10 Hong Kong travel tips you need to know about
Hong Kong is an incredible city that everyone should visit once in life. Vibrant and noisy, it’s the city where east meets west and where flying commerce sits alongside traditional Chinese culture. It’s also one of the most densely populated cities on the Earth, so don’t be expecting a quiet time! Here are ten essential travel tips that will help you make the most of a visit to Hong Kong:
1. Make sure you take plenty of spending money
Don’t expect Hong Kong to be cheap, because is not. So one of important Hong Kong travel tips is to make sure you take some spending money. In most Asian countries, accommodation and food is much cheaper, than in western countries, but Hong Kong has been an international centre for finance for many years and that is reflected in the prices. You can expect to pay the same price for a meal out in Hong Kong, as you probably would at home.
2. Try the local cuisine
Another one of useful Hong Kong travel tips is to try the local food. In Hong Kong, you get real Chinese food in the restaurants and not the western version that you find in your local Chinese restaurant. Don’t just stick to what you know, be adventurous, because the local food is absolutely fantastic. Most restaurants have English menus and those that don’t, usually have pictures of the food, so you can always get a good idea of what you are ordering.
3. Get an Octopus Card
You can pay for public transport in Hong Kong using a prepaid card called an octopus card. You have to pay a small deposit to obtain the card and then top it up, and it can be used on all ferries, trains and buses, but not in taxis. You can even use it to buy snacks at local convenience stores. You can return the card when you are done, and you will get your deposit back along with any money on the card that you haven’t spent.
4. Always haggle in the markets
Another one of useful Hong Kong travel tips is – when shopping in one of the many local markets, never accept the first price that is offered. Be tough and offer half the price to start with and don’t be afraid to pretend to walk away, if they don’t seem to be playing ball. You will be offered a bargain eventually, if you stick to your guns.
5. Allow yourself plenty of time to get around
Hong Kong is a very crowded city, so allow plenty of time to get anywhere. You will need it to negotiate your way through the crowds and, the heat and humidity, will mean that you won’t want to be rushing around anyway.
6. Don’t eat the chicken feet!
Chicken feet are considered a delicacy in China and Hong Kong, but, seriously, don’t! They are definitely an acquired taste.
7. You can’t afford to be squeamish
You will be bombarded by strange sights, sounds and smells, and some of them may not be, shall we say, quite to your liking! Keep an open mind though and don’t let the locals know what you are thinking about their city. It’s a different culture and that’s all a part of the fascination of visiting the new city.
8. Don’t expect to go early morning shopping
Hong Kong doesn’t really wake up until about mid-morning, so don’t get up early expecting to beat the crowds. Most shops and even coffee shops don’t open until about 10.00 am. Take your time, relax and get your early morning shot of caffeine in the hotel.
9. Get out of the city
Hong Kong is more than just the manic, concrete jungle of the city. There are some peaceful places to visit too, so it’s worth getting out of town on some days during a visit. You could go to the South of the island, where it is less built up and there you will find beach resorts and restaurants or, perhaps visit the Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery for some quiet reflection.
10. Don’t miss the light show
Hong Kong travel tips wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the famous light show. Well, actually it’s hard to miss the Hong Kong light show, because it is the biggest of its kind in the world and it happens every day at 8.00pm at Victoria Harbour. Set aside an evening to catch it properly though, and you will be treated to a dazzling display of lasers, lights and illuminated buildings, all set to music.
Do you have some other Hong Kong travel tips to share?