Six tips for visiting Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a fascinating place. It’s exotic yet familiar, electric, dirty and clean – all at the same time. Here’s six tips tips to make the most out of your time there:

  1. Use mobile data; get a local phone sim (either in HK at the airport or by buying a cheap PAYG one from the UK from the likes of Three). Or if like us, you’ve got a Handy phone in your hotel room, use it as they are brilliant! It made it so much easier to get around, check out restaurant menus, and find nearby things to do.
  2. Make the most of the many happy hour deals; finding out the deals online proved quite difficult but don’t be afraid to ring up and ask. You can save 50% in some places which makes things significantly cheaper.
  3. Invest in an Octopus card; think about it like your contactless card back home. We only really used ours for transport but we saw people using them in cafes, shops, supermarkets and more. If we’d realised the extent of where you can use them we would have probably put more money on up front and carry less cash around.
  4. Always look at the menu before you go into an upstairs restaurant; unless you’ve already checked it on TripAdvisor beforehand. We went into a place that looked ok, but the lift opened straight into the dining area and we had to sit down without checking the menu. We must have been in a fairly posh restaurant as the options started at £30+ for just a starter. Safe to say we weren’t looking to spend £150+ on a meal so we had to awkwardly leave.
  5. Throw yourself in and walk from A to B; the city felt really safe to me, and you’ll see so much more if you walk around. We found some good self-guided walking tours here.
  6. Read up on how Hong Kong restaurants work; it’ll make things easier in the long run. Some tips from me: a lot of restaurants have cashier desks where you need to pay on your way out, so if don’t sit waiting for too long. Also, it’s quite normal and not rude to put your hand up to get service – there’s no time for british politeness, as you simply won’t get served!
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I’ve written a whole series of blogs on Hong Kong, which you can read here:

  1. Three Hong Kong views that you can’t miss
  2. Thinking of visiting Macau? What you need to know
  3. Why I nicknamed Hong Kong the ‘city of contrast’
  4. Three quirky things to do in Hong Kong
  5. An A-Z of the restaurants and activities that I did in Hong Kong

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