We all know that traveling to Hong Kong isn’t cheap, in fact it is one of the expensive countries around Asia. But just like anywhere else, with proper planning and a bit of a research, you can travel around Hong Kong on a budget.
For as low as ₱600 you can find a decent hostel. Ideally, you should stay around Kowloon Island (Tsim Sha Tsui, Nathan Road, etc.) because it is close to tourist-y areas like Victoria Harbour, Ladies Market, Temple Street, and cheap but good places to eat. If you do this, you will save on transportation. I use Hostelz.com to search for hostels (private room or dorm bed) and I recommend this website for backpackers and budget travelers. If you really want to stretch your budget, share a private room with 2-3 friends (but check first with the hostel’s policy).
Hong Kong is one of the safest cities that I have been to. Walking is encouraged and you won’t have to worry about getting mugged or harassed, (Diego and Gloria of Cafe con Leche Abroad thinks so too! Watch as they freely vlog around Hong Kong).
When you need to cross the harbour (From Kowloon Island to Hong Kong Island), don’t take the MTR, instead take the Star Ferry. Aside from it being the cheaper option, the view is really something. I’ve taken it a bunch of times already but I still get excited to take photos of the skyline.
Before going out the airport, get an Octopus card. It is an efficient way to pay for the public transportation and even for some restaurants, shops and convenient stores. You can top it up in the MTR stations and convenient stores like 7-11 and Circle K.
For buses, trams and mini buses you need to have the exact fare because they won’t give you change. And of course, you don’t want your wallet to be filled with so much small coins, right? At the end of your trip, you can get whatever is left in your Octopus Card.
If you’re going to Hong Kong, your number one objective probably is shopping. From affordable sneakers in Sneakers Street in Mong Kok to high end brands in Tsim Sha Tsui or Citygate Outlets, you have limitless options here. If you are up to the challenge in haggling and bargaining, head to Ladies Market or Temple Street. Look and walk around first to have an idea (basically, its like Greenhills, Divisoria, and St Francis Square but with more options and cheaper).
When buying for pasalubong, you need to find these shops around Nathan Road: Best Mart 360 and Prize Mart. Both are wholesale shops that’s why they can afford to sell cheap chocolates, snacks, biscuits, cookies, nuts, etc. You can find UK and US brands here too! How cheap is it? Since my boyfriend discovered these places, we now buy our groceries here not in the supermarkets.
Hint: It is also ideal to buy gadgets, cameras and lenses in Hong Kong.
4. Cheap Tickets for Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park Hong Kong
If you want to plan ahead, you can purchase discounted tickets via Klook. 1 Day Ticket for Hong Kong Disneyland is HK$ 497 (₱3312) instead of HK$ 539 (₱3054) and Ocean Park Hong Kong ticket is HK$ 334 (₱2366) instead of HK$ 385 (₱2052). You also have the option to walk to hostels or guesthouses around Nathan Road and buy from there. Prices will vary.
5. Eating and Drinking
For as low as HK$25, you can have noodles, or something from Hot Star Chicken, or a big slice of Pizza from Paisanos. I actually find that either one is enough for me. You can also get a nice meal from Cafe de Coral or Tsui Wah Restaurant for less than HK$100.
For drinking, head to Lan Kwai Fong early and take advantage of Happy Hour that the bars are offering. You can also buy beers in 7-11 and drink in the streets with your new found friends.
Tip: If you walk in to a noodle place or any cheap Chinese food restaurants, don’t expect that you will both understand each other. Also, there will be times that there’s no English menu available. So, arm yourself with Google Translate app, the Instant Camera Translation feature is a godsend!
Read More: Best Travel Apps That I Use
Bonus: Day Trip to Macau
Turbojet is the best ferry to take from Tsim Sha Tsui to Macau (HK$ 164) and going back (HK$ 153). Travel time is an hour and you have free wi-fi. Rates vary from weekdays, weekends, holidays, day sailing and night sailing. To know more, click here.
In Macau, you can reach Venetian, City of Dreams, etc. for free by taking the shuttle busses that are waiting outside. Going back is also the same. The busses offer free wi-fi too 🙂
I hope this post will help you in your future travel to Hong Kong. If you need help planning your itinerary, don’t hesitate to contact me. Would love to help you get the most out of the city 🙂