Hong Kong for Groups
Date Posted: 03/06/2015
Pictured: The Hong Kong skyline.
Known as the Pearl of the Orient, Hong Kong is a real gem for groups.So take a read of our Hong Kong guide for groups!
Avenue of Stars: Hong Kong is known as the ‘Hollywood of the East’ and this harbour-side promenade on the Kowloon Peninsula side of the territory is proof of this. It’s indented with the hand prints and signatures of A-listers like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
Ladies’ Market: Located near the intersection of Nathan Road and Argyle Street in Kowloon, this psychedelic market sells everything from chopsticks to handbags. Contrary to its name, it’s not just open to women. It’s also close to the quirky goldfish market, where stalls sag under the weight of hundreds of live goldfish.
The Peak: From the Lower Peak Tram Terminus near Hong Kong Park, you can catch the funicular up to the highest point in Hong Kong. The views are higher than the proverbial bird’s eye up here and, on clear days, you can see beyond the skyscrapers to the New Territories.
Food and drink
Hong Kong has a schizophrenic approach to food. At one end of the scale, the city’s restaurants collectively hold a constellation’s worth of Michelin stars. Five restaurants have three stars each, including Bo Innovation and Sushi Shikon.
At the other end of the scale, there are the street eats available at the Temple Street night market. Live fish are kept in water tanks here and you simply need to point at the one you want for dinner and the stall holder will cook it for you.
Sichuan is another hot topic in Hong Kong – literally and figuratively. This take on Chinese cuisine is fused with chillies. The boiled fish in chili oil is a speciality that can be found in restaurants all over the city.
Where to stay
The Peninsula is Hong Kong’s king pin hotel. It’s one of the oldest and most iconic in the territory and it’s in the heart of Kowloon. It costs a pretty penny, but what else would you expect from a hotel that has a fleet of 14 Rolls Royce’s?
Close to a metro stop on Hong Kong Island, the Ibis has 550 rooms. Groups can choose from city or harbour views.
There are more than ten Bridal Tea House hotels across Hong Kong. You won’t get frills like a pool or mini bar, but you can expect smart rooms in handy locations.
Pictured: Happy Valley Race Course.
Best for group trips to Hong Kong
Happy Valley night races are at the top of Hong Kong’s nightlife hierarchy. Races take place most Sunday and Wednesday evenings and visitors can buy a tourist ticket that gets them access to the tiered seating areas, as opposed to the basic standing area by the side of the track. You’ll need your passports to buy these tickets.
The best way to see Hong Kong’s psychedelic night-time skyline is by boat. You can book a harbour cruise on various cruise ships. Departing from Central Pier Seven on Hong Kong Island, Star Ferries offers cruises on 1920s-style boats. For something even more special, Aqua Luna offers traditional junk hire for up to 80 people.
For a change of scene you can book onto a day trip to China. Your group will be covered by a group visa, and tours like Splendid Tours’ Shekou and Guangzhou can cover up to 380 kilometres of the new country in a day.
Live like a local
The Octopus Card is just like London’s Oyster Card. They can be picked up at most transport stations and used on everything from the tram to the metro. You put down a HK$50 deposit, which is refundable.
On Sundays, Kowloon Park is a magnet for locals. Some go to do tai chi, others take picnics and spend the day enjoying the inner city calm and birdsong, which is often so loud it sounds like it might have been piped in.
When locals want to escape the city, they take the ferry over to one of Hong Kong’s islands. Pier five ferries lead to Cheung Chau, where you’ll find a lazy Sunday pace of life, beaches and seafood restaurants. Pier four leads to Lamma, which is latticed with walking trails and dotted with tea houses.
Journey time: 12 hours from London to Hong Kong
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar
Best time to go: September to December, when it’s not too hot but not too cold. It’s clement around March, but there can be a bit of rain and clouds can obscure the skyline on occasions.