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Beijing, Shanghai and Surrounding Areas


amyknyc
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Answers to a couple of questions:

Dimsum: at Metropole, and at most any standard Cantonese restaurant (and many non-Cantonese ones), you can get it any day at lunchtime. The only place I knew of in HK which served dimsum all day, including dinner was the Dimsum Restaurant (sorry, only know it by its English name and I dont' remember the address) in Happy Valley. Most any tourist guide to HK will list this, and I can't imagine a hotel concierge not knowing where it is. It's one of the very few places in HK which has a full English-language dimsum menu, and because of that, it's very popular among foreigners. Despite this, the food is absolutely authentic and delicious, and by no means is it exclusively patronized by foreigners.

non-traditional northern Chinese food at Soi Wu Kui: hard to describe. But I fell into the wonderful rut in this place of ordering mostly the same things everytime. My favorite dish there was the crispy lamb. I don't quite know for sure how they prepared this but it obviously started with braising a nice piece of young lamb, skin-on, in some very aromatic spice mixture, until the meat was meltingly tender, then they must have deep fried the stuff because when they served it, it had a thin layer of crisp skin and the meat melts in your mouth. They gave you a dipping sauce of soy sauce and raw garlic, too. The lamb shanks, also deep-fried after braising- were also good. I also loved the prawns in crab roe, and the beans with salted fish (very strong flavors, maybe a bit of an acquired taste). They also serve la zi kai here, but I prefer Man Jiang Hong's version. In Hu Tong in Kowloon, they have a dish of soft-shell crab prepared like la zi kai, and I thought the heat and spices would overwhelm the delicate crab flavor, but I was (fortunately!) mistaken and it was very good. Their version of mapo tofu was also novel- a big block of very soft tofu, served whole without frying, with the spicy sauce poured all over it.

M at the Fringe: you can't go wrong, I enjoyed all my meals there, quite creative, fresh, reminded me a lot of the best meals I had in Sydney (and vice-versa). Much as I enjoyed everything I had there, what I can't forget is the pavlova dessert.

One last thing- my own personal opinion, you can skip Luk Yu- atmosphere is nice, but the food, if you're not a regular, isn't particularly exceptional, and I was very put off by the attitude of the waiters.

If you know anyone who's a member, try to have a meal at the China Club- food is good, although again not exceptional, but the decor and atmosphere are great.

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Sorry, forgot to answer a couple of other questions:

Man Jiang Hong and Da Ping Huo are both Sichuan places. At Da ping huo, you get a set meal- you don't get to choose. At Man Jiang Hong, regular menu. At both places you really should reserve. At Man Jiang Hong, even with a reservation, I had to wait quite a while for a table so I used to do a typical HK thing- get there early, give them my cellphone number so they can call me when the table's ready, then walk over to either Times Square or Sogo in Causeway Bay and window-shop while waiting.

Seafood- virtually every mid- to upscale Cantonese and Shanghainese restaurant will serve very good quality seafood. No need to go to Sai Kung or Lamma or Cheung Chau to get it. But if you wanted to go on a little excursion, I'd recommend Cheung Chau. Unfortunately a lot of restaurants in Sai Kung take advantage of non-Cantonese speakers and charge very high prices and add lots of extra costs. Same in Lei Yue Mun; less so in Lamma if you go to the restaurants a little bit away from the ferry pier. Cheung Chau is a very nice place in itself and the prices were always much more reasonable than in Sai Kung or Lamma.

As for your "splurge" meal, where to go depends on what you enjoy. If I had a splurge meal in HK I'd easily choose to go to Hu Tong. What makes FLM famous, special, and expensive, is how they serve the traditional Chinese "prestige" expensive foods- things like abalone, shark's fin, bird's nest, etc. This are the Chinese equivalents of caviar, foie gras, truffles in Western cuisines. Personally I've never seen what the big deal is with abalone, shark's fin and bird's nest- I'll eat them if they're there, but I'd never pay for them myself- to me they're not worth the money. But that's my opinion- and some of my friends, whose food tastest I respect, do go crazy over these things. So I'd say, if you like these foods, or if you want to try them in a place which specializes in them, by all means go to FLM. If you've had them before and you're not particularly crazy about them, then splurge somewhere else. All the 5-star hotels in HK have superb Chinese restaurants- One Harbour Rd in the Grand Hyatt is a particular stand-out, but Man Wah at the Mandarin, and Summer Palace at the Shangri-La are also very, very good. Outside of the hotels, one superb high-end Chinese restaurant is Victoria City Seafood restaurant, with branches in CITIC tower and Sun Hung Kai Centre. Dim sum here, by the way, is very nice.

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So far, I've found more info on HK and am considering:

Fook Lam Moon

.....

Any thoughts?

Do you know where you are going to be staying in Hong Kong?

Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon)? Central/Wan Chai/Causeway Bay (Hong Kong Island)? Or the hotel name? Suggestions can be made based on easier commute.

Lan Kwai Fong, or the so-called Hong Kong "Soho" district is in Central. Luk Yu and a few restaurants suggested by other posters are located there. Yes this little area is frequent by foreigners and trendy local youngsters. You will probably find many restaurants with English menus, which is why it attracted so many foreigners.

To me, as a native of Hong Kong, Lan Kwai Fong is a bit too touristist-centric, and the crowd is often too rowdy especially in the weekends or on holidays. But, maybe that's what you would like.

It would be easier if you have friends who are locals to guide you to dine in other places such as Cheung Chou or Lan Tau Island or Sai Kung where English is not spoken often.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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I would suggest an unique dining experience at the Victoria Peak.

There is a famous "The Peak Tower" at Victoria Peak (it's a tram station). It looks like this (from "Discover Hong Kong"):

gallery_19795_163_1098855538.jpg

This building looks like a double T. At the top level, there are 2 restaurants. (Note: My information is as of 1999. It may be outdated as the restaurant business changes hands often in Hong Kong.) On one side, there is a steak house kind of restaurant. On the other side, it's a bazaar kind of a-la-carte, you pick what you want and they cook it for you while you wait kind of restaurant. The price was reasonable. HK$250 (US$30+) for two adults, dinner. We got a window seat facing the Victoria Harbor (the other side of this building from this picture).

Regardless of what restaurant is operating there now, if you get a window seat the view is exceptional. I haven't been to any restaurant in my travels that's quite like it. The view would be similar to something like this:

http://www.pbase.com/accl/image/18701329

It most likely won't be traditional Chinese food, but it's quite an unique dining experience.

While I am at it, you can browse some of pictures of Hong Kong in the following websites. Some of these pictures are very beautiful.

http://www.pbase.com/accl/hong_kong

http://www.geocities.com/asiaglobe/gallery/hongkong.htm

http://www.ibiblio.org/hkpa/Scenic/by-district/en/index.html

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Thanks hzrt8w -- I've heard about the Victoria Peak station and we definitely plan to check it out. We're staying at the Penninsula, but are willing to travel anywhere -- commute time really doesn't matter to us. We don't know any locals in HK (we will in Shanghai though) but we're in our late 20s so we don't mind the "rowdier" crowds :biggrin:

OK, I'm crossing Luk Yu off my list. We're thinking of either Aqua or M at the Fringe -- does anyone know if M at the Fringe is the same type of restaurant (same owners, same food, etc.) as M on the Bund? If so, we'll probably skip that since we'll have come from Shanghai.

So, right now, the list looks like:

Dinners:

Da Ping Huo -- Sichuan

Man Jiang Hong --Sichuan

Yung Kee -- Cantonese

Aqua or M at the Fringe or something else maybe in a hotel

Lunches:

Metropole for lunch dim sum

A ferry trip to Cheng Chau island with a stop for seafood lunch

Is this a good assortment/cross-section? Whaddya think?

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Thanks hzrt8w -- I've heard about the Victoria Peak station and we definitely plan to check it out. We're staying at the Penninsula, but are willing to travel anywhere -- commute time really doesn't matter to us. We don't know any locals in HK (we will in Shanghai though) but we're in our late 20s so we don't mind the "rowdier" crowds  :biggrin:

The Peninsula Hotel is right at the tip of Kowloon Peninsula (thus the name). One of the most prestigious hotels in Hong Kong. It may probably be the oldest. Not sure.

It's within a 5 minute walk from Regency, another five star hotel. Regency Hotel is right by the Victoria Harbor. There are several restaurants inside Regency that offer an exceptional view of the harbor. I recommend that you can have afternoon coffee/tea or snack there.

Another place which offers good view of the harbor is the Hong Kong Convention Centre. It is over in Wan Chai, a bit more inconvenient from where you will be staying. But if you are in that area shopping or sight seeing... The HK Convention Centre itself is a good place to visit for its architectural design. Tall glass exterior wall all around. We had coffee there once. Really nice view of the harbor close-up.

Hong Kong Convention Centre looks like this: (Click here)

There are many tall buildings in Hong Kong that contain restaurants at the top level.

Before going further, not sure if you care about the views, or just want to have authentic good food even in the "hole in the wall" restaurants.

If my memory serves me correctly, Yung Kee (in Central) is a very tiny place. The food is great (specialties: Won ton, Cantonese BBQ, deep-fried fish balls), but the place is very cramped especially during lunch hours (should avoid). The size of a table for 2 in the US would seat 4 to 5 people in Hong Kong. If you can get used to that...

My opinion is that while you are in Hong Kong, you may want to try more Cantonese styles, as Hong Kong is the capital of Cantonese cookings.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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The Peninsula Hotel is right at the tip of Kowloon Peninsula (thus the name).  One of the most prestigious hotels in Hong Kong.  It may probably be the oldest.  Not sure.

It's within a 5 minute walk from Regency, another five star hotel.  Regency Hotel is right by the Victoria Harbor.  There are several restaurants inside Regency that offer an exceptional view of the harbor.  I recommend that you can have afternoon coffee/tea or snack there.

Another place which offers good view of the harbor is the Hong Kong Convention Centre.  It is over in Wan Chai, a bit more inconvenient from where you will be staying.  But if you are in that area shopping or sight seeing...  The HK Convention Centre itself is a good place to visit for its architectural design.  Tall glass exterior wall all around.  We had coffee there once.  Really nice view of the harbor close-up.

Hong Kong Convention Centre looks like this:  (Click here)

There are many tall buildings in Hong Kong that contain restaurants at the top level.

Before going further, not sure if you care about the views, or just want to have authentic good food even in the "hole in the wall" restaurants.

If my memory serves me correctly, Yung Kee (in Central) is a very tiny place.  The food is great (specialties:  Won ton, Cantonese BBQ, deep-fried fish balls), but the place is very cramped especially during lunch hours (should avoid).  The size of a table for 2 in the US would seat 4 to 5 people in Hong Kong.  If you can get used to that...

The 'Regency'? I think you mean the hotel that used to be the Regent, which is across the street from the Peninsula. The Regent's name changed to the Intercontinental a couple years ago.

The convention centre restaurants are not worth eating at. Even thinking about them is scary.

There are a few top-of-building restaurants in HK. I can only think of 6 offhand:

Felix at Peninsula - trendy but very good fusion cooking, from chef Dee Ann Tsurumaki (ex Roy Yamaguchi's in Honolulu).

Aqua - haven't tried new location yet but heard good things

Round Dragon (I think) at Hopewell Centre - decent standard Cantonese

Napa - California style at Kowloon Shangri-La, sadly not what it used to be.

Vong at Mandarin Oriental - part of the Vong empire.

Yung Kee is not tiny, it's a big place, 4 stories, 2 elevators. It is cramped. Welcome to Hong Kong. Everything's cramped.... Go there anyway, and order roast goose if they have it.

amyknyc, your list looks good. M at the Fringe is similar (the 'M' in both is Michelle Garnaut) to the one in Shanghai. Aqua is 1 block from your hotel. It is actually 3 restaurants: Italian, Japanese, and a hyper-cool bar, so make sure you know where your reservations are. Details: http://www.aqua.com.hk/ Or if you wanted more fusion-ish food, try Felix.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Remember to try the milk tea, fresh egg tarts and pineapple buns with a slab of cold butter during tea time in Hong Kong. You might also want to try the mix of milk tea and coffee. Since you will be spending lots of time walking around in Hong kong, load up on the street food or jump into small restaurants and get a bowl/plate of food for two people to share.

Yung Kee offers good cantonese cooking at a decent price, but when I was there in the summer, they did not have roasted goose. I wonder if they are getting their supply back yet? The wonton noodles are good too but I think it is only available in tea time. They still make the old style small wontons with a nice soft tail. :wub:

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OK, I think I'm set. Thanks everyone for all the help -- this has been great!

Have enough already? I am just getting started!

... just kidding

HKDave:

Thanks for the correction. Yes indeed I was thinking of Regent not Regency.

Regarding Yung Kee... the Yung Kee you described is not the one I had been to. I found a map of Central.

gallery_19795_163_1099020134.jpg

Where the X mark shows is the approximate location of the Yung Kee restaurant I know on Wellington Street, roughly opposite from The Center. I used to go there when I worked in Hong Kong, which was back in 1985-87. I re-visited it last in 1999. The restaurant was still there, serving more or less the same thing.

Did google on Yung Kee in Hong Kong and came up with their website:

http://www.yungkee.com.hk/history/history-e.php

I recognize the picture in black and white, that's the one I'd been to. Very tiny. Perhaps that's the original restaurant. The one that you mentioned must be the one in the color picture. Have you been to the old one?

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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OK, so maybe I was *almost* done :biggrin: (Yuki I love the street food suggestions -- what else should I be on the lookout for?)

I don't really like the guide books that just came in the mail (it looks like companies like Fodors aren't doing another addition until 2005, so I had to settle for more up-to-date books by companies I don't usually use).

So hit me with your must-see list of HK... also, anyone have an opinion on whether it's worth it to do the tailor-made suit? My husband wears a ton of suits and has been talking about this, but I'm skeptical.

T minus 2 weeks...

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Did google on Yung Kee in Hong Kong and came up with their website:

http://www.yungkee.com.hk/history/history-e.php

I recognize the picture in black and white, that's the one I'd been to.  Very tiny.  Perhaps that's the original restaurant.  The one that you mentioned must be the one in the color picture.  Have you been to the old one?

hzrt8w, according to their website and my imperfect memory, Yung Kee has been in the same existing building (the colour picture) since the '70s, so I'm sure we are talking about the same restaurant. It's not far from the 'X' on your map, actually a little closer to Lan Kwai Fong on that same street. If you've been on the ground floor you might think it was small, but it has 4 floors of tables and is, by HK standards, quite a big operation.

AmyKNYC, you still can still get suits made here although the quality and price varies widely. Custom shirts are a better buy. Hong Kong is definitely not the shopping mecca it once was, that ended decades ago. This is a non-food topic and the eGullet Enforcers frown on that, so I'll PM you with some info.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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hzrt8w, according to their website and my imperfect memory, Yung Kee has been in the same existing building (the colour picture) since the '70s, so I'm sure we are talking about the same restaurant.  It's not far from the 'X' on your map, actually a little closer to Lan Kwai Fong on that same street.  If you've been on the ground floor you might think it was small, but it has 4 floors of tables and is, by HK standards, quite a big operation.

Hmmm... Maybe I am mistaken about the restaurant that I'd been to. I gotta check that out next time. Perhaps next year. I haven't been to that 4-floor restaurant all these years. But then again, there are plenty of good eateries in Hong Kong.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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OK, so maybe I was *almost* done  :biggrin: (Yuki I love the street food suggestions -- what else should I be on the lookout for?)

There aren't a whole lot of street food around the Peninsula where you will be staying. Because the hotel is located in Tsim Sha Tsui, an area populated with tourists. Rents are high. You will see a lot more camera shops, watch shops than street food vendors.

If you go to Tsim Sha Tsui East (about 10-15 min walk from the Peninsula), you will find plenty of restaurants. They are all inside the buildings. Not much "street food" you can see.

To experience the real Hong Kong street food, I would suggest you to take the subway from Tsim Sha Tsui to either Jordan (1 stop) or Mongkok (3 stops) (north). If you get off at Jordan, go up to the street level. Find the major street: Nathan Road. Walk west by 3 blocks or so towards Temple Street. You will see plenty of street food vendors offering all kinds of local food. Temple Street is also a famous night market for bargain-price marchandise (cloths mostly). But watch out for quality. If you get off at Mongkok station, walk up to the street level (Nathan Road). Then you can find street food on both sides of Nathan Road. Both areas around the Jordan station and Mongkok station are shopping areas for the locals. Tsim Sha Tsui is more for tourists (top quality merchandises, but also top dollars).

So hit me with your must-see list of HK...

My must-see suggestions: (4 days make it kind of tough... not much time)

- Po-Lin buddha statue, that's in Lantau. It would take you a whole day to make this trip and back. You can have lunch at the monastery (Vegetarian dishes).

- The Victoria Peak. Best tour around Central to see all the architecture of modern buildings (e.g. Hong Kong Bank, International Finance Centre, China Bank, Exchange Square, etc.). Then take the tram up to Victoria Peak. Very scenic ride. At the peak, take the path to walk around it. Takes a little more than an hour. You will have the birdeye view of the harbor. You can also see the famous double-T structure "The Peak" tram station, a picture of which was posted earlier.

There are plenty other spots. Not sure what you would be interested in. A tour book would help you pick and choose.

... if you have questions...

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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I also loved taking the Star Ferry and looking at the Hong Kong skyline and the hills beyond. And there are also amazing views from the other side of the hills, but I imagine it would be harder to get there. When I visited Hong Kong, I spent most of my time staying at the Ma Wui Hall Youth Hostel, from which at night we had a breathtaking view of all the ships in the harbor. But I had to take the 12 bus to the last stop (past Kennedytown, when I was lucky) and then walk up something like 500 steps to get there, unless I wanted to take a taxi and someone was willing to drive up a bunch of narrow hairpin curves. It was amazing that the trip was through semitropical jungle within city limits! Is Hong Kong still pretty wild in the hills on the southern side of the island?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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.....of my time staying at the Ma Wui Hall Youth Hostel, from which at night we had a breathtaking view of all the ships in the harbor. But I had to take the 12 bus to the last stop (past Kennedytown, when I was lucky) and then walk up something like 500 steps to get there, unless I wanted to take a taxi and someone was willing to drive up a bunch of narrow hairpin curves. It was amazing that the trip was through semitropical jungle within city limits! Is Hong Kong still pretty wild in the hills on the southern side of the island?

That hostel is located at a very nice area. A bit remote, yes. But in the "cement forest" (that's how we call Hong Kong), where else can you find some pleasant green to look at? The area around Pok Fu Lum still has many trees around.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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November is really an excellent time to visit Hong Kong.

1. The weather in this time of the year is gentle. Temperature is around 20C. Oh, 80F for U.S. speak.

2. The typhoon season is over, so usually you would see dry, sunny weather.

3. Too early to be cold. Humidity is just right, not too dry like in February, not too wet like in the summer.

If you stay til mid/late December, you would see the Christmas light decorations on the buildings in the Tsim Sha Tsui East and Central districts.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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November is really an excellent time to visit Hong Kong.

1.  The weather in this time of the year is gentle.  Temperature is around 20C.  Oh, 80F for U.S. speak.

2.  The typhoon season is over, so usually you would see dry, sunny weather.

3.  Too early to be cold.  Humidity is just right, not too dry like in February, not too wet like in the summer.

If you stay til mid/late December, you would see the Christmas light decorations on the buildings in the Tsim Sha Tsui East and Central districts.

It normally is a good time to visit but unfortunately, the pollution this year is absolutely dreadful. I'm sitting here, looking out of my office window, and I can't even see across the harbour.

You'll have a good time if you don't have to breath :sad:

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Definitely go and have a drink at Felix, and then check out the bathroom - Great view of HKG Island. By the night market at Temple Street, there are many Hawker Stalls that serve very inexpensive great food.

Hyatt Regency on Kowloon has a fairly decent restaurant called "Chinese Restaurant"

For desserts, tea etc. take the escalator and get off in the middle and visits some of the wine bars for the ambiance of passing traffic.

Do avoid the floating restaurants in Aberdeen. There are some very inexpensive hawker food stalls in the Stanley Market.

Try the indo-chinese breakfast, Tea with condensed Milk and hot steaming buns (mostly stuffed with Pork)

anil

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There are still some options for real 'street food' near the Peninsula in TsimShaTsui.

Ask the concierge for directions to the Haiphong Road Temporary Market, just say 'the wet market nearest here, the one that's under the bridge' if he doesn't know what you're talking about. It's 3 blocks from your hotel. The cooked food stalls are hidden in the back of the abandoned-looking market. There's a famous beef ball noodle vendor there (look for the shop with the deep orange bowls, all they serve is beef ball noodles, say 'faan' if you want rice noodles or 'meen' if you want egg noodles) and a few other places. Looks dirty but don't worry, you'll be fine. No English spoken or written so bring your sense of adventure. Very busy at lunch, but quiet in the afternoon. HKDave lives one block away, so if you see a gweilo (westerner) eating beef ball noodles, come over and say Hi.

If you're more adventurous, there are the various 'Indian' (some actually Pakistani) restaurants in the upper floors of the notorious Chunking Mansions, across Nathan Road from the Peninsula. My fave is Khyber Pass, on the 7th floor of E Block. Your conciegre will probably try to talk you out of going, and it's maybe not a comfortable place for women to be on their own, but if you like curry it's a very good deal. Your best bet is to go to the front entrance of the building, look like a tourist, and you'll be attacked by guys with menus. Hang onto your purse and locate the guy with the real Khyber Pass menu and get him to guide you in (or phone them and they'll send someone out to find you). Info on Chunking Mansions, incl Khyber Pass contact info, here: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/...gking%20Mansion

Other 'street' options in TST - tiny Hau Fook St (off Carnarvon Rd, between Granville and Cameron, 10 min walk from your hotel) has outdoor hot pot restaurants at night. I haven't tried them yet.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I used to live right there at the corner where Haiphong Road meets Canton Road in the early 60’s. That was a time before Kowloon Park Drive was built, before the British Military gave up their depot which became Kowloon Park. The train track ran all the way to the Star Ferry (the tower used to be the landmark of Kowloon Station). Tsim Sha Tsui East did not exist. (Just the seashore along the railroad track). Today’s Ocean Centre, Marco Polo Hotel, etc.. are at the site of then Kowloon Godown. Our home was a living quarter for workers at Kowloon Godown where my father once worked. I lived there since birth until I was 8.

At the corner of Peking Road and Canton Road, there used to be a Dai Pei Dong (food kiosk) very famous for their Chow Chou fishballs and beefballs. I grew up watching the workers used a spoon to carve out each beefball and laid them on top of a round tray in a spiral pattern. When the Government decided to build a Fire Station at that location, the restaurant was relocated. I am not sure if they moved to the present day location you mentioned (under the Kowloon Park Drive overpass). If they did, surely their fishball and beefball soup noodles worth eating.

I concur that you can find some street food in the alleys between Cameron Road and Granville Road, near Carnarvon Road. Hot pots, braised dishes in clay pots, wontons, etc.. I mentioned the area at Jordan and Mongkok because there are a lot more shops, more eateries and more choices.

However, I strongly recommend tourists to STAY AWAY from the Chung King Mansions. It is dirty, and is a notorious high-crime black spot. This building houses a few super low cost hostels (bunker beds only type), and is frequent by visitors primarily from India and the middle East regions. European and American tourists stand out like a sore thumb. You go in there, do your tourist thing, you are just inviting the pick-pockets and con men to prey on you. There are plenty of eateries in modern commercial buildings in Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsim Sha Tsui East. There really is no reason to visit anything inside this unsightly Chung King Mansions.

I was a victim of pick-pocketing during one of my trips back in 1991 when I stayed at Royal Pacific Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui. The guy preyed on me in the elevator in wee hours. Tired from the whole day’s activity and a bit intoxicated, I felt a bum on my shoulder (distracted). That guy got out of the elevator soon enough. I proceeded back to my room and slept. The next morning I was waken up by a phone call from the police outpost in the next building. Apparently that pick-pocket was an “ethical” professional. He took all the cash in my wallet, saw the US green card which he had no use for but it would be extremely troublesome for me traveling back to U.S.A. without it. He tossed my wallet (with my green card and credit cards in it) outside the police outpost in the next building. The policeman on duty (opened up the next morning) tracked me down through my address book. While Hong Kong is basically very safe for tourists, do mind over your wallets and hand bags!

Hong Kong is the capital of the best Cantonese food. It certainly offers decent Sichuan food, Indian food, Italian food, and food from many other regions. But it just boggles my mind that why does one want to order steaks while in Boston, and order lobster while in Dallas?

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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I came across this website where the author had posted some pictures of the giant buddha statue in Lantau Island. Apparently he took a land route to go up to the statue, which is less time-consuming than the sea route (by ferry).

Take the subway (MTR) to Tung Chung. Get off and transfer to some mini-bus to go up to "Po Lin Temple".

The sea route would take almost 3 hours one way. The land route would probably take only half the time.

(Photos of giant buddha statue in Hong Kong)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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amyknyc: I am trying to catch you before you take off... but if not, perhaps someone else can benefit from this post.

Hong Kong is basically very safe for tourists. But like all big cities, small crimes and pick-pockets are common. I have several tips for you:

For guys: try not to put your wallet in the back pockets of your pants. (A lot of people do that in the USA.) Wallets in back pockets are the easiest to be picked, especially in crowded places.

For girls: try not to carry hand bags that have open tops and especially have your wallet or valuables sticking out.

If you carry a back pack, when you get onboard a crowded subway train or bus, don't carry the back pack on your back because you cannot see it. Turn the bag around, carry it in the front. I strongly advise you to keep your passport in your cloths and not leave it in a pocket in the back pack.

Try to keep your passport or ID or credit card separate from your wallet. You wallet is the focal point of the pick-pockets. This way, in case you lose you wallet at least you don't lose your identification or credit card together.

Local pick-pockets love to prey on foreign visitors especially in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. Visitors are not familiar with the local conditions. When they are victimized, they usually wouldn't even report it. If the pick-pockets are caught in the action, they can easily out-run and ride from the visitors.

Always leave cash in at least 2 places. Hide some in a hidden pocket or something. This way, if you get robbed you still would have something to help you deal with the situation.

Be mindful of your cell phones, camcorders, digital cameras and such. Try not to leave them on top of the table during your meal. They can easily be swept off by an "innocent" patron walking by and you wouldn't even notice.

Hong Kong is a modern city. Credit cards are accepted everywhere. (Except buying from vendors on the street). There is no need to carry a whole lot of cash.

Don't use the money exchange at the airport or those along Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. The exchange rate they give you is generally very bad. Try to get some Hong Kong currency before you go. If you must, exchange only enough to get you by to get to the hotel and for the next day or two. Go to Heng Sang Bank (the best) or Hong Kong Bank (they are every where) to do the exchange the next business day. You will get a much better rate in the bank.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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