Today, I met a lady who is travelling to Hong Kong next month with her son. She was curious about what to do there, what to see there, where to shop for electronics/clothes, where the locals go, and about the MTR Travel Pass (2 way transport via the Airport Express and 3 days of unlimited MTR travel!)
After our brief encounter, I remembered that 5 years ago, I wrote a Facebook note (Whatever happened to the FB note?!) of all these things to share with my friends. In 2012, I updated it slightly. I just dug it up and thought I’d add it to my blog so anyone could access it! Check out the list below. My disclaimer is that I wrote it years ago, so I would double check, but it’s all (more or less) still the same.
Enjoy Hong Kong and keep travelling! For other (more recent) Travel Tips/Insights, feel free to check out my Travel Category.
Since some of you have asked for some suggestions as to what you can do in HK, here’s a little outline:
– For starters, the downloadable MTR map is here.
– MONGKOK MTR Station: Shop at the Ladies’ Market in Mongkok. If you go out Exit E and keep walking you’ll find it. OR you can also go to the Argyle Centre and there are msnyshops there. It’s really cheap! That’s at Exit D.
– KOWLOON TONG MTR station: You can do some shopping at Festival Walk. It’s a pretty big mall and it’s at Kowloon Tong station. Just look at the signs…it should be Exit C. City University is also located here. Shopping here is not very cheap, yet not very expensive. There is a skating rink and movie theatre is located at this mall
– KWUN TONG: Exit A takes you directly to APM! Tons of shopping here too! The mall has a movie theatre and many many levels.
– CENTRAL: Lots of high end shopping. Lots of expats and business people.
– CAUSEWAY BAY: Trendy area for young adults/youth. Shopping, eating, etc. Go to SOGO if you’d like. Buses here also take you to the Cyberport area.
– Tsim Sha Tsui: Come here at night and go to the Avenue of Stars. It is absolutely beautiful. You can see HK at night with all the city lights on. At 8pm, there is usually a light show too. Tons of shopping here…
– KOWLOON BAY: THere is a mall located at this MTR station too…just follow one of the exits. It takes you directly up to the mall! ALSO, there is a free shuttle that takes you to a huge mall, MEGABOX. It takes you back to the MTR station too! If you want to work out, California is located on the 18th floor! There is a skating rink and theatre in Megabox too.
– TSING YI: A beautiful mall with a theatre as well. LOTS of shopping here too, but it’s all in the mall. It’s clean…
-KWAI FONG: Go out the exit on the second floor and you are immediately at a mall. There are several bridges that you can walk on that connect you to other sectors/shopping centres. Stuff here is relatively cheap. There is food too. (there’s food anywhere you go!) My hair stylist is here — amazing!
-SHUM SHUI PO: Looking for electronics or really cheap technology? Go to the um…Golden (something) market. Sorry, I forget the name at the moment, but you can get 2GB SD cards for $67 HKD! It’s a little sketchy shopping at this station, I warn you, but there are also at least 3 LONG streets of hawkers…and it’s really cheap. Not sure how much of their stuff you’ll like, but it’s an option! It’s also an older part of HK.
– Visit the Peak! It’s really beautiful there! There’s even a wax museum here!
– If you’re deciding on whether to go to Ocean Park or Disneyland, go to Ocean Park. HK Disneyland is super small…if you want to experience a real Disney theme park, go to Orlando. There is a shuttle from ADMIRALTY MTR station to Ocean Park. Just follow the signs.
– If you have time, take a boat to Macau! It’s about $320 HKD round trip. Ferry dock is at SHEUNG WAN MTR Station. Just keep taking the escalators up to the very top! (There is another ferry dock in Central too, but ferries leave at different times here and are less frequent.)
Essentially at any MTR, station, once you walk up there will be tons of shopping and eating. I suggest you to eat at some of the dessert/fruit/snack bars! They are very cheap and so tasty! If you shop in MONGKOK, make sure you bargain. It’s not absurd if you bargain up to 80%! I’m serious….
On Tuesdays, some places have a “No Plastic Bag” day, which means if you buy something, you don’t get a plastic bag. I forgot this and had to carry my stuff! On Wednesdays, if this is still the case, it is free admission at various museums in HK!
Remember to purchase your Octopus Card when you arrive in HK. You can add money to your card at any MTR station or 7-11. You can use your card for purchases at Mannings, 711, some McD’s, etc. You must use this card for the MTR. It’s like a debit card, so use it wisely!
I can’t think of more activities right now, but if I do, I’ll add it to this note! Take care and have a great trip! Take MILLIONS of photos and be sure to share your experience with me when you return! Go to your nearest CAA/AAA before your trip and ask them to print out the HONG KONG ITIS Trip Advisory for you. (Note: must be a member for this service).
*updated in 2012
- Lan Kwai Fong: this is in Central (Exit D1 at Central MTR Stn). It’s where all the expats go and where all the bars are. MUST GO.
- There is no tax in HK. (If you’re Canadian, your limit at Customs is $800.)
- Go to Mongkok, but on the streets they’ll jack up the price. Go to the little stores on the sides of streets.
- Go to Price Edward Station – Fa Yuen Street. Locals shop at these stalls.
- Take the public bus to Ocean Park if you go
- Disneyland is a waste of money. (It is very small.)
- Go to Macau if you can and eat portuguese food and see the historic sites. Also the casinos
- Take the ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui. Go to the Avenue of Stars at TST. There is a light show at 8pm each day
- You can take the bus to The Peak. The tram is overpriced. But you might want to try it. Up to you.
- You can take a bus from The Peak to the Star Ferry (Bus 15) in Central.
- Carry an umbrella everywhere you go and a packet of tissues
- It’s custom for people to clean their own dishes with hot water or tea before using them (at many restaurants)
- Street food is ok. Don’t worry. I love the Shanghai food in HK also.
- Have inexpensive bubble tea and mini eggs (they are like donuts and come in one sheet all stuck together and you tear it apart)
- Go to the Ten Thousand Buddhas in Shatin, I think. (A great hike up!)
- Lots of great hiking trails — join a meet up group and go!
- The MTR will take you everywhere 🙂
- Be careful of the grannys. They walk fast!
- Get a sim card for your unlocked cell phone at a 7-11. They are prepaid cards.
- Elements — a new high-end mall near Olympic station. Highly recommend checking it out.
- Times Square mall (There are usually cute booths or special activities just outside of the mall. Ex. Snoopy exhibition)
That’s all I think of for now 🙂