Hong Kong low budget
Hong Kong is known for its extravaganza and world of business establishments. It cannot be defined as a cheap place at all. Instead, its one of the most expensive places in the world. Now, how budget traveler makes most of Hong Kong at a low price? It’s definitely possible but sometimes sacrifices must be made.
I arrived in Hong Kong in the beginning of 2012 without big knowledge and understanding of the place or culture at that time. It was my short stop before going further to China. Shortly after booking flights and browsing for a hotel I fast discover that Hong Kong is not a cheap place at all and thus I was having a problem finding a cheap place to stay for one week. I got scared. I got small savings and didn’t want to blow it all into the hotel. I got to survive in China later on. Somehow I found, still not cheap for me, hostel in remote areas of Hong Kong Island.
I arrive in Hong Kong late afternoon. I then took bus from airport to my destination. After long ride driver let me know it’s my stop. I look around and instead of hotels, there is just a residential area with houses on the hill, no hotels. I got horrified as its started to get dark. I walk around and found the board saying the name of my hotel but it pointed out up to the hill. I didn’t know how to get there. Then one middle age couple offered me a ride. After plenty of steep turns, we finally got here. The kind man who drove me here even when to reception to make sure everything is fine. You can’t even imagine how relieved I was. I got to my dormitory room which happens to be cold. After all, it was winter in here, not that cold as in my country but 12 Celcius degrees without heating and with thinking windows cant be difficult to cope with. I didn’t bring many warm clothes as I expected warmer weather. Shortly after I found out that there were only girls from Mainland China coming to Hong Kong for shopping. They would wake up (also wake me up) to pack their stuff at the same time making noise with plastic bags they packed things into. It was so irritating I barely could survive.
The next day I took a free shuttle to the city, ready to discover more of Hong Kong. I will be honest, it was challenging for me at the beginning to find cheap breakfast, coffee and eat some proper food at lunch. Everything seemed expensive even in convenience stores and restaurants mostly would have local dishes with pork head and yellow colored chicken hanging on their display. A few months later when I would visit Hong Kong once a month or so ever since I would fall in love with dim sum and noodle soup with shrimp dumplings. You can get it for 30 hkd or so.
But at that time I would eat mostly sandwiches, buns and cheap street coffee.
I also wouldn’t go to Kowloon or another side of Hong Kong as transportation tickets were expensive for me and I was so into savings. I really don’t recommend this way of travel as even you get to know places but you don’t get most of the place you’re in.
On the last day, I’d go explore more of Kowloon and Tsim Tsa Tsui, saw Hong Kong harbor, some temples, an avenue of stars and so on. You don’t get to pay for it after all.
In Hong Kong island I would just walk everywhere without using transportation. There are so many high-end stores and it just felt to classy for me to be there. But I still like to sit in the park, watch elders practicing taichi and think about living here.
Where to stay when you low budget?
If you ok with staying at the hostel then that’s the best and cheapest possible place to stay in Hong Kong.
If you prefer to stay in a single room then I recommend either booking last minute if it’s not the time of holidays in China as prices should be lower or simply the micro hotel is a good option for the low budget traveler with access to Kowloon, tsim tsa tsui by food and nearby subway.
Also, you can just simply find last minute accommodation just by walking in Chungking Mansion. There is a plenty lo budget room available at price around 150-200hkd/night.
Where to eat?
You can either get some food out of the supermarket as they sell ready to eat prepared food so you can eat sandwiches, sushi, rice and most of the stuff you like at lower from restaurants price.
In the lunchtime most of the restaurants offer a lunch menu. It will cost you around 35-70 hkd for a set meal. Just check restaurants in places like Mongkok on side building of ladies market or anywhere in Hong Kong island etc.
How to travel?
I would definitely recommend trams as they are cheaper than buses or subway but available in Hong Kong island only.
If you can you can walk everywhere using subway or buses to further places.
Where to go?
Definitely to Victoria’s peak. If you get yourself octopus card which is great as you don’t have to buy ticket every time you want to use the subway, bus or pay at 711, but also you skip the big line to purchase the ticket for tram going up to Victoria’s peak and proceed directly to the tram.
Hong Kong harbor and display of “symphony of lights” every day at 8pm.
Avenue of Stars
Bustling Mongkok to see the craziness of shopping.
See some of hong kong beaches you won’t be disappointed.
Big Buddha, just stop from the airport although you need to take cable car if you’re not up for long hike for many hours (Seriously, I saw people doing it). The scenery from cable car is exquisite. If you have at least 5 hours flyover in hong kong you also got chance to see at least Big Buddha in hong kong. Hey, at least you didn’t waste your time at the airport, which btw, has a great view.
Hong Kong Island – it’s all great just walk around and enjoy.
Rainbow estate – for great picture
Shopping – maybe it’s not cheaper than shopping in the USA but its definitely cheaper than shopping in Europe. Remember warranty may not be recognized in your country.
Many people take Hong Kong for granted thinking its all small apartments allocated in tall buildings one next to another and as much its true, there is more to hong kong that idea of this place as it is. Yes, it’s crowded and yes, people leave in small small apartments and probably you will leave in a tiny hotel room as well. But Hong Kong has more, great bars with an amazing view, parks where you can rest and if it bores you, go to the local stadium to observe locals playing football and others playing cards.
There are mountains to hike and beaches to lay down and rest, there are islands to explore and views you’ll never forget.
here are some random shots from my visits to Hong Kong throughout the years