You guys are lucky to be spending Christmas and New Year's Eve at Hong Kong. Hong Kong celebrates these two festivals in its own way. Christmas is more popular for the sales and discounts while New Year turns out to be almost carnivalesque in Hong Kong. Thousands of people come out on the road. Fire works lit up the sky. I am sure you guys are going to have great fun on this trip!
City of Gold - Hong Kong (Source: Dennis Wong)
If you are used to NYC weather, Hong Kong will be very pleasant for you. Though it will be cold by Hong Kong standards, temperatures never go below freezing. Ideally a very cold day would be around 10 C. A warm sunny day on the other hand would mean temperature of around 17C-18C. However you will need warm clothing at night or in shades.
To check the weather before you go click here.
Hong Kong is crammed with attractions...museums, parks, temples, traditional villages, your 10 days will fly away when you try to cover everything. So it is very important to know the main attractions before you go so that you can plan your itinerary accordingly. Here are some of the attractions which I thought you would like to check out.
Boarding the Peak Tram and going up Victoria Peak is one of the most popular actvities in Hong Kong. you will get a panoramic view of the city. If you are feeling energetic do the 1 hour stroll around the peak.
Check out the Website for details!
Hong Kong Peak Tram (Source: Mike Behnken)
A visit to the Hong Kong Museum of Art will be an unique experience. Here is a snippet about this museum:
Hong Kong Museum of Art is a fascinating, strange and elusive place. The entrance lies up one floor, mimicking the ï¿½01Ctempleï¿½01D approach to the high altar of culture and art. Once you arrive on the first floor, you are bathed in light from the wall of glass that gives you a panoramic view of Hong Kong Island. The objects on show are Chinese ceramics, terracotta, rhinoceros horn and Chinese paintings. There is also a temporary exhibition space devoted to items from their own collection with additional lent material. There is also space for contemporary art produced by Hong Kong artists, most of whom have moved away from the traditional Chinese art forms to fusion art with North American and British influence, reflecting Hong Kong's colonial past.
(Source: Hong Kong travel guide - Wikitravel)
Address: 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2721 0116 (852) 2721 0116
Fax: (852) 2723 7666
Daily 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Closed on Thursdays (except public holidays)
Closed at 5:00pm on Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year's Eve
Closed on the first two days of the Chinese New Year
Among the huge number of museums Hong Kong has this museum stand out as it tells you the story of the past. Hong Kong Museum of History has some branches which includes the Coastal Defence Museum. If you are interested in Military history this place might appeal to you!
Address : 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong (next to the Hong Kong Science Museum) Location MapLink to GeoInfo Map
Tel. : (852) 2724 9042
Fax. : (852) 2724 9090
Email : email@example.com
Website : http://hk.history.museum
If you have already been to Disneyland in USA, Ocean Park is a good alternative to go to in Hong Kong. The view of South China Sea from the cable car is said to be great. Please check out the website for tickets, timings and address.
-Ocean-Park (Source: Fernando Nunes)
The Avenue Of Stars resembles Hollywood Walk of Fame. It celebrates some big names of Hong Kong's film industry. The promenade also offers great views of the Hong Kong's skyline and the harbor.
I saw Bruce Lee!!! (Source: Benson Kua)
It is only fair that you see Hong Kong from sea as well at least once. The tours by Star Ferry are amazing...read this snippet:
A crossing of Victoria Harbour on a Star Ferry has been named by the National Geographic of Traveler as one of the "fifty places of a lifetime". Now, for the first time, you have the opportunity to step back to the days of old and experience an era when third generation Star ferries were the major passenger connection between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula.
(Source: The Star Ferry Company Limited)
Apart from the harbor tour you can also opt for the Tsim Sha Tsui Trip. If you can take the ferry just before 8 pm, you can watch the Symphony of Lights show. The show is in English on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you however miss the ferry before 8 pm, you can watch the show from Avenue of Stars. Here is the schedule:
(Source: The Star Ferry Company Limited)
Ensure that you have an entire day for this trip. Lantau is Hong Kong's largest island. You can either take the 360 degree Cable car ride enjoying the views of Hong Kong from up above or take the ferry to Lantau Island.
Things to see:
- Giant Buddha is World's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha.
- Wisdom Path
An outdoor replica of the centuries-old Heart Sutra, one of the world's best-known prayers that is revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike.
The sutra is engraved on wooden pillars placed in the form of a figure " infinity "Â to symbolise the concept of immeasurable splendour and infinity.
Discover Hong Kong Itinerary Planner (Source: Discover Hong Kong Itinerary Planner)
- Explore Ngong Ping Village for Asian themed attractions including shopping and dining options.
- Tai O is a small traditional fishing Village. Check out the Stilt houses there.
- Po Lin Monastery has an ornate temple that houses Buddha statues. Another attraction is the two fixed price Vegetarian Meal served daily from 11.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Ngong Ping 360 (80) (Source: Constantine Agustin)
Hong Kong Wetland Park offers an unique opportunity to observe bio diversity of Hong Kong's Wetlands upclose. Ideal for bird watching or to see live animal habitats.
The 61-hectare Hong Kong Wetland Park demonstrates the diversity of the Hong Kong's wetland ecosystem and highlights the need to conserve them. It presents an opportunity to provide an education and recreation venue with a theme on the functions and values of wetlands for use by local residents and overseas visitors.
Tickets HK $30 per adult!
(Source: Hong Kong Wetland Park - Contact Us)
Repulse Bay is one of the many beaches in Hong Kong. This place has great facilities. Do check out the Chinese Pavilion here with Chinese deities.
Some other beaches around Hong Kong are Middle Bay, Shek O, Big Wave Bay, Hung Shing Yeh Beach.
Repulse Bay, Hong Kong (Source: Casper Moller)
Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist Temple in Kowlon, Hong Kong. The Temple hall has statues of Sakyamuni Buddha, Bodhisattwa, and Guanyin. Apart from that there is a Chinese garden, a vegan restaurant in this complex.
South Garden near Chi Lin Nunnery (Source: Debbie Wong)
Take an ecological tour to see Indo-Pacific hump back pink dolphins. Trips occur throughout year on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Trips are 4-5 hours long.
Tickets HK$360 per adult.
Check out their website for bookings!
One of the best temples to visit in Hong Kong. There are 12,000 Buddha statues. You can climb a pagoda, if you are looking for any activity. There are restaurants around where you will find veg spring rolls. For more information on this attraction click here. The temple is in the foothills of Sha Tin. If you are taking public transit then this temple is a 5 mins walk from Shatin MTR.
The ten thousand Buddhas temple (Source: James Cridland)
If you are looking for a truly unique experience while in Hong Kong, then you can give this exhibition a thought. Check out their website!
An experience to see the unseen.
Our Exhibition is an experience like no other. In this specially constructed pitch-black exhibition, visually impaired guides lead the sighted to "see" the world in a more inclusive way.
Get ready to discover parts of Hong Kong that you will never see! Give your eyes a rest as you are immersed into complete darkness. Inside, there are five different environments: a park, a ferry, a market, a movie theatre and a cafe. Each environment has unique textures, sounds, smells and even tastes; you will have to rely on your other senses to explore each environment!
Our professionally trained visually impaired tour guides are there every step of the way as they lead you through the exhibition. In the dark, roles are reversed as the blind becomes sighted, and the sighted are lead by the blind. Our guides teach participants how to appreciate each environment without light - even without vision there is much beauty in the world to be found.
The exhibition is a unique journey through the darkness that is not only fun and exciting, but will also change your perception towards the visually impaired and how you use your senses in everyday life.
Exhibition (Source: Exhibition)
Ticket HK $120 (weekdays)
HK $150 (weekends)
As you guys are going to stay for 10 days, I would suggest you get out of Hong Kong and explore some nearby destinations as well. Here are some suggestions, if you like any of these I can provide you more info on how to get there etc.
A ferry or a turbo jet will take you to Macau in an hour from Hong Kong. The biggest gambling destination in the world ( Bigger than even Las Vegas) was once a Portugese colony. Here are some ways you can travel to Macau. You wouldn't need a visa for Macau. A day trip should be sufficient but if you are willing to spend a night, then you can explore some more places:
- Located next to the Sands Casino and MGM Grand is the statue of Bodhisattwa Avalokiteswara. The interesting thing about this statue is that though it is a Chinese / Indian deity, it has distinct European features identifiable with statues of Virgin Mary in Europe.
- You can also visit the Las Vegas style hotels in Cotai. The Venetian hotel there, is currently the largest casino in the world.
- Macau Tower and Fisherman's Wharf are good for shopping and fun activities.
- Simply walk around the city and see the several old buildings, narrow by lanes making Macau even more charming.
Macau Tower (Source: Chris)
Zhuhai is 70 minutes by ferry from Macau. But most people need a visa to get into Zhuhai. So you will have to arrange for a visa either in Hong Kong or in Macau. For visa requirements see here. Here are some attractions in Zhuhai:
- New Yuan Ming Palace is an imitation of the original palace with the same name in Beijing.
- Sculpture of the Fisher Girl is the most famous structure here. This landmark has a legend to tell.
Zhuhai Fish Girl (Source: Tim Wang)
- Lover's Road is a nice place to take a walk around the coastline.
- Jintai Buddhist Temple is a 100 year old temple.
- Feisa Beach is a fine natural beach in Gaolan Island.
- Hebao, Guishan, Dong'ao Islands are some of the pretty islands of Zhuhai.
I am sure you guys already know Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise. Shopping here is sales tax free , so you can get some very good deals on computers, cameras, gaming hardwares or even fashionable items. There are several upscale malls, as well as street markets. Here are some recommended places.
Even if you are not planning to buy anything from Temple Street Night Market, you should just go there once, as it is a must-see place in Hong Kong, features in many famous movies. Cheap clothes, fake labels, toys, fortune tellers, food vendors are some of the things you will find here.
Temple Street night market (Source: Conor)
Almost a clone of the Temple Street. Do not go by the name, you will get almost everything here and not just ladies' commodities. This market is in the Mong Kok area.
Among around 10-12 malls, IFC Mall has all expensive brand names, a nice movie theatre and superb views of the harbor from its rooftop. The IFC building is one of the tallest in the world!
IFC (Source: Roger Price)
I included this mall in my list because it is an outlet mall, so you can get some good brand things at reasonable price. You can visit this mall on the day you visit Lantau Island.
Check out their website!
Since you are going during the festive time, I found lots of events happening during your stay. You can choose from the list below, depending on what arouses your interest.
The winterfest starts from 11.29.2010 and ends on 01.02.2011. When it is festival time Hong Kong is not very far behind London or New York City. The entire city is decked up with dazzling lights. To top it all, there will be a Swarovski Christmas Tree. Amazing isn't it? Here are some more details:
Enter an enchanted world of crystal this holiday season with the stunning 30-metre tall Swarovski Crystal Christmas tree that embellished with over 20,000,000 pieces of Swarovski crystal. These rhombus-shaped mirrors in silver and gold are reminiscent of window panes that sheath the tree. At night, over 200 pieces of Swarovski Annual Edition 2010 Christmas ornaments come alive - with music playing around and the fountain set in front of this vision spouts water for six metres straight up, transforming into a wonderland of golden spendour.
Location: Statue Square, Central, Hong Kong Island
(next to Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong)
Apart from the Christmas lights, there are nightly tours, dining delights...check it all out in the website.
Peninsula HK (Source: Peninsula HK)
This event will take place on 1st of January 2011. Stand anywhere on the route of the procession and you will be able to view it. It starts at around 2 pm continues till 6 pm. This year this event is set to break the Guiness Book of World Records for having the most number of auspicious Chinese animals in a single event.
Parade route: Canton Road (Opening Ceremony), Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Avenue of Stars, Centenary Garden
(Source: Edwin Chu)
One of the largest outdoor expos in Hong Kong. Fun for shopaholics! The expo will be there till 3rd January. On 31st shops will be open till 1am. Tickets are for HK $10.
Victoria Park, Causeway Bay
If you are aware of the award winning BBC TV series, you will know what this is about. Know all about this spectacular show here. This is a theatrical version bringing thrill and excitement to everyone.
Tickets are for HK $195 onwards.
Walking with Dinosaurs (Source: Jeku Arce)
Hotel prices can reach quite high during holiday season, so it is better to book your stay in advance! Here are some of the options I have for you.
This hotel is located near the Airport. Nearby interests include Citygate Outlet Mall. The only thing is it is around 14 miles from city center. However Hong Kong boasts of a world class public transit system.
Here is a review:
Only had 30 hours in Hong Kong and this was the perfect place to stay. New and quiet rooms with plenty of space. Good restaurants and lounges and excellent service. Absolutely superb breakfast with elaborate Chinese, Japanese, and western styles. One of the best gyms you will find in any Marriott! Wi-fi wasn't included for me, but a 3 minute walk to the Asian Expo convention center solved that with a decent free signal. This is also where to get the Airport Express rapid train into the city. Only 25 minutes to Central Hong Kong with stops at the airport, Tsing Yi and Kowloon along the way.
Book at this site for the lowest rates!
Rate $1200 (app) [ for 8 days]
1 Sky City Road East, Hong Kong International Airport,
Lantau · Hong Kong, China
Located at the heart of Hong Kong. The transport system from here is excellent to all the main attractions! this oriental themed hotelis exotic and luxurious. Read this review:
As a budget conscious traveler, who in the past has stayed at many of Hong Kong's top hotels, I am happy to see new boutique hotels opening. The Butterfly group has a great concept - simple and modern accommodations placed in great locations, at a good value.
Their Wellington hotel is located in the vibrant market district where the locals shop for produce and meats, among other things - you really feel a part of HK. Within a few minutes walk you can get to SOHO and Lan Kwai Fong (one of HK's restaurant and bar districts). You can also walk to the MTR by either the Central or Sheung Wan station, and being in Central, it is not far from IFC and the ferry pier -- essentially you can get to everywhere.
Rate $2000 (app) [for 8 days]
Book here for lowest rates!
122 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3962 1688 +852 3962 1688
Fax: +852 3962 1689
Reservations: +852 3962 1618 +852 3962 1618
Only half an hour from the city Gold Coast hotel, is Hong Kong's foremost 5 star resort hotel. Here is some words about this property from a traveler:
Great and wonderful place to stay in HongKong...the hotels do offer shuttle bus service at $25 HKD per pax per trip to Tsim Sha Chui, $15 HKD per pax per trip to Tsing Yi and $95 HKD per pax per trip for the Airport shuttle...do not be put off by the distance from the City to the hotel...its about 20 minutes shuttle bus or taxi from Tsim Sha Chui to Harbour City...Hotel looks dated but facilities are more than adequate, great buffett breakfast, plenty of taxis, nearby mini mall (serves cheap and good italian and french seafood), chinese gourmet sea food restaurants by the beach and also shopping is available at the TMT plaza (about 5 mins taxi ride average cost $26 per trip), big pool, business centre with free internet, small gym, affordable message and spa facilities, two beaches...all in all a great place to stay!
Rate $1630 (app) [for 8 days]
Address: 1 Castle Peak Road, Gold Coast, Hong Kong
Telephone: (852) 2452 8888
Fax: (852) 2440 7368
Ice House is a great hotel for people who stay in Hong Kong for a week or so. Frommer's recommends this hotel highly. Rooms are clean, nice with Kitchenette... yet cheap. However to book this hotel or see if it is available on the time of your stay, you will have to get in touch with them, as they do not have this provision online.
Rates $128 per night
Ice House (Source: Ice House)
So with all the suggestions in hand, hopefully you will be able to have a great time there. However do not hesitate to write back if you need more options, or want some specific information. We are here to help. If you need recommendations on places to eat, we can give you suggestions on that too.
Have a great trip!
New Year travel to Hong Kong & Bangkok (Source: Kazuhiko Teramoto)
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