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Last minute Hong Kong trip- help needed please!(69 Posts)
With only a few weeks notice, DBro, DMum and I are off to Hong Kong next week, to celebrate DMum's big birthday.
I haven't flown in 20 years, since I was a fearless teenager (DBro & DMum are regular jet-setters and not phased in the slightest, although they've never visited Hong Kong before), so I'm panicking just a bit about the flight, leaving the children, making sure I've packed everything.
Does anyone know... if I'll need plug converters for my UK devices, whether I can take basic painkillers (paracetamol/ ibuprofen) for emergencies, whether Facebook Messenger works over there so I can video call the DC, whether DBro can take his e-cigarette thing to use over there, what the best mosquito repellant is to take (I've read about Dengue fever being prevelant at the mo?), err..any tips for flying long-haul, or other things I might wish I'd brought with me?
We're staying in Kowloon in the Harbour Plaza Metropolis, for 1 week.
We've got one trip pre-booked from Aberdeen Harbour to Stanley Market and on to the Victoria Peak tram ride. I'd really like to see a temple or some historical/ heritage type places. Any ideas for any must-see places too?
Thanks very much
Yes you will need plug converters
Yes you can take basic painkillers
Facebook Messenger will depend on the Wifi connection, but should be OK
He can take e-cigarette thing, needs to be in hand luggage, but can't be used on the plane. They can't be used in no smoking areas in Hong Kong www.smokefree.hk/en/content/web.do?page=ecigarette
I always use Jungle Fever mosquito spray
Do the peak twice, once during the day and once at night.
Plan, plan, plan. Whenever I have been I have found there is not much ‘ad-lib’ stuff to do so book as many trips as possible.
Take the Star ferry to Lantau Island and visit Po Lin monastery
Do you mean will you need an adaptor to plug your phone charger in the wall,for example?
No you won't. Plug sockets are the same as UK.
Relax. Honestly, HK is not a disease ridden outpost. I live here, use my UK plugs and don't have Dengue fever.
You'll have a great time.
No you definitely don't need plug converters, the plugs are the same as the UK.
I was googling to remember the name of the temple we used to go to on school trips - the Man Mo Temple - and found this which has a great list of things to do and see: https://santorinidave.com/best-things-to-do-hong-kong
Will I be allowed to take my prescription meds - Prozac and Valium? I've heard they can be funny about this?
We were there a couple of months ago and our UK plugs fitted the sockets in the hotel room, but I'd still be inclined to take travel adaptors as they don't all have them.
Agree with taking the Star Ferry and also the cable car up to the Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau island. Also, take the escalators up to the mid levels and wander round the streets there. Also we liked the Man Mo temple on Hollywood Road, one of the oldest streets in Hong Kong.
Facebook messenger and WhatsApp worked while we were in Hong Kong but not in the rest of China. WeChat can be installed as a backup and we used that without any problems.
Whilst on Lantau be sure to visit Tai O Stilt Village; we went by bus after visiting the Big Buddha and Monastery.
We also stayed in Kowloon and our hotel provided a regular mini bus service into the centre.
Don't forget the visit the Temple Street Night Market but above all have a great time; it's a wonderful place.
We went this summer holiday and loved it! Best bits for us the peak team (go early morning to miss the crowds), Tianjin Tan Buddha (big Buddha) definitely the cable car up there too (worth getting the ‘glass’ bottomed car), harbour trip on the Star Ferry. The harbour light show was lovely too. Definitely use the underground, so cheap and easy and buy an Octopus card to pay. Have a fabulous time!
Check out this website
HK uses the same plugs as the uk but Chinese plugs are becoming more common. HK's very easy to get around with an excellent underground, tram, boat and bus network. You should be able to find English speakers easily if you get stuck. Enjoy, it's a great city and country
Plugs in HK are the same as in the U.K. All plugs, not just hotel plugs. 100% identical.
Facebook messenger works fine. I wouldn’t bother with Tai O myself, but the cable car to the Big Buddha is great. Don’t expect great shopping, it’s either insanely expensive designer gear or tat, no in between. Electricals are no longer cheap there either. Queue for the Peak Tram can be horrendous, my trick was always to get a cab up and the tram back down. The trams along Des Voeux Road are fun to ride, jump on at the back and pay as you leave, about $3 (25p!).
Taxis are very very cheap, don’t skimp on using them. There’s an app with destination cards if driver doesn’t speak English but most know place names.
I never got one mosquito bite in 6 years of living there.
There’s a rooftop bar called Sevva on top of the Princes Building next door to the HSBC building that is fab when the lights are on at night.
Oh and I’d recommend going out for drinks on Hong Kong side (soho/Lan Kwai Fong area) rather than Kowloon side as it’s more compact and nice to wander round. Kowloon can be a bit overwhelming and hard to find what you need without a lot of local knowledge. Too many guys selling watches and handbags.
On HK side, you can safely give Wanchai and Causeway Bay a miss though.
Ahhh you’ll love it!
There’s fab cheap stalls up the top of the tram. They took card payment. I’m sitting here in my silk dressing gown 👌🏼
If you’ve watched ‘Strangers’ you can go to the markets. Loom at the stalls. Buy nik naks. Go in the food market and see the baskets of frogs and live fish .. chicken feet
The light show was shite. Like 1 minute of light the Mandarin Hotel is beautiful. We went I. The bar for a cocktail
We felt 💯% safe
We went in a cheap cafe (equiv of a back street greasy spoon) and just pointed at laminated pictures on the wall
Ate also at a Korean restaurant where you had your own bbq on your table
Take the box for your prescription drugs with the sticker with your name. Put them in hold luggage. I had no issues
Not a single mosquito in sight in april and I’m that person who gets eaten alive
Yes WiFi means Facebook etc work
When I moved on to China I had a VPN app and activated that and went on Facebook too
Not as much fake
Designer gear as I expected dammit 😉
Oh you're all brilliant- thanks very much!
BritInUS1 - that's great, I'll pack some basic painkillers then, and I'm sure I've seen the Jungle Fever spray at my local chemist. Thank you for the e-cigarette info, still slightly unsure on that as other websites seem to show that nicotine liquids are illegal there- will carry on looking tomorrow.
Also, your link helped me discover that DMum will have issues taking her cigarettes with her as planned, as she'll have to pay duty over the permitted 19 allowed- she'll be thrilled with that info lol, but thank you or else she might have got herself in trouble there!
pigsinarow - Ah, I'd love to do Hong Kong Disney haha, but DMum is not a fan of amusement parks so that's a no this time around. And yep, I was hoping to pre-book as many trips as possible, but DMums's chosen tour operator hasn't been that helpful. So I'm fingers crossed we can book some bits via the hotel on arrival, so long as I have a clear idea of what places I'm asking for.
LoniceraJaponica - thank you, I'll definitely look up the Po Lin monastery.
citychick - oh that's great if the plugs are the same- thanks.
I'm really excited to visit- it looks amazing- I think I'm more worried about the aeroplane (so blasé when I was younger, but now seriously stressing about flying which is daft considering the statistics etc), and DP/DC surviving back home while I'm away- at least DP will have a taste of just how much housework goes on, or what mischief youngest DD is capable of/ that he never normally witnesses due to his long working hours.
Thank you for the websites- I'll have a good at those in the morning
OP you should be able to buy all the things you need at local HK pharmacies. In fact most things can be bought easily in Hong Kong, English foodstuffs are more expensive as imported but that shouldn't be an issue for you, also clothes are smaller in general - made for petite sizes. But it's relatively easy to find American and Australian goods cheaply.
The area around Admiralty is pleasant, Pacific Place shopping centre has a lot of good coffee places/restaurants and you can get the escalator up to the park and visit the aviary or the greenhouses. If you go into Central then some interesting shops around Hollywood Road, if you're not into the surrounding designer shops, can also go up to the Man Mo temple - see another poster mentioned this - it's small but worth seeing. You'll also find street markets and antique shops in the area which have some interesting gifts many of which are very reasonably priced. I've bought some really unusual gifts there in the past. Also look out for Goods of Desire which sells HK goods made by young designers, has some quirky stock usually. Bought some great Cantopop and similar there as well.
A number of the hotels have excellent restaurants, jazz bars etc...some near the harbour have beautiful views at night. I also like the more canteen style places on the other side of the street from Pacific Place, a lot of local dishes with very fresh ingredients.
I've been several times and never once used mosquito repellent but some people are more prone to them I guess.
Agree about Wan Chai and similar a bit overwhelming, not that interesting.
Make sure you hydrate the night before the flight as dehydration a big problem for long-haul travel. For the flight take lots of baby-wipes, gets quite muggy, and a good way to freshen up and keep skin hydrated. Buying a small bottle to fill with water and use as a mister is useful - Boots have suitable ones. Also travel moisturiser. Wear comfy, loose fitting clothes and shoes as sometimes feet swell...and layers as it gets quite hot on board - although what to take depends on what airline and what class you're flying, as some things provided by the airline.
It's a great city, friendly, excellent food, even the airport's pleasant, I really love visiting there, sure you'll have a great time.
When I went HK even had Boots the chemist. Great place to visit. We didn't book anything, just did stuff spontaneously each day. It was a few years ago though. We took the ferry over to HK island a couple of times and went to quite a few interesting places. I remember the temple of 10 thousand buddhas was worth a visit.
Man Mo temple on the island is good, but I would recommend you visit Wong Tai Sin is n the Kowloon side. Big temple complex with fortune tellers (you might need to try a few before you get one who is comfortable to talk to you in English).
I would also recommend a visit to one of the outlying islands. Go to the piers in Central. Most are only a 30/40 minute ferry ride away. Cheng Chau and Lamma are a good choice to see a difference side of Hong Kong.
There is no Boots in Hong Kong, never has been. PP is getting mixed up with Thailand.
You can buy branded cigarettes, painkillers etc in Hong Kong. There’s a boots and an M&S there!
But yeah fags are cheaper than in the U.K. so no need to bring any.
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