a VirtualTourist member from Canton de Neuchâtel
Hi all, My husband and I are coming to HK for our first visit (well, I was there as a child in the 60s, but I'm not counting that:) this June. We're staying at the Silvermine Beach Resort on Lantau for one night as we fly out to Guilin the next day. We will return 2 weeks later, however, for another 4 nights. I have a few questions I'd love some help on from anyone who is really familiar with HK:
1) We are considering staying at Silvermine again, as it seems a really nice & quiet place. We are in our 60s and not interested in clubbing. Mui Wo looks like a nice little place with good restaurants, and I know there's a ferry. We would be taking it to HK every day, I expect, as we definitely want to see all the sights! Does anyone think it would be silly to stay so far out, ot would it be fine to take the ferry out to Central in the morning and return in the evening or late afternoon? I guess it would also be good for visiting the Giant Buddha.
2) Has anyone got any helpful tips for which places are must-sees, where one has the best skyline views, which restaurants - with good food but also good views and/or atmosphere?
3) We will be arriving by train from Guilin. Would it be a good idea to get an Oyster card for 5 days? Do they cover the ferries too? Where can one get them upon arrival in HK by train?
Thanks very much!
Yes it is silly to save your money when you are in your golden years and can spend some. Lantau is cheaper, but not by much. Overall, Hong Kong hotels are expensive, so why not stay somewhere that you like and coinvenant to you to just come out side, grab a taxi or walk to the ferry and the streets of H K. there is a hotel next to the Pennisula that I stayed at call the Kowloon with views of the sea. Outher hotels along the water front like the Regent and Marco Polo is great too. Good food can be found all around. You can get a Oyster card on arrival without a problem. Look at the VY members sights on HK and prepare well. The Holiday Inn golden mile is not bad also or most any hotel in the Kimberely area. Good luck and enjoy H K. let it work for you
cheers tommy x
Hi [VT member 56179], I wouldn't recommend you to stay in Silvermine or Mui Wo...especially if you are first time visitors to HK. Yes, it might be true that this area is a bit quieter and cheaper...BUT you have to keep in mind that you spend lots of time traveling to the sight-seeing attractions and since you just have a few days in HK you shouldnt waste these waiting on a ferry or arranging your days on a tight ferry schedule.
As the previous poster pointed out, try to take a look at hotels such as the Marco Polo hotels or equivalent...they are a bit pricier...but worth the money since you have direct access to most of the public transportation systems such as MTR, tram, Star Ferry and/or buses.
Regarding your questions about the Big Buddha, must-sees, best views, Octopus card (Oyster card), etc. I refer you to one of the best resources about HK on the internet: www.nextstophongkong.com . You should be able to find answers to most of your questions there and if not...drop the guys an e-mail.
Thanks so much for that advice. As I said, I was tempted to stay at Silvermine - also because it actually seemed like a nice hotel. I don't like big huge high-rise hotels because they just have so little soul. At least the location of this one was good, and the price wasn't bad either. Do you live in HK? Would you know of any places that are not huge, are well located, perhaps guest houses, or else have lots of atmosphere? Just asking - no worries if you don't know:) I'll check out the website you suggested! Thanks again for taking the time to answer.
Hi [VT member 56179], Yes, I live in HK. Like mentioned before: transportation to the Silvermine Beach Hotel /Mui Wo is quite inconvenient. The ferry takes roughly one hour to reach Central on HK Island. Please consider also the frequency of the ferry which runs on a 40 min intervall (except the "office" rush-hour). The Mui Wo location is a good starting point for hiking or if you really would like to have a quiet weekend with your family away from the hectic downtown area...not really the first choice for first-time visitors and sight-seeing activities.
Reagrding your question about other hotels with 'souls': Space in HK is very very limited. Hk is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hence rents as well as hotel prices reach premium levels. Since space is so limited in HK, the only way to grow is vertically. That's one of the reason why HK has more skyscrapers than NYC. Unlike e.g. Europe where historic places are well conserved and maintained, HK is a place of constant modernization leaving little space to preserve history and historic places. The Peninsula Hotel e.g. is one of the colonial remain...BUT starting with a hefty price tag of US$ 300/night. If you don't want to spend this kind of money and/or traveling on a budget I would recommend taking a closer look at the YMCA in HK. The location is superb (right next to the Sheraton and the Peninsula Hotel), very convenient access to public transportation such as MTR, buses, Star Ferry, has harbourview rooms and room prices are similar to the Silvermine Beach. Drawback is: you don't have much 'soul'.
Hope that's a bit of help. Don't hesistate to contavt me via PM or mail if you have further questions.