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View Full Version : Two solo days in Hong Kong - What to do beyond shopping and Victoria Peak?


GlacierCity
July 24th, 2011, 05:29 PM
Looking for sight-seeing and cultural activity recommendations for Hong Kong. I am an active 50-year old woman who will have a couple solo days in Hong Kong. I"m used to international travel by myself.

Trip will be in late January 2012 and I discovered it will overlap the Chinese New Year.

Not a big shopper and my two "free" days will be preceded by a group sight-seeing excursion that includes Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen Fishing Village. Curious re: recommendations for both day- and evening- activities.

babs135
July 24th, 2011, 05:53 PM
Looking for sight-seeing and cultural activity recommendations for Hong Kong. I am an active 50-year old woman who will have a couple solo days in Hong Kong. I"m used to international travel by myself.

Trip will be in late January 2012 and I discovered it will overlap the Chinese New Year.

Not a big shopper and my two "free" days will be preceded by a group sight-seeing excursion that includes Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen Fishing Village. Curious re: recommendations for both day- and evening- activities.

Lots of offices close for the Chinese New Year, usually for up to 3 days so wherever you go expect to find lots of people. Visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island and the village by the side of the buddha. This can be reached either by ferry and then public bus, taxi or the subway. Ride the mid-level escalators on Hong Kong Island - they go up a long way (however, they only go up so you have to walk down!). Ride the Star Ferry. Watch the Light Show from the Avenue of the Stars on Kowloon - although personally I didn't think it was very good. Because of New Year some of the markets will be closed or only partially operating. Your hotel may know which are open.
Whatever you chose to do, enjoy!

FinelyRetired
July 24th, 2011, 07:06 PM
Lots of offices close for the Chinese New Year, usually for up to 3 days so wherever you go expect to find lots of people. Visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island and the village by the side of the buddha. This can be reached either by ferry and then public bus, taxi or the subway. Ride the mid-level escalators on Hong Kong Island - they go up a long way (however, they only go up so you have to walk down!). Ride the Star Ferry. Watch the Light Show from the Avenue of the Stars on Kowloon - although personally I didn't think it was very good. Because of New Year some of the markets will be closed or only partially operating. Your hotel may know which are open.
Whatever you chose to do, enjoy!

Star Ferry to Lantau is a great idea.

And...Here's a link to a walking tour of area near the elevators:
http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/city-guides/hong-kong-walking-tour-1/

Taking this with me in November. Haven't done it yet. At some point, I'll note the best hotels along that route in case I tire (I'm a bit older than OP) & want to stop in one & have bellman/front desk/or concierge negotiate fare/desitnation for a safe ride & fair rate back. :o

Perhaps some one here knows of a guide who does cultural walking tours? I've heard the name of a gentleman named Chris?

Hong Kong Tourism Board has guided walks on their website. Perhaps someone here has experience with that?

Evenings are a challenge. When Solo in a foreign city, it's often been the hotel concierge who's been the most help to me either arranging a show, evening tour, or simply engaging/translating with a driver or taxi for an evening drive to see & photo a city at night. Once, the concierge at my hotel wasn't "up to snuff" and I just went to the nearby "better" hotel & worked with that one.

eh2zed
July 24th, 2011, 08:58 PM
The Star Ferry for sure but that might be included in your Victoria Peak tour. There are a few HOHO routes that you might consider. What about the the famous Temple Street Market if you like the flea market style and knock offs.

G.M.T.
July 25th, 2011, 03:51 AM
Looking for sight-seeing and cultural activity recommendations for Hong Kong.

There is so much to do and see in Hong Kong, best to use MRT and Star Ferry to get around.

Things to do:
Star Ferry rise,
Tram ride on Hong Kong Island (near Star Ferry
Sky 100 http://www.sky100.com.hk/ (http://www.sky100.com.hk/)
Trip to Macau
Real Chinese Meal - Watching how they make glass noodles
Markets: Stanley, Temple Street, Ladies Market, Jade Market
Stroll along Nathan Road
Lantua Budda
Lantau Po Lin Monastary
Harbour Dinner Cruise
Rickshaw ride

Also check out www,tripadvisor.com, also there are a lot of websites about what to do and see in Hong Kong e.g. http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/index.html (http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/index.html)
www.hongkongextras.com (http://www.hongkongextras.com/)

So much to do and so little time.:)

Star Ferry to Lantau is a great idea.


As Far as I know the Star Ferry only goes between Kowloon and Hong Kongh Island.

Ron

kuldalai
July 25th, 2011, 07:03 AM
HONG KONG SELF SIGHT-SEEING.

Hong Kong has two parts the Kowloon side (on the Chinese mainland) and Hong Kong Island . The Star Ferry links Kowloon and Central and Wan Chai on HK Island as reliably today as it has done for over 150 years . A splendid MTR rail system also cover bother sides and provides under harbour links . In addition a network of double decker buses also provide key tourist services.

Cruise boats primarily berth at Ocean Terminal on the Kowloon side alongside the Star Ferry Pier, and occasionally at Freight berths in Kennedytown on HK Island .

Kowloon side - between Ocean Terminal and Nathan Road is the heart of great shopping for everything imaginable including cloths, watches, electronics and jewellery . Avoid the brand name department stores and search out the great deals with the smaller traders . Nearest MTR is Tsim Tsa Tsui.

The Temple Street Night Market operates nightly in Temple St , Jordan on Kowloon side . Nearest MTR is Jordan then a short walk . temple St runs parallel to Nathan Rd several blocks back towards the harbour .

Hong Kong Island : here one finds Victoria Peak, Ocean Park, Stanley, and Aberdeen . Cross the harbour by Star Ferry and soak in the atmosphere of the world’s most exciting city . Step ashore at Central Star Ferry Piers . You will see a bus interchange on shoreside. Take bus # 15 for Victoria Peak, # 15C for the Lower Peak Tram Station (then Peak Tram) to the Peak , # 629 for Ocean Park Aquarium (at 0935,0955,1015 only Daily); 6, 6X or 260 for the Fishing Village of Stanley and the famous daytime (from 10am) Stanley Market .

Victoria Peak is best visited at sunset for stunning views across the harbour as HK lights up . Nighly harbour light show at 8pm. For stunning views come down from the Peak at night by bus # 15 . The peak bus terminal is under the Galleria Shopping Centre . If you are bound for Kowloon bail out of bus at Admiralty and take the MTR to Tsim Tsa Tsui or Jordan . If heading back to Ocean terminal return to Kowloon from Central on the Island by the Star Ferry .

For those wishing to visit the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island here’s how to do that as inexpensive day round trip :
Leaving around 0830 by MTR to TUNG CHUNG, walk out the station cross a large open square and head for the Chairlift ( operates from 1000 to 1800) . at Chairlift buy the combined daily Chairlift & Lantau Island Bus Pass . Take the breathtaking chairlift which does 2 x 90 degree turns to NGONG PING . Alight walk through the village shops and climb over 300 stairs to the magnificent Buddha . Return to the lower Shopping area and from the adjacent Bus Terminal take bus # 21 (at 1035, 1120, 1220, 1320 from NGONG PING to the fishing Village of TAI O . Walk slightly inland to discover the real village and a wonderful range of seafood restaurants where you can take in lunch. Walk back to the Shoreside bus terminal and take bus # 1 from TAI O to MUI WO . (40 minute frequency). Then fast ferry from MUI WO (Hourly departures) will have you back at Central on HK Island next to the Star Ferry Central Pier . If you leave Kowloon on the MRT at 0830 , you will be on the chairlift at start up time (1000), and have time to explore Ngong Ping and the Buddha to make the # 21 bus from Ngong Ping at 11.20 to Tai O . After lunch in Tai O you easily make # 1 bus to be in MUI WO to connect with the 1500 fast ferry to Hong Kong island - central Ferry Piers.

kuldalai
July 25th, 2011, 07:08 AM
No Star ferry to Lantau island. See my above post re getting to Lantau Island .

Star Ferry runs two (2) commuter runs cross Harbour from Kowloon to either Central or Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. the Company also runs specialist Harbour Tourist cruises .

Private ferry services operate from the Central Ferry piers to outlying islands including Lantau and Lamma islands . The Private ferry piers are alongside the Star Ferry pier at Central on HK Island.

wristband
July 26th, 2011, 02:08 PM
Take the hydrofoil to Macau - interesting old Portugese colony with shiny new sexy casinos, check out the ginormous balboa tree in the center of town. Only 90 minutes away.

Go to HK bird market, flower market, jade market. Wander through Chungking Mansions on Nathan Road to see real Asia, jammed in knock off stores, filthy dive restaurants, hustlers and pimps of all types selling everything you don't want, eat at cheap Indian hole in the walls on the upper floors with delicious mouth burning briyanis and vindaloos! Hold on to your wallet and be amazed at the crush...

Go for dim sum, go to a noodle shop and slurp loudly early in the mornging, go to an historic tea house and sip quietly munching on a sweet roll in the afternoon, enjoy an excellent bizarro mondo meal at a nonlicensed place in a Wan Chai apartment where the cooking is heavily influenced by Spanish molecular chefs and weird but organic and very fresh locally sourced ingredients. It will blow your mind!

Go to the race track in Happy Valley, swiggle cold beers, take a flutter on a nag whose name you like. If you hit it, buy some shots for everyone at the bar. Take the bus out to Repulse Bay, wander around, see the fish on sale, dig into some very fresh seafood.

Get away from the usual tourist trap trails that are boring, just like going to a wax museum. Fuggedaboutit. Do tai chi in the park in the early morning with the locals. Breath in, breath out. Hit the clubs late at night, especially go to the clubs with a reputation for making wacky cocktails using unusual concoctions, especially clubs with loud techno music blaring and stellar modern architecture.

Most importantly, have fun, enjoy yourself, get away from the tourist haunts that suck all the oxygen out of a visit. You could waste time sitting on a HOHO bus but there is so much more to see and do in two days, so why bother with the HOHO?

GlacierCity
July 29th, 2011, 10:48 PM
I appreciate everyone taking the time to provide tips. Lots of great ideas!

MVPinBoynton
July 30th, 2011, 05:24 PM
We really enjoyed going to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. We took the MTR to the cable car station. The MTR is such a wonderful way to get around. It was a very long cable car ride which dropped us off right at the Big Buddha. The ride itself was quite an experience. You can see lots of photos in part two of our review on our website www.thepreismans.com (http://www.thepreismans.com).

kyshel
August 2nd, 2011, 01:31 PM
ding ding trams, Chi Lin nunnery.
hit the local library, copy some travel guide pages
The tripadvisor forum for HK is one the BEST I've ever used as an airline pilot spouse (meaning I really travel alot!!)
second much fo the advice above--we spent 9 nts in HK ending in Chinese New Year at Langham Place Suite watching the fireworks!!
We skipped almost all touristy stuff by Star Ferry (Love it!) VEry little interest in Macao even w/9 days

sailaway5
August 10th, 2011, 06:02 PM
We enjoyed our Asian cruise this year so much, we are doing it again next year (with a few different ports). We will be returning to Hong Kong and appreciate all of your additional comments and hints on what to do.

We went to Victoria Peak via the Star Ferry and #15 bus.....great way to see the peak. You go to the actual "top" when you do it on your own. If you are on a Ship Shore Excursion, you are bussed to a "lower" level. The Top is better!!

Have fun planning.

Bufrenee
August 16th, 2011, 12:44 PM
There are a lot of options dependant on what days of the Chinese New Year that you will be in Hong Kong. There is the annual Flower Market and CNY Fair on New Year's Eve and the Harbour Fireworks on New Years Day. For the Fireworks I would recommend that you book into a harbour view hotel room asap as the area gets very crowded on the day.
You should got into www.hongkongextras.com and do you planning from there and also the other website www.discoverhongkong.com. After you have done your research and made your plan, come back onto the sit for more info or commrnts.
Enjoy.

ROCruiser
August 31st, 2011, 07:59 PM
If you are there during Chinese New Year, you may want to explore the streets for locals like Shanghai Street (a couple of blocks from Temple Street), or Jordan Road, all in the same area. if you like hiking I would suggest Lamma Island. We did that once on a day trip, got to one part on the island (forgot the name) using the ferry and hiked to another side of the island and picked up another ferry from there. Most New Year actions would probably be at the temples like Wong Tai Sin Temple that you can get to using the MTR. Might be very very crowded though. I believe they usually have a parade on the second day of the NY.

ROCruiser
August 31st, 2011, 08:08 PM
For a shorter and safer hike, another suggestion is take a ferry to the island of Cheung Chau. There you can walk from the pier to the beach passing small alleys of people's houses and have a feel of how the locals celebrate Chinese NY in this fishing village.
*When I say 'safer' I take into consideration that you will be doing this solo. Some parts of the hike on Lamma are quite isolated.