Hong Kong Accommodation and Travel Guide
Nestled off the coast of China’s Guangdong Province residing besides the South China Sea, lies the city of Hong Kong –nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient. Home of international icons such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, the name of the city translates to ‘fragrant harbour’, and fittingly so, because Hong Kong is a trendy, modern city that is bustling with commerce, tourism and indescribable pleasures. The city boasts a diverse range of attractions that will satiate your appetite for exploration. Ascend to the top of Victoria’s Peak a platform that specifically provides visitors with an amazing view of the city, especially at night when all the buildings are lit up in a kaleidoscopic display. Descend a few levels lower and you will find yourself at the doorstep of Madame Tussard’s Wax Museum, where visitors can pose with realistic wax statues of their favourite celebrities and historical personalities.Food-lovers and fashionistas, you will go wild! It is common for people in Hong Kong to visit teahouses and restaurants for yumcha, a popular practice where fragrant tea is sipped alongside servings of savoury snack dishes known as dim sim. Other culinary specialities that travellers should keep their eyes open and their stomachs prepared include the delicious milk tea drink and Hong Kong-styled egg tarts. For those itching to shop, Hong Kong boasts numerous avenues where you can discover your hidden shopaholic. There are many shops located in Tsim Tsa Tsui, a very consumer-friendly area that sells anything from trendy clothing to the latest electronics. Visit Times Square in Causeway Bay for more luxurious items, evidenced in the countless malls and expensive-branded shops situated there. How many credit cards will you max out here?
What happens when you wish to party or simply want to unwind after an arduous day of city trekking? Arouse your senses and unleash your inner animal with a crazy night out at Lan Kuai Fong, or more popularly known as ‘LKF’. Once a place that was riddled with hawkers, LKF is nowadays a busy haunt for drinking and is frequented by a significant number of expatriates and locals. Weekends and Thursday nights (the designated ‘ladies night’) are the pinnacle of the partying; the area is always filled with the sound of glasses chinking, bottles being popped, lively chatter and ear-popping music beats. LKF is conveniently located, a mere few subway stops away from Causeway Bay and Admiralty, two of the busiest areas in Hong Kong, and is close to various accommodation options ranging from the lavish Hotel LKF to more economically-friendly backpacker lodges like the Yessin Hostel.
To the unfamiliar eye, all these tourist hotspots may seem a little daunting, especially when it comes to transportation in one of the most populated cities in the world. Evaporate those concerns because getting around the city is so convenient, enabled by the highly efficient public transportation system in Hong Kong. Hop on the MTR subway and travel from one side of the city to the other in a jiffy!
What about the language barrier if you get lost? For those unfamiliar with Cantonese, the most common language spoken in Hong Kong, the city was formerly a British colony so you will discover numerous signs and buildings fashioned in Victorian style, with the majority of people being able to speak English.
Hong Kong, a place filled to the brim with endless treats just waiting for you to relish.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong
For trendy shopaholics…Causeway Bay
This is Hong Kong’s alpha district when it comes to people-watching and shopping. Be prepared as you see the pinnacle of Hong Kong’s urban life with crowds as dense as oceans, high-rise buildings and a constellation of glistening shopping centres, huge department stores and boutique shops lining the busy streets. Be prepared to outspend your budget as you are confronted by a myriad of the latest products from top brands at places such as Mitsukoshi, Sogo, Lee Gardens, Times Square and Lane Crawford.
Times Square in particular, is popular for being a multi-purpose complex that allows you to eat, shop or catch a movie all in one visit.
However, if luxury brands aren’t your cup of tea, there are also plenty of bargain-friendly shops on Jardine’s Crescent and Lee Garden Road. Travellers will also discover that there are numerous cafes and restaurants located on Cannon Street, Houston Street and Jaffe Road that offers a range of delicious cuisines such as Japanese, Spanish and Korean.
Crown Plaza Hotel Hong Kong Causeway Bay (luxury): Want to experience Hong Kong’s luxury accommodation? The Crown Plaza is the perfect place for you to fulfil those aspirations. With all the modern amenities, lavish bars and restaurants, and a captivating lobby, guests will fall in love with this hotel. Guestrooms are clean and comfortable, possessing iPod docking stations, signature bedding and DVD players.
The Excelsior Hong Kong (luxury): Encompassed by Causeway Bay, this hotel has 884 air-conditioned guestrooms with high-speed internet access, satellite TV and attaché-sized safes. There are also four restaurants, two lounges, and a coffee shop, all of which beautifully designed, making this a great accommodation option for those wishing to pamper themselves.
Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay (midrange): This is brilliant accommodation for any traveller with stunning views of Victoria Harbour, 266 beautifully-designed rooms, and a rooftop outdoor pool and spa tub. In addition, there are gym, dining and bar facilities plus a complimentary shuttle service to nearby destinations. The hotel is also near one of Hong Kong’s numerous Tin Hau temples so feel free to pay a visit and pray for good fortune.
For an experience of Hong Kong life and culture…Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui is the ideal neighbourhood for a thorough exploration of Hong Kong. Located on the southern end of Kowloon Peninsula, its name has become synonymous with Hong Kong life. Travellers will be enamoured by the liveliness of this area, filled with oceans of crowds, heavy traffic and a plethora of shopping malls, restaurants and office buildings. Shoppers and foodies will find their paradise on Nathan Road, also known as ‘The Golden Mile’ and Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard. Savour some freshly-steamed dim sim before embarking on a shopping spree. In addition, there are also a high concentration of culture centres and museums such as, the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Cultural Centre.
For Hong Kong film and entertainment lovers, visit the Avenue of Stars, a waterfront promenade that stretches 440 metres; designed to showcase 73 of Hong Kong’s most celebrated stars, including 30 pairs of handprints left by big-time players such as, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau and Jet Lee.
Hotel ICON (luxury): Accommodation at the very finest –this modern hotel possesses all the modern amenities and prioritises comfort and convenience. It’s not hard to dispute this with a terrific location in the heart of Kowloon and with guestrooms featuring beds with Select Comfort mattresses and complimentary WiFi. Visitors will also be pleased by the lavish outdoor pool, spa centre and residential restaurant, The Market.
The Langham (luxury): One of Hong Kong’s most beautiful-looking hotels –the Victorian design of this hotel includes a Mediterranean rooftop pool, a health club, four restaurants, two bars, conference rooms, and a 24-hour business centre. Rooms are spacious and clean, ensuring comfortable accommodation for guests. The hotel is also located only 100 metres from Harbour City, Hong Kong’s massive shopping arcade.
B P International (midrange): Located right next to shopper’s paradise, Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard and the lush Kowloon Park, this is a great, high-rise hotel for those seeking convenience and good value for money. Guestrooms feature wireless internet and satellite TV. Try to get a room that overlooks the harbour or the greenery of the neighbouring park.
For party-seekers…Wan Chai
Nestled on Hong Kong’s northern shore resides Wan Chai, renowned for its large concentration of bars and pubs. In the past, this neighbourhood developed a brazen reputation for vice, conjuring images of topless bars and drunken soldiers. Nowadays, it may have toned down the debauchery but its credibility as one of Hong Kong’s top bar districts remains intact. Joints like Carnegie’s, Delaney’s and Joe Banana’s offer visitors an infusion of Hong Kong’s infamous night life.
In addition, there are plenty of other things to do and see in this modern neighbourhood. Explore Johnston Road and Luard Road for a plethora of fashion shops, arguably sporting the best value for money in Hong Kong. Spring Garden Lane is another area where you can pick up some basic groceries and other supplies before you check back into your accommodation. Opposite Wan Chai also lies the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, a building possessing the world’s largest ‘glass curtain’, a window which spans seven stories high!
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong (luxury): With sweeping views of Victoria Harbour and world-class comfort, this is glamorous accommodation at its peak. The hotel features a 50-metre, heated outdoor pool, two tennis courts, and a golf driving range. In addition, the rooms have beds lined with Egyptian cotton linen and marble-accented bathrooms with deep bathtubs.
Cosmo Hotel Hong Kong (midrange): Guests will be amazed by this chic hotel’s convenient location and trendy design. Located on prosperous Queen’s Road East, the rooms at this accommodation option are compact and colour-themed, offering a choice of orange, green or yellow décor. They also all have flat-screen TVs on the wall, minibars and high speed internet access.
Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong (midrange): For those seeking comfortable accommodation in a splendid location, this is the ideal hotel for you. You can tell how concerned they are with the well-being of guests by their menu of six pillows to select from in all 454 guest-rooms! Furthermore, it only takes a few minutes to walk from the Cosmopolitan’s marbled, chandelier-adorned lobby to most major business and commercial districts.