View of Central from the Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

How to Get Free Aerial Views of Hong Kong

Surprisingly, there are lots of free attractions for visitors to enjoy in Hong Kong. One of these isn’t particularly well known but is worth dropping in on if you happen to be in the area (and particularly if it’s a clear day).

A visitor pass for entry to the Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
A visitor pass for entry to the Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
View of Central from the Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
View of Central from the Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
View of Victoria Harbour & Kowloon from the Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
View of Victoria Harbour & Kowloon from the Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

The Bank of China Tower is a distinctive looking skyscraper in the business district of Hong Kong Island. To most, it simply blends into the steel and concrete jungle. But single it out and you’re treated to a freebie. Providing you have photo ID, you can head up to the 43rd floor and enjoy views (albeit limited) of the neighbouring area, Victoria Harbour and the south side of Kowloon.

Upon presenting your ID at reception, you’ll be issued with an Visitor Pass and directed towards a special lift with just two buttons; ‘Ground’ and ‘43’. Hit 43 and you’ll be whisked up to enjoy the views.

A plump wonton in delicious soup at Mak's Noodle, Hong Kong

Satisfaction Guaranteed at Mak’s Noodle

I can’t say I’ve visited enough restaurants in Hong Kong to say that Mak’s are the best, but they’re certainly very satisfying and tasty. Unfortunately, over time, the popularity of Mak’s has led to portion sizes decreasing and prices increasing. Compared to what you’d expect to pay in Europe, Mak’s is still good value, but it’s a relative rip-off by Hong Kong standards. That said, a visit to Mak’s is still (just about) a Hong Kong must.

The entrance to Mak's Noodle, Hong KongA
The entrance to Mak’s Noodle, Hong Kong
A steaming bowl of Mak's Noodle, Hong Kong
A steaming bowl of Mak’s Noodle, Hong Kong
A plump wonton in delicious soup at Mak's Noodle, Hong Kong
A plump wonton in delicious soup at Mak’s Noodle, Hong Kong

Like every food outlet that gains some popularity, there are many critics of Mak’s, most of whom say the food is overrated. I found my steaming bowl of soup matched my expectations exactly. The wontons were just as plump and delicate, the noodles were as perfectly al dente and the soup was just as stocky and rich as all the descriptions made out. The dish was small but it served as a mid-afternoon snack and the free tea that came with it was a nice extra.

There are a few branches of Mak’s Noodle dotted around Hong Kong (with a branch in Macau as well). I visited the branch at the top of Victoria Peak in the Galleria shopping arcade.

Courtyard @ Heeren Boutique Hotel, Malacca

Review: Courtyard @ Heeren Boutique Hotel, Malacca

My stay at Courtyard @ Heeren Boutique Hotel in Malacca, Malaysia was as close to hotel perfection as I have been. Save for a couple of minor shortcomings, the fabulous staff, stunning decor and excellent location all made for a truly unforgettable trip. If you’re heading to Malacca (or ‘Melaka’ if you prefer), we can’t recommend this hotel enough.

To help you decide whether this hotel is right for you, we’ve summerised what we liked and what we didn’t like below. We’ve also rated the hotel using our standard review criteria and provided links to our hotel booking partners in the event you’ve heard enough and want to secure a room for your next trip.

Courtyard @ Heeren Boutique Hotel, Malacca
Room decor is tasteful, modern and inspired by the building’s Peranakan heritage

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The Good

  • The staff were incredible, easily providing the best customer service I’ve ever experienced at a hotel. Upon arrival, someone carried my heavy bag up the stairs and showed me around my room. I was always greeted warmly when I walked through reception or when I passed someone in the corridor. At breakfast, the entire team greeted me in unison. One morning, I briefly sat in reception to read an email and within seconds, a glass of water was brought over. Every member of staff were brilliant and were key to making my stay as memorable as it was!
  • Room rates are generally very low, especially considering the quality you get for your money.
  • All rooms have flat screen TVs with an English language movie channel.
  • Rooms are modern, spacious, bright, clean and beautifully furnished & decorated with a cosy brown and cream colour scheme.
  • The hotel is very peaceful meaning a good night sleep is likely.
  • A really hot and powerful rain shower, massively appreciated after spending the day out in the heat and humidity of Malacca.
  • A great location, right in the centre of town and one street over from the Jonker Walk, home of the famous Night Market.
  • Good add-ons. In-room tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer, slippers, selection of toiletries all included.
  • A firm, comfortable bed.
  • The public areas and reception were really beautiful. Lots of water features and open courtyards. A real pleasure to explore and a completely unique ambiance.
  • Breakfast included in the room price. Eggs cooked however you like, fresh tropical fruit, cereals, toast and a variety of hot options, all served in a stunningly beautiful cafe across the street from the hotel.
  • Effective air conditioning.
  • Free parking at the rear of the building.
  • Free Wifi, with a strong signal in public areas.

The Not-So-Good

  • Whilst it was free, the Wifi was a bit unreliable. I couldn’t really get a signal in my room, so I often had to sit in the nearby courtyard where the signal was better. Thankfully, the courtyard was lovely, but I still would have preferred to use the Wifi in my room.

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Hotel Information

91, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
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