WHERE TO STAY IN HONG KONG?
Having travelled to Hong Kong many times over the past 20 years, people often ask me where is my preferred location or place to stay? Is it Kowloon or Hong Kong Island? Well, it really depends on what you want or if you are on business, leisure or even ‘Bleisure’! Personally, I prefer Hong Kong Island, as the modern day conveniences combine perfectly with local life. One of my preferred places to stay is North Point, which is a fast developing district, just 3 stops on the MTR from the bustling and touristy Causeway Bay or 30 to 40 minutes by foot via Fortess Hill, Tin Hau and Victoria Park. Traditionally, first timers are recommended to stay in Kowloon, as this is regarded as the heart of the city, with great views across the harbour to the island.
North Point, is a historical urban area located in the North Eastern district of Hong Kong. According to Wikipedia: ‘Parts of North Point have been inhabited since before the British arrived in the mid-19th century. In 1938, the North Point Refugee Camp was built to accommodate the influx of refugees from the Mainland. The camp comprised 26 huts. Access to the camp was via Kam Hong Road and Marble Road. During World War II, the camp was renamed the North Point Camp, and used as a prisoner of war camp for captured Canadiansoldiers during the Japanese occupation. During the Chinese Civil War, a large number of the rich and middle class from Shanghai fled to Hong Kong to escape the turmoil of war, many of them settled in North Point. In 1950, North Point became known as “Little Shanghai”, since in the minds of many, it has already become the replacement for the surrendered Shanghai in China. The first wave of emigrants introduced Shanghai-style restaurants, beauty parlours and barbershops. They also learned Cantonese and intermarried with people of other dialect groups. During the 1950s, North Point was the premiere place of residence for these emigrants, leading to a massive population boom; by the end of 1960, North Point was listed as the most densely populated place on earth by the Guinness Book of Records.The first school in Hong Kong to use Mandarin as the main medium of instruction, Kiangsu and Chekiang Primary School, was founded in 1953 in North Point by these early Shanghainese immigrants. Shanghai at the time was heavily associated with leftist movements; leftist-supported businesses in North Point, such as the Sunbeam Theatre which showcases Chinese Opera, are a legacy of their influence.’
It’s enjoyable to simply walk the streets to see the locals in action, and get a feel for how the area is developing into one of the more fashionable districts. The contrast of old and new can be seen everywhere. It’s interesting to see that record prices have recently been set at the new Victoria Harbour development in North Point, due to high demand but there is unlikely to be a knock-on effect on other property in the area, where the housing stock is much older.
So where to stay? The fabulous 5* Hotel VIC on the Harbour (opened mid 2018) is part of the new development, which includes a shopping mall (opening November 2018) & luxury residences (opening 2019). The hotel is ideally located and is just a stones’ throw from North Point’s Ferry Pier (access to Hung Hom in Kowloon City) and North Point MTR station, while the Hong Kong International Airport and Airport Express Line (Hong Kong station) are just 40 minutes’ and 14 minutes’ drive from the hotel, respectively. This funky, modern, luxury hotel offers superb harbour views from all guest rooms, a roof top infinity pool, gym, 2 restaurants & 1 café/ bakery, club lounge, free handy cell phone for local & international calls and, of course, direct access to Hong Kong’s newest shopping mall. What more do you need?
Distances to & from Hotel VIC on the Harbour:
– North Point MTR station Exit A1: 100m / 2 mins walk
– North Point Ferry Pier: 100m / 2 mins walk
– Hong Kong International Airport: 41.6km / 40 mins drive
– Airport Express Hong Kong Station: 6.3km / 14 mins drive
– Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre: 4.3km / 10 mins drive
– International Financial Centre (IFC): 6.2km / 15 mins drive
– International Commerce Centre (ICC): 11.7km / 18 mins drive
– The Peak: 9.5km / 21 mins drive
– Hong Kong Disneyland: 30.2km / 30 mins drive
– Hong Kong Ocean Park: 10km / 22 mins drive
For further details, please do not hesitate to contact the team @ Select Representation.
Written by Jonathan Wilkins (11Oct18)