Travel in and around Hong Kong?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  IanFromHKG 20 Jun 2018
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  • IanFromHKG
    Participant

    All great suggestions above and I second them all. Except for the Shrimp/Louisiana restaurant canucklad referred to (I assume he was talking about Bubba Gump) – our preference is Wildfire (sorry canucklad!). There are two major buildings at the top of the Peak Tram and Wildfire is in the one that houses the Peak Tram station. Try to prebook a table by the window at the harbour end – the views are amazing, as are the cocktails (order the large size, the glasses are quite impressive and excellent for sharing). Their supersized steak (can’t remember what they call it – porterhouse, I think) is stunning. If you like spicy food (but bear in mind it is SPICY) the chicken kebab is fantastic. They also have an outdoor terrace for drinks.

    I would also add, re the Peak, that the best time to go up there is around 5:30 to 6. There is a lovely gentle walk around the Peak called Lugard Road – from the Peak Tram station head towards the road and you will come to a junction. Do not turn left, do not go up the hill, take the road either straight ahead or to the right (they both connect as it is a circular road). If you get there early while the light is still good go straight ahead. If the light is fading, go to the right. I say this because the harbour views are to the right and the best time is when the sun goes down and the lights start to come on and shine.

    Taxis are cheap as chips and easily available at all times of the day when you don’t want one. When you do want one, it will almost always be a shift change or when everyone else wants one! But then I only try to find them at the beginning or end of the work day, so perhaps it will be different for tourists! Bear in mind that taxis will not (usually) stop on double-yellow lines. No tips are expected, other than rounding the fare up to the nearest Hong Kong dollar (ie about 10p). If you are going across the harbour, then either (i) try to find a special taxi stand for cross-harbour taxis (these are signposted) in which case you will pay a single toll or (ii) be prepared to pay double toll (which is mandated by law, so they aren’t trying to cheat you) and get a level of grumpiness from the taxi driver. HK has a three-tier taxi system – blue taxis (cheapest) are confined to Lantau Island, green taxis (middle cost) are confined to the New Territories, and red taxis (most expensive, but still cheap) are licensed to pick up anywhere in Kowloon or on HK Island and can take you anywhere (save for some restrictions on Lantau Island). However, red taxis, notwithstanding they are licensed to pick up in HK or Kowloon usually stay on just one side of the harbour, so a Kowloon cabbie won’t necessarily be familiar with roads on HK Island and vice versa. Others have commented that it is worth getting your address written in Chinese – there is a handy app for this called Hong Kong Taxi Cards, which allows you to input your address in English and provides you with a handy Chinese translation to show the driver. Another useful app is called HK Taxi which operates rather like Uber – I find that offering a $20 bonus usually gets me a cab fairly quickly.

    The MTR is superb – clean, efficient, cheap, fast and frequent. Buses are plentiful and even cheaper. Minibuses are also plentiful and cheap, but can be a bit of a white-knuckle ride! Overall, HK has one of the world’s best public transport systems, added to which is a high level of personal safety. There is violent crime in Hong Kong, but 99.9% of it is domestic or triad-related so if you don’t have a partner there and you’re not a triad, chances of violence are almost zero. I would be perfectly comfortable (from a safety perspective, at least!) if my wife or teenage daughter were to walk alone through Wanchai (the red-light / bar district on HK Island) at 3 am.

    To add to handbag’s suggestion about the bus to Stanley, make sure you take the 6X (rather than the 6) as that goes over the mountain rather than through the tunnel, and that way you get the best views. If you are feeling brave, sit on the upper deck front row on the left, and marvel at how the drivers can charge along narrow roads with cliffs on both sides (going up on the left and down on the right) just inches away from the rock face.

    Another suggestion is to take one of the “sailing” junks (they have sails, but use engines) from Kowloon or Hong Kong to Stanley. We have done this a couple of times with guests and loved it. The best (in our view) is Aqua Luna. Try to sit on the port side (left) as that gives the best views.

    handbag also suggested Repulse Bay (on the south side of HK Island) although personally I think the neighbouring bay of Deepwater Bay is better. Both have changing facilities with toilets and showers. Most people don’t realise that HK has some fantastic beaches, and both of these are great – soft sand, great views, and 20-30 minutes from Central (the business district on the north side of the island), so take swimmers! – and easily accessible by public transport with multiple bus routes.

    Hope the family have a great time. HK is a wonderful place and offers a lot more than people think.

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