Hong Kong, is a cool, laid back city with plenty to do/see. It was a slight culture shock for us as we had been living it fairly rough, messy bun, dirty clothes, super cheap lifestyle… You know how it is. When we arrived in Hong Kong we realised how well kept everyone was so had to get some new clothes and put a bit of slap on, (for the first time in 3 months).
If you’re going to splurge a bit on your South East Asia backpacking trip, head to Hong Kong. Only for a few days though. There’s only so much you can get up to in Hong Kong, and also it’s very business like and after an expensive 5 days we were ready to leave.
In case you’re wondering, Hong Kong is a part of China, but has been doing its own thing since the British stopped ruling it. China and HK are one country with 2 systems. For us UK citizens, we can go to HK and get a visa for 180 days on arrival. Where as if we went to China, you have to apply months before, to get a ‘letter of invitation’ to even be able to apply for a visa which is a long process from what I’ve heard.
5 days we were there and over £1000 was spent (mostly on ice cream). So, what did we get up to that we think YOU should do in HK.
Highest point in Hong Kong
Views for days! Get the tram up to the highest point in Hong Kong, Victoria Peak. This only costs £5 for a return pass. Some amazing views up there. You can have a walk around the whole of the top which takes about half an hour. Worth doing for sure. Try to go on a clear day, otherwise the clouds take over.
We had loads of fun climbing up and down big rocks like little kids, until Sam put his hand in bird sh*t HA good times.
Emack & Bolios
Oh my days… If you like ice cream, Emack & Bolios should defiantly be on your list if you are heading to HK. Sam and I were not vegan at the time so fully indulged here. Each ice cream in a cone cost £15, but was worth every penny, let me tell ya.
Flavours I didn’t even know existed. This place is amazing. They have vegan options too which we will have next time we are there. They have cones with cereal around the outside of them, sounds bland but trust me. Ice cream at Emack & Bolios IS A MUST.
The Flying Pan – Breakfast
If you’re looking for cheapish breakfast/brunch options, The Flying Pan have you sorted! You can pretty much get every kind of breakfast here and after doing a good bit of research, its definitely one of the cheaper/budget friendly places in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is relatively expensive compared to South East Asia, we kind of expected it, but found it hard budgeting here. Getting breakfast/brunch at around 10:30 and skipping lunch helped us out, all about the timing.
The Light Show
The light show happens every single night at 8pm. Head to Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre for the best view of it. Every building in the city lights up and has some amazing animations on the building. Such a cool show. One of our highlights of Hong Kong actually.
Hong Kong Market
Markets, oh markets. Don’t you just love ‘em. Like any market, you can find some proper goodies, for a good price. Theres about 10 markets to check out here. Compared to South East Asia, they are a tad higher priced, but still a lot cheaper than your day to day shops.
Spend an afternoon at the Ladies Market in Kowloon and/or Temple Street Market, also in Kowloon. The Ladies Market is open from 11am to 11:30pm and the Temple Street from 2pm to Midnight, so time it right and you’ve got a fun day, checking out the local markets.
The things you can find there literally range from fake clothes to animals. Also don’t be put off by the name ‘Ladies Market’, they actually have loads of stuff for men too.
What not to do in Hong Kong
Don’t eat the shark fin soups or anything that has shark fins in them. The process of getting the fins is actually disturbing and they literally cut the fins off and throw the sharks back. The sharks are literally immobile and drown at the bottom of the sea. They have to be able to move to breathe, which they can’t, so they suffocate. For more info on the shark fin trade, click here.
We got a double room with an en suite at Tian Jin Hostel – although when we got there it was actually 2 single beds, we didn’t mind though. This was a great place to stay. Brill location, extremely clean and not too pricy for what you get. Basic but ideal.
Hong Kong has some amazing public transport for fairly cheap. You can get ferries, busses, train or underground. You can also access a lot just by walking. Hong Kong has some lovely parks/walks you can go on. The best way to explore big cities, in our opinion, is having a good ol’ stroll both in the day and night. 2 Completely different aspects of the city.
Would we visit again?
Yes definitely. It would be a cool place to work. I probably wouldn’t pick it as a holiday destination because its too expensive for me, but if we were in the area, I’d head there for a long weekend for sure.
I hope you found this blog interesting!
Thanks for reading.