The Opal Mine - A real trap
There is a place called The Opal Mine on Nathan Rd and you see it advertised on tourist maps, brochures, etc. First of all, you have to be 'buzzed in'. You go in and you cannot go out the door you came in. There are sales people everywhere, you scramble around looking for an exit.... You must go to another floor. I found it! THE EXIT!! You have to wait to get 'buzzed out' yet a different door. They did not want us to go until we looked at some Opals. I felt really trapped and had to get out of there. What if there was a fire!??
They make it sound like there is some sort of 'cave' to see. There was a small hole carved in a rock that supposedly showed 'raw Opals' underneath.
Unique Suggestions: It is not worth your time but if you are an Opal Fetishist then at least bring a friend with you. Here is there web page.
Consider yourself warned.
Fun Alternatives: TST has so many other things to see and do, don't waste your time in here. You are better off getting a 'Copy Watch' from one of the 27 gentlemen that you will encounter on the way to the Opal Mine.
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
For some tourists, especially fans of James Bond films, an evening Kowloon itinerary always includes a stop to the famous Bottoms Up nightclub. One of the highlights used to be seeing the amusing sign which was used in the movie "The Man With The Golden Gun"
Unfortunately the original sign was replaced shortly before the handover in 1997, but lucky for you Confucius astutely captured it on film long before they pulled the bottoms down.
Unique Suggestions: If you are still interested in seeing what's up inside Bottoms Up, (it's currently listed on keeweechic's China nightlife tips), then head on over to 14 Hankow Road on Kowloon side.
I've never been inside myself, but I've recently heard from a few disappointed young sailors that some of the old bottoms up on the stage may very well be those from the original sign.
- Beer Tasting
Chequepoint - rip-off exchange rates
Wealth Warning: Avoid changing currency at Chequepoint's branch in Kowloon - or anywhere else for that matter.
Some of my British and American friends have told me horror stories of the rip-off rates charged by Chequepoint when changing money into Euros. It seems to be a problem with this particular dealer - other VT members in Hungary and Hong Kong have reported the same kind of fraud.
My advice is not to use Chequepoint under any circumstances. Click on the logo so you can steer well clear of these sharks.
Fun Alternatives: In any event, you will get much more competitive rates drawing local currency on your Visa or Visa Electron card (preferably use a cash dispenser in a bank during opening hours and check the card slot shows no evidence of being fiddled with (a favourite trick is to slip a thin additional reader in). Shield the keypad with your hand as you tap the numbers in (in another scam, a concealed webcam films your PIN number).
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
Is not that cheap in the Ladies Market
Don't think for a sec that things from Ladies Market are cheaper, infact, they are much more expensive. If you really want something from there, make sure you bargain with the store keepers.
Something typical includes a pair of slippers which cost 10 HKD cost about 25 HKD, T shirt cost about 50HKD but cost about 90HKD there! So want to save up some money? Go elsewhere in Mong Kok!
There are a lot of street vendors selling fake watches and purses. They grab your arm and try to sell anything they can. They are on most major streets, and the best way to avoid them is to ignore when they try to stop you. At times, it gets frustrating, but if you do not stop or talk to them, they'll leave you alone.