Far East

Discussions regarding holidays in the Far East.
Personally, I think that a week is too short for such a longhaul trip because the jet lag will be worse going rather than coming back and it always takes a few days for me to recover after travelling from West to East. I've never been to Singapore but in practice you are only really going to have about 4 days max when you are going to feel like doing a full day out and about and there is more than enough in Hong Kong and the surrounding islands to keep you occupied for that length of time.

Thanks SMa, what you say is very interesting. Many people use Singapore/Hong Kong for stopovers and a few people have said to me "there is not much to do there" so I was worried about going for a week. The week shortens to 6 nights in a hotel due to the flights and as you say there is the jet lag to think about as well.

Right, need Lufthansa to reduce their flight prices again and I will book.

Thanks for your input.
As I say, I can't speak for Singapore but having spent 4 days in Hong Kong, admittedly pre-handover to China, I would say there is plenty to see and do for a week, especially if it is still possible to go and spend a day in Macao as well. If you are into shopping then HK is probably an even better shoppers' heaven than it was when I went so that's one day sorted in the big malls. Another day could be happily spent exploring the various street markets. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle then there are numerous islands only a relatively short ferry ride away for a day on the beach. The views from the top of Victoria Peak make a long leisurely lunch worthwhile one day. And I don't know if there is still regular horse racing at Happy Valley but if there is and there is a meeting on when you are there well that's a another day sorted.

As I say, my visit was pre-handover but there are plenty of people on here who have been more recently and can confirm whether there is still as much to do but certainly there was when I went.

Sounds good and from what you say there are a few different things to do in Hong Kong.

We usually go to the Middle East in Jan/Feb for some winter sun as it is not too hot then and I could feel myself being swayed into thinking oh we will just go back to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. However as it is a special occasion I really want to do something different.

I see many holidays advertised 3 nights in HK or Singapore but I could not imagine travelling all that way for 3 nights. :yikes
Of the two places I think I would choose Hong Kong, if only for the weather, temps in Hong Kong will not be really hot (around 20-22°C) I visited years ago in April and and although we had rain a couple of times the extreme humidity that comes with the higher temps and rain in May hadn't been reached and I found it pleasant being out of doors.

Singapore on the other hand has only two kinds of weather, very hot and humid or even hotter, wet and extremely humid. The heat proves very draining and you end up hopping from one air conditioned building to another.

Singapore is very safe, very clean and although still worth a visit has lost a lot of it's original character due to the huge clean up and modernisation that has taken place. Hong Kong on the other hand retains a lot of it's character and exoticness.
Thanks Judith. What you say about Hong Kong is what someone else said to us who has been to both Singapore and HK and they preferred HK because of its character. Oh dear, decisions decisions.

Glad I asked on here and am grateful for your replies as we had set ourselves up for Singapore or HK until a couple of people said there wasn't enough to do for a week. However you have shown me that there seems to be plenty to do.

Thank you
Well I cannot believe it. I have only gone and booked Hong Kong :cheers

After spending most of the day looking at various flight and hotel websites later this evening I remembered BA do flights and hotels packages.

So, have booked with British Airways (get to travel on their new A380 as well) and 6 nights at the Metropark Hotel Causeway Bay. Flights alone from Aberdeen to Hong Kong were pretty expensive with BA however putting the hotel in as well I think we got a good deal. Plus with BA you can pay a deposit which is fantastic as normally booking flights you have to pay the full amount!

Thanks for your suggestions on what to do in HK and now I am quite excited. :D
I've used BA to book a flight and hotel package a couple of times , very handy if its an expensive long haul holiday , plus you do get a discount usually by booking both , and I'm not sure if you are in the BAEC ( it's free to join ) but you can get AVIOS on your flights and also a bonus for booking package , and on a flight to HKG that's a lot of points , enough to book a reward flight to quite a few European destinations .

I haven't been to Hong Kong , but I've been to Singapore twice , the jet lag is a killer , and the first time we tried to adjust to the local time straightaway but struggled , the second time we had a sleep for about 3 hours upon our 8am arrival and we were then ok .

Hope you enjoy your holiday and also the A380 flight , the plane layout is different to other carriers 380s
Thanks Andy66.

Good to hear you have used BA to book flight and hotel package before. I normally always book flights direct with the airline and hotels direct with the hotel. I have read and heard some horror stories when you use third part sites like Expedia, Opodo etc which are all OK if everything is fine but can be an absolute nightmare if anything goes wrong or if you need to amend the booking for whatever reason. So, I am quite happy with BA :) And yes we are both Executive members and I did put our reference numbers in the booking :D

I have never done long haul as such before. Furthest is the Middle East, Abu Dhabi or Dubai so will be interesting to see how we cope with the jet lag :sun2

Now I will be spending the next few months waiting and researching. Good times :tup
Hi, like you I usually book my flights and then the hotel directly , but the two BA holidays were to St Lucia for a 7 night AI ( I will be booking that again soon ) and a point scoring trip to Jersey for 1 night which I booked when they had a sale , both were really good and had no problems .
What I do like , is that the all the info is there in your account under manage my booking , I had printed off the hotel voucher , but neither hotel even requested it , they had my name down , they knew they were expecting me , no confusion or having to double check or waiting around .

Regards the jet lag , I think the Middle East is around + 4 , while HK would be + 8 ish , I've been ok with +4 , but I remember Singapore being quite hard to adjust to , there are lots of tips and help on combatting jet lag , but I found that in the end you just have to give in to what your body tells you , I had a good 3 hours sleep on arrival and felt fine after that , I suppose it depends on your arrival time too .
We have visited both and I think you have made the right decision in choosing Hong Kong.

Like SM, we were there before than handover. Even with 5 days we didn't do everything we had hoped to.

I didn't care for Singapore. It was far too hot and humid. I remember us both taking the camera and video cameras out at 9am then not being able to use them as the lenses were covered in condensation. It may also have been because we were at the end of a month long trip and were too tired to enjoy it.

Just be very careful when you are buying anything, especially from the electrical shops on Nathan Road, as what they appear to be offering may not actually be what they are prepared to sell you.
Thanks Andy & Lucy. I cannot tell you how excited I am yet it is such a long time to wait!

Thanks also for the warning re shopping on Nathan Road, we will bear that in mind.
Quick post for now but will give a more detailed reply when I get back from Mexico. We have done several one week holidays to the far east and survived! Have been three times to Hong Kong and twice to Metropark. There is loads to do. Hotel is in a great position and has a nice rooftop pool for some relaxation. Singapore is good to but more "sanatised."
Thanks Fiona. Good to hear that you have stayed twice in the Metropark and enjoyed it.

Enjoy your holiday in Mexico. :cheers
I am not sure where to start! There is just so much to see and do. We still have so much we haven’t done. First of all- the Metropark hotel. WE booked it through BA the second time as it was the cheapest deal. We picked it as it was close to the MTR. (We found from our previous visit that the MTR is very efficient and you can get to most places in HK within a few minutes. If you are unlucky and just miss a train you have to wait a whole 3 minutes for the next one!! Maps of the system make it easy to decide which stop you need.) The hotel room was not the biggest but then Hong Kong hotel rooms are almost always small. It had all the amenities though and plenty storage. We had a harbour view room. It was also interesting as we overlooked a school and I watched the children lining up Monday morning in the playground for their assembly( much better behaved than my kids are!!). Vics is a great bar to end your night. Lots of locals enjoy going there and there was karaoke most nights- very interesting and not along the lines of “I will survive” at all. They all join in. We did try their restaurant but weren’t impressed. Mind you it was the 2nd January and I think they were all celebrated out! The pool is a roof top one and worth going up just to see the views. We never used the pool as we never had time!
Lan Kwai Fong is a couple of MTR stops away and a good place to eat. It has a lot of expats but there are some great local restaurants there. But you will never be far away from a wonderful restaurant where ever you go. Also, just walk down to the main street and you must hop on to a tram. The first time we used one, we weren’t caring where we were going- we just wanted a go. Be prepared to battle to get through the mob to get off- its all part of the fun! We did actually plan our other trips. Back to the MTR- it is very easy to use. Be prepared for a bit of walking in the underground to get to the exit you want. The second time we went to Hong Kong was at the beginning of a long term illness for me and I wasn’t really able to cope with all the walking so we used taxis. And it was only then that we realised that they are really cheap!
We got so many offers of help in HK. And no-one had any motive apart from helping! You just have to stand and look at the ticket machine at the MTR or stand studying a guide book and someone will ask if they can help you. One more thing about travelling around, when you get to traffic lights , hold on your partner’s hand as when the green man comes on, it seems like 500 people cross over at the same time!!! Also both have your mobiles with you. I will talk about the Star Ferry later on. I am doing this in sections as I have a lot of info, which you can dip in and out of. Hope this is a good start!
Wow Fiona, THANK YOU so very much for your information. Fabulous that you too stayed in the same hotel and booked through BA!

I had read re the rooms being small in HK but hey that won't bother us. We have booked a harbour view room (hoping we will get upgraded to a suite :tup ) We also got free breakfast for the early booking!

We have just googled Lan Kwai Fong and we will definitely be going there and try some of the restaurants. Just need to find a special one now for hubby's birthday.

We will also use the MTR and great to hear people are so helpful. Reminds me of being in London when the Olympics were on last year and so many volunteers around always there to help.

I cannot tell you how excited we are about this trip. Delighted we are flying with BA also as we do like them but have not used them for a while due to their high prices as we have used Lufthansa and KLM in recent years.

It's a brilliant start Fiona which we really appreciate and if you have the time I look forward to reading your info.

Hope you enjoyed your holiday in Mexico.
Sorry to be so long- haven't been great the last few days which makes it difficult to concentrate.
Hong Kong is definitely not a place to book tours. You just get out and about yourself. Although it can be expensive to stay and for drinks, getting around is cheap and also there are many fantastic restaurants that are good value. To be honest, I would stay away from hotel restaurants which can be extortionate. There is no point in my recommending restaurants as they probably change so often.
Invest in 2 or 3 guide books. Between them you will get all the information you need. Particularly look for ones which give you suggested walks. I can't find our best one- we probably passed it on. We picked a district and took the suggested walk from there. you can come across so many things you wouldn't find on your own.
I should do the "must sees and dos" by district but I'm not that great and remembering :D
Victoria Peak- I strongly recommend that you go twice. Once at night. The views are absolutely breathtaking and you can also have a walk around and the shops are quite interesting there as well. You can spend hours though just admiring the views..The tram ride is good too- at one point it looks as if all the buildings are squint!
We ate at Café Deco which has stunning views at night. Here is the website. Make your reservations well in advance- their email is there. You should ask that you have a table with the best view and saying its a special occasion will help. As you have a week you can be a bit flexible so give alternatives if they can't guarantee a table with a view on the day requested. We actually got the best table in the place. I think most won't think about reserving until they are there. There are other restaurants which have views at the Peak but I don't know if they can beat this one!
Here was me saying I couldn't recommend restaurants and I am going to say that you MUST visit City Hall for Dim Sum one lunchtime. Maxims is the name- but beware as there are two Maxims at City Hall. You want the one on the top floor. It is a seemingly chaotic place- huge and jampacked, but locals outnumber tourists. Waitresses wheel round trollies and you stop them and see if this anything you fancy. There will always be a queue but it shifts really quickly. You will come out having eaten far too much! We have gone every visit and won't miss it. Just don't plan to do too much in the afternoon. It is definitely catering for office workers so does close sharp- check the times before you go.
To be continued! :D
Thank you so very much once again Fiona for taking the time to put all this together, it is very much appreciated.

I have just looked at the Cafe Deco website and wow it looks fab.

I will be printing off all your invaluable information and taking it with me :wave:

Thank you.
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