In August, my wife and I are thinking of taking a five day trip to HongKong and Macau. This will be the first for both of us on these cities but had been to Xiamen before.
Anyways, I'm just wondering whether taxi drivers in Macau and Hong Kong speak good or at least understand English? We had problems commuting in taxis in Xiamen and Beijing before and we don't want to get lost in a taxi.
And what are the recommended places to see in HongKong other than Disneyland and Ocean Park. Also, does the Victoria harbor towers still perform that light shows at night? I saw a video of them once where buildings join the light and laser show.
How about in Macau, what are there to see aside from the casinos and the St. Paul ruins.
we plan to take the trip without a package so we will be commuting during our stay there.
And, is the HongKong weather generally good during this month?
Both Hong Kong and Macau taxi drivers are poor in English. Even if they speak English they may not understand your pronounciation. Best thing is to have your destination written in Chinese by the hotel receptionist. I went to both the destinaions last month with my wife. I think taking a taxi in both the cities are a wastage of money. Hong Kong has an excellent public transport system. MTR, buses and green mini buses. Red mini buses require some knowledge of cantonese. Buy an Octopus card at the airport and you can avail any public transport. All bus stops has boards showing routes, stops, destinations and fares in english and cantonese. Will answer the rest of your question later.
Please don't go to Hong Kong and just go to Disneyland!!!!!!!!!!!! Hong Kong is an amazing place with so much to do and see. If you go to disneyland you will waste a day of what HK has to offer. Yes the light show is on everynight at 8pm so get down to the waterfront and watch it, it is amazing. Other things to do:
1. You must go to The Peak as the views are stunning and the tram ride up there is pretty amazing too.
2. Take the Star ferry across to HK Island. I did this several times as it only costs 2.20 HK Dollars one way!
3. Watch the nightly light show put on by the buildings on both sides of the water at 8pm. It is spectacular. Go down to the Avenue Of Stars for a great view.
4. Ride the tram on HK island. Its only $2 HK (have exact money, ther dont give change) and you will get to see a lot sights as it is a double decker, so get a seat on the top.
5. Just wander around, it is a great place to just wander as it is like no other city. Incredibly busy 24 hours a day, the buildings are ridiculously tall and all show off their lights at night, and walk through some older parts of town for an old China feel. HK is a very safe place and I never felt worried at all, wherever I went.
6. Drink some local beer, I particularly enjoyed Hong Kong beer and Lang Kwai Fong beer, which is named after the district of the same name which is a great place to go in the evening for bars and restaurants.
Please don't go to disneyland!!!!!!!
I'll agree with drabanerje - don't bother with the taxis in Hong Kong unless you're in such a hurry you can't do without one. It's very expensive to take a taxi in Hong Kong. The MTR is fast and convenient and you shouldn't have a problem navigating it - station signs are also written in English. Get the Octopus card for easy travel.
As for the sights... if you enjoy shopping, visit Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok, lots of niche shops selling all sorts of things, among the big departmental stores. Lan Kwai Fong is where all the pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs and the nightlife are. Lamma Island is good for a day trip, it's got lovely scenery. Don't forget to sample the local food - certain streets are just filled with food stalls, restaurants and small eateries. There's a famous dessert place called Hui Lau Shan, a must-visit, and with branches all over. I loved the mango desserts they had when I was there.
It should be pretty hot in August, though, with occasional showers.
thanks guys for the great info you put in... I'd probably just search the net for the MTR networks so I can plan out where to go from one place to another...
the hot weather wouldn't probably a problem for us since we're from the Philippines and it's way hotter here right now..
and great to know they still do the light show at night...
I came back again today. Yesterday was a very hectic day for me. Sorry for the delay. In addition to humid weather in August you may encounter cyclonic weather. Wastes your precious time as Hong Kong is not cheap. Enquire about possible cyclone warning before you leave. Please visit Lantau island. MTR takes you to Tung Chung station where you get a cable car to Ngoong Ping village. The cable car ride is fantastic. Gives you a breathtaking view of Hong Kong airport, sea, mountains and the tranquil life of the island. At the end of the journey you see the Giant Buddha. Largest outdoor bronze one. Po Lin Monastary is also there. it's good. Visit Stanley and Repulse Bay. Very good scenes and beach. Stanley market is good for shopping. Go to discoverhongkong.com (official website of Hong Kong Tourism Board). It's very very informative and comprehensive. Also don't forget to pick up free leaflets and booklets provided by tourism board at the airport. Very useful.
As for Macau it's a very small place. Pick up a free tourist map at Macau ferry terminal and you can make your way on foot or city buses. Apart from casinos and St. Paul's ruins stroll along San Ma Lo (local name), visit Largo De Senado, A Ma Temple, Macau Tower Observetory deck and Red Market. Macau is good for shopping as it is much cheaper than Hong Kong. Excellent gold craftsmanship (if you are rich). If time is short you can buy a city tour as well. My suggestion will be to visit Taipa village and Coloane village and Hac-Sa beach. You will love those places. You get buses for those places in front of Grand Lisboa casino.
A practical tip! before leaving Hong Kong take refund of your Octopus card. You can take a direct ferry to Hong Kong airport from Macau, and you reach the airport bypassing Hong Kong immigration, hence it is a protected area. You can not go out to take refund. Octopus card is of no value in Macau.
thanks.. so it should be easier to walk around Macau then.. anyways, it seems our plan would be to arrive in HongKong from Manila and return to Manila via Macau.. also we might spend a night in Macau before heading home..
about the giant Buddha, I'd love to see that, thanks for the advice.
I have been to both of these places a number of times over the years. I love Macau. Just walk around. Ah-ma temple is lovely. There is a fort and a good walk up to the top. The ruins are nice and the venders sell cantonese sweet meats on the road facing the ruins there are sublime. Koi-ke barery has lovely sesame peanut candy. You will see tons of Hong Kong residents taking Koi-ke bakery stuff back with them on the ferry. I just go and experience. Hong Kong is much more hectic. My favorite was Macau. That being said, there are a ton of things not to miss in Hong Kong. Go to Lantau and some of the other islands as well if you have time. The Octopus card is a good thing. I was a female on my own and never had any problems with anything day or night. Have fun and no, taxi drivers speak very little or no English. Especially in Macau.
so informative here =P
yea, i agree with summer910 and you just cant miss the local food here!!! fish ball, dessert, and noodles.. for example, there're many food stalls in mongkok, and you can find many snacks too. remember, not to go before three, cause many are not opened in the morning. =)
oh.. we've just decided that we're going to HongKong on October..
also, just like to inquire if it would be okay if we get in to HongKong from Manila and head home from Macau?