BY RICK TAN
One of the city’s best kept secrets is Cosmic Guest House, located at Tsim Sha Tsui. Not only is it but a short walk from the MTR station, it is also near the shopping malls. With this hotel as your “base”, getting around Hong Kong via MTR will be a breeze. To use the public transport system, you will need to purchase an octopus card (can be used on the trains, buses, airport transfers, Victoria Peak tram, and more). Despite the very ordinary façade, the rooms are cosy and clean, and the customer service is top-notch. The counter staff can converse in English, and a room for two costs around $80 per night.
For the most authentic Hong Kong breakfast or lunch experience, enjoy local delights at the various tea houses. The food is usually quite affordable, without any compromise on the quality. One example is Lan Fong Yuen—founded in 1952, this is a great eatery offering pork buns, French toast, and milk tea. For dinner, give those food stalls lining the Temple or Stanley street markets a shot. The seafood specialties are especially irresistible.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Peak Tower is a free access viewing platform offering sublime views of Victoria Harbour, Kowloon, and the Hong Kong skyline. Prefer a more relaxed environment? Consider Lantau Island—the home of the Giant Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. For these attractions, a day trip is enough.
The Citygate Outlet Mall is a heaven for all who appreciate luxury brands and cut-throat discounts at the same time. Those looking for dirt cheap bargains, try looking at the ladies market instead.
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