Hong Kong is popular with Singaporeans for its cuisine and shopping.
Hong Kong Hot
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User rating summary from: 3 user(s)
I recently went for a short getaway to Hong Kong with a group of friends, and to be honest, the best experiences in Hong Kong await first time visitors awaiting to fill their stomachs with good food. For me, I had the backstreet experience, eschewing public transport daily and choosing to walk randomly all over kowloon and hong kong island. By the 5th day, I figured that I must have walked both places at least once and thoroughly explored a big area around my hotel. Hence, more than 100km walked and my feet blistered.
I feel that if one should go to Hong Kong, one should go for the food. For a hungry army boy like me, the place was heaven. The highlight of my foodie expedition would of course be a visit to the original Tim Ho Wan flagship store. The char siew bun was the best I've ever tasted, way better than that of Singapore's Tim Ho Wan. Moreover, I spent only HK48 ($8) on a good meal, whereas I would have clocked $40+ for a similar spread. One thing I'll definitely recommend would be randomly dropping into small, non-eye-catching eateries tucked away in nondescript parts of the islands, you'd be amazed at the food you're served. In fact, I was busy whatsapping pictures of the food I've eaten to my friend, to the extent that I felt a little guilty spamming her so.
Of the sights, there is not much to see actually. Hong Kong, like what Bryan mentioned below, is certainly a shabbier version of Singapore. At times, I felt I did not leave Singapore at all. The most encouraging aspect for me though, would be the glaring absence of any army camps (wheee!). And i agree with Bryan that the ride to the Peak was spectacular. In fact, I did an additional step of walking through the mist, it was thrilling and cool but easy to get lost in! Otherwise, Temple Street and Ladies Street boast famous night markets, and it is a good idea to visit all the museums on Wednesdays as they are free entrance days!
Wi-Fi is bountiful but poor, with really little free wi-fi and most services requiring you to pay. This put a slight damper on my trip but was easily offset by my business in getting gifts for all my friends and loved ones (I bought so much gifts that I had to borrow from my friend and could buy little for myself). Golden Dragon Complex, just a side note, is a good place for cheap electronics!
Overall, my trip was an amazing one. Though I had run out places to walk in 4 days and spent one day walking Macau, I felt it was a much needed break from my life. Moreover, the views are spectacular, with the light shows at 8pm at the habour as well as from the peak. However, to make the best of your trip, it is important to plan it, get an Octopus card and walk all the way from morning to night!
Too similar to Singapore
Many of my friends rave about Hong Kong and how the food and shopping is so much better there. I disagree! Hong Kong is a way too similar to Singapore to me and if anything, its a less developed version of it, with a strong mainland Chinese influence. That is not appealing to me, I would have preferred going to Taiwan, which is similar but has a strong Japanese influence.
My friend is regular visitor of Hong Kong and he brought us to all the hidden gems and hole in the wall places to eat. They were good but not mind-blowing-can't-find-in-Singapore good.
The highlight of the whole trip had to be the cable car ride which was breathtaking, literally taking you into the clouds. I personally would not want to visit Hong Kong again and I'm glad I've recently learned friends like Averlynn share the same sentiments haha.
I sometimes worry when I disagree with popular opinion!
unattractive manners of the locals
I personally find the locals pretty uncouth; often pushing and shoving without displaying proper manners, shouting at the top of their lungs. To put it simply, they are not in the least courteous. It got really annoying and frustrated at some points when I was minding my own business, trying to enjoy my holiday and then this group of locals come disrupting the once comfortable atmosphere.
Rants aside, the people there are pretty good looking; sharp noses, defined jawline and all. Be prepared for a good amount of eye candy! Hk has a pretty well developed transport system, so I would encourage travellers to try and travel around using the public transport system. It is pretty easy to navigate around too, but be sure to plan your route out carefully beforehand.