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neilridd

Hong Kong for 1st. time

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My wife & i will be staying in Hong Kong for 3 nights prior to a cruise in Early March.

The cruise starts in Singapore and finishes back in Hong Kong so we will also have a flight from HKG to Singapore & that is on a saturday.

So the 3 nights in Hong Kong will be from midweek and i was wondering where the best location would be for our stay both from a safety point and also to do normal sightseeing.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Assuming protests are over by then...

 

Where  you fit into the cost, quality, convenience scale?

If price wasn't a factor, I'd probably want to stay in the Central district which is near Hong Kong MTR station (express train to HKG airport); is a short hop across the harbour to Tsim Sha Tsui (Ave of Stars and view of downtown harbour), Jordan, and Mong Kok; close to the peak tram; close to Lai Kwai Fong; and a quick trip to Causeway Bay.  

 

Hong Kong hotels are generally pretty pricey.  You can find cheaper alternatives depending on how flexible you are.  Transportation is very convenient, particularly if you have an Octopus card for the MTR and buses.  Mini-buses might be a challenge tho.  There is also ride hailing/sharing available.  We've stayed in Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Happy Valley, and Tai Koo neighbourhoods during various trips and would likely stay at any of those area again except Happy Valley since it became a bit repetitive walking back and forth btw the hotel and the MTR station. 

YMMV but we felt very safe doing some long walks late into the evening/after midnight (eg Ferry terminal to our hotel in Wan Chai, Mong Kok back to our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui).  Got to watch the right direction when crossing the street though.

 

 

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I had been considering several hotels including Four Seasons, Rosewood, Peninsula.

Mandarin Oriental would be more into the central district.

Probably wouldn't use express train to Airport at the weekend having heard of disruptions, more likely car transfer.

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Just going to add my 2 cents here - FWIW 

If your stay is midweek - any of the hotels on your short list is fine, including IC & the Penninsula on Kowloon side, TST East is also relatively "safe" compared to the Nathan Road corridor.  Lately, the major protests & riots are on weekends, brewing on Friday & worst on Saturday and Sunday ... this week, Central on Saturday afternoon/evening & Sunday in TST - and, MTR stations being closed earlier than usual, or, "abrupted" shut down with minimal notices or warnings to the public ("due to large scale public events")  Airport Express Train has been bypassing Kowloon & Ching Yi Station sometimes - but, authorities has managed to keep the HK Station on the island side open including city check-in services for the airlines, with a heavy police presence & screening train users for airline passes with valid travel documents.  

 

If you are concerned about making it to the airport for flying home on a weekend, island side might actually be a safer & better choice.  But, who knows what will happen - 4 to 5 months from now, anybody's best guess is just that ... almost everyone do not see an ending in sight, as the local econmy & unrest continue to simmer & lurk just below the surface, sometimes with unpredictable outburst.  Over the next 4 weeks, focus shifted & sideline due to "LegCo" elections (local Legislative Council) 

 

A $$$ (complimentary ??) private car transfer arranged via the hotel is always an option - the chauffeur would & should know the go-around routes, several previous attempts to jam and block the bridge connecting to Lantau, with one & only highway access to the largest island-based airport was stopped cold.  Allow extra time to get to the airport and if necessary, leave much earlier than needed ... 

 

Please bookmark this link - I will do my best to update/post new development of interest @ below, from time to time, as appropriate - to try to keep matters in focus & easier for folks to find. 

One of my BIL just asked whether we wanted to do a last minute HKG-SGN cruise next Jan/Feb. (around their lunar Chinese New Year) and as much as we've like to ... not going this time.   He almost got "trapped" at HKIA this August & missed it by a matter of hours but was still safe & secure, being airside & did not venture out - heavily guarded.

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Just some additional comments based on your options but without consideration to the protests since it's so hard to say what's going to happen so far out.

The Peninsula's location is pretty convenient IMO with easy access to the MTR and Nathan Road and various options to get onto Hong Kong island.  I find the area around the Rosewood to be awkward (eg. we walk east along the avenue of stars and I find it's an effort to get back to Nathan Road area (without back tracking).  YMMV if you're more heavily taking taxi's and Ubers.  And I'm not sure if they're still doing some pretty hefty construction in that area.  

 

One comment about the central district is that I find that you get dead spots at night.  Less of an issue if you are taking taxi/ubers btw your destinations and hotel.  Less fun if you're looking to walk out of your hotel into "the middle of it" in the evenings.  It is fairly central to a number of key sights on the island with relatively easy access onto the Kowloon side.  

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We spend a lot of time in Hong Kong as it is only a 1 1/2 hour flight away.... so get week end get away. I would not be worried about the protest, should be settled before your trip. We have been in Hong Kong during the protest and it has had very little effect on our trips. My choice is to stay on Kowloon side, lots of things to do and a easy trip to Central / Hong Kong Island by MRT or even Star Ferry.

 

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I'm a big fan of Hotel Icon in TST (Kowloon side).

 

Protests are everywhere, but the concierges can tell you where protests for that day are scheduled.

 

Assuming the protests will be still be going on, my advice is to use guides for logistics.  They can help you save time by getting you on the right subway lines and getting off and switching at the right stops.  

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We've stayed in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) on the tip of the peninsula on the mainland side.

 

One time at the Kowloon Shangri-La. Harbourside, just east of the Avenue of Stars. Tolerably convenient.. That was a special deal for 3 nights, otherwise it's expensive.

 

Second time at the Salisbury. A stone's throw from the Star Ferry pier  (ferries to central & Wan Chai,) extremely good-value 3 / 4 star, next door to the swanky & expensive Peninsula Hotel (Rolls-Royce fleet of cars).  It books-out early.

Excellent location, "Hong Kong" is right on the doorstep, Nathan road a walk of just 10 minutes or less. It's on the harbourside road but harbour-view rooms are 11th floor & upwards due to the space museum opposite.

 

We never set foot on the Mass-Transit (metro) or ho-ho buses, instead we used the Star Ferries (the views from the ferry are significantly better than from the metro :classic_wink:). For any distance eg Stanley market or Aberdeen we used local buses. We also used the rickety old trams which run from west of Central to east of Wan Chai, but as much for the experience as for the transport.

We could sit on the ferries and trams all day :classic_smile:

 

All public transport in HK is silly-cheap, even cheaper for seniors.

 

Views of the nightly  8pm laser show are far better from TST than from the island. If you have a harbour-view room (I strongly recommend)  ask reception how to tune your room radio to the channel which plays the accompanying music. Or watch from the Avenue of Stars, the music on loudspeakers. The laser show is nothing without the music

 

JB :classic_smile:

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On 11/2/2019 at 8:14 AM, John Bull said:

 

We've stayed in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) on the tip of the peninsula on the mainland side.

 

One time at the Kowloon Shangri-La. Harbourside, just east of the Avenue of Stars. Tolerably convenient.. That was a special deal for 3 nights, otherwise it's expensive.

 

Second time at the Salisbury. A stone's throw from the Star Ferry pier  (ferries to central & Wan Chai,) extremely good-value 3 / 4 star, next door to the swanky & expensive Peninsula Hotel (Rolls-Royce fleet of cars).  It books-out early.

Excellent location, "Hong Kong" is right on the doorstep, Nathan road a walk of just 10 minutes or less. It's on the harbourside road but harbour-view rooms are 11th floor & upwards due to the space museum opposite.

 

We never set foot on the Mass-Transit (metro) or ho-ho buses, instead we used the Star Ferries (the views from the ferry are significantly better than from the metro :classic_wink:). For any distance eg Stanley market or Aberdeen we used local buses. We also used the rickety old trams which run from west of Central to east of Wan Chai, but as much for the experience as for the transport.

We could sit on the ferries and trams all day :classic_smile:

 

All public transport in HK is silly-cheap, even cheaper for seniors.

 

Views of the nightly  8pm laser show are far better from TST than from the island. If you have a harbour-view room (I strongly recommend)  ask reception how to tune your room radio to the channel which plays the accompanying music. Or watch from the Avenue of Stars, the music on loudspeakers. The laser show is nothing without the music

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

What JB said, as usual 😉

 

Central really does get quiet after business hours but...that is also why there are quite a number of luxurious hotels there, it's convenient for business people. I had high tea at the Mandarin in Central, kind of just chose it at random with a friend. I stayed in Causeway Bay which I loved but I was visiting a former colleague and stayed in their flat while they traveled to Singapore on business. I wouldn't say it's exactly dead on HK island though, there's Victoria Peak and Causeway Bay was buzzing, you can hop on the trams to get around easy. I went back and forth between Kowloon and HK on different nights, exploring different places, you can't get bored here. 

 

I also visited Stanley via bus, went to Macau via the fast boat, I stayed over night as a treat at a seaside resort. Went to Lantau for the big buddha which I enjoyed, and at the time, Tai-O was included with that, but unstructured. One day I just got on the MTR, someone had recommended a shrine to me way up into Kowloon, now I have to dig into my journal for the name so as not to mess it up...probably if you research it you can figure out which one it is. I had extra time so that's why I did it. And there's a tea museum in Central that was amazing....I didn't expect it to be which showed me/taught me; don't assume. 

 

As JB and others have said, it is quite quick and easy to get from the island to Kowloon and TST via MTR or Star Ferry. Whatever you do, definitely make a point of taking at least one ferry trip; it's essential to get a ride out on the harbour and the ferry is quite an easy, inexpensive (and utilitarian) means to accomplish this. Nice breeze too if it's a balmy day, as it often can be.

 

I didn't do a HoHo bus either; I think there are some destinations that are more HoHo friendly, and where it can be helpful. I don't think it's needed here. It's truly very easy to get around and the things to see/do are varied, it's a different experience altogether that I'm not sure HK fits the HoHo model, though there's absolutely nothing at all wrong with having a HoHo experience in HK...especially if it enables one to get around when that isn't so easy to do. 

 

Have an amazing trip, get ready. HK hits all your senses from the moment you arrive, it will be an unforgettable experience. 

🙂 

Edited by Host Bonjour

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