Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tai Pan Foot Spa Near Chungking Mansions Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong

Every time I walked past an establishment offering foot massage in the streets around Chungking Mansions, my doubts about the quality of the massage on offer stopped me from venturing in. The main reason for the doubts is that the massage shops are located somewhere on the upper floors of those buildings with a staff or two on the street below trying to hustle the customers in. One does not know what to expect. The prices are not cheap either. The lowest I have seen was 99 HKD for a 30-minute foot massage. But my curiosity continued until I came across a Foot Spa that had its entrance on the ground floor on Nathan Road close to Chungking Mansions. I was on the other side of the road from Chungking Mansions going towards the right side. After about a minute's walk, I saw "Tai Pan Reflexology Beauty & Foot Spa". I remembered having seen their signboard in front of another building in the same area. That meant, they had more than one outlets. That was, in a way, re-assuring. If Tai Pan was doing business from more than one outlets, they could not be so bad. They were also more expensive than most other massage joints around them. The advertised price for a 25-minute foot massage was 119 HKD. The entrance from Nathan Road led into a basement. Half way into the staircase, a recorded welcome message started that was probably triggered by a hidden infra red sensor. Not very subtle. The basement was not very well lit. There was a front office though, where I saw the menu and settled for a 50-minute foot massage costing 228 HKD that would include some time on a foot bath while sitting on an electric massage chair. Keep reading for my experience there ...
Also visit: Hong Kong Hotels
Posted by Narinder Singh

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Star Ferry Hong Kong Harbour Tour and Night Cruise

A ride on the Star Ferry between Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon Peninsula) and Central Pier (Hong Kong Island) is one of the top ten tourist attractions in Hong Kong. The ferry service was originally just a means of cheap transport for locals. But because of the stunning views of the skyline around the Victoria Harbour, the ferry became a tourist attraction too. Even though the crossing between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui can be done through the MTR rail, the ferry offers a kind of an adventure and some excellent photo ops. The service operates from 6.30am to 11.30pm and the frequency ranges from 6 minutes to 12 minutes depending on the time of the day. During weekdays, peak time is from 7.15am to 9.55am during which a ferry leaves every six minutes. Before 7.15am and after 8.30pm, the ferry operates every 10/12 minutes. During weekends and public holidays, the frequency of service from 7.15am to 10.30pm is every 6/8 minutes and it is 10/12 minutes before 7.15am and after 10.30pm. The trip last approximately nine minutes each way and costs 2.00 HKD for an adult during weekdays and 2.80 HKD during weekends and public holidays. These are lower deck fares. For a journey on the upper deck, the cost is 2.50 HKD and 3.40 HKD respectively. Child (between 3 and 12 years old) tickets are cheaper with the fares starting at 1.40 HKD and going up to 2.10 HKD depending on the day of the week and the choice of lower / upper deck. A 4-days both ways unlimited ride tourist ticket costs 25 HKD per person which can be purchased from the Star Ferry's Harbour Tour Ticket counter at Tsim Sha Tsui Pier. Octopus Card can be used to pay for the Ferry or one can use coins to buy tokens from the self service machine at the entrance. Keep reading for the Harbour Tour and Cruise information: Posted by Narinder Singh

Friday, April 4, 2014

Khana Khazana Indian Vegetarian Restaurant Hong Kong

Khana Khazana Indian Vegetarian Restaurant & Bar is a great place to have Indian vegetarian food in Hong Kong. Its very affordable, food is tasty, the restaurant is large and comfy, staff is very friendly and they offer free wifi to their customers. Not to forget their excellent and great value buffet lunch during weekdays and a Set Lunch (Thali) for weekends when there is no buffet. Khana Khazana is located in Wan Chai (take exit "C", when outside turn left. Walk a little up to the road crossing and turn right. After a little walk, you will see Khana Khazana on the right side of the road. Address: 1st Floor, Dannies House, 20, Luard Road, Wan Chai Hong Kong. Phone: 810 810 70. The restaurant is open on weekdays from 12.00pm to 3.30pm for lunch and 6.30pm to 11.00pm for dinner. On weekends and public holidays, they are open all day from 12.00pm to 11.00pm. As the name suggests, this is a pure vegetarian restaurant. Indian vegetarian food permits the use of dairy products. For those interested, Khana Khazana also serves Vegan and Jain food. Khana Khazana is perhaps the only Indian vegetarian restaurant & bar in Hong Kong. Though there is a low-end Indian vegetarian restaurant called Smrat in Chungking Mansions but that one is really low-end. Keep reading... Posted by Narinder Singh

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jo Jo Indian Cuisine Wan Chai Hong Kong

I went to Wan Chai area of Hong Kong looking to have some vegetarian food in one of Hong Kong's best Indian vegetarian restaurants called Khana Khazana. All I knew that it was close to Wan Chai MTR station. But Hong Kong's MTR stations have many exits and I did not know which one to take. Obviously I must have taken the wrong exit because I could not locate the restaurant on any of the streets around the station. Fortunately, before I gave up my search, I spotted another Indian restaurant there - "Jo Jo Indian Cuisine". It was a lucky break because in an Indian restaurant one can always find some vegetarian food. And they would certainly know about Khana Khazana. Before I forget, let me share the directions to Jo Jo Indian Restaurant Wan Chai. Take Exit "C" of Wan Chai MTR Station, turn left when outside, walk a little, come to the second road crossing, and turn right. After turning right, you will see Jo Jo on the left side of the road on the second floor of a building called David House (see the picture below). This is the address: Jo Jo Indian Cuisine, 2nd Floor, David House, 37-39 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Phone: 2527 3776). Jo Jo is open everyday from 11.30am to 3.00pm for lunch and 6.00pm to 10.30pm (last order) for dinner. They serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian food. There are specials like buffet lunch, set dinners, and free wine offers. Keep reading... Posted by Narinder Singh

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vegetarian Dim Sum and Tea at Lock Cha Tea House Hong Kong

Lock Cha Tea House is one of the best places to have some delicious vegetarian dim sum in Hong Kong. Of course they have an excellent selection of tea to go along with dim sum. Lock Cha Tea House is located inside Hong Kong Park on the Ground Floor of K. S. Lo Gallery. This building also houses Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware on the first floor. Lock Cha is open from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm on weekdays and 10.00 am to 9.00 pm on weekends. The tea house is closed every second Tuesday of the month. To get there, one may take the Exit C1 from Admiralty MTR Station. Besides serving dim sum and tea, Lock Cha Tea House hosts Chinese and Cantonese Music Tea Concerts every Saturday and Sunday. Chinese concert takes place every Sunday from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm and Cantonese concert takes place every Saturday from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware organise their own social programmes like tea demonstrations, lectures, gatherings, etc. Flagstaff plan their programmes quarterly in advance and display the same at the entrance to Lock Cha. The number of participants in all the programmes at Lock Cha and Flagstaff is limited hence it is advisable to make a reservation before going. Packaged teas and tea ware are also sold at Lock Cha Tea House. Keep reading for dim sum and tea menu... Posted by Narinder Singh

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mini Hotel Central Hong Kong Review

Earlier when I thought of a budget hotel in Hong Kong, it would be hotels located in far off places like Silka Far East in New Territories or Harbour Plaza Resort City which is located another light rail ride after Tin Shui Wai MTR station. And those hotels were not very cheap either. At the other end of the curve are dangerous and even illegal guest houses in Chungking Mansions opposite Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station. Location-wise, nothing can beat Chungking Mansions because that area has everything a tourist is looking for in Hong Kong. The only problem is, Chungking Mansions though sometimes cheap, is not really safe. After having burnt my fingers and pocket staying in an actual illegal guest house called Canada Hotel in Chungking Mansions, I decided to look for other budget hotel options in Kowloon and  Central Hong Kong. It was not easy and I would not have found Mini Hotel Central had my booking site not offered a special non-refundable deal on this hotel. I was lucky to get a 610 HKD per night "Mini Room" at 475 HKD per night which was about 25 HKD more than the illegal guest house I stayed in at Chungking Mansions. After staying in Mini Hotel Central, I found that even the 610 HKD price tag was really a steal. Hong Kong Park and Victoria Peak Tram Station are at a walking distance from here. Read more... Posted by Narinder Singh

Monday, March 24, 2014

Get Discounts on Big Buddha Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Tickets

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car ride from Tung Chung MTR Station to Po Lin Monastery and Big Buddha is one of Hong Kong's most loved tourist attractions. Apart from the  Buddha statue, Ngong Ping Plateau on Lantau Island has attractions like Bodhi Wishing Shrine & Street Performances at Ngong Ping Village, Walking with Buddha Show, Free Tea Demonstration at Li-nong Tea House, and excellent vegetarian food at Po Lin Monastery. A round-trip Standard Cabin Ticket for one adult for the Cable car costs 150 HKD and for a Crystal Cabin (glass bottom), the price is 235 HKD. There is the option of taking one way ride in a Standard Cabin and one way in a Crystal Cabin for a combined price of 210 HKD per adult. Child and senior tickets are cheaper. Though the ticket prices offer excellent value because its a 5.7km, 20-25 minute ride, it would still be nice to get some discount on the prices. Two types of discounts are available on individual cable car tickets. Keep reading... Posted by Narinder Singh

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Vegetarian Food at Po Lin Monastery Big Buddha Ngong Ping Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery's vegetarian restaurant near the Big Buddha statue at Ngong Ping has been my motivation for repeatedly taking the Cable Car ride to this part of Lantau Island. They serve excellent vegetarian food at very reasonable prices everyday between 11.30 am and 4.30 pm. The minimum meal ticket for one person costs 88 HKD for a General Meal. A Deluxe Meal costs 128 HKD per person which differs in terms of the type of soup served - "Mix Mushroom Soup" instead of "Soup of the day (clear soup)" and some main course preparations like "Asparagus with Mix Mushrooms & Cashew Nuts" instead of "Fresh Mix Vegetables with Tofu". Deluxe Meal also comes with a dessert - "Deep Fried Tofu Sheet with Lemon Sauce" which is missing in the General Meal. I have tried both types of meals and would recommend the Deluxe Meal unless one is really into saving money. A solo guest is served the basic menu whereas for guests arriving in groups (up to 8) get to sample some additional dishes for the same price. There are separate menus for groups of 2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 persons. Chinese Tea is served free with each meal. Children under 5 years need not have a separate ticket. To reach Po Lin Vegetarian, one needs to take the Cable Car from Tung Chung MTR Station to Ngong Ping. Read more and see pictures...
Also Read: Chi Lin Vegetarian Restaurant Hong Kong Posted by Narinder Singh

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chungking Mansions Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong

Chungking Mansions is one of Hong Kong's best known buildings where one can shop for everything cheap, exchange money, buy international food, stay in one of the hundreds of guest houses, rent an office, and do God knows what else. The visitors to Chungking Mansions come from many parts of the world, such as Russia, China, Japan, Africa, Pakistan, Middle East, India, etc. Its a tourists' paradise except in a situation when one gets cheated by a shop owner or a guest house. Not getting cheated or scammed is important here. I have visited Chungking Mansions to exchange money or to buy SIM cards several times and got the best exchange rates and best prices in Hong Kong every time. But when I decided to stay in one of the guest houses in Chungking Mansions, I got cheated. I stayed there for two nights because I thought to really understand the place, it had to be more than just an overnight stay. This page contains some very useful information that I gathered during my stay in Chungking Mansions. Keep reading...  Posted by Narinder Singh
Blog by: Narinder Singh