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nsh
05-25-2013, 04:10 PM
It is a rainy cold Saturday in Boston. Naturally, I decided to practice pack for my upcoming week long June trip to Hong Kong! I am tagging along with my husband while he is at a work conference. We tacked on a few days for fun together but I will be in charge of my own fun much of the time excepting evening work dinners. We are staying near Hong Kong Science and Tech University (a bit away form the city center). Do any folks have suggestions or ideas for tour groups I might join or spots I must visit? Any suggestions for improving this packing list?

Plane outfit- black dansko shoes, black wrap dress, black wrap sweater, infinity neck scarf

Here is what I plan on taking and my photos too:
Packing List
Luggage- Synapse and MCB

In the Synapse: Amazingly all of this fit in the Synapse with lots of room to spare. I am hoping to pick out one pretty dress or treasure from my visit so there will be room for it.
-Eagle Creek packing cube with- funky green dress, blue dress, black skirt, green shirt, red striped shirt, white sleep shirt, black flip flops
-Purple stuff sack with undies, bikini
-Toiletries in red case
- Needlepoint evening purse
- Blunt xs umbrella

In the MCB:
Kindle
iPhone (not pictured)
Camera
TB Field Journal with pens
TB RFID Passport holder
TB clear wallet with ID

39383939394039413942

nsh
05-25-2013, 04:24 PM
Photos continued:
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JLE
05-26-2013, 02:22 AM
Your packing list looks great. Dresses are ideal for the heat and humidity at that time of year.

I can't recommend tours, but here are 10 ideas:
1. The Peak tram is a must do for a first time visitor IMO!
2. Go for a wander around the "Soho" area of Midlevels (on HK Island) and along Hollywood Road for fun cafes, bars, and art galleries
3. Dim sum at a huge Hong Kong restaurant (the huger, the better for best atmosphere!) - Maxims City Hall (also on HK side) is very tourist friendly but still packed with locals and serves a traditional dim sum on trolleys (becoming rarer these days, sadly). If you get there a few minutes before they open you won't have to wait for a table.
4. If the weather is clear (unlikely in June, sadly) have a drink in the lounge at the Ritz Carlton Hotel for extraordinary views (from the 103rd floor IIRC)
5. Go to Felix for a drink at the Peninsula hotel for a quintessential Hong Kong skyline view; or alternatively one of the eating or drinking options at the Intercontinental (I haven't been to the latter but the location is ideal for that famous city skyline view)
6. If either of you like single malts, the Chinnery Bar at the Mandarin Oriental has over 100 on offer and it's a real Hong Kong institution - a tiny, panelled bar that invites one to settle in!
7. For yet another drink-with-view option (hmm, I seem to be stuck in a drinking rut!), try the bar at the Upper House Hotel on HK side. Good views across to Kowloon and it's a nice bar.
I'd better think of something that doesn't involve drinking in bars or you'll form the wrong impression of me!
8. Night markets or Jade Markets on Kowloon side (be careful - touristy; pickpockets)
9. Shopping - the IFC or Elements malls are good but don't expect to find much that you can't get in the US. In Central it is possible to move from one mall to another by elevated walkways that mean you need not set foot in the street if you don't want to! Causeway Bay is a buzzy option if you don't mind crowds.
10. The big Buddha on Lantau

HK has some really fantastic restaurants, from fine dining to private dining and cheap and cheerful. If you feel like splashing out you could try Ammo, Man Wah, Otto e Mezzo or similar. But definitely book ahead (ie now) because most places book out early.

Have a wonderful trip!

whisper
05-26-2013, 09:08 AM
It was many years ago that I was in Hong Kong but we did many of JLE's suggestions - I second them all except the malls because I am not much of a shopper. We also did a boat trip that showed a different side to that beautiful, huge city. I cannot remember names of where it left from or went but we saw some of the life of those living on sampans in the packed typhoon harbours. It was fascinating.

I enjoy your lists and photos. You have the "small but elegant" down to a science.

nsh
05-26-2013, 05:48 PM
Thank you JLE and Whisper. These are great suggestions. I think lots of delicious beverages, a boat trip, and a visit to Lantau Island will be lots of fun.

nsh
05-27-2013, 07:20 AM
I have one more question- I read (somewhere but I can't find the link) that Hong Kong has placed a ban on plastic disposable shopping bags. In effect, I should bring my own reusable shopping bag. Is this true? I have big Trader Joe's grocery bags that I use at home but I am partially hoping for an excuse to buy us 2 TB shopping bags that I can stow away in my MCB.
Thanks again, in advance, for answering my questions:)

JLE
05-27-2013, 02:43 PM
I have one more question- I read (somewhere but I can't find the link) that Hong Kong has placed a ban on plastic disposable shopping bags. In effect, I should bring my own reusable shopping bag. Is this true? I have big Trader Joe's grocery bags that I use at home but I am partially hoping for an excuse to buy us 2 TB shopping bags that I can stow away in my MCB.
Thanks again, in advance, for answering my questions:)

No idea about the plastic bag ban, but it DEFINITELY sounds like a mandated TB purchase! :)

Ian Thomas
05-27-2013, 11:06 PM
Plastic shopping bags: supermarkets and the like will still give out bags but will charge you HK 50 cents. An environmentally friendly reusable bag is therefore a good idea.

As you will be staying near the HKUST you can get buses (double deckers) and minibuses (sixteen seats) along Clearwater Bay Road to the MTR (Mass Transit Railway - our metro/subway) stations at Choi Hung or Diamond Hill, depending on which bus you get. In the MTR you can get tickets for each journey but a better way is to buy a stored value Octopus ticket. Go to the ticket office for this. You can store up to HK$1,000 and you can use it on the MTR, on buses (Kowloon Motor Bus - KMB - on Kowloon side, CitiBus and FirstBus on HK side), green mini-buses, 7 - 11 and OK convenience stores and a whole host of other shops. Also go down the hill into Sai Kung for a terrific selection of restaurants and pubs (bars). The old town is well worth a wander around and has the best congee (rice porridge) shop in Hong Kong. Finally, your selection of clothing is fine for hot, humid Hong Kong. However, always take a shawl, sweater, cardigan, jumper or jacket with you. Am I mad? Not exactly, as you have not yet encountered the ambition of Hong Kongers to air condition the world. Shops, restaurants, buses and buildings in general will have industrial-strength airconditioning and without the shawl etc. you will freeze. You will look at the heat and humidity outside with longing! Above all, just relax and enjoy. HK is vibrant and casual and, as everywhere, a smile will get you anything. And if it all gets just too much (the heat and humidity really can take a toll) just pour yourself into a taxi (they are everywhere and are cheap and reliable), go home, put the air conditioning on, put your feet up and have a beer. Have fun!

firewatch
05-28-2013, 10:14 PM
I really enjoyed the Peak and Lantau Island, though both were super crowded. At the Buddha you can buy a meal ticket (not a snack ticket, which only gets you an ice cream) and eat a vegetarian meal at the monastery. I also went to the Museums of History and Art and they were pretty cool -- plus it was nice to take a break from the heat and the crowds. I got the Octopus Card like Ian Thomas suggested and also used it to ride the Star Ferry across the harbor. Somehow, no matter where I went, I ended up in a giant mall at least once by the end of the day.

When I told my parents about my trip they were disappointed that I hadn't eaten in a (the?) floating restaurant. Apparently that was the thing to do thirty years ago. Something to look forward to on my next visit.

Hope you have an awesome trip!

voltzer
05-29-2013, 02:06 AM
Echoing on what firewatch said, I was just about to suggest taking the Star Ferry across the harbour! It's a 5 minute ride from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui and offers a really nice view of the skyline and night view. If you happen to be taking it at 8pm, you'll be able to catch the light show named "Symphony of Lights" which basically consists of lights/laser beams being shot out from various buildings near the Victoria Harbour - which doesn't sound terribly exciting but does make for some nice photography. (Maybe that it doesn’t sound terribly exciting has something to do with my writing, not the actual show. Achem...)

The floating restaurant mentioned is the Jumbo Kingdom. Regardless of whether or not you actually go there you should definitely try to eat some seafood which is quite famous in Hong Kong. Sai Kung mentioned by Ian Thomas is a really good place for that. If you get a chance, I’d recommend trying out some “street snacks” – egg tarts (aka custard tarts), pineapple buns (which does NOT have any pineapple in it, but a sweet crust at the top of a bun/bread). These should be available in any of the local bakeries you walk by, Maxims, Arome etc.

Have fun!

firewatch
05-29-2013, 06:59 AM
Thanks for the clarification voltzer. :)

nsh
06-02-2013, 11:53 AM
Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. This is fantastic advice.
I am so excited to visit and will post some shots when I return from the trip at the end of June!
I hope everyone is having an enjoyable Sunday:)

nsh
07-01-2013, 09:30 AM
I just returned from a fantastic trip to HK. I adjusted my list before traveling add added a few more lightweight dresses and I am glad I did. Also, I used some travel sacks instead of my normal cubes (my husband borrowed those). The sacks were great. I packed an extra empty one for dirty clothing and it was nice to separate dirty/clean clothes when traveling. My packing list and TB bags (Synapse and MCB) worked well and I felt I had just the right amount of stuff to see me through the week. It was incredibly warm so I had to take 2 showers (one in the AM and one after a day of sightseeing) and had to change into a different evening outfit for dinner. Packing lightweight dresses and a pair of flip flops helped out in alternating clothing. If you suffer from stinky feet syndrome (SFS) then the extra pair of flip flops or foot spray is a must.

Trip Highlights: a private food walking tour (booked through Little Adventures in Hong Kong), HK history museum on a rainy day, Lin Fa Kung temple and garden, the neighborhood around Tin Hua temple, star ferry, drinks at several bars with great views!

The food walking tour was the best part of the trip. It was pricey but we got to see several neighborhoods, visited some temples, and ate delicious local food. If you do one thing in HK, I recommend booking a tour through these folks. Amazing.

Trip Downers: I am not a big shopper so the malls did not appeal to me. The extravagant consumption was off putting for me. Relatedly, we went to Victoria Peak. I imagined the peak would be more like a US national park type of place with great views and lots of nature; instead it seemed more like a mall (with wax museum featuring Michael Jackson and hard rock café store!) at the top of a mountain. The view was great but it felt more like a tourist trap to me. We did wander down the trail but the mall was so hideous to me it was hard to move past it. Also, the tram broke once we got to the top so we took a cab down. If you have limited time maybe another spot would be a better option.

A few shots featuring the Synapse, MCB (and me)!

4254425542564257

JLE
07-01-2013, 01:37 PM
Sounds great! Glad you had such a great time and the travel wardrobe worked so well. As for the shopping, well, it's pretty hard to avoid in HK...

MaggieScratch
07-01-2013, 02:05 PM
Great photos! Wow, is that the view from your hotel room? Or is that Victoria Peak? Either way, amazing.

gochicken
07-01-2013, 03:30 PM
It was incredibly warm so I had to take 2 showers (one in the AM and one after a day of sightseeing) and had to change into a different evening outfit for dinner.



Love your photos and trip summary! Your comment about the showers reminded me of something my mom used to say.... that in Hong Kong the humidity is so bad you take a shower to dry off! :)

Thanks for posting!

nsh
07-01-2013, 06:04 PM
Great photos! Wow, is that the view from your hotel room? Or is that Victoria Peak? Either way, amazing.

It was from the 41st floor of our hotel room! We were in Kowloon East near the HK University of Science and Technology (for an academic conference). It is considered a suburb so a bit quieter than the city center.It was a great location right on the MTR.

daisy
07-01-2013, 06:08 PM
great pics!

that is a synapse 19 yes? I can't see the size mentioned anywhere - apologies if I've missed it.

From the list I thought it must be a 25 but the pic with the MCB looks like a 19.

(of course being young and slim does help fit those short dresses in.... :-) I don't think I could manage it :-( )

nsh
07-02-2013, 07:32 AM
great pics!

that is a synapse 19 yes? I can't see the size mentioned anywhere - apologies if I've missed it.

From the list I thought it must be a 25 but the pic with the MCB looks like a 19.

(of course being young and slim does help fit those short dresses in.... :-) I don't think I could manage it :-( )

Hi! Yes, it is a Synapse 19. As others have mentioned before, the Synapse 19 is like a Tardis- much more spacious on the interior than it first appears to be:) Light crushable summer dresses are folded into one of the large travel sacks and smooshed at the very bottom of the Synapse so it fit lots of outfits. Thank you:)

Darcy
07-03-2013, 10:45 AM
A few shots featuring the Synapse, MCB (and me)!

4254425542564257

Awesome photos. I'm doing that thing of quoting your response with all of the photos in the quote just because I think they're so great that everyone should see them on page 2 of this thread. :)