Going to Hong Kong is certainly an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life, though, I find that it’s more suitable for those that aren’t interested in sunning on the beach. Whilst beaches in Hong Kong are picturesque, the culture and sights to be seen are worth braving the hustle and bustle of the tourist industry.
This post is primarily a guide for first time visitors but the tips that I’m about to share will make your trip easier whether you’re a newbie or a re-visitor!
- Time of the year – choose wisely! Whilst most countries are more pleasant in the summer, Hong Kong is sub-tropical and for those of us who aren’t natives… it’s much too warm. By November/December, the weather is typically at it’s most balanced.
- Pack lightly – take a capsule wardrobe. If you’re anything like me, this is very important! Only take the essentials and forget about toiletries, you can get them at Watson’s or Manning’s upon arrival so it’s pointless wasting space in your suitcase. Anything that you could possibly need can be bought whilst you’re there as Hong Kong is stellar as a shopping experience.
- You really want to aim to land sometime in the morning, I personally feel that it’s easier to get over jetlag by sleeping on the plane and powering through on the first day. This is a whole lot easier if any necessary stopovers aren’t too long, I find that KLM (the airline) is easier to use when negotiating flight ties.
- Plan around jetlag to avoid burnouts, any trip goes more smoothly with a pre-planned itinerary anyway but for the first day or two it’s best to lie in. My next post should contain a few ideas to occupy your time whilst you’re there!
- Understand the currency exchange rates – unnecessary overspending is frustrating! Need I say more?
- A money saver whilst in Hong Kong is the Octopus card, similar to the Oyster card (but much better!), this handy card can be used to get on public transport but also to make savings and pay for shopping (in supermarkets). A deposit is necessary but believe me, you’ll get your moneys worth… Just top up either at the station or in the closest 7-Eleven.
- Look up bus/train routes and make notes on exits used at stations, this will make your trip more efficient. At each station there is a map and the exits are signposted with the correct direction towards your destination. Finding out this information is as simple as Googling the exit before you set off.
- Whilst Hong Kong itself is interesting, it’s worth making use of the ferries and check out the surrounding islands. Macau, Lantau and Lamma are among the most notable.
Hopefully these tips are useful to those of you thinking of seeing Hong Kong, watch this space for my Top 10 Places To Check Out In Hong Kong.