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My rough itinerary for my first trip to Hong Kong

Sheffield
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My rough itinerary for my first trip to Hong Kong

Hi guys

Just joined this forum as I have a pretty mammoth trip coming up in November. I'm staying with friends in Auckland, New Zealand, so I've decided to make the most of travelling all that way, and am stopping in Hong Kong and Sydney on the way there, and San Francisco on the way back.

These forums have been invaluable in the last few weeks when I've been drawing up an itinerary so thank you all! I just wanted to share my rough schedule with you and hope to get some feedback as to anywhere I've missed or anything I could have planned better.

Firstly, I'm male, in my mid 30s and will be in Hong Kong on my own. It's a bit intimidating travelling and holidaying on my own but also really exciting. I love big cities, spectacular architecture, interesting culture and fun nightlife (although I have a feeling I'll be too tired to fully explore the nightlife!).

Anyway, here's what I've drawn up so far.

I've got 3 nights in HK - I arrive on Sunday afternoon, so was just planning to pick up my Octopus card, and then find my way to the hotel. I'm staying at the City Garden Hotel on Hong Kong Island, and am torn between the Airport Express or an A11 bus. I know the bus is cheaper and drops you outside the hotel, but the Airport Express train seems like it could be more convenient - any advice anyone? (one idea I've had is to take the bus from the airport, and then the Airport Express back to the airport on the Wednesday, so I can experience them both).

I've figured that by the time I reach the hotel and unpack, I'll just have the evening free. As jetlag will be creeping up on me by that point, I was just planning to take it steady, get the Star Ferry over to Kowloon, watch the light show, explore the Avenue Of The Stars and find somewhere to eat, and then head back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Then, on the Monday, I've planned in an early start and going up Victoria Peak using the tram. I was planning on spending the morning on the Peak, taking in the views and looking round the shops, and then taking the bus back down.

In the afternoon, I was hoping to see the Chi Lin Nunnery and then go to Sha Tin to see the 10,000 Buddahs. Then in the evening head over to Lan Kwai Fong for a meal and some drinks, and just take in the nightlife.

On the Tuesday, I want to get the cable car over to Lantau Island to see the Giant Buddah. I'm scheduling in all of the morning and a fair bit of the afternoon for this. Then, have some lunch on Lantau Island and go back to HK Island as I'd like to spend some time wandering round taking some photographs of the buildings such as the HSBC HQ. In the evening - over to SoHo for a meal and some more drinks

I leave for Sydney on Wednesday evening, so I'll still have some hours left in Hong Kong - I was thinking of exploring some of the markets on my last day, maybe buying some presents for the folks back home.

There's some things that I've had to leave out, such as Happy Valley Racecourse (there's no races when I'm in HK sadly) and I would like to see Ocean Park but I'm not sure if I'll have enough time.

Anyway, any advice about my planned itinerary would be most welcome as I have exactly 3 weeks until I fly!

Wellington
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1. Re: My rough itinerary for my first trip to Hong Kong

The peak as a nice view, but essentially it is a tourist trap. Depending on what you mean by early start, it's probably not worth the whole morning. The shops won't open well after (about 3 1/2 hours) the Peak Tram starts running. There is of course Madame Tussaud's etc., but it doesn't open 11-ish either. If you really do go early you could possibly explore the general area afterwards. There is the huge escalator, which is very long, but when all is said and done his army in escalator. And there are shops and quite a nice park in the area below the peak. Although the shops won't be open till about 11 either.

New Forest, United...
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2. Re: My rough itinerary for my first trip to Hong Kong

I think you have a good itinerary, just one or two suggestions;

For your journey from the airport the A11 bus gives you scenic views, particularly on the journey along the North Lantau coast and across the Tsing Ma Bridge, and will drop you on Electric Road almost right outside the hotel. It should take about one hour. Airport Express is 25 mins to Hong Kong Station but you see little on the way and then have to change to either taxi or MTR for the rest of your journey so overall it may not save too much time getting to the hotel.

I think early morning is a good time to go to the Peak. Queues for the Peak Tram should be short or non-existent if you're at the Lower Peak Tram Terminus before 10am. The shops mostly open at about 11 and are mainly over-priced souvenir and gift shops. Personally the shops would be the last reason to visit the Peak) and the Peak has plenty else to offer. The Sky Terrace on top of the Peak Tower has stunning views across parts of HK Island, the harbour and Kowloon (unless the mist/cloud/haze/smog descends - November is generally fine, sunny and dry but there can days when visibility is reduced by haze). The 3.5km shaded circular walk along Lugard Road and Harlech Road has panoramic views along some sections of the walk and Victoria Peak Garden at the top of Mount Austin Road, which is about as high as you can go on Hong Kong Island, (about 15/20 mins walk) is a quiet and peaceful spot with a viewpoint. By following the Governors Walk from the garden you re-emerge on Mount Austin Road.

http://www.hongkongextras.com/the-peak.html

The bus ride back down from the Peak is also a scenic ride.

If you want to visit both Chi Lin Nunnery and the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in the afternoon I'd suggest you leave the Peak no later than 1pm as you'll need to get to both Diamond Hill and Shatin and have time to look around. The 10,000 Buddhas Temple closes at 6pm. Chi Lin Nunnery is connected by footbridge to Nan Lian Garden which is a replica of Tang Dynasty Chinese garden with pagoda, rock pools, streams and waterfalls etc and you should also take the opportunity to visit this garden. If time permits you could also visit Wong Tai Sin Temple which is just one MTR stop away.

On the Tuesday I'd suggest a round trip. MTR to Tung Chung, Cable Car to Ngong Ping, bus 2 to Mui Wo;

http://www.newlantaobus.com/road_2.htm

and then ferry from Mui Wo to Central Pier 6 on HK Island. You'll get to see plenty of Lantau Island on the bus journey to Mui Wo and a scenic harbour ferry ride (the "ordinary ferry" with its open-decks is better than the "fast ferry" catamaran with its sealed windows;

nwff.com.hk/eng/fare_table/central-mui_wo/

If you can include Tai O with its stilt houses and tin shanties in your visit to Lantau you won't be disappointed. It's a short (number 21) bus ride from Ngong Ping;

http://www.newlantaobus.com/road_21.htm

or only takes about 10 mins and costs about HK$50 in a taxi. From Tai O you can take bus 1 to Mui Wo then get the ferry to HK Island;

http://www.newlantaobus.com/road_1.htm

For Ocean Park you really need at least four hours and it would be difficult to fit into your itinerary.

Hope you enjoy your brief visit.

Sheffield
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3. Re: My rough itinerary for my first trip to Hong Kong

Thanks so much to both of you - especially Solent Traveller, those are really useful tips.

I think the bus is definitely the way to go from the airport, as I'm looking forward to the scenic route.

As for the Peak, I'm not that fussed about the shops, so will probably just go up to see the views, and then make my way back down.

Thanks again!

Planet Venus
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4. Re: My rough itinerary for my first trip to Hong Kong

logistically speaking... i would do lantau on the day you leave since

1. your flight is at night

2. lantau is nearer the airport so it minimizes the time you have to go traipsing around hongkong

3 do your shopping the days before, and on the last day before you head up the big buddah in the morning, check in luggage at the airport or if you are using the airport express - check it in either hk or kowloon airport express

my two cents

5. Re: My rough itinerary for my first trip to Hong Kong

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