As I wrote earlier, Hong Kong for us with Una was completely spontaneous destination (it was in summer of 2014). When buying tickets, we did not know, not what we gonna do there, nor where we gonna live. Nothing. We let emotions to take over and simply used the opportunity to travel to this in our opinion very exotic place. Far-away place close to China.
Everything ended up the way, that a week, that we had for Hong Kong, was enough to fall in love with this never sleeping (almost never) Asian city and to get tired at the end. To make your trip to this city better, there I have written down some of the most useful lessons learned from our journey.
Hong Kong is Expensive
Prices comparing to Thailand or Malaysia are 2-3 times higher. Cheap and super small room (only a little bit bigger than bed) – at least 20 EUR, bed in hostel – 10 EUR, cheapest meal – starting from 2 – 3 EUR, but more realistic is to find something starting from 4 – 5 EUR.
Go to Chungking Mansions if You Are Looking for a Cheap Accommodation in Hong Kong
At first most probably you will think differently. We thought. But when you get used to that mix of people all around you and forget about movies, which has taught you that black, muscular guys with big chains around the neck are criminals, then everything changes.
It’s in the central part of the city. Kowloon park with its beautiful birds and fishes is just one block away. Metro and buses stop just by the house. Shops and restaurants all around. Choice of accomodation is HUGE. And if it’s not enough – cheapest hotel rooms in the city are to be found here.
You can make a reservation, but it’s not hard to find something once you arrive.
Hong Kong Metro is Convenient, Fast and Easy to Understand
For about 1 EUR it will take you half the way across this big city.
But for getting to the airport we recommend bus. It will take a little it longer, but a ride is not less comfortable, and it costs about 3 times less. And unlike airport express metro, which is going only to the airport, traveling by bus you can get out wherever you want.
Public Transport System in General in Hong Kong is Very Efficient
It’s used by absolute majority of the local population. On the streets for every one private car you will notice there are at least few public transport vehicles (two story bus, two story tram, taxi or a minivan).
Two Story Tram and Star Ferry – Cheap and Interesting Attractions
On that side of Hong Kong where all of the shiny skyscrapers are located, there is a two story tram running. Ticket price is fixed – less than a euro for a ride. Get it at the first/last stop, take the best seat in the very front of the second floor and you are ready. Ride takes about 1 hour. And afterwards you can take a tram back!
It’s an especially beautiful ride after the sun has set.
After that you can take a Star Ferry to get back to the opposite side of Hong Kong. It takes only a few minutes and costs close to nothing. Beautiful views are guaranteed.
Victoria Peak – Go There to Take a Look at Hong Kong from Above
This place is accessible for free. At the top of the hill there is shopping center, which has accessible rooftop. On one side there you see skyscrapers, but on the other – sea and islands. Head there for the sunset!
Golden Computer Arcade – It’s Like Ebay on the Street
Two floors of all kind of electronics, cables, phone and tablet accessories and so on. And, yes, prices here are like on the Ebay, when you sort them to see the lowest price first. Same way here – we got an impression that everything costs peanuts. What about the quality of all that cheap stuff? Most probably you will get what you pay for.
Hong Kong Disneyland is Cool and Just a Little Bit Extreme
It’s easy to get there. Metro ticket will cost you about 2 EUR and metro will take you all the way to the entrance of the theme park. It’s definetely worth one day of your time. More about Hong Kong Disneyland you can read in this our article.
Maclehose Trail – Great Place to Escape from the City
Hong Kong is just one big and crowded city? No. It’s possible to get away from all of it and still be in Hong Kong.
On of such an options is heading to Maclehose Trail, which is about 100 kilometers long and divided into 10 sections. Getting there from the city is possible with a bus or few buses, and can take you about an hour or two, depends of that to which section you are going.
English is Widely Used in Hong Kong
Most of the texts written with hieroglyphs are also translated into English.
In two sentences – Hong Kong is the busiest and the most interesting city in which I have ever been and I recommend you to visit it, too! But all that noise, 40+ story buildings all around you wherever you go, it’s not the place for me to live for too long time, I suppose.
Have you been to Hong Kong? How did you like it?
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.