28 Hours Alone in Hong Kong: Trip Report and Lots of Pictures

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Hong Kong Trip Report

Hong Kong Trip Report

I recently had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong for approximately 28 hours (yes it was a mileage run). My goal was to see as much of Hong Kong as possible in that time so I didn’t take enough pics for a full review but I can still give you a decent trip report.

Airport

Hong Kong Airport might be the nicest I’ve ever visited. If you love airports you will love it. There a ton of restaurants and equally as many places to shop. Plus, there’s a Centurion lounge. If you’re a shopper bring lots of money because it’s all designer.

Hong Kong Trip Report Hong Kong Trip ReportTransportation

My plane landed at 11 and being the crazy person I am, I chose to take the subway rather than a cab. I’m always scared to get stuck in traffic in the back of a cab after a long flight so I’d rather navigate public transportation.

I went to buy a subway card which they call an Octopus card (don’t ask me why). I had heard that I would have little to no trouble with the language barrier and using American cash (the cash part was not accurate). As soon as I got to the desk to buy my card she told me that they only take HK not American dollars. There is a Cash exchange in the airport so I just changed $100 not having any idea how much I was going to need. I don’t worry too much about exchange rates or where to get the best deal unless I’m going to be somewhere for a long time.  I will say that the cash exchange in the airport is incredibly slow and I had to do it twice, in the future I would do it right at my hotel.

As for the subway trip, I would have to transfer twice to get to my hotel. The trip was easy enough. The subways are not exactly right next to each other when you have to transfer so that was a bit confusing. Luckily they have an attendant at every stop to help tourists. Obviously not as many at night but during the day if you look confused somebody comes over to ask you if you need help, that’s what I call tourist friendly.

Finally, after about 1.5 hours I got to my stop, walked out and instantly regretted listening to everyone who said Hong Kong was very safe. As you can see from the photo, I was on a completely isolated street across from a sex shop. Thank God for a really friendly woman who saw my face and offered to walk me to my hotel which was about an eight minute walk. 

Beautiful View from the Lounge

Hotel

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui because I was able to use my free night certificate and the second night was fairly reasonable (also only 15,000 Hyatt Points per night). The hotel was fine. I would say nothing too special but the view was beautiful and I really enjoyed the food in the lounge.

Beautiful view from my room.

 

Food

I live for dumplings. After researching yelp I settled on a Michelin rated, authentic, hole in the wall dumpling spot. It was really cheap, like $5 and a huge portion.

Don’t eat pizza in Hong Kong that’s all I can really say about that. I also probably wouldn’t eat the sea urchin flavored ice cream either. I sometimes question my choices.

Hong Kong trip report

Activities

Our incredible Facebook group gave me countless suggestions for how to spend my one day. I wanted to see as much is possible but still enjoy myself so I opted to take the star ferry across the harbor and do the Mega Bus tour. I never imagined that I would enjoy a bus tour but there were so many positive reviews of it from our Facebook members that I just went with it and I’m glad I did. It was fantastic. Sadly it was about 105° and on my way to the second bus route my bus broke down and was stuck for about an hour. That really killed my tourist spirit so I did not get to Victoria Peak.

Below are a bunch of pics I took on the ferry and the Green Bus Line. As you can see, the views and sights are stunning and armed with a pair of headphones, I had a blast.

On my way back to the hotel I stopped in the shopping center and was blown away by how beautiful and luxurious it felt. If you love make-up you will love this place.

Complaints

I don’t normally travel to foreign countries by myself so I don’t know how this experience compares to others but I found myself extremely aggravated with the amount of cat calling and soliciting of a variety of natures. I asked some fellow travelers about similar experiences and Shawn actually said that there are certain areas of Kowloon by the mansions where this can be an issue. If you’re solo I’d reconsider venturing into the mansions as there seemed to be only one way out and I was actually pretty uncomfortable in there. (If you know me, it takes a lot to make me uncomfortable.) I definitely don’t think it’s reason enough to avoid the area just exercise a proper amount of caution.

Conclusion

I loved Hong Kong and wish that I got to stay there longer and explore more. I would have loved to enjoy more of the food and sights. My hotel was perfectly fine and would set you back a few hundred a night if you didn’t have points but there are a ton of hotels in the area and I had a hard time choosing. You should definitely take the Star Ferry across the river for the pictures alone and the overall experience.


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25 COMMENTS

  1. Subway after Airport Express? Walking from the MRT station to the Hyatt TST? Venturing into (I assume) Chung King Mansion, alone? SMH (in disbelief) Bethany…ugh!

    If the free hotel shuttles ended for the night, a taxi would have been just as cheap. The Hyatt TST used to be on Nathan Road, but relocated years ago to its current location. There’s a direct underground walkway from the MRT stop to the hotel lobby, but it’s a healthy walk. Definitely safer than roaming the streets surrounding the hotel, but in all fairness, it’s really quite safe. As for the Mansions, I’m never too deep that I can no longer see an exit. As for the hotel, it’s very reasonable being so centrally located and having lounge access makes all the difference in the world.

  2. Well at least you now understand I’m not the type to complain about people making me uncomfortable for no reason . You’re right though, I will certainly be more diligent in future solo travel.

    • No debate here. I lived in NY for a dozen years into my early teens. I was simply very surprised no one (cough, Shawn, cough) gave you insight. Next time, and there will be a next time, feel free to contact me for all things Asia and Vegas (with respect to Shawn and Ryan, if course).

  3. “…instantly regretted listening to everyone who said Hong Kong was very safe. As you can see from the photo, I was on a completely isolated street across from a sex shop.”
    So if a street is isolated it is not safe??? That is nuts. Where do you live? I travel all around the world and frequently find myself on totally empty streets and have never felt unsafe. The only time I ever feel unsafe is when there are shady looking characters staring me down.
    Have you ever been to major cities in Europe? They have sex shops everywhere. Are you fearful of travel to Europe because of the presence of sex shops? Do you think the presence of a sex shop makes an area dangerous?
    Hong Kong is very safe. Much safer than Paris (my favorite city in the world) and far safer than San Francisco where I live. You must live a very sheltered life to think Hong Kong is dangerous.

    • I’m from Brooklyn. I don’t think being sheltered and departing subways in foreign countries at 2am necessarily go together.

      I certainly didn’t say HK was unsafe and I definitely don’t think that.

      • “…instantly regretted listening to everyone who said Hong Kong was very safe.”
        The above statement is what made me think you were saying HK was not safe. I mean if you thought it was safe, why would you regret listening to those who said it was safe.

        “I’m from Brooklyn.” That’s why your comments totally surprised me. Coming from Brooklyn, what you saw and experienced should be a cake walk.

  4. I stayed at Hyatt Regency earlier this year, and there is a hotel shuttle once you walk out of Kowloon station on the Airport Express. Also there is a MRT exit in the basement shopping center of the building Hyatt Regency shares.

    Try directions from Google Maps, makes traveling easier.

  5. Glad you like Hong Kong. Even I feel the food in Hong Kong is not as good as before, it is still the place where I was born and raised.
    With regard to the Octopus card, it was derived from the idea that octopus has eight limbs. Then this is transformed to “all directions”. So you can use this card to get everywhere. MTR actually had a campaign for people to name the card when it was first launched a d this was the winner.

  6. My wife and I love the Hyatt TST. Great lounge, good location for walking, nice mall attached, good rooms, and super easy subway access. I wish you had visited the temple street night market. Everyone enjoys it. Nice review.

  7. You may have missed the Airport Express detail that offers free bus service from the Kowloon station to the Hyatt TST, among like two dozen hotels. My kids and I just got back from there, and staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Mongkok, we had to walk several blocks at about 8:00 at night. Didn’t feel unsafe at all.

    We bought an Airport Express transit card (just that, not an Octopus card) at the first booth we saw leaving the airport, and paid by credit card. We exchanged cash in Mongkok at a much better rate than the airport without commission.

    • I didn’t miss it, I prefer subways bc I get nauseous in cars. I went out at 8pm was a bit different than 2am but I’m glad you guys are enjoying your trip!

  8. Im doing the exact same trip in 2 week, except im at the Intercontinental. From 1-10 how cold is it now? Im packing for 7.

  9. You missed the peak… the number one thing to visit in hkg… nooooooo… the view from the peak is like one of the must do thing when visiting Hong Kong for the first time!!!

  10. There is a great burger place in the mall next to the Hyatt on the lower level. Called the Butchers Club. The mall there is very nice and there is food inside there as well. I have been there many times. The area is safe. I find it wasy to get there from Airport Express and the subway which is right there. The lounge has a great view. Some of the food choices may be a little strange but overall good. They are stingy with upgrades unless you use certs. Even so the room you get with the cert is not great- a little larger. 15K points is a great deal as this pace often goes for $400 a night and they dont always have rooms available on points.

  11. Kudos to you for getting out in the world and sharing your honest perspectives. Our first visit to any place has its ups and downs, by next time you’ll be an HK expert.

    Through your eyes, HK is very different than the place my wife and I love and visit at least every other year. Since no one else mentioned it, we prefer the A20/21 buses from HKG nearly to the door of many of the TST hotels. No need to transfer like the Airport Express (to a shuttle bus) or the MTR, and not all that much extra time.

    • Thanks Stefan! 🙂 I think it’s important to share honestly for other potential solo or first timers. As you saw from the conclusion, I’m looking forward to going back. Do you have a favorite hotel and of course restaurant?

      • For hotels there are not great points values so we use whatever certs we have, we stayed at that Hyatt in in July and can confirm late night that cluster of streets is eerily quiet on opposite sides of round the clock neighborhoods.

        Marriott has opened some Moxy ones that are lower-category and look funky.

        Plenty of hotels we would love to try if we had the cash, if there were a some great FHR offers someday for The Peninsula or the Mandarin Oriental, the two classics, we would see if we would have the cash for the splurge.

        If you want to try more luxury on points, the hotels up in Shenzhen, like for like, are much more luxurious and rooms more spacious. We stayed at JW Marriott Shenzhen Futian for 2 nights last year with our Marriott credit card certs.

        For restaurants, we eat whatever catches our eye. We love the traditional neighborhood cafes, known in Cantonese as cha chaan teng, Mandarin as cha can ting, the streets around Hyatt Regency have several. Try HK-style French toast at any of them for afternoon tea. Near the Hyatt Regency on 19 Carnarvon Rd we fell in love with the cuttlefish balls last trip.

        Two classics next to each other in Jordan are Mak Man Kee at 51 Parkes St for beef brisket noodles and Australia Dairy Company at 47 Parkes St for steamed double-skin milk. I’ve been going to both since my student days. For nostalgia, my favorite cha chaan teng is at 280 Temple Street.

  12. Thank you for sharing, in 3 weeks I’m flying PHLHKG for a 36 hour adventure staying at same hotel, this was great!

  13. Hi Bethany! I’d recommend staying on Hong Kong island next time if you return – somewhere in/around Causeway Bay – Wanchai – Admiralty – Central. Just my personal preference, but it’s a totally different vibe from TST!

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