A Backpackers Guide to Hong Kong
A former dependant of the UK and now under Chinese rule, the proud Honk Kong inhabitants consider themselves Hong Kongese, and you’d be a brave person to insist that wasn’t the case.
Table of contents
Hong Kong is a place like no other. A place that clearly shows signs of their former British rule with Baker Street, St George Street and Victoria harbour to name but a few of the old colonial names still kicking around, but one that still proudly plays host to endless Chinese customs, temples and cuisine. It’s truly a city of contrast and one that if you throw your self into, you can’t fail to be captivated by all it has to offer.
Let’s have a look at what there is for backpackers to see and do in this fascinating place:
How long should you spend in Hong Kong?
When you hear the population of Hong Kong is 7,000,000 it’s forgivable to think this is a huge place… it’s not. Hong Kong is a city that grows ‘up’ and not ‘out’ – sections of HK are some of the most densely populated places in the world.
There are endless skyscrapers to accommodate everyone and the living spaces are tiny. With that being said, 3 days or so is easily enough time to tick off all the main tourist attractions while still getting a feeling of the real Hong Kong.
Working out paperwork can be tricky. Hong Kong PAR application can be managed with not too much stress.
Is Hong Kong as expensive as people say?
In a word, no. Of course, it’s not Vietnam or Cambodia but if you stay away from the booze (come on, you can do it – it’s only 3 days!) and eat wisely, you can certainly get by on $30 USD a day including cheap accommodation (Chingkat mansions – suitably disgusting and about $8 a night, bargain), public transport and entrance fees.
What language do people speak in Hong Kong?
Strictly speaking it’s Cantonese but realistically it’s Hong Kongese, their own take on Cantonese. However, due to HK being the 4 largest financial center in the world English is widespread and communication, generally, won’t be a problem.
How do I get around Hong Kong?
Public transport here is great, perhaps the best I have ever used. There are 13 subway lines, countless ferries, a comprehensive tram system, and a huge bus network – all complete with helpful information kiosks. It’s so simple to get around, you’ll feel like you’re cheating on your travels! Also, you can buy an ‘Octopus’ card for around $8 USD (you get it back when you leave) which you top-up with credit and scan with each journey you take. It’s easy, faster, and cheaper than paying in cash – you can even top up with excess cash and pay for your goods in 7/11, etc, now that’s development!
Do I need a visa for Hong Kong?
Most EU, North American and Australian and NZ passport holders get a visa on arrival so no stress there. If you fall outside this bunch, then you may need to arrange a visa prior to your arrival like my Ukrainian friend had to do – I hate bureaucracy!
Can I visit China while I’m in Hong Kong?
No is the simple answer. If you have already got your Chinese visa before you arrived in HK, then you can. But if you’re in HK, loving the Chinese vibe, and fancy a quick trip to the mainland then I’m afraid it’s not that easy. Chinese visas always require a bit of work so plan ahead or don’t even think about it.
If you guys have any more questions about Hong Kong, just ask me below or send me an email and I’ll do my best to answer you. If you wanna know what awesome things there are to see and do in Hong Kong, check out the next article – happy travels!
Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!
I use HeyMondo. You get INSTANT quotes. Super cheap, they actually pay out, AND they cover almost everywhere, where most insurance companies don't (even places like Central African Republic etc!). You can sign-up here. PS You even get 5% off if you use MY LINK! You can even sign up if you're already overseas and traveling, pretty cool.
Also, if you want to start a blog...I CAN HELP YOU!
Also, if you want to start a blog, and start to change your life, I'd love to help you! Email me on email@example.com. In the meantime, check out my super easy blog post on how to start a travel blog in under 30 minutes, here! And if you just want to get cracking, use BlueHost at a discount, through me.
Also, (if you're like me, and awful with tech-stuff) email me and my team can get a blog up and running for you, designed and everything, for $699 - email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Do you work remotely? Are you a digital nomad/blogger etc? You need to be insured too.
I use SafetyWing for my digital nomad insurance. It covers me while I live overseas. It's just $10 a week, and it's amazing! No upfront fees, you just pay week by week, and you can sign up just for a week if you want, then switch it off and on whenever. You can read my review here, and you can sign-up here!