservations. I thoroughly enjoyed my coffee and eggs benedict in this grand atmosphere.
Another time we made a visit to the grandiose, awe-inspiring pool which affords a majestic view of the Victoria Harbor. The white ionic columns and stairway overlooking the pool are a sight to be seen. At the time of our visit, we were the only "guests" at the pool and this fact along with the incredibly enticing beauty of this pool and its warm water, prompted us to take advantage of our privacy by actually taking a swim. The angled glass windows around the deck of the pool lead to a sundeck open to a view of the Hong Kong skyline. The pictures below can't truly capture the unbelievable beauty of this place.
The Felix bar/restaurant/disco is located on the 28th floor and rooftop and is also worthy of a visit. I didn't manage to get a glimpse of the inside of the rooms but I can imagine they are extraordinary, judging from pictures of these well-furnished accomodations and their regal, marble bathrooms.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 24, 2002
The streets of Stanley Market contain many stalls selling various wares and this market is a bargain shoppers paradise. Some items are unique and some are just sold at lower prices than found outside the city. My friend snatched up a few Pashmina scarves knowing they were being sold at a fraction of the price found in U.S. department stores. Clothing made of assorted silks, wools and cottons are sold in abundance. Another hot item are purses and at one stall, I secured 2 of them along with a set of coasters for $30. Interesting toys and musical instruments are for sale.
There is also opportunity to quench your hunger and thirst and an iced cappuccino gave me the energy to continue my bargaining in the Stanley Market for several hours.
South Side Hong Kong
852 2807 6543
If possible, when inside the tram, stand on the right side while going up, for the best views. This isn't always possible as the tram can get pretty crowded, and people are vying for the best spots. The tram operates from 7am to midnight and runs very frequently. We went up and down both during the day and another time at night to contrast the view with and without daylight and we were happy we did as the skyline at night is also magnificent.
The extraordinary views are first glimpsed as the tram ascends almost vertically up the Peak, but once on a top, a viewing platform and walks around the Peak really let you soak in the amazing views below while helping you orient yourself to the city. Upon reaching the top, you enter the modern Peak Tower, which has retail stores, game areas, cafes, and restaurants. The chain restaurant Movenpick Marche is here which doubles as a food market. Next to it, is a cafe that offers free Internet access.
Exiting the Peak Tower, you can walk down the walkway past the artists selling their paintings. There are also 2 access roads around the Peak if you feel like taking a short hike.
We returned at night to experience the popular
Peak Cafe which even has its own web site at www.peakcafe.com where you can make your reservation. The night we went, there was an Australian chef and thus the menu contained Australian specialties. I had crab cakes and a kangaroo rump which I was not thrilled with since I have had kangaroo before and this one was too tough and the tendon too stringy for my liking, but the Australian Shiraz wine, as usual, was very pleasing to me. However it was also a costly dinner at 303 HK$ before tip for 2 of us. The Peak is a highly visited site and there is good reason for it.
128 Peak Road.
+852 2807 6543
Attraction | "private boat ride"
Upon reaching the boating area, we walked down the wooden plank walkway to where a number of boats were waiting for passengers. However there weren't many passengers waiting to go on the boats. We discussed the amount of time and cost and agreed on paying 40 HK$ for a private 1/2 hour boat ride. This boat probably could have held 20 people comfortably, but my friend and I had it all to ourselves. Our guide/driver did not speak English, but we were just taking the ride to get to see a bit of the Victoria Channel.
The channel contained boats of different sizes and ages and in some parts the waters were quite dirty. At times it was humorous to view the contrast of a small dinghy motoring by a large vessel. Several of the boats cruising around were similar to ours - covered over the main part of the boat, open at the bow and carrying tourists. It was a nice day and we were glad to have the boat to ourselves to relax and unwind and direct the driver toward areas and boats we wanted to see closer up.
One such "boat" that caught our attention was the Jumbo Floating Market and Restaurant and our driver let us off there to explore. This spectaculary ornate vessel seems like a carnival in the middle of the channel. This enormous monstrocity cost HK$ 32 million to build and holds 2300 people. The interior decor is meant to imitate that of the Imperial Palace of China. We climbed the carpeted stairs inside to view the restaurant which had an impressive assortment of over 60 different types of seafood including shrimp, lobster, crab, grouper, shark as well as duck, chicken, spare ribs and other meat and poultry in addition to many noodle and vegetarian dishes and desserts. There is also a wine shop with selections from countries across the continents and a smaller selection of liquors. The souvenir shop did not have anything worthy of much attention.
After our tourist stop, we reentered our private boat and enjoyed the short trip back to shore. Hiring the boat to take us into the channel was a nice diversion on this warm pleasant day.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 24, 2002
Boat trips around Sai Kung
Sai Kung Pier
New York, New York