Hong Kong is technically part of China, but with its past as a British colony, it is a quintessential east meets west place. A place with all these western brands that you love, and with a lot of posh places to enjoy.
Getting In: Hong Kong International Airport is ranked one of the top airports in the world. There are numerous flights coming in and out, with connections pretty much everywhere. From the airport, the city is just a bus or a train ride away. You can also get in from the ferry terminal connecting Hong Kong & Macau.
Where to Stay: There are plenty of budget hotels in the Tsim Sha Tsui area, normally located in apartment complexes. Expect to pay between $30-60 for a basic room. There are hostels around the Lan Kwai Fong area (the party central) and Tsim Sha Tsui for cheaper. If you end up staying in the New Territories part, expect a lot of minutes riding the MRT.
What to Eat: Oh, oodles and oodles of Chinese food, of course! If you’re on a budget, most malls have food courts where you can pick up a bite to eat. Be warned though – some places only have chopsticks so good luck with trying to get a spoon and a fork (better to know what they mean in Chinese), or just try to learn how to use chopsticks – it is an essential skill set in these parts. Hong Kong is home to Tim Ho Wan, the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant so go and eat there!
What to Do:
- Go to the various markets – within the Mong Kok area, you can see various streets selling specific items (they have bird street, jade street, electronics, clothing and so on) – some of the items are kitschy souvenir goods, so also a good place to go bargain hunting. It is a good place to go to buy electronics and clothes too.
- Watch the Symphony of Lights – The symphony of lights is the largest light & sound show – it’s spread out across the buildings found in Central. The best spot to watch this show is from the Avenue of Stars. Go a bit early (around 7:30 to 7:45PM) to secure a good spot!
- Ride the Star Ferry – The star ferry crosses the Victoria Harbour – between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. For a very cheap price (less than $2), you’ll get to ride in the historic boat and watch other ships float by. If you’re lucky, you may see a traditional Chinese junk nearby!
- Hong Kong Disneyland – the first Disney park in China, it is worth a place to spend a day or two on. The detailing is amazing though, from the MRT that you’ll ride, to the walk up to the part, it is Disney all the way!
- Ngong Ping 360, Po Lin Monasterty and Tian Tan Buddha – Found in Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha is one of the biggest buddhas in the world. From the MRT station, the shortest way to get to this place is by a 35 minute cable car (you can pay extra for an all glass car), and you get to walk through a mock up traditional Chinese village. A bit touristy and kitsch but fun nonetheless. The Tian Tan Buddha has a few hundred steps to get to the top, but it’s totally worth the climb.