I was in Hong Kong last August. My 3rd time in the last 8 years. Let’s just say that I am not particularly excited because I had seen what I wanted of Hong Kong and shopping, which is the usual reason to go back again and again, was totally out of the question. No more shopping for me, that’s for sure.
The first time I was there, I stayed at the Sheraton. This is right across the Hong Kong Art Museum , the harbor and the upscale-priced shopping area. The 2nd time, I stayed at the Mira Hotel. This one is a little far off the harbor but nearer the more friendly-priced shopping area like Granville Road. The 3rd time, I stayed at the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel and, boy, this one is very near the ferry area and along the super brands area … you guessed it, this is where likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Gucci, Coach are.
The Marco Polo Hotel is connected to Harbour City (dubbed as Hong Kong’s largest shopping mall) by the Lane Crawford shop (oh yes, THE Lane Crawford shop). Harbour City occupies one solid block in Tsim Sha Tsui with 2 million square feet of shops and restaurants. No wonder that despite the breakfast buffet at Marco Polo I ended up 4 pounds lighter at the end of my trip. I must have burned the calories cause of too much walking around Harbour City.
Harbour City floor plan.
Here are some of the “Super Brands” shops.
There was some Snoopy fest in Harbour City.
Since I was totally on a shopping-fast, I was just on a walking tour basically. Here are some of the photos I took during my walk around the vicinity i.e. Avenue of the Stars and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. I am not really an art connoisseur or anything but museums are just my go-to places. Hell, I like them better than shops. On this trip, I chanced upon an Art Exhibit entitled Paris. It is about the Paris influence on the works of Chinese artists who studied or traveled there. I got teary eyed while I looked from one painting to the next. Everything was just awesome. It was just unfortunate that there were no picture taking allowed. *sigh
I also hang out for hours in Page One. I heard they were closing shop so they were offering huge discounts. I was in heaven! 🙂 Bought a lot from here.
Some insights gleaned from my trips. Might be of help, up to you:
1. Cabs. If you are travelling with a group of friends, you can take the cab to your hotel and split the fare. This is cheaper than taking the Airport Express – which just ends at the Central Station (from which you have to transfer to another train — and yes another round of fare — to get exactly where you are) and costs HK$100, more or less. Splitting a fare to Marco Polo Hotel (Kowloon) from the Airport will just cause you about HK$75. Be prepared to pay a gratuity for the luggage, this does not cost much, though. In addition, I think it is more convenient to go straight from the Airport to the hotel than taking the Airport Express and hauling your luggage across the biggest and probably the busiest station in Hong Kong to take another train.
2. You can either stay in the Hong Kong Island side or the Kowloon side whenever you are in Hong Kong. If you ever need to go to one side to the other, consider taking the ferry. This is about an 8-minute sail across the Hong Kong harbor for just HK$3, which is a lot cheaper than about HK$12.50 from the Salisbury Station to Central Station. That’s a HK$9.50 savings.
3. If you need to buy perfumes, check out the Sasa stores, which are all over Hong Kong. They’re like just meters apart. They carry a lot of brands at cheaper prices than in Manila. They have cosmetics (both branded and unknown) too. They have all kinds of promos and freebies (e.g. trial size of Lancome cosmetics for example).
4. If you want to watch the Symphony of Lights (laser light show) by the harbor, the best place is at the Avenue of Stars. The show starts at 8pm, daily so be sure to be there early to get the best spot. There is scarce seating by the harbor so expect to stand up for most of the show duration. Be wary of the Indians. I went there alone and was nicely seating on a bench when 3 Indians sat beside me. They were chatting me up. I pretended not to understand and speak English. I just ignored them the whole time I sat there. They were talking foul about the people walking by and, at one point, really made obscene remarks and catcalls to a woman, who was with her boyfriend, passing by. I left after that. They were 3 frigging stupid brawny Indians that I wouldn’t want to mess with.
A little while after that when I was entering the Marco Polo, I saw one of the Indians again. I saw the surprise on his face. He probably couldn’t figure out how a person who claimed cannot speak and understand English could afford to stay at Marco Polo. Well, boo to you, you big idiot!
5. If you are not fond of humid weather, it is probably best not to go to Hong Kong on June, July and August. Although, these are usually the sale season, the weather is very unforgiving. Since the harbor is a big part of Hong Kong, the humidity is such a bitch. Cooler weather starts in October.
6. There is a City Super in Harbour City where you can buy grocery items (It is not that big though). Other than that, I walked to Granville to The One, where I was able to buy my Lady Grey tea stash.
7. If you are on a budget, there are fastfood restos like McDonalds. There is a Food Republic in one of the malls (I think that was Silvercord) along Canton Road. It is like a food court and as such prices are more reasonable.
ps. I didn’t really shop. I just bought 1 thing … that little thing on the left which I was coveting since last year. Wwwoohooo!
So, I was meaning to buy the watch at the airport (because I saw this MK watch at the Incheon airport (South Korea) last year but didn’t buy it) on the flight home but upon checking the HK Airport website, it has no Michael Kors store. Because I wanted to be sure to buy only an authentic MK watch, I bought from the Michael Kors store in The Peninsula, which was a few minutes away from Marco Polo. This was sort of very last minute so I was literally … hurry hurry walk run walk run. Good thing I got stranded at The Peninsula from my visit at the Museum the previous day so I know there have a Michael Kors store.
On that note, here are some photos from that time I loitered around The Peninsula while I was waiting for the rain to stop.
The opulence was just breathtaking. I wish I had taken more photos but as I’ve said, I was just whiling away the time and I dashed out of the door the moment the rain stopped. haha
If you are going to Hong Kong, this might help.