How Expensive is Hong Kong to Visit?
Hong Kong is one of my favourite places in the world and if I could afford to live here (have you seen the cost of rent here? ) then I would but, alas that’s just a pipe dream but there are ways to stay here and enjoy everything that’s on offer and not have to spend too many HK dollars along the way.
Living in South East Asia, it doesn’t cost much to fly here with the likes of Air Asia or Hong Kong Express, but there are also many great deals from Europe and the States too. Public transportation here is cheap, reliable, and it’s incredibly easy to get around using the Octopus Card.
Accommodation, well that can get pricey, but there are rooms to suit all budgets. However, we spent the last 5 weeks staying in a cute apartment with its own rooftop on Hong Kong island just a few minutes walk from the MTR, 10 minutes from the bars and restaurants of Soho and 15 mins to Central for free. Yes, that’s right for free! There must be a catch, well just one, we had to look after the very lovely Tang, feed her and take her for daily walks, so no real hardship. House sitting and pet sitting is a great way to see the world for free. A perk of having an apartment is having a kitchen. Ok, so we didn’t cook very often but being able to make coffee and breakfast every morning saves a fortune.
Eating doesn’t have to be expensive if you go where the locals go. Very simple restaurants offer huge bowls of noodles, rice dishes, dim sum start at around HK$ 30. But if you’re like me, you can’t live on noodles every day and sometimes it would be nice to just go somewhere a little fancier. Well, happy hours are everywhere here for both food and drink. During the week, many restaurants offer set lunches or 2 for 1 deals. We especially enjoyed the fish and chips in Kennedy Town.
Mondays is a great night to find a 2 for 1 deal at some of the fancier restaurants in town. Have a look at www.supermondays.com for details on latest offers. The Wagyu lounge offered half price dinners Monday – Wednesday, great food and ambience and no, no one has paid me to say that. During the week, many bars offered happy hours on drinks from 5 to around 7 or 8pm. One of our favourites was the Eye Bar on Kowloon, half price beers, free snacks from 6-9 Monday – Saturday with incredible views of the Hong Kong skyline and a great viewing spot to see the nightly light show at 8pm.
But apart from eating and drinking, what else is there to do?
Many come here to shop and there are some great markets if you don’t mind crowds, they get very busy. Stanley market (take bus No 6 from Exchange Square and sit upstairs at the front for great views), Ladies Market, Temple Street Market, Antique Street to name but a few.
Me, well I love nature and love to hike. Being located close to Hong Kong’s famous peak, this was a great place for evening strolls and fabulous views of the city. The restaurants up here are silly expensive for average food so why not bring a picnic. You can get there by the iconic tram or discover the fancy homes on bus no 15 or just walk up, only about an hour depending on how many lampposts you have to sniff along the way ( I’m talking about the dog, not me, just in case you’re wondering). Keep an eye out for the wild pigs and porcupines you may see on the way!
Love hiking, but no dog or don’t want to hike alone, then join MeetUp. It’s free and a great way to meet likeminded people. I joined the HK hikers for 6 hikes and saw parts of Hong Kong, I probably would never have found on my own. Don’t like hiking, well there’s 100s of meet ups in Hong Kong, so I’m certain you would find something of interest. How about Tai Chi, Kung Fu, feng shui, Chinese medicine?
Free things to do in HK. Museums are free on Wednesdays, temples – visit the amazing 10,000 Buddha monastery in Shatin, New Territories, Kung Fu show with lion dances every Sunday afternoon in Kowloon Park, The light show at 8pm every evening, exploring the back streets behind the skyscrapers, the beaches!
I love Hong Kong and hope to be back here very soon!