Hong Kong is one of my favourite places to visit in the world, it is a fantastic cosmopolitan city with a vibrant history and something for everybody to see or do. The city has a unique style that I think you can only really find in Hong Kong.
Experiences and sights of Hong Kong
Big Bus Tour
The Big Bus tour is a great way to see all the sights around Hong Kong efficiently. This tour starts at the ferry piers near Central and includes a tour through the downtown and the following sights.
Of course you can visit all of these independently, but we recommend to use the bus because it is not only more convenient but also a lot cheaper since it includes both a return ticket for the peak tram and a Sanpan ride in Aberdeen Harbour.
The bus tour goes all around Hong Kong and even around Kowloon if you go across Victoria Harbour. However if you don’t have the money for this, the one thing I would recommend is the tram ride up to the peak ($28 or 40 return without the tour). Access to sky terrace 428 is then $48, if you are really on a budget you can see a lesser version of the skyline from inside the mall or the path down from the peak.
There are many ways how to see and explore the Victoria harbor and the skyline surrounding it. Here we will present the best things to do!
The harbour tour is pretty cheap and worth the money, especially on a day with nice weather. It will take you around Victoria harbour and gives commentary on the buildings around the city.
A cheap alternative to the harbor tour without commentary is to take the star ferries, to various destinations. Especially the tour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central can be considered to be a sight of its own, crossing the Victoria harbor with them is an iconic experience – but you will probably take that line at some point anyways.
From the land
The most iconic view on the skyline of Hong Kong can be seen from the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui.
During our time in Hong Kong Leon also took a augmented reality tour through Hong Kong. If you want to know which sights you can easily visit by foot, check it out here!
How to get around Hong Kong
Our first advice for traveling around Hong Kong is to purchase an octopus card. These are small prepaid cards which are mainly used to pay public transport but also for smaller payments at convenience shops for example.
The easiest way of getting around Hong Kong is to use the Metro. The Network is quite big, so you can travel around the city very easily. Here is where the Octopus cards come in handiest, you will not have to get a ticket but can simply swipe the cards upon entry and exit. The fare will be deducted from your prepaid money.
If you are still out at night, you might come too late for the last metro though. Don’t worry, Hong Kong has both buses and shuttle buses heading around the city even at night and if you know the routes this can be an effective way to make your way around the city as well.
One more unique experience is to use the trams that especially roam around Hong Kong island. You should at least take them once to get around the city but they are pretty slow. It’s a great way to slowly travel around Hong Kong and watch life in the city pass you by.
Where to stay in Hong Kong
Cheapest we found was $100 HK a night in Kowloon. Nathan Road has lots of small hostels with ensuite bathrooms that will do cheap deals. Downside is that Kowloon is full of people trying to sell tourists stuff – suits and fake watches are the nice deals there. We personally never had any bad experience but we recommend to watch out to not become victim of a pickpocket for example.
Tim Ho Wan – Here you can eat Michelin starred dim sum for just a very cheap price. However this place is immensely popular so you may have to wait a few hours. Address: Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui |Olympian City Mall, Hong Kong, China (Mong Kok)
Dai PaI Dong -大排檔 – This is Hong Kong’s street food and it is apparently slowly dying out as fewer places sell the real deal. I went all the way to Sha Tin in the New Territories to eat this, however you can also find this closer to the city in Central on Graham Street. According to my Hong Kongese friend the wasabi chicken and oyster cake is the best!
HK also has some pretty decent buffets which aren’t too expensive, in Kowloon I would recommend Nomads (Custom Mongolian stir fry and pizza- a genius combination). If you are looking for something specific or in a certain area just go to www.openrice.com which is a great app for restaurants in HK.
If you are on a tight budget then shop in supermarkets for drinks, snacks and even meals. This can save you a lot of money but personally I would recommend trying the cuisine on offer as Hong Kong offers plenty of diverse dishes and fusion foods.
Cheap fake – Go to Mong Kok ladies market or Shenzhen Lo Wu or Luo Hu (Depending on which side of the border you are on it has a different name).
Cheap real- clothes go to Tung Chung, there are plenty of shops here and lots of outlets so the area is great for discounts.
Expensive – IFC mall, there are plenty of high-end shops, entertainment outlets and fine dining restaurants.
Lan Kwai Fong – A must see for anybody who loves night-life, there are plenty of great bars and clubs all packed into a small area. To save money just buy your booze at 7/11 and drink before! Although if you actually have money and a conscience maybe buy drinks in bars… this will cost you a fortune though!
I hope we could help you with our tips about Hong Kong!
If you have any suggestions, questions or want to discuss, feel free to leave a comment below!