Mum’s been blabbing on about going to Hong Kong for as long as I can remember. How long exactly, I couldn’t say but I do recall her wanting to go prior to Hong Kong being returned to the Chinese from the British rule in 1997. Yeah, quiet a while.
It never quite managed to get to the top of the list but when a good deal came up on Qantas a few months ago, we figured it was now or … later. Looking the best time to visit Hong Kong on the Lonely Planet website, it sounded like March-April would be ideal.
One thing I always struggle with is having enough annual leave from work, so checking the calendar, I see Easter is fairly late this year. As both Good Friday (18th April) and Easter Monday (21st April) are public holidays, in conjunction with Anzac Day on the 25th, going over this period would be the biggest bang for my annual leave buck.
Lock and load baby! Flights booked… so next up accommodation.
Heading next over to Expedia, I checked out options for hotels. OMG, wow is HK expensive! Trying to find a balance between a reasonable hotel without selling a kidney or staying in a dive looked like tricky work.
I looked into private apartments but quite frankly some of the reviews scared me. People reporting that when they arrived, it was insisted they pay cash even though they had booked with a credit card or they didn’t actually get the apartment they booked, but one that was similar.
Finally I settled on the YMCA of Hong Kong. Expensive yes, but the room does include breakfast, its in a great location apparently and has rave reviews.
Next up is what to do while we are actually there. To be fair, I know very little about Hong Kong attractions. Definitely Hong Kong Disneyland. We are die hard Disney fans and after visiting Tokyo Disneyland last year, we can’t wait to check out Hong Kong.
People are saying its a half day park, however because we are such Disney nuts, I’m thinking 2 days will be just scratching the Disney itch. As Mum is a senior, she also gets admission for a very cheap rate compared to the US parks. An adult ticket is approximately $US75, but a senior ticket is only $US21 – and thats for 2-day passes! If at the end of the two days we feel we need more time, its not a great amount more to upgrade to a Magic Access pass (aka Annual pass).
So what else are we going to do between our Disney fix days? Well, we both enjoy history so a museum or two are definitely on the list.
First up will be the Hong Kong History Museum – most likely on a Wednesday when its free admission. Call me cheap but I prefer the term thrifty. Some reviews on TripAdvisor say that its worth 2 days to explore. OMG, I can imagine my aching feet at then end of that!
Then the other museum that has great reviews on TripAdvisor and sounds interesting to us is the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, also free on a Wednesday. Closed on a Thursday. This museum is an old fort and also a WWII battle site.
Entry for adults is only $10 and seniors are $5 – for both of the above museums.
The Symphony of Lights Harbour show is also on the list – Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at 8pm.
I’m still working on the rest of the itinerary. No doubt we will throw in a harbour cruise – most likely on a public ferry for best value for money.
Vegetarian dining is something else I need to look into as things to fill in our remaining 5 or so days.
I know that shopping is supposed to be good in Hong Kong but we aren’t really shoppers – not unless you count the $1 type stores/Daiso stores that we frequented in Japan.
Getting to/from the airport to our hotel is also on the list of things to research.
In case you haven’t guessed, for me, planning is half the fun of a visit to somewhere new.
If you have any “don’t miss” tips for a first time visitor to Hong Kong, I’d love to hear them!
Update – if you enjoyed this post, the next of my trip planning for Hong Kong series is here.