Hong Kong Budget Traveling

This post is from my 2016 HK travel series

It was my first time visiting Hong Kong!  In a way, it felt very surreal being there after years of watching Hong Kong dramas from childhood to teens. It was a place where I understood the language, pop culture and to some degrees, the local lifestyle.

1. Getting Around.

From Hong Kong International Airport, take the City Flyer Airport bus shuttle. It’s double-decked, clean, cheap, comfortable and gets you to most of the main locations in Hong Kong. Our fare costed only $33 HKD ($4.25 USD) from airport for about 30 minutes ride to our hotel in Yau Ma Tei. We had the option to take subway train but  it cost a little more $90 HKD ($11 USD) would require us make several transfers which wasn’t ideal since we carried big luggages with us.

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For local travel, take the subway and get an Octupus card.  This card is very convenient not only for taking the subway but is also an accepted payment method in many establishments there. The card costs an initial $150 HKD ( $19.33 USD) with $100 HKD being actual deposited funds you can use for travel or purchases.   The Hong Kong subway is very convenient and gets you around in Hong Kong. Everything is fast-paced in Hong Kong, even their escalators move three times faster than ours here in the US!  Be ready to move fast and don’t be surprised if you get pushed. Most trains stops operating by 12 a.m.

Taxi cabs are an option too if you are tired of walking (and the heat!).  The cab meter starts at $22 HKD ($ 2.83). Seeing the Hong Kong taxicabs bring me back in time. I remember seeing them in Hong Kong TV dramas growing up and was genuinely surprised to see many of them still being used!  They are old models of Toyota Lancers. According to a local friend, this is because only a few companies control

2.  Where to Stay.

If you like staying up late at night, Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sa Tsui area are where you should consider staying as they are central to many things. Yau Ma Tei is the cheaper option. We booked our hotel via Agoda and stayed at Metro Winner Hotel. Rates were around $70 per night when we booked earlier this month in July.  We tried exploring Airbnb but it really didn’t make a difference because housing is just very expensive in Hong Kong.  You might as well get a place that’s very nice at similar or cheaper price.

The smaller hotel operators are called “ban goon” in Cantonese, they are different from the larger hotels which are referred to as “zao dim”.

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