As a fishing village in the 1880s, Hong Kong’s current development welcomes an influx of tourists from around the world. Hidden behind iconic skylines and fast-paced lifestyle are the remains of its colonial past. You can visit Hong Kong in many ways without emptying your pocket. Below are a few tips for exploring Hong Kong on a budget.
1. Visit Hong Kong’s Free Attractions
Some of the prominent temples in Hong Kong are Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Wong Tai Sin Temple and Po Lin Monastery’s temple. Many temples in Hong Kong have free entry. Squeeze in a visit to the Museum of History and Hong Kong Space Museum to learn about the Chinese culture and history. Entry to the museums is free on Wednesdays.
Although Hong Kong is brimming with high-rise buildings, about 60 percent of the city is preserved as green space. Hike some of the city’s well-marked trails, such as the Dragon’s Back Trail that offers incredible sea views.
2. Explore the Budget-Friendly Sights
Climb Victoria Peak, the highest mountain in Hong Kong. For just 40 HKD per person, visitors will enjoy sweeping views of the cityscape and its harbors from the viewing deck of The Peak. You can either take the tram or a bus up the mountain from St. John’s Cathedral in the central district. Several restaurants and shopping centers are nearby, so you’ll find no trouble staying occupied for a couple of hours. You could take the Star Ferry to see the glistening city at night. If the kids are with you, head to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort that also houses two Disney hotels.
3. Make Use of Public Transportation
When you arrive at the airport, be sure to collect the self-guided walking tour leaflets to learn about the nearest places that are walkable. Another best way to travel cheap is by using public transportation. Buy the Octopus card for the subway line, Star Ferry, city buses, Victoria Peak trams, and airport transfers. Some hotels in Hong Kong also offer free shuttle service to and from the airport.
4. Eat Cheap
Although Hong Kong does not have a strong street food presence, you’ll still find plenty of vendors, offering bowls of piping hot noodles and dumplings, in the quiet streets. The Queen’s Road offers some impeccable local food, such as the ABC Kitchen for Italian cuisine. The steamed cha siu bao buns and siu mai dumplings from Lin Heung Tea House are a local favorite. To take your culinary adventure to the next level, try the fried Chinese buns swirled with peanut butter.
5. Visit the Street Markets for Cheap Shopping
Experience Hong Kong’s street market scene by visiting some of the major vendors, such as the Ladies’ Market, Electronics Street, Sneaker Street, and Temple Street Night Market. You’ll find cool Chinese souvenirs and faux designer handbags and jewelry for half the price.
If you’re planning a trip to Hong Kong, be sure to visit the two locations that played an important part in Chinese history — Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Have you traveled on the cheap recently in Hong Kong? Share your go-to attractions in the comments below.
Featured image by James Ng via Trover.com