Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city like no other.  It offers modern conveniences such as the world’s best public transit system, free wifi in public spaces and beautiful parks.  It has the world’s best selection of food, from every genre of top-tier dining to delectable street food.  Better yet, it hasn’t lost the anything-goes-in-Asia mindset with freewheeling vendors, loose liquor laws and all night parties.  It is quite a feat that it has managed to embrace everything modern while retaining its traditional charm and quirks.  It is a Western oasis in Asia and a welcome sight after traveling in other less developed parts of the region.

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Don’t Miss: The parks on the “other side” of the island.  It is astonishing that you can take a city bus for 20 minutes and the city disappears into unblemished wilderness.
Must See:
Symphony of Lights Skyline Lightshow, Chinatown, Nathan Road jewelry stores, rooftop bars, Happy Valley Horse Track, dinner at a private kitchen.
Must Taste:
Pork buns at Tim Ho Wan, the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.  It is well worth the wait.

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Trip Planning: Hong Kong can be enjoyed in a weekend, or much longer, depending on your budget.
Getting around:
Hong Kong has the world’s best public transport, make sure you try the MTR (subway), trams and double decker buses.  The upper deck of the buses and tram is a great way to see the city and you can do it with a beer in hand if you so choose.

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Our Cost per Day (2 ppl): $116.72 without accommodations (we stayed with a friend)
Cost of beer:
$2 at 7-11
Key money saving tip:
Avoid the expat bars Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai for your heavy drinking.  Drinks, including beer, cost $8 and up, versus under $5 at local places.  Don’t skip visiting the area late on a weekend though; it’s an interesting scene.

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YOU NEED TO KNOW: Lodging is always expensive compared with anywhere else in Asia.  For example, the YMCA charges 1000 HKD ($128 USD) for a double room.  You would be lucky to stay for less than $50 a night for two.
If WE knew what WE know now:
We would not attempt to visit Hong Kong during a Chinese holiday, the hotels fill and tourist areas are packed.
Helpful links to learn more:
Hong Kong Budget Travel Guide, Must do things in Hong Kong, Photo Guide to Hong Kong, Gourmet Paradise that is Hong Kong, Green Spaces in Hong Kong to Easily Escape the City.  Please send us any sites you found useful and we’ll add them!

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WE WERE THERE FOR: 12 days
Our Highlight:
Eating.  We stopped there after six months in Southeast Asia and again after four months in China, getting some quality Western food and our favorite dim sum was worth the price.
Where we went:
Everywhere…it’s a small place.
We regret missing:
Trying more of the Michelin–starred restaurants.

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Interested in reading about our experiences in Hong Kong?

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