Hong Kong is certainly one of the most popular cities to visit in Asia. It’s a bit like Asia’s own New York City, (or San Francisco because of the hills), with lots of things going on in the streets. It’s also a popular hotspot for shopping and urban sightseeing which is evident in their advanced technology. I can’t help but praise this city every time I tell some of my friends here in the Philippines about my 5 days experience in Hong Kong.
I really want to come back to this amazing place as soon as I can. In my first blog post, I will explore the 7 things that made my relationship with Hong Kong a love at first sight situation. I’ll also give you some Hong Kong travel tips and guide.
Here are 7 Reasons Why I Love Hong Kong
1. Genius Public Transportation System
The first thing I noticed in Hong Kong as soon as we landed, aside from their world-class and huge airport, is their public transportation system. Their genius transport system is able to satisfy all the needs of not just the local citizens, but especially the tourists.
If you are planning to stay in Hong Kong for a couple of days, I suggest that you purchase an octopus card which can be used on almost all modes of public transportation. It can also be used in buying food in some of the restaurants and convenience stores.
Here are the modes of public transport in Hong Kong:
Airport Transfer Services
Hong Kong International Airport is less than 35 km away from the city center and it provides transportation services between the city and the airport. You can see signages that will direct you to each service including: airport buses, the Airport Express, taxis and limousine transfers in the arrival hall.
MTR or Mass Transit Railway
Hong Kong’s MTR is one of the most efficient, organized, and cleanest subway systems in the world. The MTR connects Hong Kong island, the New Territories, Lantau Island and Kowloon. You can’t be lost with all the signs and maps located in the subway stations. (But we got lost, it’s our first time traveling abroad!)
Buses are very popular among Hong Kong locals. While MTR covers only the northern side of the Island, bus routes cover almost all southern side areas of Hong Kong. Most buses are air-conditioned, and are available early morning until midnight.
Hong Kong taxis are one of the most convenient and inexpensive way of point-to-point travel throughout the city. Though we didn’t have a chance riding a taxi, they can be easily hailed on the street or booked by phone. You just have to be mindful of the three types of taxis; red taxis (urban areas), green taxis (the New Territories) and blue taxis (Lantau Island).
Ferries are one of the most effective modes of transportation between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. These are the only transport system to the Outlying Islands. You don’t have to break the bank to ride a ferry because it is pretty cheap compared to other modes of transportation.
2. Multi-functional Skyscrapers
Having a collection of more than 8,000 skyscrapers (almost as twice as that of New York City), Hong Kong is called the “Skyscraper City of the World“. Tourists visit the highest point of Hong Kong Island called Victoria Peak, for a view of the city’s densely populated skyscrapers and other tall buildings. If you want to immerse yourself and experience the incredible skyline, go watch the Symphony of Lights, a mixture of light showcasing, music, lasers and fireworks from different buildings at the Victoria Harbor.
3. Safe Environment, Even at Night
This is one of the things I truly loved about Hong Kong; it is one of the safest places in the world for travelers, tourists and expats. Violent crimes and other petty thefts rarely happen in the streets because of the widespread police presence throughout the city. While the city is generally safe, it’s better to be alert at all times whenever you roam the island.
4. Hong Kong Theme Parks
Are you looking for fun in Hong Kong? Are you ready to spend a day focusing on nothing but which ride to take next? That sounds like a day at an amusement park! Fortunately, Hong Kong has big amusement parks too, despite being a tiny city. Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Snoopy’s World, and Noah’s Ark are some of the theme parks you may want to visit.
5. Cash-Free Living in Hong Kong
Tired of pulling out cash every time you pay or buy food? Octopus card, is the answer! This is all you need to have a fun-filled and stress-free day in Hong Kong. You can pay your public transportation fares, McDonald’s and KFC meals, vending machine drinks, groceries, etc. with just one card. The Octopus card comes with a refundable HK$ 50 deposit and can be reloaded at any Airport Express and MTR Customer Service Center. If you no longer need it, please return it to the said places and collect the deposit and remaining value (if any).
6. Shopping in Hong Kong!
While I was in Hong Kong, I realized that it is really the best shopping place in the world. Budget-conscious travelers like me, can find good deals at street markets, factory outlets and wholesale malls. I was surprised when we got some of the goods for half of the price originally quoted.
Some Shopping Places in Hong Kong you can visit:
- Temple Street Night Market – largest night market located in Temple St, Jordan
- Fa Yuen Street – a shopping haven for sneakers enthusiasts. You can buy shoes from the biggest brands like Converse, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, and New Balance at a low price.
- Ladies’ Market – located at Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, you can find branded and discounted fashion items.
- Sin Tat Plaza – a large market with the widest range of smartphones and other gadgets.
7. Wi-Fi Everywhere!
Staying connected with your loved ones is not a problem when you’re in Hong Kong. One of the most convenient ways to stay in touch is using the extensive network of hotspots of Hong Kong providing free Wi-Fi to everyone.
Are you wondering where will you stay when traveling around Hong Kong, you can search for a host at the Airbnb website. You can get 1,600 pesos in travel credits when you sign up. This is way cheaper than staying in hotels. I hope you enjoyed reading the 7 things I loved when I traveled all over Hong Kong. See you on my next travel guide blog post!