Located on an Inner Harbor surrounded by hundreds of islands on the South China Sea, Hong Kong makes for a summer journey filled with sunny and hot days and cool evening breezes bringing loads of tourists taking advantage of the flavors, shopping, and architectural and spiritual sites around the famous island. Deals to Hong Kong and the nearby Macau as well as Chinese provinces are low-priced, having many options from which to choose.
Grand Holidays (tel. 888/788-1122; www.grandholidays.com) has a budget-minded tourist-class five night/seven day trip to Hong Kong good for travel through September 4, 2006. Costing $799 with departures out of San Francisco and Los Angeles with other departure cities for additional money, the trip includes all airfare, accommodations, some cultural activities, and all airport transfers. Hotels are three-star quality including the Metropole Hotel and the Kowloon Hotel. The trip costs $899 plus departure fees and security fees out of New York, Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Grand Holidays also has a combination trip starting off in Hong Kong and finishing up in Beijing. The seven-day trip costs $1,249 out of Seattle and includes some meals. This trip leaves from other U.S. cities. The Metropole is a large hotel on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong with modern business amenities, large rooms and a combination of Western and Eastern touches.
Pleasant Holidays (te.: 800/742-9244; www.pleasantholidays.com) has a special book early package to Hong Kong for the Silk Chinese New Year Festival taking place in February of 2007. Travel is good from February 13 to March 31, 2007 for this trip that includes round-trip airfare and five-nights hotel accommodations in the Harbor Plaza Metropolis with a large pool and views of the large ships and tiny boats coming and going in Hong Kong Harbor. For an additional $99, you can get a half-day tour of the island with a sampan ride, tram ride to the top of Victoria's Peak, a VIP ticket to the stands for the Chinese New Year's Parade, and a pass to local museums. If you book by August 31, 2006, you get a free upgrade to a side Harbor-view room. This package starts at $1,059 with security fees and departure taxes not included.
Gate One Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gateonetravel.com) is offering a seven-day Hong Kong cultural tour with round-trip airfare, a choice of hotels, daily buffet breakfast, and airline fuel costs. Starting at $1,099, this package vacation departs throughout the remainder of 2006 leaving four times per month. Sightseeing add-ons include a full-day trip to Macau for $98 that includes a guided tour and transportation on a hydrofoil or a $38 full-day tour of the New Territories to see daily Chinese life outside of the urban Hong Kong. Hotel options include the BP International House, a 533-room grand hotel with views of Hong Kong and Kowloon, just a five-minute walk to the China Ferry Terminal where you take the ferry over to Hong Kong Island. Being an international center of high-tech commerce, most Hong Kong hotels have high-speed access. The BP International House has high-speed access, business services, and a large lobby and bar.
For an understanding of what's going-on in Hong Kong this summer, Discover Hong Kong (www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/index.jsp) is the city's official tourism site sponsored by Hong Kong's tourism office. Of all the events going on in this year-round city of festivals and deals, the 2006 Hong Kong Shopping Festival runs from June 24 to August 31, 2006. Filled with free-giveaways, major discounts at participating department stores, retailers and boutiques, the Festival lets you take even more advantage of the usually low-priced goods offered in Hong Kong and manufactured in local Chinese factories. Stores are open late, sometimes later than 10 pm, with sales broken out into electronics, beauty, jewelry and Chinese traditions. Deals include 50 percent off on Timberland products and free small screen LCD televisions when you purchase a large-screen model. The site also lists walking tours for do-it-yourself travelers throughout different sections of Kowloon, Hong Kong and nearby Lantau Island.
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