In response to my original post regarding Noah's Ark in Hong Kong, I have now found their web site. It is located here. It opens 25 May 2009 and tickets can only be purchased online at their web site.
My family usually visits Hong Kong in the early spring or late fall. The main reason for this choice is because the summer months are very hot and humid in the city. With all the walking we do there, it can get very uncomfortable during the hot and sticky days. We don't choose the winter because it can get cool there also, mainly due to the fact that they don't use heaters much. Also who wants to waste space in the suitcase for heavy clothing? I sure don't. We need all the room we can get, especially on the return trip!
So when is the best time to visit? In my opinion, it goes like this:
Avoid Chinese holidays if you can, because the city will be packed and hotels will cost you. The main holidays that I'm thinking of are of course, Chinese New Year and their Golden Weeks (1st week of May and 1st week of October).
The cheapest time to visit Hong Kong for saving on hotel cost is without a doubt the hot summer months. Everyone likes to go in the spring or fall because the weather is nice, so naturally hotel costs go up then. (NOTE: This is another advantage of trying to get a vacation rental. Their cost usually stays the same year round!)
But what about air-fare. This gets tricky because it seems that air-fare cost goes up during these hot summer months when the hotel is cheap. Also air-fare will probably cost you during the big western holidays, like Easter, Christmas, and New Years.
So this basically leaves the time right after Chinese New Year, late Feb. in to March. But also some slots in November or December might be good. What do others think?
I have recently found a flat in Kennedy Town for $44 US per night. That is the best price going, next to rent-a-room, or some of the hostels showing up on hotelscombined's Hong Kong listing. Check it out on my page. It seems to be a decent 300 sq. ft and even with a sea view. I know, sea view doesn't matter to all you Hong Kongers but for this middle America guy, sea view is King!
I discovered another interesting place known as Harbour Plaza Resort City. It is not on the Island so that is the down-side. The up-side is that it is sort of near an MTR stop in the New Territories and it's price is very reasonable at hotelscombined.com, much cheaper than what the hotel's web site advertises.
If the owners of the apartments that I list on my web site have the cost only in Hong Kong dollars or Euros, I’ll leave it that way on my site. If they include a US dollar cost, that is what I’ll use because I’m more familiar with it. If you come across a currency here that you are not familiar with, just use a conversion tool like this one at Yahoo Finance. You can go from Euro to US dollar, Hong Kong dollar to Euro, or execute whatever conversion you want.
I just found a new low in regards to my apartment searching. There is a company in Hong Kong known as Rent-a-Room and they have incredibly reasonable prices. Of course, you will not be getting all of the features that come with a standard apartment in Hong Kong. These are just rooms. However, if someone is really on a serious budget, this place may be worth a look. A single person can stay in a room for as little as $24 US per night. Now that is a good deal! I have added Rent-a-Room's information and links to my Hong Kong Short Term Apartment Rentals page.
My original plan was to keep adding new flats that I find to this blog but I see problems with that idea.
I found this studio apartment listed for $100 US per night. It sleep 2-3 and is really close to the horse racing track in Happy Valley. Hong Kong is also famous for it's horse racing. What is so intriguing to me about this flat is that the ad boasts some features that are not at all common in Hong Kong, such as a backyard with a jacuzzi in it! It claims the area is very peaceful also. Boy, I sure wish it was a 2 bedroom! I think a studio would really be pushing it for us.
I came across some more vacation rentals that look very nice. When I read the descriptions for these, I actually think vacation instead of just a place to stay. Don't get me wrong, I will be perfectly happy with a nice, clean place to stay that can comfortably accomodate the family and is priced right. I don't require luxury or all kinds of service. But these three new ones that I have discovered do sound a bit up-scale. Two of the three are priced a little high for me. The third is just a bit over my budget, so who knows. The problem is that all three are not on the Island side of Hong Kong, so that is a factor. At any rate, they are on my list to remember, just in case. If you would like to check these out, go to my short term apartment rentals page. You'll see Tsing Fat Street Condo, Hung Hom Condo, and Ocean Pointe Condo all listed there. They sleep 8, 5, and 5 respectively. Tsing Fat Street is a 4 bedroom!
A while back, I found this guy's post on GeoExpat. The post is now expired but he was wanting to rent out his apartment in Cheung Chau because he was always on the road. The price was very reasonable. I can't remember the exact cost now but it was within my budget. The problem, of course, Cheung Chau is not on the Island, as it is an island itself and would require many ferry rides during our stay. He still has the pictures available on Flickr and for all I know, is still wanting to rent it. Check the pictures out here (expired now). It has a really nice ocean view and the apartment, including the kitchen, looks to be very nice and American looking.
Bill is a Midwestern American whose wife is from Hong Kong. He has three daughters and the entire family visits Hong Kong almost every year.