Tag Archives: Kowloon

The Star Ferry- A Hong Kong Essential

By Siddhi: 

Who?  Anyone who wants to get from either Central or Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui across the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong while simultaneously enjoying a stunning city skyline.

What? The Star Ferry, one of Hong Kong’s most popular tourist attractions and a key commuter service for locals. There is also a Harbor tour service called the “Shining Star” that provides an especially beautiful experience at night against a completely lit up city.

How? The main Star Ferry piers are located at Central and Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon Point). On Monday to Friday, the adult price for the upper deck is $2.50 (Hong Kong Dollars) and the lower deck is $2.oo. Children twelve and under only pay $1.50. On Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays, the adult fee bounces to $3.00 and the children’s fee to $1.80. It is very reasonably priced for quite a memorable ride down one of Hong Kong’s most significant features.

Why? Although the ride is short and sometimes a bit rough, the Star Ferry is the most convenient mode of transport between key regions of Hong Kong and really simulates what it feels like to commute in one of the most incredibly diverse cities on the planet. From people-watching to watching the skyline come to full, roaring life with its million lightbulbs of breathtaking beauty, the ferry allows for a fully immersive experience in Hong Kong lifestyle . You are likely commuting with tons of locals, and what you can pick up about the way of life in the city from their demeanor can be culturally enlightening. Just let loose, and allow the splendor of the Victoria Harbor and the metropolitan charm that surrounds it to swallow you whole. It’s a simple way to see the heart of an awesome city.

To learn more about the Star Ferry, you can visit their website here:

http://www.starferry.com.hk/index.php

Marriott Sky City Hong Kong- A Peak Season Delight

Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong
(www.marriott.com)

By Siddhi: 

Staying at airport hotels has never been a part of the way we like to travel. We love getting a place, no matter how small it is, in the heart of the city so that we can walk out the front doors in the morning and be swallowed by a new life and new culture. Much of the thrill of adventuring has been in trying to live in the epicenter of all action. But sometimes, booking a hotel during peak seasons on a budget proves to be a very trying task. Especially when you’re in one of the most popular cities in the world around Christmas and New Year’s time.

Last December, after spending winter break in Tokyo, we decided to stop in Hong Kong before coming home because it has mutually remained one of our favorite cities in the world regardless of how many new places we experience. Hotel prices in the soul of the city were ludicrous. So we decided to stay at the Marriott Sky City, located just a few minutes away from the airport.

Sitting right on the banks of the stunning South China Sea that is geographically the touching stone of so many oriental landmarks, Sky City feels like a luxury resort on every level. An indoor pool, full service spa, expansive golf course, and tremendous gym with specialized amenities (it was my favorite part of the hotel. I could work out at three in the morning and watch the planes land gracefully in the distance against the nighttime lights) are only a few among the many perks of paying less during peak season and staying near the airport. The buffet breakfast (additional cost) at the SkyCity Bistro was very comprehensive and ensured a filling, uplifting start to long days of fun and exploration in Hong Kong.

Another highlight was the complimentary shuttle service to the Tung Chung MTR subway station, which was how we connected to the rest of the city. It’s about a 35-40 minute ride to Tsim Sha Tsui, the hub of all culture and action in Kowloon (and to this day one of my favorite places on the planet). The commute isn’t ideal, but time flies watching locals and observing the beautiful seascapes through the train windows.

If you’re not visiting Hong Kong during the peak holiday season, then try to look for a hotel near Tsim Sha Tsui. Deals surface constantly. But if you are visiting at a time when hotel prices are through the roof, consider staying close to the airport at Marriott SkyCity. It was worth every penny.

Going Up to the Peak in Hong Kong – Takes our Breath Away Every Time

The Peak, Hong Kong

By Lakshmi:

Ask any visitor to Hong Kong what he/she must do before they leave the city and two attractions are bound to feature on the list – The Star Ferry and The Peak.  The Peak is the highest mountain on HongKong Island.  Many a travel article have waxed eloquencies on the entire Peak experience and it is featured on the famous list of 1,000 places to see before you die.

Our first foray to The Peak was over a decade ago when we did the must-do tram ride from Central.  This funicular railway has been in place for over a century and transports passengers from the base of Central to the top of the mountain.  As we went up, we marveled at the skyscrapers that appeared to lean as we zipped by.  And when we got to the top on a clear day, we were taken aback by the absolutely breathtaking 360 degree vistas from the top.  While there are many places in the world that offer beautiful views from a high point, Hong Kong sure had the jewel in the crown.

Like many a tourist, we crossed it off our bucket list and went back down.  The next time I was in Hong Kong, we celebrated a very successful business trip by cabbing to the peak close to midnight for dinner.  The night time views of a city that never sleeps coupled with the superb food made for a moment of tremendous joy and gratitude.

For many years now, Hong Kong has become an annual pilgrimage for the Paupers.  And The Peak is a must do on our list, now elevated to the status of a half day or day long excursion.  We take the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Central and then take front seats on the upper deck of the 15c bus that slowly transports us to the top.  We look at the store fronts in Central, survey the new additions or restaurants we must add to our list, smile as we pass the now familiar Gurudwara as the bus takes hair pin turns weaving its way to the top.  We  absorb the locals boarding the bus, the nannies and chauffers taking kids to school, children playing outside and of course the apartment complexes and homes that house Hong Kong’s wealthiest in some of the toniest, most expensive real estate in the world.  All this happens while we admire the absolutely gorgeous collage created by the ascending peak, the harbor, the skyscrapers, and the people.

Once at The Peak, our first order of business is always to pay obeyance to the views from the top.  The next several hours are spent eating and shopping!  We fuel ourselves with a good cup of capuccino and then invariably end up at the same stores every year that we simply know as our favorites.  Baleno for t-shirts and sweatshirts, a small store with the quirkiest tech accessories, a handbag store run by a woman who knows we will walk away with at least a couple of collage handbags of beautiful places and people, and of course the home decor store for one more piece to add to our collection.

Several hours later, as we walk out debating whether to bus or cab it down, the song “You Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun plays in my head.  Yes, without a doubt, The Peak does this to me each year.

To learn more about The Peak, click here:

http://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/