Hong Kong is a melting pot of cultures. With some of the worlds most iconic skylines, towering mountains, a glittering harbor, and neon lights galore, there are so many secrets to uncover when exploring the city. From getting an octopus card to where to find the best dim sum, there are a few things you need to know before your trip.
You Probably Don’t Need a Visa
While Hong Kong is administered by China, it enjoys SAR status which means that some of the restrictions that apply on the mainland don’t apply in Hong Kong. So you probably won’t need a visa to visit if you’re coming from Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Americas! If you need a visa, contact iAdventure Escape Tours And Travel Sdn. Bhd.
Always check visa requirements before booking your flights in case anything has changed for your nationality!
Take the Star Ferry
The Star Ferry is the fastest and cheapest way to travel between Kowloon and Hong Kong. With piers in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Wan Chai, it takes less than 10-minutes to cross.
The iconic ferry has been operating since 1880 and offers spectacular views of the Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Harbour.
The best advice? Don’t take it during rush hour. From 8 AM to 9:30 AM and 6 PM to 7 PM, locals are using it to get to and from work which makes the ride feel a whole lot less leisurely.
Plus a one-way ride costs less than a dollar!
Visit the Choi Hung Estate
There’s a good chance you’ve seen Hong Kong’s famous Choi Hung Estate basketball court all over Instagram. It’s located in Choi Hung Estate which is one of the oldest public housing estates in the city.
The only problem is that it’s not the easiest location to find. The exact location is 2 Tse Wai Ave, Ngau Chi Wan, Hong Kong and I’d recommend using Google Maps to map a route from where you’re staying
Take the Airport Express
The easiest way to get to your hotel from the airport with the Airport Express train. It connects the airport to Hong Kong and Kowloon in under 25 minutes.
Once you pass immigration at the airport, hop right on the train and make your way into the city.
While you can buy tickets for the Airport Express at the airport, there’s usually a long line. Instead, buy them online from the MRT website.
Try Dim Sum in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is home to delicious Michelin restaurants and street food. But what it’s most famous for is its traditional dim sum.
It’s a Chinese dish that is served in a small steamer basket with a variety of fillings. My favorite spot in Hong Kong for gourmet dim sum is Yum Cha!
Save Money With Hong Kong’s Free Attractions
It’s no secret that Hong Kong is far from a budget travel destination. While accommodation is expensive, it’s possible to get by on a budget if you plan your itinerary around Hong Kong’s free attractions.
You can explore Hong Kong’s art galleries, hike to Tai Long Wan, go on a free walking tour of the city, visit the many markets and watch the famous symphony of Lights!
Learn Basic Cantonese
While English is spoken in a lot of places in Hong Kong, you should still learn a bit of Cantonese before your trip. If you visit smaller corners of the city, the street-food workers won’t speak English and signs, and restaurant menus will be written in Cantonese.
I’d also recommend writing any key phrases you need in Cantonese especially if you’re allergic to any ingredients or you’re following a restrictive diet.