10 budget activities for backpackers and first-timers in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a melting pot of cultures. From the skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island to the tropical beaches of the New Territories, there’s a lot to explore. Ben has family here in Hong Kong as his parents, aunts and uncles all grew up here so we’re coming at it from a bit of a different angle but there’s still the traditional things too. Enjoy our list and comment below if there’s anything you think we’ve missed!

1. See both sides of the skyline properly and take the Star Ferry across Victoria just in time to watch the ‘Symphony of Lights’, which begin proper at around 8:05pm.

2. Go for a hike in Sai Kung National Park to Tai Long Wan. For a bonus treat, pay to take a sampan boat back to Sai Kung Harbour.

4. Take a tram ride through Central. For less than £1, hop on over in Causeway Bay and ride through Wan Chai, Admirality and into Central in old-fashioned HK style.

5. Walk up to Victoria Peak and avoid the majority of tourists. The peak tram is cool and all, but you can take the aforementioned tram through Central instead and save some money here, whilst also avoiding the long queues and throngs of tourists.

6. Check out some of the 10,000 Buddhas at… 10,000 Buddhas monastery in Sha Tin. Not sure if there are actually 10,000 Buddha statues exactly, you’re welcome to count for us.

7. Ride the Nyong Ping 360 cable car – pay a little extra for a glass bottom – to Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha.

8. Barter at the markets for some souvenirs. There’s options here – Temple Street, Ladies Market, Stanley Market are all one of a kind and haggling is not only expected but assumed.

9. Take the 973 bus to Stanley and catch the iconic Aqualuna back to Central. Ok this one isn’t strictly budget, but at about £30 each it’s incredible value for a 90 minute ride on an old fashioned and iconic junk boat, with a drink included.

10. Eat dim sum at Tin Ho Wan. There are fantastic budget food options throughout HK if you know where to look, but this might be the best there is. It’s a chain with a number of outlets, yet queues are still common. Bonus mention for the Tsim Chai Kee noodle bar on Wellington Street.

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