Shermanstravel Blog

Hong Kong

hong kong high-rise buildings towering over park

Megan Eileen McDonough/Bohemian Trails

Hong Kong is a city of contrasts, with an endless mix of old and new. You’ll find high-rise buildings that tower over quiet parks, local food stalls crammed in between big chain brands. And it’s a major travel hub, so it’s easy to get yourself to this international hotspot even if it’s not your final destination. Whether Hong is a weekend getaway or one stop on your way someplace else, here’s the ultimate three-day itinerary for Hong Kong.

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Singapore skyline

themreport

Is Asia the new Caribbean? For thousands of experienced cruisers ready to visit exotic places — such as China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia — the answer is a resounding “yes.”

While some first-time cruisers set off for Asia, most are intrepid travelers who have already island-hopped in the Caribbean and sailed the familiar cruising grounds of Europe and Alaska. Now, they’re venturing off the beaten path — and cruise lines are delivering with more routes and better ports. Here’s a peek at what’s hot.

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Christine Dayao Daytona Beach MOAS

New York. Paris. London. Those are some of the big cities that travelers hoping for some cultural enrichment flock to. But what if you’ve had your fill of The Metropolitan Museum of Art or have grown tired of The Louvre? Here, four cities that might surprise you with its delightfully unexpected art and culture scene.

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OvoloSouthside_LongLoft

Is there anything more hip than a hotel that’s tucked in a converted warehouse?

Ovolo Southside is a 162-room property that popped up this summer along Hong Kong’s artsy South Coast, in the town of Wong Chuk Hang. With art in abundance and a rooftop bar, too, this is the sixth Ovolo Hotel to open in Hong Kong. (The hotel group also has a property in in Melbourne.) And just as exciting as the trendy digs are the low costs of enjoying them.

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hong kong light show

If you thought that light shows were reserved for children at theme parks or at techno shows for young adults, think again. Each year, each day, cities around the world ignite their skies with colorful arrangements of phosphorescent lights. From decorative cranes at an old Croatian navy yard to entire harborscapes like those in Hong Kong and Singapore, there’s a delightful journey in some of the world’s finest light shows. See our favorites here.

TaishanShanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong are without a doubt the centers of modern Chinese culture and the focal points around which most travelers will plan their trips to the Middle Kingdom. But these mega-cities represent only one view of the country; for a more balanced look at the whole of China, consider venturing out into the rural areas as well. Luckily, there are great options for nature and hiking within just a few hours of each of the major cities. Shake up your next trip to China by embarking on one of these hikes:

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Cruise Ship in Sydney HarborWelcome to wave season! At the very end and beginning of every year, cruise lines roll out promotions for sailings through the next year – sometimes even two – in hopes of booking passengers early. The deals can take the form of steep discounts over 50 percent, 2-for-1 fares, onboard credits, free airfare, and other special packages. For you, this means that there’s no better time to go big – or at least dream about it. Here, we offer eight unbelievable cruises for the ultimate nautical adventure… Read more

Macau Planning a trip to China’s gambling capital? With private, walled-in gardens, public beaches, and historic sites that reference the city’s strong Portugese influence, you’ll have plenty to do, whether you’re hitting the slots or not. The best part: We’re featuring a great deal this week that includes this destination, and saves more than $1000. Not bad. Now, what should you pack for your trip?

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City Tours to Take at NightIf you tend to stay away from cheesy double decker bus tours while on vacation, well…we can’t blame you. Often, the only real way to get to know a city is to just walk it, unguided, and let the adventure unfold as you go. But there’s something irresistible about surrendering to a nighttime tour: cruising down busy avenues, letting yourself be dazzled by marquee lights as they whiz by, and getting a birds-eye view of a city just as its restaurants, bars, and nightclubs begin to come alive. Just remember to put down the camera once in a while; for posterity sake, you won’t want to let the whole evening go by with your face behind a lens!

Though not as well known as its neighbor to the south, the city of Sharjah in the UAE has managed to carve out a reputation independent of Dubai and Abu Dhabi – for starters, it is a burgeoning art destination, with over 15 museums to its name, and even has its own observatory wheel. Now, thanks to a brand new night tour, visitors can now be guided through the city’s most dazzling features after the sun goes down. The Buhaira Corniche, Al Qasba (a prominent theater and exhibition space), Mega Mall, the Central Souk, and Al Noor Mosque (a destination in its own right) are just a few of the spots accessed on the new tour, which runs from 8pm to 11pm every night. $25.75 per person; for more information, click here. Read more

The Biggest Hotel Heists in HistoryCannes, the glittery French resort city, has been attracting some unwelcome guests over the past few months: thieves.

Back in May, during the Cannes Film Festival, thieves ripped a safe from the wall of the Novotel hotel and made off with around $1 million worth of jewelry – less than a week later, a de Grisogono necklace worth over $1 million was stolen during a festival party at a hotel in nearby Cap d’Antibes.

The biggest heist came in late July when a brazen, baseball-cap-clad thief, thought to be part of the infamous Pink Panther jewel thief ring, walked into the Carlton Hotel in broad daylight (where, ironically, scenes from Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief were filmed). He brandished a gun at staff and swiped $136 million worth of jewelry. The heist was one of the biggest in history.

And that’s not even mentioning the Kronometry watch store, which was robbed twice in the last five months.

If your traveler’s curiosity has you wondering about other hotel heists, here are a few others that made news — and some that made history. Read more

Accor Hotels Super SaleThis summer, take the international vacation you’ve always dreamed of with Accor Hotels’ Super Sale. Enjoy a romantic vacation to Paris, explore the sights of Hong Kong, soak up the arts and culture of Sydney, and many more international destinations. With this sale, you’ll save up to 50 percent on seasonal rates at the same hotels. Valid for stays from July 6 through September 1, select properties include: Read more

Jokulsarlon LagoonLooking to expand your travel horizons this summer or fall? We’ve got the deals for you. From Bonaire to Bali to Bulgaria, travel outside the usual domestic or Caribbean destinations and head somewhere truly special this season – and still save in the process. Read more

Photos.comWinter offers bargains in stunning coastal Maine

In life, being in the right place at the right time can come down to serendipity. But in travel, it is almost always the result of good planning. To avoid crowds and inflated prices, we recommend the period between high and low seasons when the weather is fine, places are still open and happy to welcome travelers, and you can explore a destination at your own pace. We call this magical time and space continuum the Sweet Spot and make it a point to round up the best of them for you each season. We’ve covered the 20 best places to travel for value this winter and grouped them by region – follow the links to right to discover this season’s Sweet Spots.

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The PeninsulaThe first time I stayed at the Peninsula Hong Kong, in spring 2011, it seemed pretty great. A weather station on the roof dispatched temperature and humidity readings to the rooms, front-desk messages arrived by silent fax, and a “valet box” allowed freshly shined shoes and newspapers to be delivered inside rooms each morning without even having to open the door. Of course, there was also the fleet of 15 chauffeured Rolls-Royce Phantoms, including a vintage one from 1934, to assist with departures or arrivals (unless you preferred using the hotel’s twin helipads). Inside the oldest hotel in Hong Kong – and the first in the small luxury chain – my room overlooked the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Kowloon and faced the skyscrapers across Victoria Harbour. It was hard to complain. Read more

Though not a total culture shock for Westerners due to its British colonial heritage, Hong Kong can at times be overwhelming, So, on a recent trip to Hong Kong hosted by Cathay Pacific Airways, Island Shangri-La, and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, I decided to venture out to discover a more quiet side of this bustling city. I chose a half-day trip to the island of Lamma – a hotspot for local movie stars and expats – for some hiking and swimming.

I set out from the Island Shangri-La, in the Central area of Hong Kong Island, to the ferry terminal, which is just a short walk from Hong Kong Central Station and the Central MTR subway stop. Read more

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