First time travelers to Hong Kong may have difficulty deciding on where to book a hotel. While it’s a small city geographically speaking, it can take quite a while to transit between the popular tourist areas. Determining what part of Hong Kong you plan to spend most of your time in can help narrow down your choices on what area might be best. For example, if you want to party until the wee hours of the morning, staying close to the airport would make no sense. If you’re in town for a business conference on Hong Kong Island, you might find the process of crossing the harbor each morning from Kowloon to be frustrating and time-consuming, especially as you compete with work commuters.
Here’s a look at some of the more popular areas of Hong Kong and who might benefit most from staying there.
Hong Kong Island consists of popular areas like Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Admiralty, and North Point. Many government centers and businesses are here. Numerous international companies have headquarters here, and this is generally where most business travelers prefer to stay.
There is a lot of high-end shopping and popular restaurants here as well. When the sun goes down, parts of Hong Kong Island really come alive with countless bars and clubs that stay open late. The Lan Kwai Fong area is home to over 90 restaurants and bars alone. On the weekends, it’s not uncommon to see the streets completely packed with partygoers who are hopping from bar to bar. If you plan to explore the nightlife in Hong Kong, staying on Hong Kong Island might be preferable. Especially if you are trying to hail a taxi at 2 am or later, as you won’t find many who want to leave the island and go back to Kowloon.
Kowloon includes Mong Kok as well as Tsim Sha Tsui, or TST as most people call it, and it’s just across the harbor from Wan Chai. TST has a lot of shopping and dining. On this side of the harbor you’ll find some of the famous street markets and many local and historic eateries. As you head further away from Hong Kong Island, you’ll see more inexpensive lodging options and get more of the traditional Hong Kong experience. Budget travelers typically find better deals in Kowloon for cheaper hotels and more hostels.
Lantau Island is where the airport is, so you’ll pass through the island at least twice if you visit Hong Kong by plane. Lantau is also home to Hong Kong Disneyland and several tourist attractions, including the Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha. Lantau offers a lot of nature and low-key adventure if you’re looking to escape the chaos of Central and Kowloon. There is not a lot of nightlife here, and things are quite far apart.
People who opt to stay on Lantau Island usually are in town for a short time and find it easier to be closer to the airport, especially if they have an early morning flight. There is the alternative Hong Kong Express train from Hong Kong Island and Kowloon that is very convenient as well, including airport check in right at the station!
Where in Hong Kong would you stay?
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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