Tag Archives: hong kong

Hong Kong – What is the Latest Impression Compared to Shanghai

Hong Kong and Shanghai – trading places

Hong Kong is expensive !  How do I give you an idea about what that means?   Well, think of it in relative terms:  Last weekend my wife and I took a trip to this city.  We wanted to spend some time there and see how the city has changed and grown.   What we determined was actually rather surprising.  There were quote a few aspects that made us think of how this part of the world — Hong Kong and Shanghai — is changing.

The price of the flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong and back was US$500 for two people…. The price of a descent hotel room in the intercontinental in Kowloon was $480 per night….Hm….!    This is pretty wild.   Makes me thing about the economic competitiveness of the city.  If it is relatively cheap to get to Hong Kong (we bought the tickets with a 3-day advanced purchase) but the cost of getting hotel accommodations is so high, how can Hong Kong be competitive and attract talent and be a good (cost wise) place to do business…?

We came here with the experience from more than 10 years ago and the inputs from friends of ours – who believed Hong Kong is well organized, efficient, offering great food – but expensive.

Our assessment:

  • The city has become VERY overcrowded.  You do not want to be on the MTR in rush hour;   Queen’s Road Central and Wellington Road in Central are a ZOO – on a Friday night we had hard time walking together….two of us…

China, Hong Kong, MTR

  • We decided to eat in one of the local small restaurants – on Wellington road – Mak’s Noodle (Mak Un Kee) 77 Wellington Street, Central;   While the food was not bad – it was not great either.  We spent about HK$180 for a couple small of noodle dishes and a bowl of shuijiao (soup dumplings)….I.e. the proverbial Hong Kong fast food.   Not low cost and not a complete meal either….
  • Signage was pretty bad – relatively non-existent.    Not sure why?  For a city that prides itself on having tons of tourists come and visit, the degree to which various landmarks were easy to find was very bad!
  • We were shocked at the line of people waiting to get to Victoria peak.   12 years ago my family and I had visited so this time we decided to recreate the trip… Well, not so fast!   We saw the line waiting for The Peak Tram – asked about the wait time – and when we were told ~1.5-2 hours we lost the desire to go.   Afterwards I thought, may be we came at a busy time…?  Turns out the wait was normal…. So, another question then – why if you are so tourist friendly, would you create the infrastructure to have a massive crowd of people waiting for 1.5 hours to get on a tram and spend another hour getting to the Peak?  Beats me….

This brings me to the overall assessment – is Hong Kong losing its competitive edge and attractiveness as a regional mega hub?   

I think it is…!  Don’t get me wrong – Hong Kong still looks and feels very cosmopolitan, with great architecture, and its skyline is still interesting and making a solid impression on tourists 

China, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Island at Night

 

China, Hong Kong, Skyline
View of Hong Kong Island

We live in Shanghai, and this Chinese city is doing all possible to be residents and tourists friendly.   The subways are bright and relatively uncrowded, the streets are well signed and clean…the list can continue longer and longer…

Greetings from Hong Kong – Back in Town after 12 years

Hong Kong

My family and I spent some time in Hong Kong back in the fall of 2004.  Since then I have transited through Hong Kong on numerous occasions while traveling to Shenzhen, but in all cases I did not spent any time in the city.   So now that we are living in Shanghai, a long weekend trip here seemed the next best thing to do, plus get the opportunity to revisit some of the sites and enjoy this dynamic city.

Well, so we hopped on Spring Airlines flight from Shanghai (I will post a separate article on the airline — as it was memorable – for its utterly uncomfortable seats!) and came for a 3-day weekend.

Getting from Hong Kong airport to the harbor was very easy – we used the Airport Express – the second stop was in Kowloon.   The ticket cost is HK$150 for a group of 2.   Yes, if you are traveling at least 2 of you – you can purchase a group ticket which saves you some bucks… But you can get only one way group ticket…. Strange but oh, well, it is fine

From the Airport Express stop in Kowloon we went to the area with Free Shuttle Buses — and found one that stops nearby our hotel (as our hotel – the Intercontinental Hong Kong – did not have its own stop).   The stop at the Sheraton (in Kowloon) was just 5-8min walk to the hotel we were staying in….

Getting around – the MTR

Well, this has become quite the experience!   Hong Kong is overcrowed!  No question!   Why so many exclamation points ?   Well see the photo below and you will be able to tell and judge for yourself.  

China, Hong Kong, MTR

It is an incredible situation and very difficult to navigate.  The MTR is very low cost but has become very busy and appears well under capacity to handle the huge influx of people in the city.    That was not the case in 2004…

You can download MTR map with stations etc from the Apple Apps Store.. There are multiple apps that are free.

Now, off to explore in the city – so more writing later.

 

 

More updates on Travel to/from Hong Kong Airport to Shezhen

The questions about how to get from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen and back keep coming up in various forums. Even now that there are direct flights from Taiwan to China (rather than via Hong Kong) the topic is still active. The fact is there is still a border and a border check between China / Shenzhen and Hong Kong — so it takes time and effort to make the connections. I have done the trip via various modes
* Ferry: Hong Kong airport to Shekou (described here: http://www.china-finds.com/travel/?s=Shekou)
* Plane: Shezhen to Hong Kong Airport or Macao Airport and on to next destination
* Van / car : you get picked up in Shenzhen and the driver helps you with the transfer
* Taxi to LoHu border crossing — cross on foot — taxi, MTR or van to other points in Hong Kong

All these modes are fine based on what your challenge is — time, money, effort…. 🙂 Or if you go often to Shenzhen / Hong Kong, try them all 🙂

I have put the timetable for the CSK lines in the Resources section of this Blog

When you thought you have seen it all in Shoe Fashion, the next surprise comes

Rushing through Hong Kong airport recently, I could not miss the opportunity to snap a few images of brand new fashions in shoes… Take a look at these images:

ShoeDisplay3 ShoeDisplay2 ShoeDisplay1

Pretty fancy, yeah!?