A November 2001 trip
to Hong Kong by clarkie
Quote: Having first visited HongKong in 1991 it was wonderul to return and find the city as exciting and unchanged from a tourists perspective
Take the tram up to the Peak and see the most splendid views of Hong Kong and check out the mansions owned by famous and wealthy Chinese dynasties.
Take a tour to Aberdeen where you are taken out on a Sampan, past the giant, floating restaurants, to see how the fishermen live on junks and other barely safe seafaring vessels.
The tour will continue on past Repulse Bay where the movie 'Love is a Many Splendid Thing'--Jennifer Jones and William Holden--was filmed and on to the Stanley markets where you just must eat in the wonderful French Restaurant on Stanley Beach.
Head back to Central and the Wanchai District then continue shopping until you drop when the shops close at ten. You can buy souvenirs, jade, birdcages, perfume, leather, jewellery, electronics and everywhere you can bargain. Dine in any of the restaurants in Pacific Place and stay at the Marriot-fabulous 5 Star accommodation
Next day take the Star Ferry to Kowloon side, walk through to Nathan Road and take afternoon tea at The Peninsula--a treat you will always remember.
The young people in Hong Kong are cosmopolitan and out going, trendy, well educated and with reasonably paid professions. They mostly live in apartments supporting parents and grandparents. Mostly they eat out--entertaining at home is a rarity.
They showed us great bars and restaurants serving snake, 1000 year old eggs, and aged tofu: real gastronomic experiences!. An absolutely fabulous night was at the Ladies Recreational Club on the Peak where we dined old english silver service style with terribly British waiters formally dressed right down to the white gloves.
If you have a day to spare take a tour through the New Territories to the Mainland..but that's another story
The people speak Mandarin and Cantonese as well as English. In the markets it is not so easy to translate.
A big warning!! Do not let your credit card out of your sight. Mine was taken and the magnetic card swiped without my knowledge. Arriving back in Australia, Diners called to say that someone was using it to spend up big in mainland China. Beware.
There are double decker buses through Hong Kong that make it very easy to get around-fare starts at .
To get to Kowloon you can take the Star Ferry for .20HKD which is a really beautiful scenic harbour tour. You can take the MTR (train) that costs to get to Kowloon from Causeway Bay. Walking is easy and a great way to get about and see the sites. The streets are packed but everywhere you go is just so exciting. The sites are incredible. I will always remember the snakes being baked/barbecued in these oven cages outside little stores. Hong Kong at night is magical and the panorama is just like in the movies.
The rooms are quite small but very well appointed and comfortable. I did not have a view of the harbour. Television had lots of channels: movies and charged movies. Room Service was excellent offering local cuisine as well as sandwiches, burgers and milkshakes--fantastic iced coffees.
As I was on business it was important to have access to the Internet. I could do this from the room but the bill was extraordinarily high $500HKD for 3 sessions!! The Business Lounge was a better option.
The lobby is quite grand and has excellent lounges amongst potted palms where you can enjoy drinks and light meals. I used the lounge to entertain guests for business meetings, which appeared to be a common practice.
From my hotel I could walk to the Star Terminal Shooping Complex or just into Nathan Road for more shopping.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 3, 2002
Restaurant | "The Peninsula Hotel"
As you relax and fritter away an afternoon it is easy to visualise how it would have been in the thirties and forties. The orchestra would have been playing in the lobby with couples waltzing and boogying to the music of the day. Secret and clandestine assignations, intrigue and subterfuge would have been abundant,
Afterwards we went up stairs to the row of very well appointed stores where the merchandise was wildy out of our price range. Squeezed into a corner was our orchestra. I was compelled to visualise them playing to the last as the Titanic sank. However they were quite cheerful and pretended not to notice their uncomfortable positions.
Going downstairs we decided to ask about accommodation. The prices start at $1000HKD. Hardly surprising but a little overrated. We wandered off through the shopping centre and onto the streets. We felt we had reminisced on a bygone era, yet we could still marvel at the business and culture so evident today.
Attraction | "Stanley markets"
Each time I visit I buy the hand stitched cotton and linen sheets, tablecloths all beautifully embroidered somewhere in Hong Kong. Just as you walk into the markets you will find some antique stores tucked away down alleys and these are well worth visiting. They are treasure troves. I bought an opium pipe for a good price, some prints, embroidery and children's clothes. I got into a heated verbal argument with a store holder who wanted to sell me some 'Greg Norman' Golf shirts at an exhorbitant price...he eventually won. My business colleague speaks Mandarin and that came in really handy in getting the price down. Do not expect to find sensational fashion or designer homewares. It is more rustic than that. However, you will spend a couple of hours haggling over things you do not really want but do not mind being screwed over for a little bit of trivia. When you have finished the markets walk down to the beach to the French restaurant, take a table upstairs and you will simply adore their delightfully cooked fresh fish with a little white wine. The range of wines is improving in Hong Kong.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 3, 2002
South Side Hong Kong
852 2807 6543
Attraction | "Shopping in Hong Kong-you will love it"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2002