Hong Kong Journals

Bill in China - HONG KONG

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A November 2004 trip to Hong Kong by billmoy

Victoria Peak Photo, Hong Kong, China More Photos
Quote: Hong Kong contains many extremely crowded and energized places, but there also are some quaint and quiet spots to get away from the madness.

Bill in China - HONG KONG

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Overview

Victoria Peak Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Go to the top of “The Peak” on the first clear day (or night) you are in Hong Kong. If you are there for several days, try to go up both in the daytime and the nighttime to appreciate the dramatic panoramic views under both conditions. The steep ride on the Peak Tram (one of a wide variety of transportation modes in Hong Kong) is a joy ride in itself.If you want a decent lookout that is free, visit the viewing gallery on the 43rd floor of the iconic Bank of China Tower, designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei. Sure, you are not outdoors, as you would be at Victoria Peak, but looking through the glass you will get to enjoy some nice views of central Hong Kong. The Pei skyscraper may ...Read More

Hyatt Regency Hong Kong

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Hotel

Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The Hyatt Regency Hong Kong is a fine hotel located in the heart of the bustle that is Nathan Road in Kowloon. This building dates back to 1964, so it has a rather mainstream design, albeit with the usual class of the Hyatt chain.Amongst the zillions of neon Chinese signs hanging in seemingly random fashion along Nathan Road, somehow it is still easy to locate the Hyatt. It helps that the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR (Mass Transit Railway) station is situated basically outside of its main entrance. The hotel is about halfway between the harbor and Kowloon Park. Once you walk in, you first have to navigate through its shopping arcade, although I did no real shopping in these three levels of storefronts....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Hyatt Regency Hong Kong
67 Nathan Rd.
Hong Kong
852 2311 1234

Hotel Ibis North Point

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Hotel | "Ibis North Point"

Hotel Ibis North Point Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
At first glance, the Ibis seems locationally challenged. It is in North Point, a very active Chinese neighborhood a few miles east of Central. This apparent negative can actually be a positive, as North Point has great access to many areas of Hong Kong and has a cheaper cost of living than in Central. There is not a whole lot to see in North Point, but it is an excellent area to live and exist.Except for the fact that it is not in Central, the Ibis is actually strategically located facing a bus depot (with one of the airport buses starting from here) and a small ferry terminal, and near the North Point subway stop, as well as numerous bus and tram lines. Even if your flight arrives near midn...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Hotel Ibis North Point
138 Java Rd.
Hong Kong
(852) 2588 1111

Ramada Hotel

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Hotel | "Ramada Hotel Kowloon"

Ramada Hotel Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The Ramada Hotel Kowloon is located in a nondescript glass tower along busy Chatham Road (of course, all the Hong Kong streets seem busy), parallel to the more famous Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. This moderately priced property consists of 18 floors and 205 guest rooms. Step onto the small red carpet and through the glass doors into its main floor lobby, which is not particularly memorable. The information I have pegs this property from 1988, though it has an unassuming appearance that seems older than that.Our guest room was a rather tight little accommodation with two twin beds. My bed seemed stiff to me, so this certainly was not one of those plush beds touted by so many of the major hot...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Ramada Hotel
308 Des Voeux Road West
Hong Kong
+852 3410-3333

Tsu Wah

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Restaurant | "Tsui Wah Restaurant"

Tsu Wah Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Tsui Wah is a large and popular restaurant in the SoHo area of Central that proclaims itself as “The Best Cafe Restaurant.” While I would not go quite that far, it is a good spot for a fast, tasty, and inexpensive meal early or late. You can’t miss the massive signs outside the restaurant. Then again, there are lots of massive signs in the busy and bustling SoHo area.The proverbial poultry hang in the display window to entice diners to come in. The interior of the restaurant has a very basic and straightforward design to it, and the same can be said for the level of service and the quality of the food. The bilingual menu is very extensive, although it is pockmarked with the usual helpings of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Tsu Wah
Wellington Street
Hong Kong

Architecture Tour of Hong Kong

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Attraction

St. John's Cathedral Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The Hong Kong Tourism Board should be congratulated for conducting a variety of tours of this magnificent metropolis. The main office of the HKTB is located in the lower level of a glassy high-rise boldly labeled as The Center. Besides having loads of colorful and informative brochures, you can sign up for a free tour, many of which begin here.These tours are quite popular and can fill up in a hurry, so try to join up a few days ahead if at all possible. You can always try to drop in on the day of the tour to see if they can squeeze you in. I wanted to take the Saturday morning architecture tour and was told the list was all filled up 3 days beforehand. I took a chance and showed up that Sat...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Architecture Tour of Hong Kong
99 Queen's Road
Hong Kong

Bank of China Tower

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Attraction

Bank of China Tower Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Although I am more of a fan of the nearby Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation tower by Norman Foster, the Bank of China Tower kind of grows on you as the years pass. Designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei and completed in 1989, the 74-story skyscraper has a distinctive faceted exterior that sings when compared to some of its rather bland neighboring shafts.This landmark tower rises sharply on its site and dominates the landscape, which is exactly the emphatic statement that the client wanted to announce to the world. The main floor plan is a square that is divided into four triangular sections. As the tower rises, the triangular sections drop off one by one until it rea...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Bank of China Tower
1 Garden Road
Hong Kong

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch

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Attraction | "Hong Kong Dolphinwatch Tour"

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The Hong Kong Dolphinwatch tour offers a unique opportunity to see some of the dwindling population of pink dolphins (or Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins). This organization has been conducting noninvasive tours since 1995 to promote awareness of their conservation.The 4-hour eco-tour is offered three or four times a week with extra runs during peak times. Try to reserve ahead of time, since these tours are relatively small in order to disturb the dolphins as little as possible. There are two meeting points, one in Central (Mandarin Oriental Hotel) and one in Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon Hotel). Our tour guide gathered the first group at the Mandarin Oriental at 8:30am. Oddly, we had to walk about 3...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Hong Kong Dolphinwatch
Unit 1528A, Star House, 3 Salisbury Road
Hong Kong
+852 2984 1414

Hong Kong Space Museum

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Attraction

Hong Kong Space Museum Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The Hong Kong Space Museum is a fun place for an educational family outing. While I would not make this a must-see attraction during your visit in Hong Kong, it is a worthwhile place to check out if you happen to be in this area. Located near the Star Ferry Pier, the museum is part of the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and shares this turf with other landmarks like the Clock Tower from the old Kowloon-Canton Railway station, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The large egg shape tells you that you have arrived at the Space Museum. This is the exterior shell of the Space Theatre. Unfortunately this veneer is a bit worn from the elements (the museum opened in 1980), but ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Hong Kong Space Museum
10 Salisbury Road
Hong Kong
+852 2721 0226

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Headquarters

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Attraction | "Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation"

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Headquarters Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The headquarters of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is my favorite skyscraper in Hong Kong, and Norman Foster’s architectural masterpiece facing the south side of Statue Square is still holding up well since its completion in 1985. Foster subsequently designed the humongous Hong Kong International Airport amongst his numerous projects worldwide.The nearby Bank of China has taken away some of the notoriety away from the slightly older HSBC thanks to its taller and more distinctive shaft, but I firmly believe Foster’s innovative tower of glass, aluminum, and steel is still a better work of architecture. It was a very technologically advanced design, and therefore it was th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Headquarters
1 Queen's Road Central
Hong Kong

North Point

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Attraction | "Life in North Point"

North Point Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Why would any visitor want to stay in North Point? There is not really anything to see for the average tourist. I booked the Ibis North Point based on the great weekly rate, and took my chances that I would tolerate the location. I soon found that this was a busy, no-nonsense Chinese neighborhood that was actually a terrific place to stay for a week. Growing up in a Chinese-American home in Chicago, my parents enjoyed listening to Chinese opera records. As the years progressed, they moved on to cassettes and then to videos. I am no expert of Chinese opera, but I have always wanted to experience a live performance. The Sunbeam Theatre (423 King’s Road at Shu Kuk Street), one of the most notabl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

North Point

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The last few decades have seen lots of growth in Hong Kong in many areas. If my grandmother were to ever return to Hong Kong, she would be shocked at how things have changed over the last 50 years. There are plenty of new skyscrapers, although some of them are rather nondescript in design. Here is a brief look at some examples of contemporary architecture that have made a splash upon the Hong Kong skyline.The Lippo Centre was designed by architect Paul Rudolph and completed in 1987. Its two glassy towers break out of the box by having external forms which create a repetitive interlocking pattern. As most people like to give nicknames to big buildings, some have called this the “koala” towers ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Ocean Park

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Attraction

Ocean Park Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Ocean Park is designed especially for kids, although adults will certainly enjoy visiting, too. At first glance it appears to be just a big amusement park, with its plethora of rides, games, mascots, and fun food. Look closer and you will notice an emphasis on wildlife conservation, with an estimable animal population on this sprawling complex along the south coast of Hong Kong Island. A mix of entertainment and education is the key to its flourishing success since opening in 1976.Ocean Park is so large that a cable car connects the two areas (Headland and Lowland) separated by a ridge. There are so many things to see and do, but I made a beeline to the cable car for an exciting introductory...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Ocean Park
Ocean Park Road Aberdeen
Hong Kong 4000039
+852 2552 0291

Peak Tram

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Attraction | "Victoria Peak and Peak Tram"

Victoria Peak Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Anyone visiting Hong Kong must ride the Peak Tram at least once to reach the Victoria Peak. Sure it is a bit of a touristy thing, judging from the long lines of people waiting to ride it. Originating in 1888, the Peak Tram was established to transport residents who were fortunate enough to live atop the cooler Victoria Peak. Imagine the good old days when locals had to walk up this steep hill every day! Each tramcar on this funicular railway can carry 120 passengers, including a good many standing. The lower terminal is 28 meters above sea level, while the upper terminal is 396 meters above sea level. The track is 1.365 meters long with a gradient ranging between 4 to 27 degrees, so you will ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 7, 2006

Peak Tram
Garden Road
Hong Kong
+852 2849 7654