A Budget Friendly Visit to Hong Kong? Yes, It IS Possible!
Welcome to Hong Kong! The world’s greatest city that quickens our pulse and leaves everyone speechless after a day of sightseeing. Although it is considered to be one of the most expensive travel destinations in the world, there are still places to explore on the cheap and things to do with a tight budget. Here are the top 3 places and things to do when visiting Hong Kong with only a few HK$ in your pocket:
Exploring Lantau Island.
Lantau Island is a place where you can find Lin Monastery and world’s largest statue of seated Buddha. It is very easy to access by subway as you need to get to the Central Station first and then take a ferry to Lantau Island. Before you purchase your ferry ticket, you should decide which ferry you want to go by. You can either pay HK$14 for the slow one (it takes around 1 hour) or pay twice more HK$28.40 and get to Lantau Island in less than 30 minutes. We highly recommend the cheapest one if you are not in rush, but it’s up to you and your daily budget.
Once you get to Lantau Island, you have to take New Lantau Bus No. 23 going to Ngong Ping. It will take you approximately 35-45 minutes to get to the place. If you want to spend more money and see Hong Kong from above, I would recommend you to take a cable car Ngong Ping 360. It’s convenient and you can easily travel all the way from MTR Tung Chung Station to Po Lin Monastery in less than 30 minutes.
Lantau Island is an amazing place where you can stay up to 5 hours. What can you do here? Climb the stairs to see the Buddha closer (HK$25) and take some photos of it. This is one of the 5 largest Buddha statues in China called Tian Tan Buddha which is impressively 34 m tall, weights 250 tons and it’s made of bronze.
When you get bored of Buddha, you should definitely visit Po Lin Monastery located nearby the Buddha statue. This is a free of charge attraction where you can take pictures everywhere, pray, meditate or speak to some monks who look after the place. It’s a very spiritual place, so you should be quiet when being inside.
The monastery is extremely beautiful and according to what we have read there, it was constructed in 1924 by 3 Buddhists. There are beautiful lanterns hanging out from the ceiling, fruits on the plates and various Buddha statues inside the temple. If you feel like spending a peaceful and relaxing day away from the busy Hong Kong center, add Lantau Island to you must-see list and you will not regret it.
Hiking and Relaxing at Stanley Beach.
If you are a big fan of hiking, Hong Kong is a great place to do it. It has a lot of parks, rugged peaks, remote valleys and ocean coastline. Once you start your hiking adventure here, you can get united with nature, breathe the fresh air and enjoy yourself among the natural beauty and ecological diversity… and only an hour away from busy city.
Here is an example of hiking route in Hong Kong we would recommend to everyone:
Step 1: Get into a bus no. 1 and get to the Peak- Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road.
Step 2: Keep going downhill to get to the central Ferry Piers.
Step 3: Get off at the turning nearest the Pok Fu Lan Riding School to walk uphill the reservoir.
Step 4: Once you get to Aberdeen, walking accordingly to the reservoir sights.
Step 5: Carry on walking inland to the Tin Hau Temple, turn left onto Peel Rise and then walk uphill in order to reach Aberdeen Country Park.
Step 6: Once you get to Jardine’s Lookout, you can relax at Stanley beach.
Once you get to the Stanley beach, you can have a nap, relax, have a picnic and swim for hours. You should definitely pack some fruits, veggies, sandwiches and plenty of water before setting off. No doubt, these hiking trails offer an excellent day out!
Night Walk Though Avenue of the Stars.
That’s the place for big fans of Chinese cinema. It's mostly just plaques commemorating movie stars, much like the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, but there are a few hand prints here, and it can be fun to walk around looking for your favorite stars. What’s so cool about this place? One of the top things to see here is a 2-meter-high bronze statue of the world's most famous martial arts actor - Bruce Lee. Who doesn’t want to have a photo with Chinese karate king?
Avenue of Stars is a free attraction that can be visited any time of the day or night. It's especially stunning late at night when it's illuminated with tons of twinkling lights. The lights are amazing to see and you will fall in love with the scenery. If you are travelling as a couple, don’t miss a romantic across the bridge and the promenade at Tsim Sha Tsui which provides a stunning view of the harbor and is an especially good place from which to watch the nighttime Symphony of Lights, a must-see for visitors to Hong Kong!
Although Hong Kong might not be considered as budget friendly place, there are still plenty of things to enjoy for free. You don’t need to spend much to have amazing memories from one of the most extraordinary cities in Asia!
Have you been to Hong Kong? If so, what else would you add to this list?
Meet the Authors!
Meet the eTramping crew - Agness and Cez – best friends and travel companions from Poland. These two are sharing their budget travel tips on how to travel the world with $25 in your pocket. Since 2011, they have been travelling the world while teaching English in different Asian countries such as China, Thailand or Cambodia. They are both photography passionate and obsessed with Chinese cuisine and culture.