Budget Travel Tips for Hong Kong

Hong Kong can be an expensive city to travel so knowing some budget tips would help you plan ahead. Here are some information that I hope could help you to get around.

1. Airport to the city. The cheapest means to reach the city center is via bus. From HK Airport Terminal 2 to City Center, take A21 flyer bus (approximately 40-50 mins) for 33HKD or 4USD. It’s easy to find the bus station, just follow the signs inside the airport. Buy the ticket on the left side of the bus station entrance.  Do not board the bus unless you have the bus ticket. They will only accept cash in fixed amount and will not give you any change. They will let you go off the bus if you insist in asking for the change. The bus routes are flashed on the top and on the sides near the handle bars. 

2.  Free wifi. HK airport has complimentary wifi so does the buses. (A21 bus has free wifi).

3. Try budget airlines – Vanilla Air, HK Express, Peach Aviation and Air Asia. Sometimes, big airlines offer sale. I got Emirates for 200$ two way! 
4. Not everyone can speak English so download a translator app or offline map (maps.me). Saving photos/screenshots of hostels/places I want to go had worked for me every time. Just show it to the locals. 
5. I recommend staying in Kowloon Island especially if short stay because of accessibility to tourist areas and station points (like going to Macau or Disney).  
6.  If you’re going to prepay your hotel, price is better via agoda.com. Always check the hotel’s website for deals. There are complimentary buses for big hotels to pick up guests. 
7. If prefer to pay on arrival, use booking.com but the same hostel may cost a little than using agoda. Still, you pay for convenience of pay on arrival.
8. If you stay in one of the good hotels, they may ask you for security deposit. Negotiate to lower the amount. I advice to use cash as deposit rather than credit card (they don’t accept debit). Last May, I stayed in Regal Hotel for a week and they upgraded my room to the top floor’s Executive suite $250/night. Try negotiating. 
9. If you stay in a budget hostel, most of them are ‘sharks’. Be cautious. Be smart. They might give you a room which is different from what you booked. Or increase the price so you don’t have any choice. I tried Gold Star Guesthouse for 4 days 15$, private double room with bathroom inside but that’s 4 years ago. Lee Garden Guesthouse and Star Guesthouse are same owners. The conditions of the rooms may not be as good as before. I also tried hostel for 1 night in Chungking Mansion dormitory type after coming from Japan and it’s worst, the only good thing is it’s walking distance to Victoria harbour. Well, what do you expect with 11$ per night. 
10. Macau. If you plan to take a day trip to Macau, walk to Macau Ferry Terminal (164 HKD). There is free bus from Macau Terminal to the casinos or airport. From casinos to airport/terminal too. So, it’s good to just spend time in Macau.
11. Macau vs HK. Compare the cost of flying in/out from HK versus out in/from Macau. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to fly from Macau (add the ferry cost) to your destination/home country. Note that bus from terminal to Macau airport is free but do this if you only have spare time. Air Asia offers low cost of flying in/out from Macau. 
12. Food is higher priced than other Asian countries but try convenience stores and supermarkets. 
13. Perfumes are inexpensive in Hong Kong. Aside from delicacies, these are perfect for gifts. 
14. Giordano, Bossini, G2000, Baleno and Esprit are HK brands. Try shopping at their flagship stores. 


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