Tips for a cheap Hong Kong tour
Here are some my experiences for travel in Hong kong, if you have intend to go there you can refer.
You should buy tickets in advance from Cathay Pacific airplane including meal or when it has promotion program buy 1 get 1.
Hong Kong is a country requires for Visa so you can make it via Agencies because you can not ask for yourself, it costs about 90 USD and will be faster.
Hong Kong is a country has civilization and heightened awareness, the streets are very safe and clean without any trashes. If you go there traveling, you should not throw trashes away on the street.
Hong Kong is promoting say “no” to plastic bags. When you buy stuffs, irrespective of supermarkets, clothing shops or small groceries, they will ask if you want to have bags after you finish buying, so if you say “yes” you will have to pay 50 cent more, if say “no” you will have to bring this stuffs home by yourself without anything to cover.
If you like the bustle, you can choose places to stay next to Kowloon Peninsula area such as: Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok, Yau Ma Tei ( also known as Waterloo). These are main roads with many busy shopping streets which every travelers come over.
You can go to the shop Aji Ichiban to buy junk food as a gift for friends and colleagues but it is not really cheap.
Mineral water in 7-eleven shops is super expensive with 7 HKD per a bottle, if you can you should go to groceries buying with 3 to 5 HKD.
The places where you have to buy ticket you should buy tickets online in advance so you do not waste time to queue in – sometimes it takes about 2 hours waiting meaningless. The Peak or Lantau Island for example, you can get some discount when buying in App Klook. The feeling of passing the crowd by private line is absolutely awesome.
MTR is very easy to use, combine with google maps is absolutely the best, if you dont know how to use it, you should download it and learn because it will be your tour guide.
If you believe in Spirituality, you can visit Wong Tai Sin temple to pray for peace and happiness. It is said that if you make a wish here, the chance that it becomes true is very high. Fortune-telling is the reason make this temple well-known too, it is said that the accuracy of the fortune telling in this temple is very high and accurate. After that you can go to meet Hymen in this temple as well to tie a noose asking for nice Predestined affinity. In the temple do not have incantation, you should buy incense and pinwheel outside bring to temple and fire to get the fortune.
If you fly with Cathay Pacific airplane, you can ask for stewardess to buy sim card 3g or 4g directly on the plane, with a large demand for it but they do not have too much so you should ask directly. There are 2 types of sim card: 89 HKD using in 5 days or 140 HKD using in 10 days with about 1.5 to 2 GB capacity.
In Hong Kong, MTR stations are divided by color, so if you have a virtual life, you can make a trip to discover and collect the avatar 7 colors.
People in Hong Kong wake up quite late because they closed late the night before. If you wake up early, you can visit outdoor sights first or sleep in and after that going to malls because shopping malls here open at 11:00 am.
Hong Kong Currency Exchange is 1000 HKD = 2.880.000 VND
Hong kong uses 3 prong electrical outlet. Remember to bring switching power supply and power strip because of having only one socket in the room.
I chose to stay in Usa Hostel in Mirador Mansion building, 54 – 56B Nathan Rd, it looks like an old apartment building. The hostel is in different floors, they buy or rent this house to make hospitality business so it is hard to find reception to check in here.
Name of some others hostels in this apartment building: Tai Wah Boutique hostel, Hung Kiu guest house, Wide Sky guest house, Motel double vield,.. Rooms are clean, have hot water, elevator divided by parity ( even and odd) for convenient go up and down, room rate is about 1,2 million VND per night ( for 2 pax). Right beside is subway station Tsin Sha Tsui very convenient for discovering Hong Kong, opposite is Isquare Mall. To Highway Star in Victoria port takes about 5 minutes. Having a problem here is that wifi is slow.
* One Dimsum: the best Dimsum in Hong Kong. Every foods are incredible delicious. For 5 people cost about 300 HKD.
* Fish ball curry, smelly tofu. These are street foods so you can find easily in night market area such as Mongkok or Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade.
* Hui Lau Shan: Sweet food which makes from mango but not so sweet.
* Tsui Wah: This shop has every where, it opens whole day so if you are hungry and dont know what to eat, this is a good recommendation.
* Milk tea : hot and cold, you have to drink it when you come here.
* Starbucks with ancient design in Central area. Nearby is Stone Stairs which appears in many TVB movies.
* Wife cake
* Honolulu milk tea is very special, tasty. However, if you drink it before going to bed, it maybe affect to your sleep.
* Macau restaurant: have many delicious foods as butter toast, roast pigeons, beef noodles with XO sauce,..
* Cong sao star dessert: serves dessert as fruity ice cream with many types of topping delicious, especially mango and durian flavor.
* Jenny Bakery – under the building.
* Yung Kee restaurant: this restaurant is in the top of 100 most famous restaurants in Asia Pacific with premium roast goose dish.
* Little Sheep hot pot: in Mongkok, MTR station.
4. Entertainment and shopping
Hong Kong is divided into 3 main areas including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and New Territories.
Kowloon Peninsula is the most funny place because it has 3 bustling areas with cheap prices at night including Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok and Waterloo.
Hong Kong Island: workplace of many office workers as well as companies or corporations are headquartered here. The TVB films often call Hong Kong Island is Central area.
Waterloo is famous for wish tree which often appears in many TVB movies.
Hong Kong has a lot of attractions, but depending on the number of days you stay - plan carefully where you are going to go to not waste time around here. A little tip when you get out of the station or the MTR station is that you will see a lot of signs and instructions attached pictures of places should visit in the area such as:
* Ocean Park
* Temple Night Market
* Mongkok night Market
* Stanley market and Occupy Central which is next to Hong Kong Island with the skyscrapers, the most luxury brands, the longest escalator in the world.
* PMQ area sells stuffs which designed as art style.
* Wong Tai Sin temple where turns every your wishes into reality, and Hymen statue is inside the temple.
* Victoria Peak, Cheung Chau Island, Lantau,
* Lam Kwai Fong is party place at night in Central area, should not be missed.
Harbour City mall: People just need to get into here without going to anything further malls: there are enough famous labels as Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, adidas, Nike, New Balance .
Spending remaining time to visit some others places, there are so many places which take your whole time, your a half of day is maybe not enough. The shops of beauty products as Sara, Bonjour exists everywhere. However, Bonjour shop is cheaper than Sasa shop.
Shoes shops have a private road in a very bustling Mongkok.
PMQ is new youth entertainment place, it was a police department in the past thats why it is worth to explore, and it is quite similar to Zone 9 of Hanoi youth selling handmade items. In general, you should visit it.
- MTR + Bus: you should dowload maps in advance or use google maps to locate your location and where you want to go. Travel by bus is recommended so you know how the streets is in Hong Kong.
Otopus card is sold at the stations, costs about HKD 100. when finishing, you can give the card back to retake bail, or you can recharge the card to use it as payment card like visa card at the stores in the center without getting bother by small change.
- Taxi: it is super expensive, it costs about 260hkd from the airport to Kowloon.
Read more: Hong Kong essential guide.
Words and photo by Tran Minh.