Friday, August 24, 2012

Hong Kong: Kowloon

So after our time on charming but inconvenient Lamma, my parents, B, R and I switched hotels for a very different experience. We went to stay at the Mira for the rest of our trip, pretty much the polar opposite of the small, funky, family-run one at Lamma.

The 'main' section of Hong Kong is divided into two sections (on two different islands) by Victoria Harbor and the China Sea. One side is Hong Kong Island (slightly older and more historic), the other Kowloon (more shopping and night markets): there isn't really a significant difference between the two, however. The Mira is right in the center of Kowloon, on a subway line and a short walk from the ferry, the harbour and Kowloon Park.
We took the Star Ferry to get there, a quintessential HK experience
View of Victoria Harbour from the ferry
The ferries are old and atmospheric (and cheap! like a quarter)
The Mira is a very chic hotel. The main lobby in particular is really cool-looking (I definitely felt underdressed turning up there sweaty and with sand still in my hair), but so were the rooms (each has a color theme and a sleek, modern appearance; plus they are large by Hong Kong standards).
Our room
R being goofy in the Scandinavian-designed egg chair
Lobby entrance 
Where we ate breakfast
One of the Mira's draws is technology: beyond the standard (free wifi, iPod dock), they provide you with a free cell phone to use during your stay. This was really cool as B and I could then communicate easily with my parents (also good for making reservations). (They also have a lovely pool/gym, a nice rooftop bar and a Michelin starred restaurant for other facilities.)

Mom and R hanging out in the lobby
Weird hallways of the hotel: looks very space age
We got a good deal on the rooms (as we booked them at the last minute) and then our little ambassador R got us free upgrades to rooms with a view of the park (plus a free extension of our stay to allow her to nap at the right times on check out day). Sometimes traveling with a baby is awesome.
View from our room: this bird landed on the sill but I don't know what kind it is
The location was great. My parents found the insanity that is Hong Kong a bit overwhelming, so they really loved taking R to the park (it was right across the street) to see the flamingos (there's an aviary there) and seniors doing tai chi.

One of Hong Kong's better dim sum restaurants was also right nearby (convenient as you must eat dim sum in the morning, not my best time of day).
Parents like dim sum! These buns were especially delicious
I ordered too much as usual
R loved the dim sum too
I would definitely stay at the Mira again and recommend it to anyone visiting Hong Kong, for the cool interior design, the service, and above all the location.

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