My friends and I decided to set off to Hong Kong last 2017 as a mini-celebration for graduating college. We had a very limited budget but we still wanted to go somewhere out of the country, so off we went to one of the nearest and cheapest destination accessible to us.
It was fun, short but sweet trip and surely one for the books. Like all my other travels, I would love to come back and do a proper Hong Kong adventure when I have a little more in my pockets and more time to wander around the city and eat to my heart’s content. In a few year’s time, maybe.
Here’s a few things from my first time there:Literally walked thousands of steps in all of five days going around Hong Kong. Taxis can get a bit expensive if you’re traveling on a budget but the small island of Hong Kong is lucky to be is accessible by foot or by its very convenient public transport. Their transportation modes such as trains, buses and metros are neatly organized as there are loads of stations spread out across the city, and their Octopus card made travel seamless. We wanted to go around and see the town with our own eyes. I’m not kidding when I say I could literally feel my toe fingers pulsating through my sandals by the end of the day from all the walking, but it was worth it. Night markets must be on your list to visit. If there’s anything Hong Kong markets are known for, it’s that they are the perfect place for your cheap trinkets, gadgets, clothings and whatnot finds. Compared to Vietnam’s easily-annoyed vendors, haggling with HK vendors is a fun experience and you will be surprised at how cheap you’ll be able to get the items they’re selling. Aside from night markets, the city is also laced with lots of boutiques and shopping malls everywhere you go, both big and small. Shopping for luxury or branded goods is also quite common here as most international brands have set up shop in HK. It’s one of the world’s best shopping hubs, after all. HK FOOD SCENE IS THE BOMB. It doesn’t take a genius to know that Hong Kong has one of the best food scene, and it’s one of the things tourists come for. From traditional bread and tea shops, noodle and dimsum houses, grilled meats and seafood by the heaps — they have mastered incorporating the traditional flavors into the modern times well. Everything is done fresh and with so much flavor; it’s no wonder that the country has a notable number of restaurants included in the Michellin guide. The great thing about it as well is that whether you’re looking to eat for cheap or have room to splurge, it’s never difficult to find a good place to gorge on.
Sadly I don’t have much photos of everything I’ve wolfed down from that trip nor do I remember exactly the names of the restaurants as well, but some notable dishes are: Tan Tan Mien with a side of Pork Chop, Tiger Bread with a side of HK milk tea from Kam Wah Café, Roasted Goose from Yat Lok and the breakfast spread at Australian Dairy Company. Have I mentioned how unforgettable Hong Kong’s milk tea is? DO NOT MISS OUT ON IT.Little spaces everywhere. One of the most fascinating things about HK is their use of little spaces. In the hostel where we stayed, we had bunk beds fixed to the wall for the five of us. There was an uber tiny bathroom with shower and an equally small common area outside the room. The whole place is smart-lock enabled. Spread across articles online, rent is pretty expensive in HK so it’s no surprise they make sure every square meter count while still being able to deliver the purpose. It’s not only in living spaces that this is apparent in the city; even in commercial spaces, this is quite noticeable. Klook app. It was my first time to use the app at the time but it was such a life saver when getting some really good deals in the city. We got our tourist sim for LTE use and our octopus card for train rides and convenience store runs. They also always have some cheaper prices and promotions for most entrance tickets of famous HK’s tourist spots. Hong Kong is a picturesque little island. It’s almost like everywhere you go, everywhere you point your camera, it is something worth looking at and noting. Just look at these shots my friend took from our trip.
Takeaway? Hong Kong is one of those places you’d surely want to visit at least once or maybe a few short times in your life; namely for food, shopping, fashion, architecture and whatnot. You can enjoy it in whichever budget range you have as they have so many options available for you and it wouldn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group.
Special thanks as well to my good friend Nicole for letting me use her photos for this post as I haven’t been diligent in taking some while on the trip and decided to wolf down food after food and roam around aimlessly instead.