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Famous Street Markets in Hong Kong

January 16th, 2014 4:13 am

Adventurous travelers should check out the top street markets in Hong Kong, where you can experience the real local life in Hong Kong, and  enjoy the happiness brought by various local products (including clothes, unique souvenirs, electronic products, and seafood) and the surprises of grabbing a bargain.

The most popular are the Ladies Market, Temple Street Night Market and Stanley Market. Each market has its own charm and treasures just waiting to be found. Remember to bargain.

Ladies’ Market (Tung Choi Street)

– Location: Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
– Business Hours: Noon – 11.30pm
– How to get there: MTR Mongkok Station Exit E2

Ladies’ Market in Tung Choi Street is a great destination for the fashion conscious and those with an eye for bargain-priced sport shoes, watches, clothing, stationary, and cosmetics. Men’s and children’s clothing are also on sale.

Temple Street Night Market

– Location: Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
– Business Hours: 4pm – midnight
– How to get there: MTR Jordan Station Exit A, turn right into Jordan Road, then right again into Temple Street

Temple Street is a wonderful place to visit and to eat in. It is an adventure to eat on the street, sitting on plastic stools at a seafood restaurant.

All the restaurants provide great local Chinese food, including, but not limited to, seafood. The prices are changeable so ask before you eat. The crowd is a mixture of tourists and locals.

If you are a shopper, it has astonishing variety of clothing, CDs, hardware, pens, trinkets, watches, and luggage, and will not disappoint you.

Stanley Market

– Location: Stanley Market Road, Stanley, Hong Kong Island
– Business Hours: 10:30am – 6:30pm
– How to get there: MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D, and take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square Bus terminus, Central

Stanley Market is a street market on Hong Kong Island. It is the perfect place to buy something special for friends or relatives: Chinese artwork, silk collectibles, and curios, as well as larger-sized clothing.

Stanley Market also boasts several bars and restaurants on its waterfront along Stanley’s Main Street, where visitors can enjoy Italian, French, American, Indian, and Vietnamese foods. Just sit down and relax with a beer and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

Jardine’s Crescent

– Location: Jardine’s Crescent, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
– Business Hours: 11am – 9:30pm
– How to get there: MTR Causeway Bay Station, Exit F

Situated in Causeway Bay, Jardine’s Crescent is a long roadside market great for inexpensive clothing, accessories, and domestic goods, including many stalls featuring bags, women’s tops and blouses.

Here you will also find lots of typical Shanghai or Hong Kong style restaurants, with small bamboo baskets of Dim Sum.

Li Yuen Street East and West

– Location: Li Yuen Street East and West, between Des Voeux Road Central and Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong Island
– Business Hours: 10am – 7pm
– How to get there: MTR Central Station, Exit C, then walk along Des Voeux Road

Located in Hong Kong’s Central district, the market in Li Yuen Street East and West is crowded with shops, street stalls, and people. The market deals everything from inexpensive souvenirs, clothing, and costume jewelry to luggage and shoes.

4 Best Places for Family and Kids in Hong Kong

October 5th, 2013 4:56 am

1. Noah’s Ark – Noah’s Ark is located in Ma Wan, a tiny island between Lantau Island and the New Territories.

In the life-sized ark you can watch 2D and 3D shows promoting positive values of love for life, family, and nature. Behind this is a garden with life-like animal statues and a cast of talents dressed as a toucan, a tiger, and other characters to take photos with. Stay overnight at the Resort for more time to explore the activities at its Adventureland and Treasure House.

Getting there: Take the train to Tsing Yi MTR station, then bus number NR332 going towards Park Island. Alight at the first stop, and take the escalator down. It takes less than 10 minutes to walk to the entrance of Noah’s Ark.

Tip: Turn left after the escalator down to Noah’s Ark to get to a small beach that offers a nice view – and photo op! – of the Tsing Ma Bridge.

2. Hong Kong Disneyland – Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island, next to Discovery Bay, where Hong Kong’s wealthy and the expat community live.

The latest addition to the park, Toy Story Land, consists of a Parachute Drop, the RC Racer, and the Slinky Dog Spin. The last resembles a mini roller-coaster and will be a favorite with younger children. Make your way from here to the front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle to catch the Flights of Fantasy Parade at 3.30pm or the “Disney in the Stars” Fireworks show at 8pm.

Getting there: Alight at the Disneyland Resort MTR Station.

Tip: The easiest way to get a photo with Mickey Mouse and friends – and skip whines and tantrums due to long queues – is by dining at The Enchanted Gardens Restaurant at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Remember to reserve your table beforehand.

3. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade – After browsing through Harbour City shopping mall, turn right upon exit and you will find yourself at the beginning of the Promenade.

The Promenade offers an arresting view of Hong Kong Island. On your left are the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The dome behind them houses the Hong Kong Space Museum, where you can try your hands at the ‘laser beams’ which simulate how satellites communicate, drive ‘robots’ in ‘space’, and even moonwalk. You can also watch Omnimax and Sky Shows here. Walking further down the path will get you to the Avenue of Stars, the best places to enjoy the Symphony of Lights which comes on every night at 8pm.

Getting there: Alight at Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station or enjoy the Star Ferry ride from Central or Wan Chai. It’s the cheapest – and one of the best! – harbour crossings in the world!

Tip: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the Symphony of Lights narration is in English.

4. Specialty Street Markets – On the northern part of Nathan Road, just off Prince Edward MTR station, there are markets offering anything you could possibly desire.

At the Goldfish Market, the lines of shops sell all kinds of fishes, crustaceans, turtles and more in row after row of plastic bags and buckets, and all kinds of aquarium ornaments. Cross Prince Edward Road West and turn right, to the Flower Market. At the end of the road is a walled garden, the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. Over in Wan Chai, look for Tai Yuen Street, which is also known as Toy Street. As its nickname suggests, it is a place for “good and cheap” toy shopping.

Getting there: Alight at Prince Edward MTR station, Exit B2, for the first three markets. Alight at Wan Chai MTR station, Exit A3, or at the O’Brien Road tram stop for Toy Street.

Tip: Upon exiting the flower market, walk along Prince Edward Road West and pop into The Supreme bakery for some of their scrumptious cakes, cookies, and egg tarts.

Buying Hong Kong Apartment Buying Tips Part 2/2: Making an Offer and Signing a Provisional Agreement

September 6th, 2013 2:42 am

Before Making an Offer

Bank valuation – Bank valuation is what the property is worth to the bank, and thus ultimately determines the size of the mortgage that you can borrow. HSBC and Bank of China provide online valuations but they may not be indicative, when needed, you can call any bank to find their valuations on a property for free. Banks use independent surveyors to value a property; all you need to do is provide them the exact address, preferably the address that the property is registered under in the Hong Kong Land Registry.

Costs associated with occupation, such as management fees and quarterly rates. These are ongoing costs which should be considered into your budget.

Building age of the property and the remaining lease term with the Hong Kong SAR. In Hong Kong, all existing land belongs to the government, when buying property in Hong Kong the purchase is actually for the existing lease.

Building Orders. Building orders require the owner to rectify an infringement with the Building’s Authority such as an existence of illegal structures or alterations. The presence of a building order may render the title of the property defective and may be costly to rectify.

Slope maintenance, if the property is on a slope the owner of the property may need to contribute to the cost of maintaining the integrity of that slope.

Be familiar with the Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) from the Town Planning Board which shows the land uses, major road systems proposed and nearby public facilities. From the Town Planning Board, a request can also be made for the Development Permission Area Plans for a particular district.

Before Signing a Provisional Agreement

Before signing a provisional agreement for the sale and purchase of the property, the agent should have verified and provided you with the latest information on the title of the property.

Obtain a copy and understand the Land Search provided by the Land Registry of Hong Kong, a document that lists the property’s owner, as well as any statutory orders, outstanding mortgages and other encumbrances affecting the property such as Building Orders as noted above.

If there is doubt about the owner’s ability to repay the loan for the redemption of the property, for example the selling price is lower than what the owner paid for the property. Make it a requirement that deposits are stake-held by solicitors.

Make sure you understand all the terms present in the agreement which should be explained to you by the agent and be aware of the amount of the deposit and when the remaining balance should be paid. In general practise, the total deposit is 10% of the purchase price, 3-5% is paid upon signing of the provisional agreement and the remaining balance in 2 weeks time.

The agreement for sale and purchase is a valid and legally binding contract. It is prudent to seek independent legal advice before entering into any agreement.