Visiting Hong Kong for the first time is likely to be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. However, the region is so vibrant and exotic that it can overwhelm the senses and leave you feeling a bit lost if you aren’t prepared for it. With that in mind, here are some handy tips for traveling to Hong Kong:
Planning Your Stay
Hong Kong is a fairly small place, and space comes at a premium, which is why so much of the accommodation available there comes with a serious price tag. For that reason, I advise that you check out websites like AirBnB ($30 Airbnb discount here) and guesthouses first, above hotels, if you want to save money.
If you would like to stay in a hotel, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are ideally located for sightseeing and trips to places like Hong Kong Disneyland, but those situated close to Hong Kong airport are usually more expensive and you get less of the authentic Chinese experience in them.
Firstly, there is a good chance that you will need a visa in order to gain entry into the country, so check out the Hong Kong government website to sort this out before you travel and ensure that you have no problems getting in. Providing you have a visa, getting through customs should not be an issue – just answer their questions honestly and you’ll soon be on your way.
It is also a good idea to book an airport transfer with a reputable company like booktaxihongkong to ensure that you get to your accommodation in the safest way possible. Hong Kong airport itself is massive, but it is well sign-posted and there are plenty of staff who will be able to direct you to your waiting taxi should you ask.
No doubt you will want to make the most of your stay in Hong Kong, which will mean travelling around the region. To make this easy and cut down on costs, you might want to invest in an Octopus Card – a prepaid card which can be used to pay for transport costs amongst other things.
Whether you want to play it safe with western food chains or try authentic Chinese food, you will be well catered for in Hong Kong. Recognizable chains like KFC and McDonald’s are easy to find alongside more exotic options like Café de Coral where you can get a traditional Chinese rice-based breakfast at a reasonable price.
When eating out, you will find that many restaurant workers are able to understand simple English phrases, but it is always nice to learn some common Chinese words to make your experience more pleasant.
Seeing the Sights
Hong Kong Disneyland is one of the most sought out tourist sites in Hong Kong, but you should give it the swerve on Saturdays because it is usually very busy and that makes it difficult to really enjoy your time there. Visit on a weekday for a pleasanter trip.
Other places you might want to visit include Ocean Park, The Hong Kong Convention Exhibition Centre and Madame Tussauds.
Have fun in Hong Kong!