[Travel Advice] Hong Kong

Random Observation/Comment #515: If you read TripAdvisor, almost every recommendation for visiting Hong Kong is eating food (it’s not, but it should be). Bring your appetite and elastic waist pants.

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Things Hong Kong Does Well

  • Seafood. I love the large family style dinners that give you a bit of everything. Give me all the jellyfish, scallops, and steamed fish!
  • MTR. The metro in HK is much simpler than the one in Tokyo, so you can get to any area within 45 minutes. It runs frequently and on time with perfectly timed connections. I’ve never waited on a platform for longer than 2 minutes for the next train. The MTR is also extremely clean and for some reason I love the smell.
  • Octopus cards. This is similar to what they have for PASMO in Japan and the Oyster card in London. You can basically pay for everything with this card so it’s super convenient.
  • Air conditioning. They’ve got it blasting full speed everywhere. This might be an issue for some people because it’s easy to get sick when moving between 100% humidity and freezer cold. Glasses wearers will be foggy.
  • Drinking games. Every country has their own traditional drinking games, but I love the Hong Kong ones because it involves shaking dice. It gets pretty crazy and out of control, but it’s something to try.
  • Midnight snacks. As mentioned, you won’t go hungry in Hong Kong. The 1AM skewers are so delicious.

Things Hong Kong can improve

  • Street/Building cleanliness. If you’ve been to Chinatown in NYC, then you can imagine what some of the streets look like in Hong Kong. It’s not always dirtiness, but there are market areas that have the fishy smells.
  • Sympathy for those allergic to seafood. Everything has seafood in it. I guess you can always have beef chow fun.
  • More tourist attractions? I’m on the fence about this because I love Hong Kong as it is, but I feel like I’d run out of dating idea. In NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo, etc, I’d probably never run out of dating ideas.
  • Humidity. Damn! I think the hot weather puts me in a complaining mood.

Lessons Learned

  • Avoid the summer months. It’s just hot and humid. The fall to winter times are probably better. You can eat any time of year and winter has shabu shabu.
  • Get more custom made suits. I think I will only get my suits made in Hong Kong (Sam’s Tailor) from now forward. They had a 48-hour turn around time and my three-piece suit was less than $550. I like the measurements they made and it was the perfect fit. I also can’t gain any weight for the wedding.
  • Spend more time chatting with family. This is more of a personal reflection, but I think I could have spent more time catching up with my cousins. We only see each other once every few years and they’ve grown up so much. I feel like I should have imparted some wisdom to them. I also wish I asked my grandma more questions about her past. It would have been perfect for storycorps, but it’s so hard to get it all started.

Activities

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  • Victoria Peak at night – take the cable car up and witness the magnificent view. I don’t think it’s necessary to pay for the extra tickets up to the other observatory when the roof of the mall view was just as good. I do highly recommend going to the Wildfire and ordering the “Jumbo” size drinks. They are very jumbo.
  • Big Buddha – it’s a bit far to get to, but it’s a beautiful escape from the city and great for hiking. There are a lot of tour buses that go there as well.

hk tsim sha tsui

  • Tsim Sha Tsui – great place to see the Hong Kong skyline and take a star ferry. People say you should take one of the junker boats, but I’ve never done it before. I think it’s like going to the Statue of Liberty in NYC.
  • Lady Street shopping – in Mong Kok, you can walk around the busy lady street filled with a bunch of touristy things you can bargain to get. They’ve gotten much better at bargaining and probably don’t give too much leeway unless you’re buying a larger volume.

kowloon park

  • Kowloon Park – This is in Tsim Sha Tsui and warrants a quick visit. It’s surprisingly quiet and a great place to hang out with a date. We came here after getting my custom suit made at Sam’s Tailor and then went to the Mira Mall for lunch.
  • Nan Lian Garden – I like visiting this place because it reminds me of Japan. Since I already went to Japan on this past trip, I didn’t bother going again. You’ll go here to see some really really old trees and some cool rock structures. Go during the weekdays or else it gets too crowded.
  • Eat all the food – so important, it deserves its own category

Food

It wasn’t as easy for me to write this travel advice because I mostly spend time in Hong Kong visiting relatives and eating lots of food. The touristy side of things isn’t as appealing since I personally just love being there and eating endlessly.

~ See Lemons Love Hong Kong

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