As Hong Kong is dead quiet over early Chinese New Year, I weathered the crowd to Lok Ma Chau and headed on a final tour to Zhong Shan.
Congrats to Chinese tourism for doing a mighty good job in finding lines for locals to travel around their own country on very economic getaways with agencies such as Sunflower, King Tat, Tammy and Bigline Travel. For a small feat of $899 HKD (inclusive of CNY surcharge) our tour took us from Lok Ma Chau via Zhong Shan and Xiaolan through to Macau, which is remarkable as all travel, food and hotel expenses are paid. Whilst not a sightseeing packed tour, you really get a taste of the local way of life and for this price you’d be hard pressed to ask for a more destination catered tour.
Whilst Zhongshan was still a fair bit of a ghost town over CNY with most locals returning home to rural areas, Xiaolan still had some shops up and running, though it’s not recommended foreigners fair the travel here during this period if possible.
Macau on the other hand, remains a hotspot over New Years. Our pace picked up once we entered the plethora of entertainment offered by casinos worth visiting such as Galaxy Macau and the Venetian. If you’re not an avid gambler over the holiday season, just a look at the grandeur of Macau’s casinos are worthy a trip. Compared to a $3000 HKD (with the CNY surcharge) overnight booking for a hotel alone in Macau, the last destination of this tour makes up for the more relaxed previous two days if you have a couple of days to kill over the CNY break period.
Nonetheless, I’d have to say I prefer some alternative routes via Bigline or Sunflower to Nanjiang and Wuhan which are more sightseeing packed that I had a chance to visit a couple of years ago where the hot springs in winter are particularly therapeutic and worth taking a look at in the links given above.
How do I view foreign language sites? If Google translate in your Chrome browser doesn’t automatically translate your page, you can download the Translate Safari extension for the Safari browser. Otherwise, I would recommend either calling up the agency directly or shooting them a message as you’ll get by with English and direct tours from Hong Kong are very much worth the try. Just don’t forget it’s custom to give a compulsory tip at the end of the tour which is around $60 to $80 HKD a day per person!
After a very much easygoing break for my brother’s wedding (Congrats!), looking forward to heading back to Australia in a few days. Though, I’ll still be keeping an eye out on a chance to visit Port Fairy for some fresher air and what I’ve heard to be a very attractive getaway hotspot given the time.