Hong Kong on a budget: Travelling under $400

Hong Kong on a budget: Travelling under $400
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This article was originally published on the flight comparison site Skyscanner.

Suggested travel duration: 4 days, 3 nights

Flights: Prices start from S$129 (return, per pax). Check out Skyscanner and ideally book 20 weeks ahead to save more.

Accommodation: From S$78 at Ashoka Hostel in Kowloon (3 nights, single room), or check out other hotels here.

Places to visit: Botanic Gardens, Hong Kong Market, Shek O Beach, Victoria Peak, Avenue of Stars, Temple Street, Mong Kok.

Transportation costs: approx. S$25 (for 2 airport buses and approx. 12 bus/MTR rides)

Meals: approx. S$70 (for 3 daily street food meals from S$4 and up to S$26.50 for restaurant food)

Approx. total cost: S$302 (with extra to go shopping!)


Once you're there

Getting to Kowloon from the airport is a cinch on the A21 airport bus, which costs S$6 each way. Hong Kong's extensive and reasonably-priced public transport makes getting around as easy as a snap; the MTR covers all the major spots in the city, and the trams are a delightful way to get around.

For any sights you'd like to see that aren't accessible by train, the bus will get you there just as easily. Also, you can always go by Star Ferry, which has been moving people around the region since 1888.

The ferry to Central costs S$0.50 and only takes 7 minutes.

Take a free taichi class

It may look slow and undemanding, but this martial art will really put you through the paces, and bring your yin back in balance with your yang.

It's one of the main ways for Hong Kongers to keep fit, and it's a great chance to see how locals live. Stroll through Victoria Park, Hong Kong Park, Botanic Gardens or Kowloon Park at the right time, and drop in on a group of practitioners.

Get some amazing food at amazing prices at Hong Kong Market

Drop by Dai Pai Pong in the Hong Kong Market for some of the best street food anywhere in the world. These food carts are a staple of the local diet.

Lang Fong Yuen comes highly recommended; try the silk milk tea and noodles for about S$6.70, a must-try for all the frugal gourmands out there. After your meal, head to Tai Cheong Bakery for some mouth-watering egg tarts.

Head to Shek O Beach

If you're looking to see another side of Hong Kong, something a little removed from the madding crowds, jump on the No. 9 minibus from Shau Kei Wan MTR station and head to the Shek O Beach for about S$1.20 in the Southern District.

Near the quaint fishing village there, you'll see bucolic sights you might recognise from canto pop music videos. There's even some surfing to be done in the nearby Big Wave Bay.

It's a relatively unspoiled isle of calm in the vast urban sprawl of the Pearl River Delta.

Cap the day off with a walk up Victoria Peak

For a peaceful way to end a busy day of touring Hong Kong, thrifty travellers can hike to the top of Victoria Peak to soak in an amazing (and free) view of the city.

An excellent time to do this is when the sun is setting and the lights of the city gradually come to life, like fireflies shaking off the sleep during a hot summer's day.

And best of all, it doesn't cost a thing. If your feet are too beat from all that touring though, you can opt to pay for a tram ticket too, at a reasonable price of just S$14.60 for a round-trip ticket.

See the Avenue of Stars

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without paying tribute to the first and arguably greatest kung-fu hero: Bruce Lee.

You can find a statue honouring him on the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui East, along with handprints of other famous Hong Kong celebs, like John Woo as well as a statue of the cartoon pig McDull.

From this free tourist attraction, modelled after Hollywood's Walk of Fame, you'll have an amazing view of the harbour and the skyline of the city itself.

There are free music, drama and dance performances each month, so you can soak up the culture without even pulling out your wallet.

Visit Temple Street

This area is best known for its night market selling mostly gadgets, but when the sun goes down at night, the streets surrounding the markets are transformed into one big open-air restaurant with tables.

It's a great place to sample all the tasty dishes this city is known for and rub elbows with the friendly locals.

Check out Mong Kok for shopping

Being Hong Kong's most famous market, Ladies' Market is a great place to soak up the hustle and bustle of a typical Mong Kok shopping zone. You can get fun yet cheap souvenirs and presents for loved ones back home.

They've also got men's items, for the male shopaholics. Just around the corner, you'll find Fa Yuen Street, a.k.a. Sneaker Street. This street is a tantalising destination for collectors and sneaker heads alike, where the shoes can be had for a really good price.

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