Hong Kong is always in the list of top 10 most attractive tourist destinations in the world. However, this is a country where the cost of living is as expensive as Singapore. Every year, this land welcomes millions of travelers from all over the world to visit. Whether you traveling to Hong Kong for a day out, go sightseeing, go to work, go to pilgrimage or simply hunt for cheap clothes, Hong Kong has never disappointed anyone. There are many experiences that you can choose to try in Hong Kong. Now, let’s check it out our Hong Kong blog (Hong Kong travel blog, HK blog, HK travel blog) — The fullest Hong Kong travel guide blog for a budget trip to Hong Kong (Hong Kong budget travel blog) for the first-timers with Living Nomads below.
Hong Kong is divided into 4 regions
- Hong Kong Island: The economic and cultural center of Hong Kong. This place is also home to Hong Kong’s wealthiest and most expensive things.
- Kowloon: The most expressive features of the Hong Kong culture. Centralize many popular attractions such as: Avenue of Stars, Wong Tai Sin Temple, local markets…
- Lantau Island and New Territories: Far from the center and few activities for tourists. However, there are Disney Wonderland and Big Buddha.
If you do not have much time, we recommend you visiting Hong Kong Island and Kowloon City first.
Hong Kong blog: When to visit Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate and is influenced by the monsoon. Spring starts around March and lasts until May with pleasant temperatures but sometimes has tiny droplets raining. Summer lasts from June to August, hot and humid and heavy rain. Autumn lasts from late September to mid-December extremely cool. Winter in Hong Kong is not too cold, less than 15 degrees Celsius, which lasts from early December to February. Autumn and early winter is also a good time to visit Hong Kong.
Hong Kong travel blog: Hong Kong travel cost
Cost of accommodation
Accommodation costs in Hong Kong are quite expensive, with an average of $100 for medium hotel rooms. If you go with the group you can “share” the room, the cost will drop a lot, only around $60 per night/person. In addition, you can choose to rent accommodation in the dormitory areas, however, the limitation of this type is that you will have to share room with many strangers. Read more: Hong Kong budget hotel review — 6 budget hotels in Hong Kong you should stay.
Cost of eating out
Hong Kong food is bold with Chinese cuisine style, with famous dishes such as dim sum, dumplings, wonton, noodles, etc… In addition, due to a period of British domination, Hong Kong also has dishes European-style, tea parties and the finest tea brands. Besides, Hong Kong is also an international city with all kinds of food from all over the world. The price of food here is quite expensive compared to the Vietnamese but is the average price in the world. Only about $25 to $40 / day is enough to eat.
Hong Kong on a budget: Some tips for saving budget
Pre-booking for tickets, tours, services
As many other tourist cities, the Hong Kong travel experience for saving budget is booking pre-booking services, tickets and tours. This will save your money due to exchange rate differences. In addition, if you choose to buy tickets online, the tickets will be cheaper than buy directly.
Along with saving money, you also save time in queue. Especially with parks with extremely crowded visitors such as Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park.
Enjoy street food
The dishes in 5 star restaurants or places shared by the Hong Kong travel experiences will certainly be delicious. But the prices for these dishes are quite “expensive” and you can not eat every day during the journey. The best option is to follow the local people and try the the most delicious street food.
Watch the promotion gold hour
One good suggestion that you can save quite money when hang out is watching the golden hour or “happy hour” of the famous restaurants and bars. Especially the bars in Lan Kwai Fong are full of bustle, almost every day there are such that time frame.
Use public transportation by Octopus card
If you go with a large group, calling a big taxi and sharing money is perfectly reasonable. However, if you go in small groups or want to save more money then buy a Octopus card. This small card will save your time and money compared to buy retail ticket for every trip when moving by bus and MRT. Especially useful during long trips or on rush hours and holidays.
Hong Kong travel blog: How to get from Chek Lap Kok Airport to city center?
Option 1: Fastest and most convenient way. You catch the Airport Express subway located in the between of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Airport Express operates from 5:50 am to 0:50 am on the next morning, an average of 10 minutes with 1 trip. Take the subway is fast, but the train stops at some metro stations. Prices are around HKD100 per person.
Option 2: From the exit of the plane, you follow the signpost to Arrival Hall, down to the bottom of the airport terminal is the bus station Ground Transportation Center. Do not forget to get a bus map at the information counter. Take the bus A21, the last stop is Hung Hom Train Station on Kowloon Island (Price is $31, travel time about 45 minutes). This is suitable for anyone staying on Kowloon Island. You can use Google Search to find the route of the bus A21 or other bus routes to get to the station closest to your hotel.
Option 3: Combine both bus and MTR – this is the cheapest way to go from airport to center and back. First, you also find the bus station at the airport, catch the S1, every 7 to 10 minutes/trip to Tung Chung MTR station (the fare is $3.4). You down at Tung Chung Station and up the MTR (yellow line) to the center. To Lai King Station is the crossing point between the yellow and red line. For those who want to go to Kowloon Island turns to the red line (the fare from Tung Chung station to Tsim Sha Stsui station is the last station of Kowloon less than $18), for those who want to go to Hong Kong center, let’s stay there until to the end of the route (Hong Kong Station) , from here turn to blue station and then going on. It’s also relatively cheap and fast.
HK blog: Getting around Hong Kong
The most popular and effective means of transportation in Hong Kong are MTR and bus. To save money on transportation by these two vehicles and can pay at some shopping points, you should buy the Octopus card. The initial deposit for the card is HK$50, then before you going home, you can get back the deposit at the MTR station near the airport (this station is located between T1 and T2 of Chek Lap Kok Airport).
MTR stations in Hong Kong have lots of exit gates, each of which can lead to different streets, and you have to determine which exit gate of your destination to go for convenience.
Some main lines of the Hong Kong MTR system
- Airport Line (green): This is Hong Kong’s most beautiful and modern metro line from the airport to the islands of Hong Kong but it is very expensive.
- Tung Chung Line (yellow): This is the route to Lautau Island, where there is Chek Lap Kok International Airport, Disleyland (Sunny Bay Station), with cable car to the Big Buddha (Tung Chung Station) …
- Tsuen Wan Line (red): This is the route located in the Kowloon Peninsula (Kowloon Island), where there is the Star Avenue, Clock Tower, 1881 Heritage, Victoria Harbor (Tsim Sha Tsui Station), Lady Market (Mong Kok Station), Temple Street Night Market (Yau Ma Tei Station), Electronic Market and Flea Market (Sham Shui Po Station).
- Kwun Tong Line (light green) is also the route located in the Kowloon Peninsula, where there is the Wong Tai Sin Temple (Wong Tai Sin Station) and the Chi Lin monastery (Diamond Hill Station).
- Island Line (Blue): This is the route of Hong Kong Island, the route pass the Hong Kong Convention Center and the Golden Bauhinia Square, where the Hong Kong handover to China in 1997 (Wan Chai Station), Lan Kwai Fong (Central Station), and there is the bus transshipment point to Ocean Park and Victoria Peak (Admiralty Station), has major shopping centers such as SOGO, Time Square (Causeway Bay Station ) …
If you do not carry bulky luggage, sit on a 2-Storey Bus and enjoy the city view will be an interesting experience. Buses operate until 1:00 am. The bus fare is the same from the time you board the bus until you get off at the middle or the last stop (note: if you go with bus without the Octopus card, you remember to prepare the excess cash because the bus does not pay back the excess cash). The bus routes refers at:
Taxis are popular and save time, but they are expensive and maybe to be ripped off. Hong Kong’s taxis also are divided according to the routes like buses, depending on the destination you can choose the suit taxi color: red to center, green to New Territories, blue to Lantau Island. When taking a taxi, remember the name of the driver or vehicle number in the case of forgetting items on the vehicle, you maybe contact to get back.
Hong Kong travel blog: Where to stay?
Below are some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Royal View Hotel (Address: 353 Castle Peak Rd (Ting Kau), Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong / Phone: +852 3716 2888), a 4-star hotel with room rates from $57/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Regal Airport Hotel (Address: Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau Island, 9 Cheong Tat Rd, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong / Phone: +852 2286 8888), a 4-star hotel with room rates from $136/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Ibis Hong Kong Central & Sheung Wan (Address: No 28 Des Voeux Rd W, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong / Phone: +852 2252 2929), a 4-star hotel with room rates from $78/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong (Address: 64 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong / Phone: +852 2721 2111), a 5-star hotel with room rates from $163/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Metropark Hotel Mongkok (Address: 22號 Lai Chi Kok Rd, Mong Kok, Hong Kong / Phone: +852 2397 6683), a 4-star hotel with room rates from $84/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Butterfly on Morrison Boutique Hotel Causeway Bay (Address: Hong Kong, Causeway Bay, Morrison Hill Rd, 39號 / Phone: +852 3962 8333), a 4-star hotel with room rates from $59/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
HK blog: Best places to visit and best things to do in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Island
The center of economics and culture of Hong Kong, centralize Hong Kong’s wealthiest and most expensive things.
Victoria Peak (The Peak): The best sightseeing spot in Hong Kong. There is also the Madame Tussauds museum (open from 10am to 10pm), large shopping and dining areas. To getting there: There are many ways to go to Victoria Peak such as bus, mini bus, taxi or electric train (the fastest and most economical). You can take the ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui wharf via the Centre area, and go to the top of Victoria Peak.
Lan Kwai Fong: Located in the Center, between two roads: Wyndham and D’Aguilar on Hong Kong Island. This small slope is famous for its bustling nightclubs and nightlife. In a narrow L-shaped street, there are 90 restaurants and bars. Every day, the Lan Kwai Fong area has two bustling hours: Happy Hour from 17:00 to 21:00 and Spree Hour from 22:00 to early in the morning. The exciting time to enjoy Hong Kong’s night life on Lan Kwai Fong street is Friday and Saturday nights. The beverages at Lan Kwai Fong’s bars are not too expensive, a glass of beer costs between HKD40-50, and cocktails priced at HKD70- 150.
Sky 100: Located on the 100th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building, Sky 100 offers to visitors the highest 360-degree viewing angle in the city. You can reach to the Sky 100 by taking a high speed elevator (just 60 seconds). In addition to sightseeing, visitors can also learn about the history and culture of Hong Kong through the art gallery here.
The Star Ferry: The Star Ferry take the passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon Island for a long time, dating back to 1888. National Geographic Channel voted Star Ferry as one of the 50 most interesting tourist attractions of all time.
Horse Racing: Hong Kong has two of the most famous racecourses, the Happy Valley and the Sha Tin. Horse racing season lasts from September to July of the next year. Adjacent to the Happy Valley is the Hong Kong Horse Racing Museum.
Causeway Bay Shopping Center – Electronics Shopping: There are two major shopping areas, Sogo and Mitsukoshi, opposite each other on Hennessy Road (Causeway Bay MTR Station). You can find a variety of high-end fashion items from clothing, footwear, belts to kitchen tools. This is also the best place to buy electronics products. Especially the iPod here is cheap and quality too.
The Landmark Shopping Center – Luxury Shopping: One of the top 10 largest shopping paradises in the world. This place is full of famous fashion brands such as Harvey Nichols, D & G, Gianfranco Ferre …
Lee Garden Street – Discount fashion shopping: If you want to buy at a lower price, let’s visit Lee garden street with dozens of Factory Outlets that sell fashionable items that have run out of fashion or season. Prices are around 30-70% lower.
Time Square – Luxury fashion shopping: This area near Sogo, near Causeway Bay station. In this Times Square 8-storey, you can find all the famous fashion brands in the world.
Ocean Park: Every year, Ocean Park has new attractions, games and performances to attract visitors to Hong Kong. Ocean Park has two main areas (land and mountains, sea), separated by a long mountain range, can travel by cable car and train through mountain.
Victoria Harbour: At 8pm every night, at Victoria Harbour will feature a free 15-minute “sound and light symphony” performances for visitors. Standing in the Tsim Sha Tsui Harbor area, Star Avenue … you will see clearly this impressive and magnificent scene. In the daytime, visitors can take a boat trip to sailing along the river or participate in Taichi – The Hong Kong special martial arts are taught completely free on the shore of the bay on every morning.
Stanley Market and Murray House: Stanley Market is ranked high on the tourist map with shops selling art souvenirs. Include clothing, antiques of all kinds, handmade gifts or traditional colorful paintings. This is the perfect place for travelers to explore before leaving Hong Kong. Also located in this area is the Murray house complex, where you can visit traditional architectural styles and other historical and cultural values. In addition, there is a maritime museum that chronicles the history of Hong Kong’s trade and development, which was a strategic port city of the Old British Empire and is still well known today is busy harbor.
Madame Tussauds: As one of the first wax museums in Asia, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong inherited all the values that museums in England and Europe have created. From elaborate, meticulous manipulation of each wax statue to each … the hair. To the background, the most prominent backdrop. In addition, the statues here are full of great people, celebrities and idols of the whole world.
Symphony of Lights: As one of the “specialties” of Hong Kong, this light show is beautifully called Hong Kong’s light symphony. It started with bright flashes and colorful lights that symbolized the formation, growth and development of Hong Kong. Then, in turn, the harmonies of light and traditional Chinese music embellish a Hong Kong with immortal cultural heritages and along with steps into the full of bright future. Surely, this will be the spiritual food that you can not ignore when traveling to Hong Kong.
Avenue of Stars: A place to mark famous names who helped make Hong Kong become “Hollywood of the East.” With the handprints, cinema landmarks, the statue is the same size of the legendary Bruce Lee, the Avenue of Stars brings to Hong Kong visitors the seduction and the charm of the Hong Kong film industry. In addition, visitors can enjoy about 30 shows on every month, from drama, to music, and dancing. Getting there: Take the train to Tsim Sha Tsui Station, exit J and follow signposts to reach. Evening at 8:00pm or 8:30pm there is a light symphony on the buildings, very nice.