First to all of you who are not following my Be-Stylish category, I wish you a pleasant and sparkling new year!
Have you had a great celebration with your friends and family? I hope you did !
My post about Hong Kong from this week is all about general travel tips. How to get around, how to stay safe and some tips that might make your travels easier! Here we go:
Exchange your money only in the city center in banks, to avoid high exchange rate or fraud
Money! Where would we be without it? Well, we wouldn’t be able to travel to Hong Kong without it that’s for sure. Thanks to the wonderful world that we live in, we have various ways of generating an income. From receiving an annual salary at our jobs to investing in areas like the Deutscher Aktien Index (German share index), and bitcoin, these are just some of the ways that we can fuel our travel habits, where money really is important. This is why the first of my general travel trips is one that probably everyone knows. And that is that the exchange rates are different between the airport and other places in a city. I know you probably never care, but in this case I would really recommend you to wait till you get to the city centre if possible, as the rates have a big difference, more than in any city I visited so far. Of course the best way to get money is to withdraw it directly in an official bank in HK, or at any cash automate in the MRT stations.
Just like you would in your own country, any activities that involve handling money should be done at your bank or a professional company that has a good reputation. Let me give you an example. If you were looking to apply for a credit card online, places like SoFi (https://www.sofi.com/credit-card/) is one of the best places to go because many people use them already. You wouldn’t want to risk going somewhere, or doing something, that can put your hard-earned money into jeopardy, especially when abroad. Even more so in Hong Kong when the risk of fraud is high, and where you can, go only to banks to exchange your money and try to avoid rates, which seem too good to be true. (They mostly are !) But if you have no other choice, keep your eye open not only on the money they are counting in front of you (and count it again as soon as you have it received in front of the person that handed it to you) but also on all your belongings like jewellery, money, credit cards etc.
Visiting the big Buddha
So you want to go to visit the big Buddha while you are in Hong Kong? Great! But don’t forget that you will need approximately 2 hours to get there and 2 hours to get back. So go there in the morning and only, if you have really enough time to enjoy the trip.
From the airport to the city centre?
From the Airport to the city of Hong Kong you can go by either Bus, Express or Taxi. I would recommend you to take the Airport Express, that brings you directly from the airport to the Hong Kong station on Hong Kong Island or if you get off one stop before to Kowloon. This costs 100 HKD but is the easiest way and brings you in only 25 minutes to the centre. You can find more information about timings and exact costs of the airport express here. You can pay the ticket before entering the train or on arrival.On arrival you will find yourself on level -1. On the same level, just in front of the exit there are some hotel shuttle busses. These bring you free of charge to the mayor hotels of the city. Unfortunately the time table is not really trustable so be prepared to wait up to one hour.
On level 0 you will find the taxies, but also here you will usually find a long queue that is not worth the while. On level -2 is the MRT situated. Be aware to have change with you as the machine doesn’t accept large bills, if I remember right the maximum bill was 20 HKD. It took me 30 min to get my withdrawn money changed.
If you prefer to spend less on the transport, then you can take a bus which will take you to various points in the city, but this way will take approximately the double of time.
The easiest way to get around Hong Kong is the MRT. The stations are all over the city and will bring you where ever you need to go to. Best way to pay for it is with an Octopus card. You can buy or rent one in most of the MRT stations in a 7-Eleven or some Kiosk. Using an Octopus card you can simply take all transportation services by paying with the card and can even pay with it in all 7-Elevens, most super markets, fast food restaurants and many other.
While getting of the MRT check exactly which exit is the one you will need, otherwise you might end up with quite a distance to where you needed to be.
Taxis at night might be difficult to find especially for shorter distances. Be aware to check any night busses that could bring you home after a night out if you need it. If you are travelling by car, it is important that you know how to get towing services from towingless.com whenever you find yourself out of gas or looking at a totaled vehicle.
Places and Hotels to avoid
I found a list on the internet with hotels and places to avoid in Hong Kong. This could be either because of safety reasons or lack of hygiene. Here you can find the list.
Weather in Hong Kong
The weather in Hong Kong varies a lot during the year and includes dry and monsoon periods.
June, July and August are the periods with the highest average of raining days and are also the warmest months of the year. All three of them are not the most pleasant time to travel to Hong Kong. I have been there during August and I had one day 40 degrees with the worst humidity I ever experiences and the next day monsoon rain as I have never seen it before. So be sure to bring your lightest clothing and a water cape if you have one! Additionally, if you could bring an anemometer while on your trip (check out weather station reviews), you could be doing yourself a favor by getting to choose your destinations based upon the weather.
November, December and January are the driest, but also the coldest months. The temperate varies between 15 and 25 degrees which for a city trip might be the best time to go. Nonetheless, since it can get pretty cold, you might also want to bring something like a t shirt quilt or some warm clothing.
Another of of the general travel tips is about the safety. Hong Kong is quite a safe city for travellers and also women alone should not have any problems. But there are still some rules to follow to do not get into any unpleasant situation.
– While entering, staying and leaving the MRT be aware of your belongings as thieves are active especially in these moments.
– Alway only carry a small amount of cash with you, especially during night times.
– Be aware where you exchange your money. I have explained this further up in this post more in detail.
– Don’t get involved in any drugs during your stay in Hong Kong, the political system is very strict on these matters.
– Avoid to bring any pepper sprays with you during your travel. Also if in your country the purchase is legal, in Hong Kong it is not.times.
– Not everywhere you will find a high sanitariness, so be aware were you go to eat and don’t buy anything on these street kiosks, I have there a nice image on how they clean after closing time 😉
I hope these simple general travel tips will make your stay a little easier, and if there are more things you have experiences I’d be happy to hear them.
If you want to read more about Hong Kong, you can find here all the things you should avoid during your stay and here all the must see !
Hong Kong was nice, expensive, but a interesting place. I’d go back. Thanks for this list.
Thank you Scott for your information. It is of course not as cheap as many other asian cities, but I didn’t have the feeling it is expensive at all ! We must have lived the city in two different ways 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed it !Have a lovely day!
I’ve been dreaming to go to HK for such a long time, but all I’ve heard is that’s pretty expensive, and that corroborate all of your tips regarding banks and change. I will definitely come back to this post when buying my tickets!
thanks for your feedback. I must say I haven’t had the experience that HK was that expensive. I went even to a one Michelin star restaurant and payed around 20 euro for an amazing dinner!
If you buy the tickets put in HK in the search tap above in my blog.. you’ll find some more posts about this beautiful city ! 🙂