On a recent trip to further afield (Australia), we decided to break up the long flights by stopping in Hong Kong for the weekend. This is a great idea, and one we highly recommend when traveling further afield. For starters flying for 20+ hours is just unbearable, and secondly you get to see another destination for very little extra money. This is one of our favorite tips for saving money on flight.
We found an awesome flight deal on kayak on with Cathay Pacific from Manchester, the flights were by far the best value with only one stop. The route was Manchester to Hong Kong then onto Sydney.
Once we had decided this was the best value airline, considering price and service (we always check Skytrax). We then got really excited by the fact we would be flying via Hong Kong. On the airlines website you need to click the Multi-city/stopover option, then enter each leg of your flight separately, for example for this trip we searched the following:-
22 Oct Manchester to Hong Kong
25 Oct Hong Kong to Sydney
05 Nov Sydney to Manchester (the flight back also went via Hong Kong)
This search resulted in flights that were only £23 per person more than the option Kayak found, this basically means we get to see Hong Kong for only £23 plus a hotel.
So once we had the flights sorted we booked a medium standard hotel and our plans were sorted.
We did a lot of research on what to do with 2 and half days in Hong Kong and there were a few absolute musts so this is what we got up to:-
- First thing to sort was to purchase a 3 day travel pass for the Hong Kong MRT, not only does this give you unlimited travel on the underground system, it also allows you 2 trips to the airport (1 from the airport and 1 back to the airport). This meant most of a our travel needs were taken care of.
- Once we got to our hotel using public transport (which by the way is very easy to use), we dumped our bags and then hit the shower. Showering was essential we smelt a bit after the 12hr flight, and we our next stop was a tailor. Probably not what you would expect us to be doing but it is bucket list item. Hong Kong is home some of the worlds bet tailors and getting a made to measure exact copy of one of our favorite designers was a must. Based on previous experience and reputation we chose “Sam’s Tailor”, Sam is a world famous tailor and has worked with celebrities, dignities and royalty. The clothes would be ready in 36 hours so essential we got this out of the way first.
- That evening we booked for dinner at the the Felix restaurant at the Peninsular hotel, this was a recommendation from a friend. We just simply had to see the best toilets in Hong Kong. Located at the very top of the hotel (28th floor) the toilets all face out towards the harbor and have floor to ceiling windows looking straight out. There really is nothing like looking out over the city whilst doing your business. The food was OK, and European. TIP you can just pop up for a drink and experience the toilets.
- Tan Tian (Big Buddha) and Cable car ride. Another must is a leisurely trip on the Ngong Ping cable car ride, this has to be one of the most spectacular cable car rides in the world. It is just over 30 mins in total from its start to finish. The entrance is next to Tung Chung (MRT) stop, and the cable car takes you to Lantau Island, and the spectacular Big Buddha. This is the worlds largest seated Buddha statue in the world. Great photo opportunities await. This is a religious site, so be respectful and wear appropriate clothing.
- Ride the star ferry, these iconic ferries feature in pretty much every major movie that has a scene in Hong Kong. taking commuters across the bay from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon for over 100 years, they are now a symbol of the city.
- Peak Tram is not for the faint of heart, this has to be one of the steepest tram in the world. People actually live half way up the hill side and you will share your tram ride up with locals going about their business. Once you reach the top there is not much to do apart from absorb the most amazing views of Hong Kong, we were advised to go at sunset so as to get the views in natural light, and when the buildings all light up.
- Man Mo Temple – China and Hong Kong has an extremely rich cultural heritage and it would be a massive shame not to soak some up, so we popped along the temple, and very glad we did.
- Temple street night market, no trip to a bustling Asian metropolis would be complete without visiting a night market and Temple street is definitely worth a visit.
3 days is nowhere near long enough in Hong Kong but it is all we had, and we certainly made the most it. Although this was meant to break the journey and allow us to arrive in Australia more relaxed, it was so hectic i’m not sure we achieved that?