We are sharing our top 5 travel tips for travelling around Hong Kong like a local.
Take the Airport Express | Hong Kong Travel Tips
If you will be staying at Kowloon or on Hong Kong Island, consider taking the Airport Express train to travel between the airport and the city. The train station is located right across the Arrival Hall and a ride to Kowloon Station or Hong Kong Station takes you around 20 and 24 minutes respectively. It’s safe, clean and quiet. If need be, once you get to Hong Kong station or Kowloon station, then take a short taxi ride to your hotel. In that way, you can skip most of the traffic jams.
If you are travelling in groups of 2 to 4, you can purchase Airport Express single-trip tickets for your group. That will work out cheaper than taking the Airport Express train with your Octopus card. When you are returning to the airport, you can get another set of single-trip tickets at the Airport Express train stations. Do note that these tickets are only available on the day of travel and as such, you would not be able to buy these single-trip tickets in advance.
Bonus Travel Tip: Did you know, if your airline offers in-town check-in, you can complete your check-in process right at the Airport Express stations? Yes, that includes your luggage bags too. Imagine the amount of time and hassle it can save you on the day of your flight departure!
Purchase an Octopus card | Hong Kong Travel Tips
You have an Oyster card in London, a Myki card in Australia, or Subway Pass in New York. In Hong Kong, we have the Octopus card. You can use your Octopus card for the Star Ferry, Ding Ding (Tram), MTR, and buses. In addition, you can also use it for payment at convenience shops such as 7-11, Circle K, and major supermarkets. This reduces the need to keep buying single-trip tickets or hold on to heavy coins.
As of today, each adult card costs HK$150, where HK$50 is a refundable deposit and HK$100 is your initial usable value. To top up your card value, simply head to any 7-11s or MTR station. Towards the end of your trip, simply return the card to the customer service counter at any MTR station or at the Airport. Aside from a HK$9 administrative fee, all the money that is left on the card – including the HK$50 deposit – will be refunded back to you. Hence, the essential cost of renting each Octopus card is only HK$9.
Bonus Travel Tip: An unlimited pass for tourists may not be worth it as public transportation cost is very affordable in Hong Kong.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong | Hong Kong Travel Tips
Time is extremely precious in Hong Kong. We suggest staying in a convenient area, based on the places of interest that you will visit.
Here are some popular tourist attractions on Hong Kong Island:
Man Mo Temple
Central Mid-levels Escalators
Lan Kwai Fong
Happy Valley Racecourse
Must-see Attractions on Kowloon:
Temple Street Night Market
Wong Tai Sin Sik Sik Yuen Temple
Chi Lin Nunnery
Nan Lian Garden
Museum of History
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
Read about our picks on the Best Places to Stay in Hong Kong. Overall, Hong Kong is a very safe city where you can walk alone with confidence, even at night. In addition, we have a very efficient public transportation network. As such, it will be easy to get around, especially if you stay near a MTR station.
Bonus Travel Tip: For a no-frills hotel, you can consider Eaton Hotel, Kimberly Hotel, or Ibis.
Shops Open Late | Hong Kong Travel Tips
Hong Kong is a city that starts late. Most shops are open only from 10am onwards, although many will stay open till 9.30pm or even later. As such, plan your time accordingly. If you like to start your day early, why not take a nature walk? Victoria Peak (especially Lugard Road), Hong Kong Park, or the Dragon’s Back hike top our personal list. You’ll be surprised by the oasis that you can find in Hong Kong’s concrete jungle!
Bonus Travel Tip: Rise early and have a stroll on the scenic Bowen Road, a popular jogging trail for locals. On the way, you’ll pass by Lovers’ Rock, which many women pray to for a son. Finally, watch the city wake up while you have a cup of traditional cold milk tea and a pineapple bun for breakfast at Kam Fung Cafe.
Travel like a Local | Hong Kong Travel Tips
Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path. For example, head to Shun Kee Typhoon Shelter Seafood and have a meal in a boat. Whilst at Causeway Bay, check out the quirky Villain Hitting grannies under the Canal Road Flyer. Did you know, they can help to slap some curses on your enemies using a worn-out slipper? Now, how’s that for a whacking good time in Hong Kong?
Bonus Travel Tip: See Hong Kong from the eyes of a local by going on a Big Foot Tour. Led by native and experienced guides, you’ll get an insider’s perspective including inside scoops of untold stories, local eats, and hidden gems!