The Ultimate 2020 Budget Travel Guide To Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the premier tourist destinations for everyone who want to experience the colorful environment coupled with sumptuous street food offerings and unlimited shopping options.
About Hong Kong
95% of the population of Hong Kong speaks Cantonese although English is a common language all throughout and tourists won’t have any problems navigating the place for there are English translations everywhere. Hong Kong is officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. It’s an autonomous territory located on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary.
It’s a bustling city thanks to its trade, business, and tourism. The center of its economy and politics is Hong Kong Island while Kowloon is where the museums, markets, Avenue of Stars and most of the budget guesthouses are located. The New territories are where the wetland parks and temples can be found.
In this Hong Kong Travel Guide 2019 Blog, we’ll share important travel tips with recommended things to do and see, itinerary, money saving tips, the best hotels to stay, places to eat, tour packages and more.
Best time to visit HK
You’ll have an easier time touring Hong Kong if you go in the months of October to March when the weather is cool enough but it isn’t raining. The summer months are from June to September and there are times when there are typhoons in August.
Hong Kong Currency and Money Changer Locations
Hong Kong’s currency is Hong Kong Dollar. There are five areas where you can get your currency changed to Hong Kong dollar. These are Central District, Causeway Bay, Chungking Mansions, Hankow Center and Mong Kok. You’ll also find currency exchange at the airport and hotels.
There are about 170 countries and territories which may visit Hong Kong without a visa and that includes the Philippines which vary from 7 days to 180 days in duration. Filipinos can enjoy up to 14 days to Hong Kong while citizens of the U.S., Europe, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are allowed to enter for up to 90 days. UK nationals can stay in Hong Kong for up to 180 days.
Macau Permanent Resident Identity Card Holders are also eligible for 180 days of entry. The country with the least number of days allowed in Hong Kong is East Timor with 7 days.
For other nationalities who wish to enter Hong Kong, they’re eligible to apply if they have enough funds for the duration of their stay, they have an onward ticket to their destination place and they’re bona fide citizens.
How to Get There
Both Cebu Pacific and AirAsia offer cheap flights to Hong Kong from Manila while Philippine Airlines (PAL) offers a full-service flying experience.
The Hong Kong Airport Express proves to be the fastest way to get to the city from the airport. It will take about 24 minutes. Buses are another way to get to the city but will take longer with about 45 minutes of travel time. You can also choose the red taxi which drives in the urban areas such as Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Hong Kong Airport Express Train Tickets (QR Code Direct Entry)
No need to redeem a physical ticket, just enter the gate with the QR code on your voucher.
Getting around Hong Kong
MTR system is the easiest and fastest way to get around Hong Kong. Use Hong Kong’s MTR mobile app while touring as it proves the best routes to all your chosen destinations. The app has maps and other info which you’ll need while staying in the country. You may also want to avail of the Octopus Card which has a prepaid stored value you can use for MTR and bus rides.
Buses, ferries, trams, taxis, and UBER are available to ride in Hongkong. The taxis have color coding schemes depending on which place you’re going to. The red taxis serve Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Island, the Green taxis cater to the areas of the New Territories while the Blue ones will only serve Lantau Island.
Hong Kong Tourist Octopus Card
- Use your Hong Kong Tourist Octopus card to dine, travel, have fun, shop and more.
- Simple and easy to use: just place the Octopus card over a reader and the payment amount will be automatically deducted from the stored value.
- Get going immediately with HK$50 of preloaded credit on your Hong Kong Octopus Card.
- Take your decorative card home after your trip and keep it as a souvenir to remember your Hong Kong trip
Where to stay
Hong Kong is definitely for everyone and proofs of this are the hotels that offer both cheap and luxury accommodations. There’s always the right hotel for all types of travelers.
Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel
No.1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
The lowest rate for Garden view room is USD229 via Agoda
The hotel restaurant overlooks Victoria Habor. It’s located in Wan Chai Waterfront and has direct access to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The hotel has its own landscaped pool and fitness center. Its rooms are styled with marble bathrooms and have its own amenities like a safe and cable TV.
Empire Hotel Hong Kong
Location- 33 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
The lowest rate for Twin Room is USD191 via Agoda
The hotel features minimalist guestroom interiors with pastel colors and its own amenities like flat-screen cable TV and tea/coffee maker. Its Café 33 is open all day with international dining options. It’s located in the Central Business District which makes touring and shopping fun and easy.
Rainbow Lodge HK
Flat fo1, 5/F, Hai Phong Mansion House, 99-101 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Lowest Rate for Dormitory Accommodation is USD22 via Agoda
Despite its accommodation rates being low, this lodge in HK has regular amenities like TV, air-conditioning, and computer. It offers free Wi-Fi access and other kitchen amenities in its common dining area. There’s also a shared lounge area, a game room, and a tour desk. It’s near a lot of shops like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton.
City HK Guest House
Location- Flat E3, 10/F, Block E, Chungking Mansion, 40 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
The lowest rate for Standard Double Room is USD53 via Agoda
This Guest House is located near the Clock Tower, Mira Place 2 and Avenue of Stars. Guests who need to do some work while staying at the guest house can enjoy their free Wi-Fi. It’s near many shopping destinations and there’s a private shower for the guests.
Where to eat
You’ll never go hungry in Hong Kong. You can have different gastronomic adventures with every cuisine imaginable as there are a lot.
Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant
Visit the famous restaurant for Hong Kong style seafood
DiVino Wine Bar and Restaurant
Moderately priced menu options attract guests to this Italian Restaurant but more than that the romantic ambiance and its authentic servings of pasta, antipasti, Italian desserts and of course, wines make it the go-to place for tourists who wish to have a taste of Italy in Hong Kong.
The Sweet Dynasty in Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong
For a hefty price, you’ll be treated to their signature dishes like Barbecued pork, Deep-Fried Cashew and Shredded Taro and Deep-Fried Lobster. They serve only the best and authentic Cantonese cuisine in Hong Kong.
Bistecca Italia Steak House
Another Italian restaurant you shouldn’t miss for its vegan and gluten-free options. Large groups of people can be accommodated in the restaurant and they serve gorgeous steaks together with other authentic Italian dishes.
One Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant
If you want to fill your tummy without having to spend so much then visit this restaurant which serves Asian dishes like Steam Rib Bone Rice with Chicken Paws, Steam Cake in Mala Styles and Deep Fried Sesame Balls. There are plenty more to choose from on their menu.
Hong Kong Food Tours
Hong Kong Sham Shui Po Food Tour
- Explore some of the best foodie hot spots in this old Kowloon district. Sample a total of 10 tastings plus many other cultural, historical and architectural highlights.
- Eat like a local and taste both sweet and savory classics at 6 hole in the wall family-run eateries.
- This food tour is highly recommended by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Central and Sheung Wan Food Tour
- Discover beautiful colonial architecture in this Hong Kong district. Soak up the street vibe and immerse in the local culture of Hong Kong’s most iconic neighborhoods.
- Visit six family-run restaurants like the popular noodle shop, and more!
Tai Po Market Food Tour
- Explore various points of interest along the way to understand more about Tai Po Market’s past and present.
- Eat like a local at six unique tasting locations in Tai Po Market. Sample made-to-order steamed rice rolls and local dessert, and more!
- Hong Kong Food Trip: Taking a Food Walk in Mongkok
- Hong Kong Food Trip: “Eatsperience” Hong Kong like a local
What to Do in Hong Kong?
The activities that tourists can embark on in Hong Kong are countless. It would be nice if you could make a plan before your trip so you get to visit all the places while you’re there.
Going to Amusement and Theme Parks
Some of the parks that you can visit are Hong Kong Disneyland, Snoopy World, and Ocean Park. Visitors can enjoy Jungle River Cruise plus other rides in Hong Kong Disneyland, the Boating Canal in Snoopy World and cable car in Ocean Park. Both Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park have numerous rides, eating and shopping options for visitors.
Plenty of temples abound in Hong Kong which you can visit. Some of it is Wong Tai Sin Temple and The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. Wong Tai Sin Temple honors Daoist monk Wong Tai Sin. It honors 3 religions; Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The Big Buddha is home to Buddhist statues and Chinese structures. It also houses a meat-free restaurant and beautiful gardens.
Shopping is truly a must in Hong Kong. The best places to shop are Argyle Center, Citygate Outlets, Times Square, Hysan Place, Harbour City, Langham Place, PMQ, Central District, Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po and many more. You’ll find beauty products, high-end items, electronic devices, clothes and other products in these areas. There are both cheap and expensive items you can buy there.
Market Hopping Tour
- Enjoy shopping at some of the most popular Hong Kong street markets.
- Feel the local atmosphere when roaming the alleyways, watching people buy, haggle, and buy Hong Kong souvenirs.
- Get to know more of the Hong Kong street food culture with a taste of some local snacks at the end of the shopping tour.
Also Read: Hong Kong: Your Next Shopping Destination
WiFi and Internet Access in Hong Kong
Wi-Fi connection is available in most hotels and guest houses in Hong Kong. You can also buy a 4G/3G sim card as you arrive in Hong Kong. You can also rent 3G mobile Wi-Fi. You can avail of these when you get to the airport.
4G WiFi (Hong Kong Pick Up) for Hong Kong
Enjoy mobile data use with a Hong Kong 4G pocket WiFi device that conveniently fits in your pocket.
Hong Kong Travel Tips
Whether you’re going to someplace new or you’re going again, following some tried and tested tips won’t hurt to make your trip better and more efficient.
- Put your passport, IDs and other important documents in one envelope or waterproof clutch bag.
- List the address of your hotel and put it in your wallet.
- List your itinerary so you can maximize your time.
- Know the ride schedules and your destinations.
- Get an Octopus Card which can be used in many establishments and rides in Hong Kong.
- Take the MTR.
Hong Kong Travel and Tour Packages
Introduction to Hong Kong Guided Walking Tour
Experience a guided walking tour of Hong Kong and its famous landmarks. This tour includes:
- Visit HK historical attractions
- Explore Tsim Sha Tsui
- Visit Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan
- Ride Hong Kong’s iconic transport including the Star Ferry
- Experience Riding a ‘ding ding’ tram and the Mid-Level Escalators
Unseen Hong Kong Tour
Travel the way locals have done since the early 1900s. This Tour includes:
- Experience aboard the Star Ferry and the double-decker ‘Ding Ding’ (tram)
- Learn about the traditional practice of ‘Villain Hitting’ (Da Siu Yan)
- See the Mid-Levels Escalators, the longest series of covered outdoor escalators in the world.
- Visit Stone Slab Street, named for its granite stone steps.
- Take a walla-walla boat ride at Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.
- Visit Hong Kong’s oldest public housing, supposedly enriched with feng shui
Hong Kong Big Bus Tours
- This tour offers Classic, Premium, Deluxe or Single Route tour with the most flexible sightseeing and unlimited stops.
- See Hong Kong’s main sights from your seat by exploring from designated bus stops.
- Get on the Peak Tram, scale the heights of Sky100, board the Star Ferry and back, and embark on a sampan ride with the Premium and Deluxe tours.
Sample Itinerary and Budget 3D/2N Hong Kong
8:10 am – arrive in Hong Kong
9:30 am – get Octopus Card, ride the MTR or bus going to your hotel/ have your money changed for local currency
11:30 am – arrive in the hotel (possible check-in depending on room availability
12:00 NN- eat lunch
1:30 pm to 4:00 pm – walk around Central District
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm – go to Victoria Peak
6:00 pm to 7:30 eat dinner
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm tour Causeway Bay or other shopping districts
10:00 pm – onwards -have a drink or two at DiVino Wine Bar and Restaurant
6:00 am to 7:00 am – have breakfast
7:00 am to 9:30 am – explore Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon
9:30 am to 10:30 am – Ride all you can in Hong Kong Disneyland/ Ocean Park
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm – visit a random place suggested by a local
7:00 pm to onwards – visit a night market, have dinner and shop
6:00 am to 7:00 am – have breakfast
7:00 am to 11:00 am – explore Mong Kok
12 NN – hotel check out and proceed to the Airport
Have you been to Hong Kong? Help us improve this 2019 Travel Guide to Hong Kong Blog by sharing your personal Hong Kong travel tips and interesting recommendations
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