Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Global Blue, a Switzerland-based company that helps foreign shoppers to obtain tax refunds, teamed up with the Economist Intelligence Unit to rank 25 cities in Asia-Pacific on their shopping offerings for visitors. The researchers made their rankings based on five categories: Shops, affordability, convenience, hotel and transport, and culture and climate.
In the resulting study, titled the “Globe Shopper Index Asia-Pacific,” Hong Kong came out on top, scoring 68.5 out of 100 thanks to its convenience and wide selection of shops. The city was also praised for factors such as its long sales periods (the city’s stores marked down items for 22 weeks last year) and its shops’ multilingual staff.
Hong Kong’s one weakness was in the affordability category. Owing to its popularity as a tourist destination, especially among mainland Chinese, the city’s hotels are often full, which in turn pushes up room prices. Taxis are also relatively expensive compared to other Asian cities. On the other hand, the cities that performed well on the affordability ranking – Ho Chi Minh City and Dhaka were the top two – often ranked low in other categories, such as convenience and variety of shops and brands.
Last year, 41.9 million tourists flocked to Hong Kong, up 16% from 2010, and spent 253 billion Hong Kong dollars ($32.6 billion), according to the city’s tourism board. Sixty-seven percent, or 28.1 million, of the city’s visitors came from mainland China.
The study put Kuala Lumpur in second place with a score of 65.1, while Shanghai and Beijing scored 63.1 and 60.7, respectively. Singapore came in fifth, followed by Sydney, Bangkok and Tokyo.
While Kuala Lumpur doesn’t have Hong Kong’s international reputation as a shopping haven, the researchers pointed out that the city’s goods are cheap, the hotels are plentiful, and the metropolis has several gigantic malls, including three of the world’s top 10 shopping centers by size. Air-conditioned malls also help to make up for the Malaysian capital’s biggest weakness: The city ranked third to bottom in the study’s climate category.
Global Blue, which tracks world-wide movements of tourist shopping dollars, projects that the rapid rise of travelling shoppers from mainland China will continue despite the economic uncertainty in the country.
“We don’t see a slowdown at all,” said Per Setterberg, the company’s president. He added that while Hong Kong is a top shopping destination in Asia, many Asian shoppers still see the European capitals as their favorite places to shop in the world. “Those cities are the home to the large brands, and they want to go for the experience of shopping there.”
The company’s first “Globe Shopper Index” study, released last year, focused on Europe. London ranked as Europe’s top shopping destination, followed by Barcelona, Madrid, Paris and Rome.
Friday, September 7, 2012
My office is nearby this area. Today I make use of my lunch hour to explore the Soho restaurants and here is a summary.
G/F, 30 Hollywood Road, SOHO, Central
Telephone: 2810 1600
(Off Central Escalator) Central, Hong Kong, Tel: 2522 1239
Mexican Cuisine - Signature dishes include Frijolesy, Carne Asada as well as Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas and Nachos. Margaritas and Mexican beers are a specialty.
Evolving from the Royal Nepalese cuisine, into an assortment of contemporary dishes
I’m curious about Nepal food, so I took a photo of their menu. Main course is BBQ/curry, your choice of meat/vegetables. Starter is Bhenta Tareko (fried eggplant with Nepali herbs); Samosa (stuffed deep fried cone pastries with light spices) or soup of your choice (pumpkin, tomato, lamb, mixed beans), coffee and tea. HK$98+10% service fee.
Hong Kong Travel Blog - Soho Restaurants
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Many come to the Park to see the giant pandas. Let me tell you, they are always sleeping. Don't expect to see them in motion as in promotion videos. Of course, if you are lucky enough, you'll see a sleeping panda, or you'll simply see an empty cage. In order not to let you down, you must have to see the Red Panda. This active lovely creature is far more worth seeing.
The Grand Aquarium
Sea Jelly Spectacular
Cable Car (long waiting line)
Ocean Express (minimum waiting, 5 min ride connecting low and highland of the Park)
Shows (approximately 20 minutes)
Whiskers Harbour (Seals)
Ocean Theatre (Dolphins)
Take bus 629 from Admiralty MTR
Birthday (local resident only): FOC, half price for accompanying partner
Open daily 10am. Opening hours and show time has seasonally changes. Make sure to pick up a guide map at the entrance.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
You may notice that there are no punctuation marks in the Chinese version. Yes the original was written that way. In fact, ancient formal Chinese was written without punctuations. The use of punctuation marks were only introduced in the recent 100 years or so.
Hong Kong Travel Blog - City Hall 50th Anniversary
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Weather is really cold this year - only 8 degrees and it was quite freezing standing for 23 minutes outdoor at the harbour front. Even so, there are thousands of people crowding over both sides of the Victoria Harbour, not to mention people viewing the show from boat cruises, restaurants, offices and homes with harbour view.
Next year if you happen to visit Hong Kong during Chinese New Year, don't forget to view the firework show at 8pm on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year.
Hong Kong Travel Blog - Firework 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Red and gold are typical Chinese colours at Chinese New Year. A big new year decoration at the shopping arcade of Times Square.
The floral arrangement within hotels are added some Chinese colour as well. The yellow ones are only available around Chinese New Year.
Some traditional new year decorations outside a hotel restaurant.
The reception areas of a Chinese restaurant. See beautiful floral arrangements.
Even MacDonald's is adding some Chinese taste to its cappuccino. I really don't know how they turn their house symbol 'M' into this Chinese character 'fortune'. Wonderful!
Chinese New Year Dim Sums are all given good names. The dumplings below have pork's tongue, dry oyster and hairy vegetable - all related to profit, good business and lucky money.
Pork's knuckle is also a must-eat during Chinese New Year, meaning lots of lucky money throughout the year.