Sightseeing Tours, Hong Kong

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  • Sightseeing Tours
    by machomikemd
  • Sightseeing Tours
    by machomikemd
  • Sightseeing Tours
    by machomikemd
  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    NEVER EVER GO FOR A "FREE" SIGHTSEEING TOUR!!

    by xuessium Updated Sep 4, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My 2nd trip to HK was with my family and the free & easy package that I had arranged comes with a "free" half day city tour. I had no intention of going for it as I know HK pretty well. Unfortunately, it rained one morning and I foolishly thought it would be easier to get around with in the rain with the tour.

    Folks: the word here is FOOLISH.

    The tour is a scam - we never made it up to Victoria Peak which is on the itinerary. We stopped 3/4 way up at this road side pavilion and we were told this is it. Next their own photographer started taking photos of the group on the sly. I was very quick to notice him lurking around and after a round of heated bargaining, allowed him to take only 1 shot of my family, which cost me HK$50 for the photo and a stupid souvenir plate with our picture on it at the end of it. Some folks in my group had to pay more as the photographer took 3-4 photos for each family/couple.

    Next, they start dropping us off at jewelry shops, dried seafood shops and Chinese medicinal shops. Yeah, see Hong Kong indeed!

    To add insult on injury, we were driven to a restaurant for authentic Hongkie Dim Sum. The food was good but we were then told to pay for our share at the end of the meal! (Nothing is free in life folks!)

    And to add the cherry on top of the parfait, the guide started to collect "tips" from each of us in the group for their services - in the end I had to folk out another HK$50 for each person in my family.

    I have never been so indignant and insulted in my life!!!

    Unique Suggestions: Give them the full Hongkie treatment:
    1) Sneer 2) Give snide remarks 3) give dirty looks 4) whine and complain 5) do all the above

    Fun Alternatives: NEVER EVER TAKE A "FREE" SIGHTSEEING TOUR!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • Sightseeing tours

    by NoFuture Updated Aug 16, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unless you speak Cantonese well or are with a friend who does, NO!

    My mum wanted to take some tours around the harbour, countryside and outlying islands. She went to the tourist office and they gave her ones for English speaking tours for tourists. Later she went to a local place, spoke Cantonese and found the same tours for half the price.

    The tourist tours are a rip off!! DO NOT GO!

    Unique Suggestions: Most of the sights are VERY easily accessible anyway, because of the excellent transport system in HK. Just work out what you want to see, and how to get there (ask hotel conceirge or tourist office) and you will save a lot of money.

    UNLESS - You want to go to particular more hard to get to, remote places that you cannot find out how to get to or things you must join a tour for eg: boat trip round the harbour, remote islands etc.

    Fun Alternatives: Get plenty of free leaflets from tourist offices and read them! They explain the best things to see, how to get there and there are sometimes special offers for tourists. We managed to get a free ride in the last junk left in HK!!

    They tell you when museums are free (day of week) etc.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Backpacking

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  • wonderif's Profile Photo

    save money-- don't do guided tours

    by wonderif Written Dec 25, 2003

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    if only i had though about how modern hong kong is and its extensive, efficent and reliable transport system i wouldn't have booked guided tours to Lantau Island (to see the big buddha) or Macau which costed about AU$140 each and lasted for about 2.5 hours excluding all the time wasted in travelling through traffic to get to the ports and exit points to get to these places.

    Unique Suggestions: enjoy the refreshing sea breeze of the south china sea and its beautiful surroundings

    enjoy the included vegetarian meal at the temple at the valley of the seated big buddha which... IS BIG... the meal was delicious!

    enjoy the site of the fishing village at lantau island... even though i'm beginning to think its all just a set up... it was nevertheless pretty on a sunny day.

    breath and relax from hong kongs noise, crowd and polution as you wander along (with ur guide) the european style paved paths and enjoy the european architecture...... at least I did, in terms of cash, this is the closest i can be to europe at the moment =)

    Fun Alternatives: Macau is easy peasy. go directly to the ferries and purchase a return trip to macau early in the morning so that you can stay longer there as it takes 1.5 hours each way.

    once you're there, there is an abundant choice of all modes of transport that can take you anywhere---- grab a free macau guide and you''re set!

    its a little trickier on lantau island because it is more remote. after arriving here by ferry, there are buses to all the attractions but the downside is they are less frequent and if you get lost... you'll sometimes be stuck in the middle of a foresty hill with no one in sight-- but that sounds exciting itself !!!

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    Ferry to Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen

    by Homanded Written Jul 30, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Riding the Ferry

    When you arrive in Aberdeen and you head to the pier you will encounter several people offering rides on their "junks" (name for boats in which they tour you around the bay).
    After eventually having made your way to the free ferry that takes you to the Aberdeen Floating restaurant, yet another junk owner will try to convince you that the ferry runs only once an hour.

    Unique Suggestions: Not true. Wait about 15 minutes or so and another will appear.
    Unless your objective is to tour around in a junk (which is also recomended), know that the claim of Ferry NOT running is totally false

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  • SAY NO!

    by locco77 Written Jan 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wot ever you do say no to the guys trying to read your palm and other stuff like that,, They aren't good at it and they try really hard to take all your money,, i had a couple of bad moments with then and they just get very angry if you dont pay them alot of your money.. saying no isn't easy but i found you had to be alittle rude,, which is never nice,,

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  • i-s-a's Profile Photo

    Package Tours

    by i-s-a Updated Mar 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    HK is very easy to navigate even for first-timers so please avoid packaged tours if you can help it. Last time I was there, I bought one tour (Disneyland) to save time. I specifically asked for a tour WITHOUT the usual stop-overs and the agency promised that we will spend the whole day at Disneyland (hotel pick-up at 8:00am then proceed to Disney until closing time). Come the planned date, the bus driver was late...with the usual excuse such as missing tourists, traffic, etc. Then we were brought to the Avenue of Star. What the...? We talked to the guide...he said we will only stay there for a few minutes and we will be on our way. After that, they brought us to a jewelry store. This really ruined my day as we have no business going there...no plan of buying jewelry. It took more than an hour to get everybody back to the bus. Most of the passengers were very disappointed and just spent their time drinking the free juice and a visit to the toilet. If you think that's all, they brought us to a factory outlet. Almost everybody refused to go out of the bus but the guide forced us saying the driver needs to take the bus somewhere for checking. Not much choice. As everybody seems to be pissed off, we took every free sample and did not buy anything from that shop. About 2:00PM, we finally arrived in Disney. Me and my parents were very hungry and the hot weather did not help. We spent another 30 minutes looking for a food stall and tried to enjoy what was left in our time. And before I forget, did I mention that they forced us to buy their keychains and plates too? The nerve!!!

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  • Hong Kong Disneyland

    by janites203 Written Jan 7, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was a disappointment if you have ever visited Disneyworld in Florida. Not many attractions to see with only a small day parade, do not expect to see the light parade here.

    Unique Suggestions: If you stay till closing, buy your souvenirs earlier in the day. It is literally shoulder to shoulder in the shops when closing time comes. Eat a good meal before you go as food is not good, only expensive and take water.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips

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  • drandy's Profile Photo

    FREE CITY TOUR is not FREE!

    by drandy Written Feb 8, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We went on a free and easy tour of Hong Kong last December by Cathay Pacific, part ot the "Hong Kong Supercity" deal was a free "half-day city tour". However, the tour actually is not free- first stop for the tour is Aberdeen, where the tour guide will make you part with HKD50.00 per person to take an old sampan and tour the lousy Aberdeen harbour to see some old junks, which lasted about 15minutes, believe me, you can enjoy more by spending the money yourself and take a tram up Victoria Peak and enjoy the scenery. What more, there is a photographer trailing you all the time to take photo and make you buy them.

    Unique Suggestions: Tell them you do not want to take the ride- but be prepared to be bumped off and take a cab or bus back to the city- which is pretty easy- after all, HK is easy to get around and is a civilised city, but like many civilised city, there are culprits like these tour guides who are there to squeezed money out of you.

    Fun Alternatives: Do the tour yourself- get the Octopus card and you can explore almost the whole of HK, take the tram or Star ferry- pretty good experience, each only cost you HKD2.20

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • Aggressive Sampan Boat Dwellers in Aberdeen

    by jlcurtis287 Written May 16, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We decided to head down to Aberdeen to check out the promenade and possibly do a sampan tour. However, we were a bit turned off by the agressive nature of several of the women offering the boat tours. Just walking down the promenade, we were chased after by four different women screaming after us to go on their boats--we were not even sure we wanted to take one! They just literally kep following us and yelling after us with their limited english. Even after we thought we had left the area, another kept following us down the road yelling at us for about 5 minutes.

    It wasn't necessarily a 'trap' just a hassle that ruined our enjoyment of the experience.

    Unique Suggestions: Haggle them down on the price a bit. They started out telling us 120HKD a person (our book said tours were 50HKD). While 120HKD each isn't a lot, they are willing to bargain a bit.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Study Abroad

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  • MizBlack's Profile Photo

    Big Buddha, Po lin monastry

    by MizBlack Written Apr 13, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    I felt kind of cheated when i realised that i have to buy an admission ticket to climb up the steps to reach the big buddha statue near po lin monastry. Although the admission ticket comes with a free meal (1 plate of fried vermicelli and 2 pieces of pastry, 1 bowl of beancurd) i still find it kind of odd to pay to climb a flight of stairs.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel

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  • Stargazer1's Profile Photo

    Victoria Peak Tram

    by Stargazer1 Written May 12, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View from Victoria Peak -- 1
    4 more images

    The tram up to the top of Victoria's Peak is a must-do. Awesome views of the city, harbor, and hills. I got a souvenir ceramic plate with a picture of me at the top. Unfortunately, the maid broke it some while cleaning, but I glued most of the bigger pieces back, and my wife kept it on display in the den.

    Fun Alternatives: If you're up for the hike up or have a car or rental car or take a taxi, but why? Might as well be a complete tourist, unless you're a local.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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  • drandy's Profile Photo

    Free city tour is a CON

    by drandy Written Feb 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We went on a free and easy tour of Hong Kong last December by Cathay Pacific, part ot the "Hong Kong Supercity" deal was a free "half-day city tour". However, the tour actually is not free- first stop for the tour is Aberdeen, where the tour guide will make you part with HKD50.00 per person to take an old sampan and tour the lousy Aberdeen harbour to see some old junks, which lasted about 15minutes, believe me, you can enjoy more by spending the money yourself and take a tram up Victoria Peak and enjoy the scenery. What more, there is a photographer trailing you all the time to take photo and make you buy them.

    At Least Do This:
    Tell them you do not want to take the ride- but be prepared to be bumped off and take a cab or bus back to the city- which is pretty easy- after all, HK is easy to get around and is a civilised city, but like many civilised city, there are culprits like these tour guides who are there to squeezed money out of you.

    Alternative:
    Do the tour yourself- get the Octopus card and you can explore almost the whole of HK, take the tram or Star ferry- pretty good experience, each only cost you HKD2.20

    Unique Suggestions: Refuse to take and pay for the sampan tour

    Fun Alternatives: Go on a tour yourself- it's cheaper and more satisfying

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Family Travel

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  • adelaidean's Profile Photo

    beware the big jewellry shop!

    by adelaidean Updated Sep 18, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We did a Deluxe Hong Kong island Tour, and ended up in one of those jewellry manufacturing shops. Here we had to spend a boring hour being pressured about buying jewellry that we didnt want...This isnt the first time this has happened to us...and from now on,I will ask if its part of the itinery. It was in very small print on the brochure!

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  • DJ_Rolo's Profile Photo

    Sightseeing DEtour

    by DJ_Rolo Written Sep 2, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aberdeen Jewelry Factory

    When going on a sightseeing tour expect to see the sights, visit some great places, but also expect to be taken to a few shopping spots. We know that these tour groups get kick backs when money is spent. I took a tour out of my hotel, the Cosmopolitan Hotel. One of our stops was the Aberdeen Jewelry Factory. It was cool taking a tour of the factory but we all know at the end of that tour you get thrown into a pit of Lions(salespeople). They really werent that bad here which was cool. But since i was here in Hong Kong i had to buy some Jade, which i did. The price was very good compared to here In LA. Although youre not really forced or tricked into buying anything, i think its still kinda a trap....

    Related to:
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    • Singles
    • Arts and Culture

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  • pamychan's Profile Photo

    Free Half-Day city tour? Think again!

    by pamychan Written Dec 22, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One irritating thing about hong kong is the "under the table" ways the tourist industry tries to milk their tourists (especially those from mainland china and first-timers). One common thing you see in the tour package itinary to hong kong is a free half day city tour. (this is 100% the case for tours and packages, even free and easy, booked from singapore. I'm not sure about the case for other countries but i suspect it's similar).
    My personal example: I booked a free and easy package from singapore which included flight, hotel and airport transfers and this free city tour. Since i've been to HK before, i told the tour agent in singapore we are not going for the city tour. She says no problem just tell the tour guide who receives u at the airport. When we arrive, we tell the tour guide who receives us that we are not going for the tour. And guess what? He says that we still have to pay this supposed "tip" of HKD 50 per person even though we dont go for the tour. After firmly refusing to pay and arguing, he gave in and said that our singapore tour agent should have told us and asked for her name.
    Lessons learnt:
    1) If you go for the "free" tour, u have no choice but to pay the HKD 50 per head. IT IS COMPULSORY unless u really want to create a scene and spoil ur own holiday. Dont forget u still have to see that tour guide when he fetches u from ur hotel to the airport on ur last day.
    2) If you dont go for the tour, which is seriously a good idea unless u are a clueless first timer, fight for ur rights and say that u were not told about the fee and DONT PAY. Seriously i dont think that tour guide is so free as to call up your tour agent to scold the girl who booked ur package.
    Another warning about the city tour, if u really go for it, DONT BUY ANYTHING RECOMENDED BY THE SHOPS THE GUIDE BRINGS U TO!!!!!! everything is overpriced by at least 200% and most of the medicine, herbs, etc.... are either useless or can be bought anywhere else, even in ur own country at a cheaper price.

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