Things to Do in HK and Taiwan

Hey all,

Heading on a month long trip to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam over Christmas.
Does anyone have any personal recs as to places to visit in Hong Kong and Taiwan?
We're staying in Jordan in HK for 4 days with a overnight trip to Macau then spending just under 3 weeks in Taiwan- mostly in Taipei but a few days down in Taichung as well.

I'm down with all the shopping but I assume with 3 weeks to spend there I'd be pretty sick of it eventually. I'd love to visit some naturey areas that aren't overrun by Mainland Chinese tourists, however all review sites state they're everywhere anyway.

ANYWAY
PLACES TO EAT/SHOP/HIKE/WALK/SIGHTSEE/HOT AIR BALLOON/HELICOPTER RIDE??

Comments

  • In HK, the usual thing is a trip up to the Peak, and a visit to the big budda.

  • If you go to the peak in HK consider the public bus from Central. Considerably cheaper than the tram, but obviously not as touristy.
    I was pretty happy taking some ferries across from TST to Central for a nice view, and the trams are a fun way to get around the CBD. The food is very good, and the long escalator should be duplicated in every hilly city.
    I went to a few markets, and the Ladies market was probably the best in terms of convenience/price/range.
    For me the best thing in HK was just walking around and discovering things, rather than going to do particular activities.

  • Consider going to Dragon's Back if you like doing naturey stuff without the crowds. Lots of trees and trails and awesome view with no crowds.

  • I stayed for one week in Taiwan December of 2012.
    My suggestions below, note Im not a shopping type person, I like hiking and exploring remote places.

    1) Day Trip in Taroko Gorge (north east of Taiwan).
    2) Trip to Mt Hehuanshan in Nantau County (Sunrise Tour/Hiking)
    3) Sight seeing in Chingjing Highlands
    4) Sunrise in Alishan
    5) Sun/Moon Lake (a bit crowded I think)

    In Taipei try
    Night market in Shilin
    Modern Toilet (Restaurant) in Ximending Shopping Area if you are into weird stuff :-)
    Of course Taipei 101
    Maokong Gondola

    Its a big plus if you can speak and understand Mandarin.
    Because if not, you will struggle to communicate specially when your outside Taipei (like I did).

    However on those remote area I mentioned above, they were overrun of mainland Chinese tourist.
    They're everywhere, some were noisy and no respect to queue (in my opinion :-)).
    Even local Taiwanese were annoyed with them.
    But younger generation mainland Chinese tourist are friendly and helpful.

    Taiwanese like Japanese, are very helpful and friendly to tourist.

    Goodluck and enjoy your holiday.

  • Lantau Island isn't just the big Buddha. Lots of hiking and quaint fishing villages such as Tai O which pretty much epitomises what Hong Kong used to be. There's also http://www.reddit.com/r/HongKong/comments/2cl9t3/i_went_to_t... but i'd doubt you would want to go swimming in (assuming) Winter. Nonetheless people have said it requires a good hike with little temples along the way.

    Head to Sai Kung for seafood. Then for adventure, go ask around (or research on the interwebs) about outlying abandoned islands.

    If you can splurge (because all our 'savings' need to be used one way or another ;)) maybe take a helicopter ride between Hong Kong and Macau?

    Personally I can spend more time in Macau than just an overnight trip, and I dont mean gambling longer. You could explore more of the Portuguese influence because its more profound than the British on HK. Maybe ask your hotel concierge/receptionist for the best pork chop bun or a Portuguese restaurant.

  • Check also this discussion from last year:

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/111107

  • If you visit to Taiwan and need a tour and you happened to like a scooter tour I suggest you to contact M13, this guy is awesome, you can search more on YouTube, he has more than 150,000 subscribers.

  • I've been to Taiwan a few times and lived there for 9 months. If you want to get away from the crowds, my most memorable trip was to an island called Penghu. You can hire a scooter and ride around the whole island where you'll find nice beaches with barely anyone on them. Taiwan is known for night markets, the best one i found for food is RaoHe, it's also not overrun by mainland tourists as they all go to Shilin. If you want to go on a short hike when in Taipei you can go up elephant mountain and get a view of the city from up there. If you want to go shopping and appreciate quirky things then i recommend the 24hr Eslite book store. These places i've mentioned so far don't attract the mainland tourists. The Gondola trip that filoz mentioned is also good and cheap. It's ~$4 for a round trip! if you have a little extra time when visiting the gondola you can go to the Zoo next door which is only $2! if you want to go outside taipei for short day trips you can go to Jiufen and the Queen's head. You can hire a private car to take you to those places for $100 a day. If you want to spend more time in nature you can go to Alishan, Hualien and Taroko gorge. These places can be reached by high speed rail. If your mandarin is good then you can stay at the b&b's.

    • The Gondola trip that filoz mentioned is also good and cheap. It's ~$4 for a round trip! if you have a little extra time when visiting the gondola you can go to the Zoo next door which is only $2!

      $4 for a round trip — and you forget to mention that the "round trip" takes more than an hour to and fro. We went there September last year thinking that it just went up the mountain and back. Ended up witnessed a spectacular Taipei sunset when we hung mid-air.

      And that $2 Taipei Zoo — it's bigger than Taronga.

      • yeah the gondola is 4km one way from memory. I just went on it last week but just went up and down and didn't visit any of the cafes as the little one hadn't been on it before and he can't sit still. Keep in mind that it's closed on Mondays and public hol's. It's also closed when there's bad weather but you can take a mini bus up if it is. You can also book the crystal gondolas which have a clear bottom. You can do it online or rock up and book. If you can't do it online you can book a later session and go to the zoo in the meantime. The zoo also has more panda's then ozzie zoo's but less koalas lol.