If Hong Kong is next on your travel list or even sooner than that, you have got to check out these 8 essential tips to enjoy a frictionless holiday!
I, personally have just travelled to Hong Kong early this month. So the following tips are based on my experience and advice. But I am sure the list would be of help! So read on to find out more!
#1 Travel Light
Hong Kong has been known for its small and tiny rooms. And you think those 500 square feet apartments are small? You never know what tiny really means until you have seen it or even stayed in there yourself. With a limited budget, my travel buddy and I have booked a guesthouse instead of those 4-star hotels. We sort of have a slight idea of how small it would be based on the reviews but little did we know that our jaws still dropped the moment we stepped into the room. The room is very small to the extent the aisle is only wide enough for one person to walk at a time. Basically, no space at all if we would have brought another extra luggage with us.
I totally understand. Girls are just being girls. Packing a little extra of everything just to make sure we are not short of anything! We thought a medium luggage is fair enough – a good size for 5 days but woah it definitely looks much bigger after we have them in our room.
So my advice would be to travel light, as small as possible. Just bring the essentials you need! Check out what the hotel or budget guesthouse provides so you would not have to pack them along which adds to the size.
Totally not the weight I am worried of but its the size!
#2 Essential Apps You Need – Google Maps and MTR Station Apps
Certain apps are gonna be very travel-friendly especially when you are in a foreign place. Make sure you download the Google Maps and MTR Station apps. These apps will definitely save you time and bring you to your destination straight on point. The moment you touch down the Hong Kong Airport and grab all your luggage, head over to 7-eleven or other convenience shops like Circle K and VanGo to get your SIM Card.
I got it from 7-eleven, very simple and quick at HKD88 for 5 days plan. Just let the cashier know how many days will you be in HK and she will recommend you with the SIM card package.
#3 Grab an Octopus Card
I would strongly advise you to get an Octopus card after you get the SIM Card. Octopus card definitely saves you time as you travel with MTR. A very convenient card which can be used on buses and even convenience stores. Helps you to avoid the long queues to get the one-way ticket for the train.
Look out for the train ticket counter, and you will be able to get the card. You pay HKD150 for the card where $50 is reserved as deposit and it is refundable. So you will have $100HKD value in the card the moment you paid for it.
Make sure you remember to return the card at the same counter before checking in to get the HKD50 refund and the remaining amount you have inside but they will deduct an HKD9 as a refund fee.
#4 Save Your Taxi Fare from the Airport to Hotel
We often thought that taxi is our main or I would say top choice for transport when we want to head to our hotel from the airport. But hey, that is not the case anymore – at least for Hong Kong. The guesthouse that we have booked is located in Tsim Sha Tsui. So we checked the taxi fare and it is about HKD270. Another two alternatives were MTR station and bus.
Taxi was definitely out from our options as we want to save on transport fare. So we decided to give the bus a try since it only cost HKD 38. To our surprise, the buses are really well-maintained and they have space specially for luggage. So, you can sit comfortably throughout the ride and grab your luggage right before your stop.
For the bus to Tsim Sha Tsui, take bus A21. To check out the bus numbers, there is a huge board where it lists all the buses and destinations. Or for a quick one, just head over to the information counter and they are more welcome to service you.
I really enjoyed the 1.5-hour bus ride as we got to enjoy the Hong Kong view and streets. Avoid the hassle of carrying the luggage if we have gone by MTR train. For a better view, head up to the upper deck of the bus. But make sure those picturesque view does not mesmerise you till you miss your stop!
If you are in a rush, a taxi would definitely be a faster mode of transport.
#5 Troubled with the long queues? Don’t be.
Long queues seem to be a norm and it’s a sign showing the food from that stall or restaurant is finger-licking good. The queue may seem long but do not lose hope. The orders actually come pretty quickly due to its fast-paced setting it is not that long until it is your turn. But be ready to order your food and share your table with others as the space are quite limited.
Certain restaurants may have English menus. So ask for it to make sure you do not order it blindly. Or another quick way is to save the photos you have researched and show them what you want.
Trust me. It is worth the wait 🙂
#6 Share to eat more
I don’t know for you, but for me, I would hope to try as much local food as possible when I travel and the only way to do it within the limited number of days is to share with your travel buddy/buddies. Do not order one for your own, try ordering a few different famous dishes and share. With this, you will be able to try a little here and there.
Worried that your tummy might not be full enough? Ohh, I bet you won’t stop for one stall only because there are so many good foodies in Hong Kong for you to discover! Plus, you can actually save much more!
Check out here for top recommended places to eat in Hong Kong
#7 Macao – please have them as part of your itinerary!
If you do not intend to drop by Macao, please change your mind right now! You might think it is a hassle to travel by ferry. But it is definitely worth it! I loveeeee Macao. I only took a one-day trip to Macao by ferry. There is two ferry company which you can go for. I took Cotai Jet to the Taipa Ferry Terminal and took the TurboJet back to Kowloon.
***Very IMPORTANT: Purchase your tickets earlier to be on the safe side or another option is to book it online through its website.
We intended to go to Macao on a Friday. So we decided to purchase it earlier on Wednesday at the ticketing counter at China Hong Kong City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. But guess what?!!! The tickets were sold out. They left with the later time at 12.00pm which we think it would not be practical to take such a risk. So thankfully, we had another buffer day and decided to go on Saturday instead.
So grab your tickets earlier especially during the peak season and school holidays!
Quickly save a spot for Macao as it will leave a soft spot in your hearts too!
#8 Speaking no Cantonese?
Cantonese is the main language of the Hong Kongese. But do not let it drive you bananas or freak you out because I discover they are pretty fluent in English.
Ohh trust me, I have tried doing my homework, listing out every possible word that I would need to make sure I will not be lost whenever I ask for help. Getting there, try to show off whatever I have and whatever I can. After the second day, I just gave up and enquire in English because I realised so far all the passers-by that we have asked for help actually do understand English and they conversed pretty well as well.
Maybe we are just fortunate enough to get those who can speak English. But I just wanna assure you not to worry much about the language. After all, we can survive with sign language!
These are basically the main tips that I would love to share with you! I hope these tips are really useful and will help to smoothen your planning and trip. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the journey!
You might be interested in this => What to Eat in Hong Kong – The Food Guide