If you take a flight with Cathay Pacific from London to Bali you’ll be making a pit-stop in Hong Kong. Why not then take advantage of this break in your journey to add a Hong Kong stopover to your trip?
As well as breaking up an extended long-haul flight to Bali, this also gives you the opportunity to check out some unique Hong Kong city activities. This was our plan when in addition to booking the flights we also booked ourselves into the Pearl Premium Guest House in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon.
My last visit to Hong Kong was back in the late 1980s when it was still under British rule, and over half the current population was still unborn.
Needless to say, things have changed a lot since then.
Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong Stopover – Airport Transfers
On arrival at Hong Kong International airport, our first hurdle was to find the most economical way of travelling to our hotel in central Kowloon.
The airport is located on Chek Lap Kok island, which is largely made up of reclaimed land, some 36 kms from downtown Kowloon.
We made our way through the airport to the entrance to the Airport Express. Here we bought single tickets to Kowloon station. The price of a ticket for the one-way train journey was HKD 75 per person (€7.50). Included in the price was a connecting bus (numbered K3) which would complete our onward journey to Tsim Sha Tsui.
The comfortable Airport Express took just 24 minutes to get us to Kowloon. Trains depart at around 10-minute intervals from 05:54 to 23:28 and approximately 12-minute intervals from 23:28 to 00:48 daily. We easily found our K3 bus to Tsim Sha Tsui waiting for us when we exited the train.
The bus dropped us off at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Tsim Sha Tsui, very close to our hotel. However it took us another 20 minutes to actually get to our hotel.
This was because the guesthouse is located high up in a huge block of flats named the Mirador Mansion. The ground floor is actually a large shopping mall, to which we needed to find an entrance.
Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong Stopover – Premier Hotel, Kowloon
The problem finding the guesthouse isn’t that there are no signs – it is because there are so many signs – all over the place.
To add to the confusion, we found that there were quite a lot of different Pearl and Premium guesthouses listed, all with slightly different names (probably a way of getting around company ownership laws in Hong Kong).
Fortunately, a security guard stationed in the ground floor shopping mall pointed us to a set of lifts from which we needed to make our choice. Our guesthouse was located on the 16th floor of the building.
We had prepaid €76 for 2 nights at the Pearl Premium Guest House, taxes included.
With a total room size of 10 square meters, this is the tiniest accommodation we’ve ever booked – but otherwise it was perfectly adequate.
The guesthouse is centrally located in the Tsim Sha Tsui district, just off Nathan Road. This gave us access to the nearby Tsim Sha Tsui metro stations, as well as a large supermarket and extensive variety of restaurants in the iSQUARE shopping mall, just across the road.
Around Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Even with a map, at first it’s quite easy to get disoriented in the streets and alleyways of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Things get a lot easier once you find Nathan Road and start taking landmarks from there. Nathan road is all about shopping (and eating) , and there are plenty more hawkers selling a variety of products directly on the street
There are an incredible number of places to eat in this area, and we ate well everywhere. The first Chinese meal of our visit was at an unassuming, inexpensive and very popular little kitchen in a side road where we ate some tasty soups.
The following day we chose a more up-market Vietnamese restaurant called the Pho Hoi An located in iSQUARE at 63, Nathan Road.
Here we paid HKD 216 per person (€21) for Shredded Chicken in Laksi and a Curry Seafood with rice, accompanied by 2 glasses of iced Ching Po Leung (a sweet cold drink comprising Job’s tears, dried longans, red jujubes, lotus seeds and seaweed) and 2 cups of tea.
Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong Stopover Activities
With just 2 days to spend in Kowloon and Hong Kong we would have plenty to keep us busy.
We also planned to experience A Symphony of Lights – the daily light and sound show in Hong Kong harbour – apparently the world’s largest permanent light and sound show according to Guinness World Records.
Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese.
Well, there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It’s either my mum or my dad. Or maybe my older brother Colin. Or maybe my younger brother Tsu-Shi-Tsu.
…But I’m pretty sure it’s Colin.
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