Let’s face it, we all know that Hong Kong is notoriously expensive, to stay.
In 2019, it tied for first place with Singapore and Paris as the most expensive city in the world. … But just because the city can be expensive for residents and travellers alike, doesn’t mean you have to empty your wallet on a trip to Hong Kong. It’s easier to save money here than in most other world cities.
To research pricing on food, hotels, activities etc have a look at the website: http://www.budgetyourtrip.com. We spent over 6 nights in HK, HKD$78 per day for 2 persons on the MTR, IBIS Hotel North Point, a 3-star hotel HKD$529 per night, food including groceries for the Trans Mongolian was HKD$210 per night. We spent a total of HKD$5375 for 2 persons in Hong Kong for 6 nights or about NZD$1,050 or NZD$175 per night.
In this Blog, I will discuss some more options, how on to spend less money while in town. Hong Kong is a city, that has so much to offer. It is a city, that never sleeps like New York, so therefore has this great vibe about it.
Please do read the first blog on Hong Kong as there are heaps of other ideas on things to do for free.
For us, Hong Kong was the logical starting point in South East Asia to start our Trans Mongolian and Trans-Siberian railway journey of 10,000km to St Petersburg, Russia.
HONG KONG TRAMS
Hong Kong’s trams, or ding-dings, as they’re more commonly known, are one of the cities’ oldest modes of transportation, and the tracks pass through many city icons like the historic Western Market, the skyscrapers of Central, Victoria Park and, if you take the Happy Valley loop, Happy Valley Cemetery and racecourse.
Hong Kong Tramways (HKT) is narrow-gauge tram system in Hong Kong. The tramway runs on Hong Kong Island between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan, with a branch circulating through Happy Valley.
Hong Kong’s tram system is one of the earliest forms of public transport in the metropolis, having opened in 1904 under British rule. It has used electric trams since its inauguration, and has never used horse or steam power. It owns the world’s largest operational double-decker tram fleet
- COST: HKD $2.60
- HOURS: 5:30 am to 12:30 am
- TOTAL DISTANCE: 13 km
Hong Kong is a shopaholic’s paradise. If you’re in need of some retail therapy without emptying your piggy bank, hit up the city’s famous shopping streets including the Mong Kok Ladies’ Market for the best fake branded fashion items, Golden Computer Arcade in Sham Shui Po for deals on all sorts of electronics, Oriental 188 Shopping Centre for retro video game goodies, and Temple Street Market for some eclectic bric-a-brac.
It is just an interesting place to walk around to see all the wares for sale.
- WHERE: Mong Kok MTR station Exit E2
- COST: HKD $0.00
- TIME: 12pm to 11pm.
Another great favourite is the Bird Markets
The Hong Kong Bird Market known as the Yuen Po Bird Garden is another one of those little charming corners of the city, full of local flavour and highly entertaining for bird lovers.
The Yuen Po Bird Garden is actually a small lane, the traditional Moon Gate is at the start of this pedestrian alley.
The Chinese had traditionally liked to keep birds as pets. Here you see the old men with their cages taking their birds for “walks” much like you would take your dog to the park.
- WHERE: Prince Edward MTR
- COST: HKD $0.00
- TIME: day time until dark
Star Ferry have been operating in Hong Kong since 1888. The ferry goes between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. It has been rated “Top 10 Ferry rides in the world”. It is wonderful to see all the lights on Hong Kong harbour at night.
Until the opening of the Cross Harbour Tunnel in 1972, the Star Ferry remained the main means of public transportation between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon side.
- WHERE: Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui or reverse
- COST: Monday to Friday HKD$2.70 or NZD$0.50; Weekends and public Holidays HKD3.70 or NZD$0.75 included in MTR card
- FREQUENCY: Every 20 minutes
- TIME: 6.30am to 11.30pm, takes 10 minutes to cross the harbour
GARDENS IN HONG KONG
KOWLOON WALLED CITY PARK
The Kowloon Walled City Park is a historical park in Kowloon City, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The Kowloon Walled City had been a military stronghold since 15th century due to its coastal location and was a centre of vice and crime until 1987.
Under the agreement between the Hong Kong Government and the PRC, the Kowloon Walled City was demolished in the 1990s while the indigenous buildings and features were preserved for incorporation in the new park.
- WHERE: Prince Edward MTR
- COST: HKD $0.00
- TIME: 6.30am to 11pm
EDWARD YOUDE AVIARY
The park is on Hong Kong island in the Central District. One will likely come across it as one hikes down the hill from Victoria Peak. This 3,000 square metre aviary is a little oasis amongst the tall buildings. A beautiful setting of greenery with lovely waterfalls, one can walk into the aviary on a wooden walkway around the treetops and be greeted by hordes of birdlife. 150 different species of birds indigenous to Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and New Guinea. An absolute delight for all ages, and especially bird lovers. I was in heaven in this park.
HIKE UP PEAK HILL
One can get a tram up Peak hill or Victoria Hill as it is officially known, but why not hike up. It is only 1.5-hour hike via the road. Once one gets up to the top, the views are to die for. The views are of Victoria Harbour and surrounding islands.
Victoria Harbour is the largest harbour in China and the third largest in the world, after San Francisco in the United States and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It is home to most of the ports of Hong Kong, making the city one of the world’s busiest ports. The harbour bustles day and night with all manner of watercraft – from the historic Star Ferries to cruise liners, cargo ships, and wooden fishing vessels. So, stand at the top and enjoy the beautiful views for a few minutes.
As one can see Hong Kong is a truly vibrant and beautiful city. It is a city like New York, that never sleeps. From this towering sky scrapers, to its markets, to its beautiful city park, to great hikes and its food. It is a city, that has so much to offer.