Short-term apartment rental in HK

If you want to rent an apartment for days, or weeks in Hong Kong, it isn’t too easy. For one thing, you are usually asked to rent for at least a month. And do prepare for the high rent. Hong Kong’s rent, just like its property price, is very high.

There are only few choices for short-term apartment rental in Hong Kong, as you may have guessed. It is probably because the property price is so high that most people can only afford to buy one property to live in. For those who can afford to have a spare property for lease, they would rather lease it to local residents on a yearly contract.

Well, you can still find short-term apartments for just a few days or weeks, though the choice is limited. The daily rate ranges from HK$350 to HK$2,000.

For those on the budget, check out rent a room. This company’s self-contained room-apartments offer a range of price (from about HK$400 for 1 person to about HK$1000 for 4 persons per day) to choose from. Its location in Jordan, Kowloon, is convenient. But do expect the apartment is small and pretty basic with little decoration.

You can also check out this site for a higher end market. Most of them are for month-long rent only. But there are few that you can rent on a per-day basis for up to HK$1,300 a day. This site offers daily-pakcage of serviced apartment at about HK$1600 in prime areas of Hong Kong.

If you plan to stay in HK for a month, the choice is a lot wider. Hang Lung Properties, a Hong Kong main developer, offers three locations of serviced apartments on a monthly rental basis. All apartemtns are conveniently located and nicely decorated. You can choose from its apartments of different sizes, facilities and prices. Other choices (most of them expensive choices) include Apartment Kapok, V Serviced Apartments (looks stylish), Eaton House (very expensive), 88 (luxury!) and 153&163 (looks like a typical HK ordinary home).

Here’s more: theV, sytlish studio/apartments, with locations at Happy Valley, Causeway Bay, Wanchai and West Kowloon, with price from HK$13,800 per month for a studio; The Lodge, HK$10,500 -12,800 per month, brand new apartments with boardband and cable TV, near Jordan MTR station and Kowloon MTR station; and the Regent Heights, with more than 100 units of different apartment types, located in Causeway Bay, one month lease required.

What the Star Ferry pier demolition tells us

The management of the Hong Kong ferry company which runs the ferry route from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, disclosed that following the demolishment of the Star Ferry pier at the Edinburg Square, Central, and moving of the pier to a more remote location, the traffic has decreased by 15%. The company said it would consider a fare hike in the near future.

It is a vivid demonstration of how wrong the HK government has been in ruthlessly demolishing such a historic and familiar place to HK people. The demolishment has not only destroyed a HK legacy and heritage, but also taken away a transport means for the public who now because of the remote location of the pier, have to forfeit its use.

The ferry ride has been an enjoyable ride for me, taking in the harbor view and landscape at both sides of the harbor. Now, physically, I don’t want to walk that long distance to take the ferry; psychologically, I don’t want to use the new pier either – in silent protest against the ugly development of this city and the indifference of its government.

Family visit by China president

During the short trip China president Hu Jintao made to Hong Kong to mark the 10th anniversary of the city’s return to China, he paid a visit to two Hong Kong families. 

In the first family where the father is a construction worker, Hu gave the family a Leno computer as a gift. It was reported that he danced a Mongolian dance with the family’s little daughter.

Hu visited a second family where the mother is a mandarin teacher, He gave the family a plasma tv set as a gift.

Hu also talked with the families to understand their work and family life, it was reported.

I was struck by the “uniqueness” of this kind of activity integrating into the agenda of a nation’s head, and becoming the focus of news reports – It would be something very odd in the West.

I guess when a government is not elected, but claims it serves the people, it should be natural that it has to remind the public from time to time that they do serve the people, by staging relentless shows and propaganda.

Probably the best youth hostel in China: hostel in Pingyao

hostel in pingyao, chinaIn Pingyao, there is a youth hostel called Yamen Hostel, probably the best youth hostel across China. Because the hostel is so wonderful, my friend has stayed in the city for over two weeks.

The hostel is located in a very well preserved and charming traditional courtyard mansion – with front yards and backyards, and halls in the middle. It was built in 1591 to house the emperor on his planned visit to the city, but the emperor cancelled his visit and the mansion was never used for its original purpose.

This explains the tranquil atmosphere and beautiful architectural design of the hostel. Undoubtedly, the attraction of the hostel lies in the rare opportunity it offers to foreign travelers to sample living in a hundreds-years-old Chinese building at a minimum price and with a lovely atmosphere.

The guest rooms are all richly decorated, with internet access. The lobby with comfortable sofas, pleasant music and wifi, is a great place to meet people, or read books, or surf the net. Most importantly, the staff is very friendly. Toward the end of his stay, my friend not only got a discount for his ensuite room, but also had two free nights of accommodation. 

And, the hostel has a nicely run kitchen – the food it churns out, western or eastern, is delicious.

Pingyao: China’s best preserved wall-city

When my friend was in Pingyao, a small ancient city in central shanxi province, he met three professional photographers from the West who came purposely to the city for taking photos. Two of them, father and son, are from Germany. They planned to publish a photo album about Pingyao upon return to Germany.

Pingyao is a beautiful town preserving the architectural aesthetics of Chinese traditional buildings. It is distinguished from other places in China in that it has well preserved its architecture and urban landscape of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties, earning it a place on the UNESCO world heritage list. Because it is relatively unknown, the city is not swamped with tourists yet and the local government has done a good job in preserving the 2,700-year old city – it is the best preserved wall-city in China.

My friend likes the city very much. For one thing, the people there are very friendly and “they smile a lot”, my friend said. In the morning, the locals will pour out on the street to dance a local dance. It was very funny and interesting, he said.

And, there is one more reason to keep him in such a small town for two weeks – most tourists make a day trip to Pingyao from Beijing, or stop by it on the way to Xi’an, a much more famous wall-city known for its heritage of terracotta soldiers. I will write in the following post why.