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Recent Asia reviews

  • Great authentic Kyoto experience!

    "My wife and I stayed at Apple House in May for a few days on a trip to South Korea and Japan from BC, Canada--the experience was great and we would return without hesitation. The house is an authentic Japanese town house, not in a preserved Edo-era way, but in the way everyday Japanese people live now. The owner/operator, Hiroko, is delightful and met us at the Metro Station and dropped us back off when we leaving; she was very prompt and helpful in all our transactions from start to finish and made the stay practically stress free. Hiroko's English is virtually flawless and communication was easy and straightforward. The house is relatively small by western standards, but is more than large enough in reality and very comfortable. The futons are very restful and I slept better the first night we there than I have for a long time! The house is fully equipped and Hiroko does a great job of explaining the idiosyncrasies of Japanese household life and there was no problem cooking, doing laundry, and so on. The bus stop to downtown and other points is a few minutes walk, and once you figure out the easy walk, it is straightforward to get to. The buses are punctual, frequent and clean--most trips from Apple House are around $3 or slightly less, although there is a cheap transit pass that we didn't really figure out until the last day, but would be worth buying at the beginning of a trip. There are stores for all the essentials (and more) around the train station and is about a 12 minute walk from the house; and there a few cafes and restaurants in proximity to the station. The station is also convenient for a day trip to Mount Kurama to the NW of Kyoto which is definitely worth the effort. We didn't get to use the bicycles this time, so maybe next time... My only caveat is that I would caution visitors who have mobility issues that the stairs to the bedrooms are quite steep and the chairs in the living/TV area require you to sit at ground level, which may not work for everyone. Overall. however, I have no hesitation in recommending Apple House to anyone who wants to experience the 'real' Japan for a reasonable price!"
    Guest: Bazza Date of Stay: May 2014 Review Submitted: July 6, 2014
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Hong Kong Travel Tips

Visitors to Hong Kong Vacation Rentals

Even though Hong Kong is now officially under Chinese governance, it has retained a high level of economic and commercial autonomy. The region grew in stature towards the end of the 1900s to become the fourth largest commercial center in the world after London, New York and Tokyo. Many of the visitors to Hong Kong are business travelers or those that are attracted to the world-class shopping available. It is a bustling metropolis that never seems to sleep. For those that are willing to linger a while, you can visit the New Territories and Outlying Islands where you can explore mountain trails and beautiful beaches. Hong Kong has its own Disneyland and a wide variety of amusement parks. Many of these are located on Lantau Island. If you have never been to a Disney theme park, it is well worth spending for a day there.

Best Time of Year to Travel to Hong Kong

The time of year that you choose to visit Hong Kong will depend largely on your travel interests. In terms of climate, the ideal season is between October and December when the weather is traditionally warm, dry and sunny. If your interests are cultural then you should plan your vacation between the months of February and April as this is when many festivals and events take place. The Hong Kong Arts Festival takes place in February and March, and is a month-long event that showcases a wide variety of international artists and performances. Chinese New Year is usually one of the biggest celebrations of the year and takes place in line with the lunar calendar. It is usually towards the end of January or early February. While it is a great event to witness, many shops and restaurants close for the duration of the festivities and the weather can sometimes be rainy. For this reason, many visitors come away disappointed by the experience. A good idea is to plan your travels just before Chinese New Year so you can soak up some of the festive atmosphere and at the same time, still enjoy some sightseeing.

Because of the strong British influence in Hong Kong, Christmas is a great time of year to visit. The shops and streets are decked out with colorful Christmas lights and shopping is a very festive experience. Rugby fans will enjoy the IRB Rugby Sevens tournament which takes place each year at the end of March. It is usually a sellout event that attracts fans from all over the world.

Hong Kong Accommodation Options

Hong Kong is characterized by multitudes of high-rise buildings. Many of the vacation rentals available are apartments located in various parts of the city. Kowloon is known to be slightly more affordable and has the best views of Hong Kong Island. The apartments are generally quite compact but stylishly furnished and have adequate living space. Most are one- or two-bedroom apartments that are suitable for couples or small families. Some more luxurious apartments are available if you have the budget for them.

Finding Your Way to Hong Kong

Hong Kong International Airport is one of the busiest in the world. The airport is located on a smaller island off Lantau and can be reached by ferry, train and bus lines. It is a highly modern and efficient facility that hosts international airlines from across the globe. Hong Kong serves as a regional hub for access to China, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands. To get around in Hong Kong, you can use the ferry system between islands, and the bus system or taxis to get around the various districts.

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