Hong Kong, alternatively known by its initials H.K., is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Macau. Because Filipinos can penetrate in Hong Kong easily as we are not required to apply for a VISA. Because of that Hong Kong is now becoming a favorite backpacking destination in the years that passed. Traveling to HK is not as cheap as traveling in any other countries in S.E.A. HK is dubbed as one of FOUR ASIAN TIGERS IN ASIA. term used in reference to the highly free and developed economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. These nations and areas were notable for maintaining exceptionally high growth rates. Hong Kong and Singapore have become world-leading international financial centers, whereas South Korea and Taiwan are world leaders in manufacturing information technology. But how can we enjoy HK with a limited budget in hand- here are some 5 cost efficient ways on how to save while backpacking HK.
1) Stay in hostels/guesthouse or couchsurf.
Hong Kong is a popular destination and is busy virtually all year round. With this in mind everyone traveling to HK is encourage to book in advance to secure your accommodation. Hong Kong is not a cheap place to find accommodation, and the city can stretch even the most elastic of wallets. However, the availability of budget accommodation in Hong Kong has improved in recent years and there is an increasing number of guesthouses and hostels catering to those counting the dollars. When I was working on my itinerary for HK-the hunt for the cheapest accommodation really gave me headache as most guest houses/hostels offers 400-600 HKD per night. Thank God I came across URBAN PACK HOSTEL in AIRBNB WEBSITE, I was in doubt at first if I will consider it then I went to checked the ratings in TRIPADVISOR and to my surprise it got 100% rating and approval. I paid 210 HKD for a bunk bed per night along 7 strangers in the same room. HK has no real high and low season. However, events and the many Chinese festivals can result in massive price hikes, especially if you don’t book ahead. Peak times include; Chinese New Year in February, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in March and the Canton fair period in October. If you have friends and relatives staying in HK then you will be able to save alot by doing so. Large portion of your budget will go to accommodation in HK so careful planning is needed. You can also try couch surfing if you have tried that in your past travels- unfortunately from the hundreds of invites I sent to HK CS members no one has confirmed.
2) Buy discounted tickets at CTS (China Travel Services).
CTS Tours – the trading name of China Travel Service (U.S.A.) Inc., an affiliate of China Travel Service (Holdings) Hong Kong Limited, the world’s leading specialist in travel to and from China, the largest registry of travel group in China founded in 1928 with its corporate
With the aim of HKIA to provide world class service to visitors who landed in HK for a quick vacation-they have provided an easy access to buy discounted tickets to certain attractions like Disneyland, Ngong Ping and may more in the CTS BOOTH. The booth is located in the arrival hall of HKIA. A friend of mine told me about this I really had to pay attention in hunting for it after I landed in HK. CTS also provides VISA services, plane tickets and travel arrangement going to certain parts of China such as Beijing and Shenzen. True itself the ticket is cheaper compared to the price you can get over the counter. For instance the quoted 1 day ticket pass to Disneyland for an ADULT is 450 HKD while in CTS you can get it for 420 HKD-that is 30 HKD difference. You can also check with your hostel/hotel if they are selling discounted tickets like the Golden Crown Guest House in TST. Aside from the fact that it helps you save few bucks- this will also help you save time to long line of queues.
3) Cheap eats in fast food chains and Chinese food stalls in side streets.
In Hong Kong is a city in which speed and efficiency are expected and demanded. This fast pace has also infected the food scene, most notably in Hong Kong tea houses and local fast food chains, which can serve Chinese and localized Western dishes in under five minutes.
Hong Kong has big population, and they are always busy, so eating out is very common. As demand is high, restaurants are everywhere, and there are plenty of locations where restaurants are packed together. These became handy for tourists as they can walk along the entire area and pick a restaurant that looks good for them.
Welcome to the land of dimsum and tea houses. A journey to HK is not complete without trying out some of the best local dishes in town. I never let this part slipped away in all of my trips-food is one of best way to discover the history of 1 country. Provided you have a allotted budget of 150 HKD per day for food. Can you really survive? and the answer is YES!. An average cost of a complete meal in Cafe de Coral or Yoshinoya is within the range of 40-60 HKD. And if ypu plan to explore HK on foot don’t forget to sit down in one of Chinese food stall along the side street to eat some Wanton Noodle or Chicken Rice.
4) Plan your itinerary.
Getting around in HK is the least of your priorities because of the extensive transportation system. But a train ride may not be as cheap as riding the BTS train in BKK. So in order to save you need to create an itinerary where all attractions located in 1 place is done on the same day. For instance you plotted your DAY 1 with NGONG PING-HK OCEAN PARK-NIGHT MARKET- given this route will cost you more cause the location are everywhere hence you can try following this budget saving route NGONG PING-DISNEYLAND-NIGHT MARKET or TST PROMENADE. NGONG PING-DISNEYLAND is located in Lantau Island which makes it a good combination and will save you time and money.
NOTE: IN SHORT group the attractions that belongs to the same location or attractions that are close to each other.
5) Take the public modes of transportation(MTR,Star ferry,tram,bus) or explore HK on foot.
The city claims one of the world’s safest, most efficient and frequent public transport systems and a convenient payment method in the form of the Octopus Card.
There are bus routes covering most of the island, frequent ferries between the islands making up the region (The Star Ferry connecting Kowloon to Hong Kong island is a ‘must see’), trains into mainland China and the superb MTR underground railway. If you are staying in Hong Kong for a few days, and you intend to use the MTR as your primary mode of transportation, consider getting an “Octopus” card. It is ultra convenient, and saves you the trouble of carrying lots of coins around. You can get one from any MTR station. When the funds are depleted, you can top it up at any MTR station, convenience stores (7-11 etc), supermarkets. Many stores also accept Octopus cards as payment for goods. For instance taking the DING DING tram for 2.30 HKD to experience the hustle and bustle of HK streets is the cheapest way to experience it.
Hong Kong is an easy city to explore on foot. If it weren’t for the harbor, you could walk everywhere. If, for example, you’re in the Central District and want to have dinner in Causeway Bay, you can walk there in less than an hour, passing through colorful Wan Chai on the way.So instead of taking a cab for short distance travel you might consider stretching those leg muscles. I personally did some walking tour on my own from my hostel in TST going to Avenue of Stars and from Mongkok Night Market district to Jordan. Never be afraid of getting lost cause almost everywhere in the street there are road/street signs written in English pointing to whichever directions you want to go.
If you’re interested in additional self-guided walks throughout Hong Kong, be sure to pick up the free HKTB pamphlet called Hong Kong Walks, which covers points of interest in Central, the Western District, Wan Chai, Shau Kei Wan (location of the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence), Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, and Wong Tai Sin and Kowloon City districts.
Over all the HK expenses I incurred for my 3 days trip is not as cheap as my expenses in BKK but all worth it. It just needed an extensive research and preparation so you things can work out the way you planned it. Soon I promised I will be back in HK and hopefully the expenses are way lesser than the last travel to HK.