Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hong Kong, a true International City

To me, there is no more international city than Hong Kong.

First, HKG is a destination for just about every major country in the world. While in the airport you will hear 20 different languages being spoken. The MTR (their Subway system) has everything in Cantonese as well as English, and I know they have a huge French, Spanish, African and Indian populations.

Getting around is simple. The MTR covers about 70% of the City, while cheap taxis and an extensive bus system cover the rest. Get an Octopus Card at any MTR station, load it with about $200 HK (@ $27 US) and you can travel all over without having to use cash. Note: Taxis do not accept the Octopus). Have a little money left over on it when you leave? McDonalds, Starbucks, 7-11, etc... also accept the card for payment.

Things to see? The Victoria Peak is a must, followed by the Ngong Ping 360 up to the Big Buddah. Walking Nathan Street aka The Golden Mile is also very high on the list. Below is my perfect day in Hong Kong:

(staying on the Kowloon side)
7 AM: Leave your hotel for walk along the Avenue of Stars, HKG equivalent of the Hollywood area with all the stars handprints
8 AM: Catch the Star Ferry crossing Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong island
8:30: Walk the 7 uphill blocks (or take a taxi for $10 HK) to the base of the Peak Tram
9:00 take the Peak Tram, one of the longest steel cable trolleys
Spend the rest of the morning enjoying the views of HKG from The Peak.
12:00 Eat lunch at one of the excellent restaurants at The Peak
1:00: Take Taxi from Peak down to Central MTR station. You could ride the Tram back down but it takes longer and is more expensive. Plus, taking a taxi down the winding mountain road really gives these drivers a chance to shine (not for the weak of stomach)
1:30 Take MTR to Tung Chung Station Exit B and walk 5 minutes to the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal.
2:00 Buy tickets on Ngong Ping tram, ride to top, spend rest of afternoon walking around the Giant Buddah
5:00 Take MTR to Tsim Tsa Tsui Station (pronounced Chim Cha Choy).
6:00 Have Fish and Chips and a Guinness at Murphy's Irish Pub on Nathan Road
7:00 Walk Nathan Road looking for great deals on souvenirs. Note: you will be offered hundreds of Copy Watch and Hand Bags. I suggest you decline.
10:00 Head to Knutsford Terrace for drinks and dessert. It's just a short walk up Nathan Road (look for the Red street signs, these indicate visitor areas). Have a Vodka in the Ice Bar, listen to the Chinese Mariachi band in the Mexican Restaurant, or enjoy some Tapas and wine in the Spanish Restaurant. Keep an eye out for elevators with signs on them, there are bars and clubs all the way up to the 6th floor here.

2 AM get some sleep.

Did I miss a ton of HK stuff? You bet, Lan Kwai Fang, Stanley/Aberdeen, Lei Yu Moon. But these will have to wait until another day.

No comments: