Before booking our 3-week trip we considered quite a few things such as the weather, the air quality, availability of organic produce and the popularity for tourists. Hong Kong is a very popular destination for almost any nation, almost everyone speaks English in Hong Kong which makes traveling there very convenient. Most visiter come from China to Hong Kong. We wanted to avoid the big crowds and wouldn’t have gone during the summer. It is also pretty hot during this time here. In the autumn, the typhoon is raging over Hong Kong, not the best time to go either. Going during the Winter was the best time for us: amazing weather in Hong Kong and super bad weather back home in Germany. We went in the middle of November and stayed into the first week of December.
Getting Around in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has an amazing public transportation system and you can get anywhere, including from and to the airport.
We would totally recommend to get an Octopus card at the airport and one way ticket from the airport to the city. In the city, you can use your Octopus card for the metro, the busses, the tram, and the ferry. The airport ticket is cheaper than the octopus cart for the airport ride though. When we first arrived in Hong Kong, we managed to get as far into the city with the train as possible, but then were not able to find a bus stop and we didn’t have the octopus card yet, no one told us to get one :) So we didn’t want to run around the station with our bags searching for the right bus for hours and tried to catch a taxi, which wasn’t easy. At the central station, they pick up passengers in one spot and we couldn’t find it either. We just used our uber app and got a nice ride to our Airbnb. We never took a cab in Hong Kong, the uber cars seemed cleaner and were stress-free.
Buy your Sim Card directly at the airport or at a 7-Eleven. A Sim Card for the phone is the most convenient way to have internet access on the go. Xout apartment or hotel room will have some free wifi for sure for the heavy surfing, but on the go, you will be lost without your own internet. You won’t be able to find the next MRT station, to call you Uber driver, to get to the next incredible instagram photo spot.
Hotel or apartment in Hongkong
We were planning on staying for 3 weeks so we thought an apartment would be better for us as we like to have a kitchen to prep a salad or something. We found besides airbnb and site that offers serviced apartments for short or long periods of time. It’s called metroresidences.com we didn’t end up using it, but it’s worth checking out. We had 2 Airbnb apartments and were pretty disappointed with both of them. They were super small, not clean, cluttered with personal stuff, smelly and not a great value overall even in Hong Kong. If you are booking over Airbnb, we would definitely recommend to only book a superhost. Location-wise, we loved staying in Soho and would look for a place in that area should we come back to Hong Kong.
Books on Hong Kong
Best Travel bags
Barcelona has unique, stylish, hipster and huge flea markets to offer. We are very spoiled flea markets enthusiast and wouldn’t recommend coming to Barcelona on a quest for awesome antiques, but once you are here and have couple of hours on the weekend and nothing better to do, try your luck here.
Lost & Found
Encants flea market
Our favorite free experience was going to the Christmas Mass at the Santa Maria del Mar on Christmas Eve
and at the Sagrada Familia on Christmas Day.
My first foot steps in Asia were made in Bangkok. This city is nothing like I was imagining it. It is far more exxtreme. The good things are mtuch better, the bad much worse.
What to see
Temples are a must on your first visit. Make sure to check the opening hours and national_holidays.
Place to stay
We found our both condos on airbnb, we loved the incredible view and the central location. Modern condos have great pools, gyms and roof top terraces. Only the plumbing could be improved, most bathrooms and bedrooms smell like sewage in Thailand.
We love the gourmet grocery stores for their amazing organic mangos and some other organic fruit like apple bananas, papaya, greens, and veggies. We had most luck in these here
Other gourmet markets are in Siam Paragon, K Village, Terminal 21.
Not really worth going if you don’t live near by.
Produce is neglect able, fruit is never ripe, veggies not abundant. Great place to shop for natural hair car products and soaps.
Cabs are simply disgusting in Bangkok. Every driver we ever had smokes inside the car and tried to cover the smell with the more disgusting scent. We took a regular cap from the airport and after waining for 40 minutes we endet up sitting in a stinking hell for another 40 minutes. We should have called an Uber. Uber driver have much cleaner cars, we never sate in a smelly car. Download the uber app.. Get your discount code here Startguthaben für dich.
Bangkok Stories, Nov 2015
Good. But not life-changing. We went to a safe place to have some durian. Durian SS2. Quite a taxi ride from the city. Our plan today was to have durian for breakfast and to see how we feel food wise. We found out that the place opens around 11, so we went to a mall nearby to have some good glass bottled water and left around 11:30. It was actually good as they just started to serve first durians around 12pm. The place looks clean, the service is friendly. The prices range between 18 MYR and 54 MYR ($4.5-$13) per kg of unpeeled durian. It’s pretty pricy given the quality is not terrific.
The good thing is, the servers double check the durians while opening and will not give you the obvousely bad ones,
but I found that 3 out of 4 durians we had were slightly overripe. It’s February and the small durian season, so the quality should be better though. One durian was really on point. I really liked the hygiene of the place. They don’t touch the durian meat and you can wash your hands and even have plastic gloves for eating the durian. They had around 8 kinds of durian, all pretty much the same. Sweet and mild, not much of the distinctive smell and flavor. We had around 6,5 kg of unpeeled durian and spend $50. I didn’t eat anything else that day, Stefan had a hand full cashews. We had 1l of water each and I had water of 1 coconuts, Stefan of 2.
We tried to get durians the next day. We arrived 12.20 and they didin’t have any durians here. We couldn’t wait and went to Donald’s Durian. They didn’t have any durians as well. It was on a Sunday, but still pretty disappointing how pople seem to run their businesses. On the first glimpse, Donald’s Durian place is a dirty garage, you don’t want to eat there. We were so lucky to get a box of organic mandarins outside, they were all over the place just in time for Chinese New Year, they were our food for the day along with some mangosteens.
Almost non existing on the first sight. We found 3-4 organic veggies at Cold Storage, but no fruit, bananas and greens at Just Life. BMS Organic didn’t have any fresh produce. We found some organic mandarins at a durian selling place, but it was a Chinese New Years thing.
Organic Beauty Products
We’ve been to 4 malls and to 2 organic shops. There are no local products availible but some imported 5 times more expensive beauty products from Europe. You will find all you need, but not the place to shop for beauty products at all.
Places to visit
We went up the tower. Amazing view. Go up to the top. The 1st level is disappointing, but all the people seem to go just to the first level. We stayed for more than an hour and watched the sunset. It is pricy. Pick a good time of the day and bring your camera. The taxi service from the tower is a rip off. They charge twice as much as the meter would be. Take the free shuttle down and haggle with the taxi drivers down there. You might get a better price, or you may not.
The first negativ thing about Kuala Lumpur was the poorly organised taxi service at the airport. You need to pay at the counter inside the arrival hall and than wait in a long long cue for an hour or longer outside to get your ride. There seems to be a priority taxi, but we didn’t spot the counter that sold vouchers for these. The train is pretty expensive as well, so not an alternative, locals suggest the bus, which we didn’t try out though.
Next time, we would try to catch an Uber driver. Get the app and try it for a convenient ride back home. Here is your free ride. The taxis are as dirty as people say, our last one smelled so terrible that we had to stop it and to get out, and call an Uber.
Plan a little more time for everything. For getting a ride to the city, or for getting trough the security check at the airport on your way in and 1 additional hour on your way out.
You can walk around the city, there are good and safe walkways. Watch the gaps and the intense sun while exploring the city. Ask taxis for meter or better get an Uber driver. Don’t visit free attractions such as Twin Tower Bridge, such a waste of time.