Visiting Hong Kong on a budget
Hong Kong is a world famous travel destination that caters mostly to urban adventurers. Although a holiday in Hong Kong can be costly, there are a few inexpensive options you can enjoy without breaking the bank.
Hong Kong is an important economic and transportation hub in East Asia and because of its proximity to many cities the island has absorbed diverse cultural influences earning the title of Asia’s World City. Visitors to Hong Kong can experience its diversity in local cuisine and shopping excursions—all which can be reached on foot or public transportation.
Exploring the city on foot is the most wallet-friendly mode of transportation excursion but the streets are crowded and they are not all flat. During the times I’ve visited Hong Kong I have used public transportation. The bus system is affordable and reliable. In fact, on one trip we discovered a market that had a dim sum and noodle restaurant where locals ate and inexpensive clothing stories and our bus took us directly to the market while allowing us to see the sights along the way. If you purchase a transit day pass you can travel all over the city for that day and it is a lesser expense than Uber
For those looking for family fun, the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on Lantau Island is a very popular destination among local and foreign tourists. The resort holds a Disneyland park that makes it the happiest place in Hong Kong. There are two fascinating resort hotels here where you can stay. It also has a lake recreation center where time can be enjoyed with family and friends. Outside of Disney you could explore the natural treasures on Lantau Island.
Lantau Island is known for its pristine coastline and beaches, authentic fishing villages and breathtaking waterfalls. On the western side of Lantau Island is the fishing village of Tai O. The village is home to the Tanka people who are known for building their houses on stilts above the tide. A quick boat ride will transport you to a village from another time.
Not a fan of the ‘mouse’? There is another theme park on the southern side of Hong Kong Island called Ocean Park. Visitors will find a large aquarium, roller coaster rides and an iconic cable car (that some consider scary). There is also a tunnel that mimics a submarine like experience and a chance to see Hong Kong’s famous pandas—a reason in itself to visit this park.
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to Victoria Peak where visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the whole island. Victoria Peak also offers a glimpse into the life of the rich (and sometime famous) because the Peak is dotted by some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The observation platform at the Peak Tower features a shopping mall and restaurants offering fine dining. Seeing the city at this vantage point is breathtaking and perfect for romantic travelers.
Hong Kong is much more than skyscrapers and modern architectures. There are secluded beaches, natural treasures and authentic cultural experiences to be found. But Hong Kong is bustling and in many places it is a challenge to find personal space in one of the densest cities in the world. However, the people are very friendly so should you bump into a local, a simple smile and apology will suffice.
Tonya Fitzpatrick is the co-founder of World Footprints Media. An almost “recovering attorney”, she found her purpose as a cultural connector and shares messages about our common humanity on TEDx and international stages. Tonya enjoys a life full of adventure, dark chocolate and champagne with her husband and business partner, Ian. She has a deep love for animals and would be happy owning a zoo if she weren’t traveling.