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just back from hong kong please take note

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sydney
posts: 67
reviews: 1
just back from hong kong please take note

Dear Fellow travellers

I have just returned from three days and three nights in Hong Kong and I have a few words of caution. There appears to be two types of travellers to Hong Kong, the label and five star set and the marketeers. I fell into both camps. I decided because I got a great airfare from Sydney that I would splash out on a good hotel the J W Marriott. It did not disappoint. My wife and I were booked into a mountain view room for HK2080 per night. This included buffet breakfast for one and a return limo transfer from the airport. On arrival at the Marriott we were told that we had been upgraded to a harbour view room (small but well appointed and fabulous view) on an executive floor. Having access to the level 33 executive lounge meant buffet breakfast each morning, morning tea and afternoon tea if you happened to be around, afternoon cocktails and canapes and supper till midnight. This was all included in the cost. The concierge and all hotel staff were exemplary in their service and the hotel is in a great location for sightseeing to the Peak and Stanley Markets and the Star ferry. As for the shopping it was mixed you go to the high end malls such as Pacific Place and you pay top dollar with very little discounting. It is also a very mindless experience replicated in shopping malls the world over. But for fun and bargains head to the Ladies Markets and Temple Street Markets in Mongkok. They require patience and fortitude but if you persevere you will be richly rewarded. Also in terms of food we tried, based on articles in the Australian press a restaurant in Central in Peel Street Soho called Shui Hu Ju. A plate of medicore chinese vege's will set you back AUS$15.00 and a main course anything between AUS$30 and $80. It is clearly for the bankers from Morgan and Stanley and you will do better at your local Chinese in Sydney. On the streets at the night markets you could have King Prawn skewers and a cup of delicious snails for AUS$5.00 and wash it down with a tropical fruit cocktail for $2. So if you have an unrestricted budget and want to walk around the Chanel and Tiffany malls in endless circles and lose all sense of time and place head for Pacific Place and Times Square and pay top dollar. If you want to experience the energy and colour of Hong Kong become a marketeer and head to the Ladies or Temple Street Markets. Also in regard to Dim Sum check out the lovely restaurant above Mc Donalds in Stanley where a feast for lunch cost AUS$15 a head, the same lunch in Pacific Place will set you back AUS$45.00 a head. So Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) Hong Kong is a shoppers paradise but unless uber rich you will need to be discerning and the markets are definately the go, although I found Stanley a little disappointing compared to the other two that i went to

Cardiff
posts: 53
reviews: 12
1. Re: just back from hong kong please take note

Hi Onion 63,

Totally agree with what you say about the malls around Times Square... designer stuff that was well out of my price range! We must have stayed there for about half an hour before we decided it was pointless with our budget!

Temple street market did have some good bargains mixed in with a lot of cheap rubbishy items too though! If folks are after something in-between I suggest the shopping malls in the Kowloon area. We visited a delightful mall near the Diamond Hill MTR station. We had vistited the Chi Lin Nunnery (which I highly recommend) and then went shopping for a few hours. It seemed to be full of local people rather than tourists and everything we saw seemed to be of good quality and reasonably priced.

As for the food and eating in expensive restaurants... We ate in local street food type places in TST where a meal for 2 was approx 100 HKD and established restaurants where a meal for 2 could reach up to 1000 HKD and I have to be honest and say we enjoyed the cheaper places just as much as the expensive places!

So a word to the wise... If you're on a budget, shop in Kowloon markets and malls and eat in the small local places - the food is still fantastic here. This also leaves you some money spare for alcohol... this was expensive wherever we went!

Hong Kong
posts: 6,583
2. Re: just back from hong kong please take note

I agree the shops are in a very wide spectrum of prices. The one near MTR Diamond Hill Station is called Plaza Hollywood. If you want to go to some middle/lower range, also try the followings:

Cityplaza [middle]; Jusco [lower], MTR Tai Koo Station, Hong Kong Island;

Telford Plaza [middle], MTR Kowloon Bay Station, Kowloon

Jusco [lower], Lok Fu Station, Kowloon;

Metroplaza [middle]; Kwai Chung Plaza [lower], MTR Kwai Fong Station, New Territories.

Singapore
posts: 242
reviews: 13
3. Re: just back from hong kong please take note

hi Onion63,

JW Marriott sounds really great but its still way beyond my budget to stay in! :) However I'll keep it in mind when I have the $$$ for it!

Thanks for sharing your travel experience in HK. Whether good or bad, I really appreciate fellow travellers' trip reports coz not only are they interesting to read, they are often filled with really good tips for future travellers! :)

Cheers always!

posts: 4,102
reviews: 108
4. Re: just back from hong kong please take note

Fair comments but Pacific Mall is always known to be an upper scale shopping place for brand names and designer labels. Time Square is probably one level lower but there are also many other places in the middle market range. Tin has provided a comprehensive list. The mall at the Shatin KCR station used to be okay too but have not been there fore over a year now. Land is a scare commodity in HK and premium location demands premium rent and profit margin to cover the overheads. On the other hand, those hawkers in Ladies Market have little overhead costs and no shop fittings to speak of and will therefore be able to sell goods at a lower profit margin. I may even be reckless to say that you sometimes get a better deal when paying with cash with a sole proprietor. Prices vary greatly in HK from store to store depending on location and supply and demand. It���s best to find out the price of similar goods in your home country as a reference. It���s okay to always ask if any discount, even at ���department stores��� as many counters are sublet to individual proprietors.