Hong Kong Journals

China: Hong Kong

A March 2001 trip to Hong Kong by kylebarber

Hong Kong Photo, Hong Kong, China More Photos
Quote: The sightseeing and culinary highlights of this enormous and exciting city

China: Hong Kong

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Overview

That's me Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
For such a long time the city of Hong Kong was a separate entity than China, guaranteeing the development of a much different world than the mainland. Now that the two have been once again reunited it's impossible for Hong Kong to shed entirely it's unique identity. Besides making the transition into the Far East much easier for Westerners, this resolve to maintain a "two systems one country" policy preserves old Hong Kong, a unique culture and exciting travel destination. The island of Hong Kong is made up of a number of neighborhoods and communities, built on the sharp slopes of its looming mountain peaks. The jungle of skyscrapes along its northen edge belie the fact that Hong Kong still is ...Read More

New Harbour Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
Before I left for Hong Kong I was having a very hard time finding a cheap hotel room in the city. Doing research on the Internet led me to believe that if I wanted to stay in a full service hotel I would have to pay at least $200 per night for a standard room. But upon arriving I found many hotel deals, including the New Harbour Hotel. Their advertised rates are close to $200 for a standard single, but when bookings are slow I guess the rooms can be had for 400% off the regular rate. I booked this stay through China Travel Service at the train station in Kowloon. The hotel itself left a lot to be desired. When you're used to staying in Marriotts or Hiltons you notice the smaller things, I guess. L...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 25, 2001

New Harbour Hotel
41 Hennessey Road
Hong Kong
(852) 2861-1166

Chili Club

Restaurant

Quote:
After eating lots of greasy Chinese food all week, it was a pleasure to indulge in some well prepared food with a different flavor. Though this Thai restaurant was featured in the Lonely Planet guidebook, it can hardly be described as a bargain dining option. The standard pad thai dish ran me about $10, though it was quite good, made even more special by breaking up the monotony of merely adequate Chinese meals I had sampled so far in Hong Kong. Located in the heart of the Wanchai district, Chili Club is easily accessable from Central and most other tourist areas on Hong Kong island. The rice here was particularly good, sticky yet melt-in-your-mouth soft. Quite yummy.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 25, 2001

Chili Club
1/F, 88 Lockhart Road
Hong Kong
+852 2527 2872

Yung Kee

Restaurant

Quote:
Located in the heart of the Central district of Hong Kong, the Yung Kee restaurant has bene serving Cantonese cuisine since 1942. It looked rather fancy from outside the front, where the military looking doorman was stationed. But as I came closer to inspect the menu he was very gregarious and encouraging, and the prices were not unreasonable for the location and high level of service. I ordered the lemon chicken, which was quite delicious. Unlike the heavily fried food Chinese fare that Americans are used to eating, the chicken dish I ordered was light and appealing, yet certainly filled me up. Noticeably absent was the unpleasant smell I had begun to associate with all Hong Kong eating estab...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington Street
Hong Kong
2522-1624

Maxim's

Restaurant

Quote:
This chain of small cake and pastry shops seems to mirror the success of Starbucks in New York, with a branch on every other street corner. The desserts are pretty good if somewhat unusual in flavor and presentation for Aerican appetites. Actually, the small cakes are quite European in style, with some unusual Asian accents like leechee or red bean paste. I had a pretty good peach cake served with a light cream. Not something that I would imagine as a finger food for consuming as you walk out the store and down the sidewalk, but tasty nonetheless. The muffin I purchased for eating later was just so-so. Prices are low enough, however, to sample a few different desserts. I'm always looking for a ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Maxim's

Hong Kong

Tsu Wah

Restaurant

Quote:
Situated across the street from the popular Yung Kee restaurant is the more casual and inexpensive Tsu Wah greasy spoon. It's like the Chinese version of Denny's, serving cheap food all night to club kids on their way back home from dancing. I had pineapple chicken fried rice, which was listed under the Western dishes section of the menu. I guess fried rice isn't so popular over in Hong Kong, but is an American take on Cantonese cuisine. Like many Denny's across America, the Tsu Wah seemed to attract a lot of brooding gay kids who endlessly stirred their coffe and checked out the other dining customers.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Tsu Wah
Wellington Street
Hong Kong

Hong Kong Flower Show

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Attraction

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I headed over to the Causeway Bay neighborhood primarily to check out Victora Park, which turned out to be closed to the general public. This was due to the fact that the park administration was hosting the annual Hong Kong Flower Show. For one week in March the immense grounds are covered with elaborate displays of flower arrangement and landscaping. Since I had some time to kill before catching a train and the admission was less than $2 (14 Hong Kong dollars), I figured I'd take a look and see what all the fuss was about.I'm still not sure why there were such large crowds, as the arrangements weren't much more interesting than what you might see at a county or state fair back in the United Sta...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 5, 2001

Hong Kong Flower Show
Victoria Park
Hong Kong

Ocean Park

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Attraction

Ocean Park Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
The best way to get to the Disneyland-like Ocean Park is to catch a bus at Star Ferry terminal, which with a admission combo ticket costs 174 Hong Kong dollars. The bus ride is pretty quick, and when I walked through the front gate I felt the rush of excitement I usually get when visiting amusement parks. Even though my two guide books had warned me to start the day early to avoid the crowds by 11:30 it didn’t seem crowded at all yet. Perhaps it was the light drizzle and overcast sky, or that it was still early March.Instead of offering a blow by blow description of every ride, shop and restaurant they offer at Ocean Park I'll just jot down some of my impressions. The park is interesting in man...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2001

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

G2K Station

Attraction

Quote:
This gay coffe bar / internet café was the perfect place for me to catch up on my e-mail correspondance while getting the scoop on which bars were preferable among the countless options in Hong Kong. The proprietors both spoke great English and were very friendly. I surfed the web for an hour, which doesn't cost anything additional when you first purchase food or drink from the counter. Both PCs and Macs are available and the connections seem to be pretty quick. The beverages and snacks were reasonably priced, too.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

G2K Station
460 Jaffe Road, 15th floor
Hong Kong

Stanley Market

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Attraction

Quote:
I had decided to take the bus to Stanley, but I wasn’t sure where to catch it. After some getting lost in the massive bus complex near the Star Ferry terminal I boarded the #260, supposedly an express bus, for 11 Hong Kong dollars. It filled up very quickly and the spectacular views I was looking forward to seeing on the journey weren’t going to be possible. But we arrived in Stanley soon enough. In fact, we passed the main stop without any fanfare. Make sure to ask the driver to let you know where to exit for the market. I first visited a "chop shop" where they make stone name stamps for imprinting your name on letters. Actually, I visited a few such stores in hopes of making a deal. I bo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Stanley Market
South Side Hong Kong
Hong Kong
852 2807 6543

Victoria Peak

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Attraction

Victoria Peak Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Perhaps the most popular sight in all of Hong Kong is the view from atop Victoria Peak. Almost 2000 feet above the harbor's edge, the Peak's steep incline makes for interesting perspectives: you're staring down at skyscrapers more than 90 stories tall. Looking across the harbor and pas Kowloon you can see quite a bit of the New Territories and even mainland China when the weather is clear. I hopped on the old tram that ascends to Victoria Peak, which doesn’t take that long but climbs in parts at a very steep angle. The views are amazing, making the city below seem quite magical. The water and trees keep the immense urban sprawl in check. Once you arrive at the top, though, the modern world ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Victoria Peak
128 Peak Road.
Hong Kong
+852 2807 6543

Hong Kong Park

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Attraction

Hong Kong Park Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
Hong Kong Park, which is built into the side of a hill, is best known for it's free zoo. There's no admission, just a number of animal exhibits strewn about the park's walkways. As you climb higher up the hill you'll find quite a few large mammals on display, including some acrobatic apes and monkeys who take advantage of their large cages. The poor jaguar seemed very perturbed by his limited space for stalking back and forth. The park has some nice waterfall areas with red-beaked cranes. I didn’t find out what the conservatory building was used for, as it had just closed for the day when I stopped in to take a look. I actually ended up back at this park when I was trying to find an alternat...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Hong Kong Park
Cotton Tree Drive
Central Hong Kong

Rice

Attraction

Quote:
More upscale and more comfortable than the Works bar, Rice seems to attract a professional gay crowd. I went perhaps a little too early in the evening as it hadn't really filled up yet, but the chatty bartenders kept me company and the drinks were particularly good if a little expensive. Rice doesn't seem nearly as cruisy as the Works; I imagine it's a great place for local boys to hang out after work with their friends rather than looking for a new lover. They also serve food at Rice, but the prices seemed a little high for bar snacks.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Rice
33 Jervois Street
Hong Kong
+852 2851 4800

Works

Attraction

Quote:
This dark and smoky bar didn't seem like much at first, but as the evening wore on it grew quite crowded with local boys and ex-patriates. The 50 Hong Kong dollar admission includes your first drink, so it's fairly reasonable in price compared to the more expensive Propaganda dance club. A small dance floor is surrounded by narrow walkways. This can make it pretty easy to brush up against the man of your dreams, yet hard to avoid that strange fellow who's been leering at you the past half hour. Drinks are routinely 50 Hong Kong dollars, and are served up fairly quickly by the attentive bartenders. My only compalint is that the place is poorly ventilated that the smoke was causing my eyes to...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 3, 2001

Works
1/F, 30-32 Wyndam Street
Hong Kong
+852 2868 6102