Hong Kong? Another 3 weeks ago I knew next to nothing about this place. But then – there was this banner online with promotional flight offer. We did a quick research to find out, that Hong Kong is an autonomous territory and we Latvians don’t need a visa when traveling there. Then we read few interesting articles about Hong Kong, and IT WAS DECIDED. We are going to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong: Arrival & Getting from the Airport to City
And yesterday early in the morning we arrived to Hong Kong. Flight from Singapore was about 4 hours long and cost each of us close to 100 EUR.
To get from airport to the city center we take a bus, which turns out to be very convenient and for less than a half of the price of the metro. About 3.8 EUR compared to 9 EUR. Information about this bus we find already on the place, standing by a transport map in front of the Hong Kong airport, when some local man approaches us and asks if we need any help.
Next thing – where to go? This time we know it only partly. What it means is that we know few districts, where, as we found on Google, we could find some cheaper accommodation. But that’s all we have.
It was only two days ago, when we were already in Singapore, that we started to look for an accommodation in Hong Kong. And that’s also when we found out how expensive Hong Kong is. Not the best place for budget travelers, haha. Realizing that we decided not to stress out, looking through booking sites and searching for the best and cheapest hotels and hostels, but to leave it for later and enjoy our time in Singapore.
Because anyway everything will be ok, as it always is. In India and Malaysia we have done this way all the time – looking for accommodation on arrival not in advance.
What else we knew is that it should cost about 120 – 150 HK dollars or 12 – 15 EUR for a bed in some of the cheapest hostels, for two it’s 24 to 30 EUR.
With that much information we arrive to Jordan district and start looking for hotels. There are a lot of hotels all around. One building, twenty different hotel signs, wow. I guess, that means we are at the right place, huh.
700 HK$ for a room. Expensive. There are no rooms. Everything is full. 450 HK$. It’s already better. For how many hours do you need a room? Oh, for few days, sorry, no rooms. 500 HK$ per day. Small or large room? Small. Oh, it’s only some 2 x 2,5 meters big and that’s including bathroom, no windows, for 300 HK$. There must be something better…
And that’s was just one floor of one building. Let’s go to the next floor! Nothing here. To the next! One floor lower, and here it is – our room. We have found a reasonably priced room.
It’s small, but nice looking and for 330 HK$ or something like 33 euros. Some 3 x 2,5 meters in size, with air conditioner, fast WiFi, hot water kettle outside, TV. This “hotel” the same as other similar ones looks just like a regular flat in Latvia, some 60 square meters big. Only in Latvia that would be a 1 bedroom apartment, while in Hong Kong it’s a 4-5 room hotel with a common area.
In our hotel there are 6 hotel rooms. Hostess lives in even smaller space at the entrance. She has only a mattress and TV. And mattress is partly under table on which there is TV.
Hong Kong: Second Day
Now it’s our second day in Hong Kong, and at this moment we have already walked some few dozen kilometers through the city. There are 20, 30, 40 and more storey buildings all around you wherever you go. A little bit more far away from the city center some of them look like real ghost houses, but in the city center most are shiny and good looking.
A lot new buildings are under construction. Walking is quite easy here. There are walking roads everywhere. Everything is so alive around. Comparing to India it’s much more clean there, but comparing to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore – more real and alive. Distances in Hong Kong are big, but for fit people they are not huge.
Metro is very fast, convenient and simple to use, but costs at this moment for us have never been higher than 1,2 euro for a trip. Read more about public transport system in Hong Kong.
Skyscrapers. Crowds of people at shopping centers and in the markets on streets. Two storey buses and two storey trams. A LOT OF expensive fashion brand stores. Gadget market, that looks like real Ebay-on-the-street. 70% of writings all around you are on Chinese. Mountains around the city. Smiling and kind people. That’s how we know Hong Kong now after two days of being there.
But what were our very first impression? Cool, there are mountains around the city. 10 minutes later. Ouch, we passed our bus stop. Let’s get out now.
It’s wet. Air is hot and humid. It feels like in jungle. Streets, a lot of streets. Almost no people and vehicles. Old skyscrapers. Really? This is Hong Kong? That city that never sleeps. That expensive city? Probably only in the city center … But no, we were wrong. It was just early Sunday morning, that we can blame and also recent rain. We understood it some two hours later, when going out from our hotel and then seeing totally different Hong Kong.
One day we plan to spend outside the city. We plan to go to Maclehose trail, where Vibram 100 kilometer running competition is being held once a year. One day we will go to Disneyland. But on this weekend there is Dragon Boat race in the city. So we plan to go and watch it as well. So, one week will run quickly.
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.