As one of the most diverse cities in South East Asia, visiting Hong Kong especially for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. However, Hong Kong is an amazing city for a tourist with all manner of intriguing experiences and an eclectic mix of sights and sounds. The city is extremely tourist friendly and very safe so you don’t have to be on alert at all times like in some of the cities in the world. In here you can explore and experience as much as you want and enjoy the city to the fullest. This is a comprehensive guide on the best ways to get to know Hong Kong and enjoy it.
Get an Octopus Card and Travel on the Metro (MTR)
One of the best things in Hong Kong as compared to many other cities anywhere in the world is the Octopus Card. The Octopus Card is a prepaid debit card that you can get at one of the many service kiosks in the Metro. With the card, you can pay for practically anything in Hong Kong. With your Octopus Card, you can travel the efficient and clean metro system of the city and easily go anywhere on the island. What makes the metros one of the best ways to know the city is that they are:
1. Cheaper than taxis as fares are calculated based on miles traveled.
2. Convenient and come with safe air-conditioned stations full of stores.
3. Reliable and run as often as every three minutes during peak hours, when the road traffic is notoriously terrible.
Check out Spectacular Views from Victoria Peak
One of the most popular attractions and the best place to check out the spectacular views of Hong Kong is from Victoria Peak. It is the highest point on Hong Kong Island that provides free viewing platforms from Lions Pavilion and Peak Galleria and paid to view from Sky Terrace. The best views of Hong Kong can be had in the late evenings, where if you are lucky you can get some picturesque snapshots of the city skyline.
Victoria Peak is something you should never miss while visiting Hong Kong. Even if you saw the view once before you will want to come back because it is something extremely beautiful and unique. I wholeheartedly recommend going here.
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Go on a Food Tour
One of the best ways to get to know a city is to sample its cuisine and Hong Kong is no different. There are several food tours in the city that you can join and get to sample some of the best food to be had for cheap. Just like in many other places, you will find that the little local places are the cheapest and most real reflection of the cuisine. Head out to these places for some real Hong Kong Dim Sum, and if you like some waffles, egg tarts, and roast/BBQ pork that can be had for as little as $100HK.
Food isn’t expensive like I said and you can find many different cuisines here as well. I recommend of course trying authentic Hong Kong food that you can find on the streets or if you want something a little bit more special then you should visit one of the countless restaurants available. Whatever you chose you won’t make a wrong decision.
Stay at a Centrally Located Hotel
Hong Kong is a city of hotels with up to 815 on Agoda alone. If you want to get to know the city, you need to stay in the CBD hotels that make it easy and convenient to head out to the many attractions on the Island within minutes. There are several hotels in the Central district that are a few minutes ride or walk to a lot of great restaurants and the Central MTR station. However, you are never that far away from an intriguing experience anywhere you go in Hong Kong. Given the lack of space, you will be surprised to find that many of the high rises are mixed-use and could have anything from an art gallery on the ground floor, three floors of private apartments, and a true Hong Kong massage parlor on the fifth floor.
Check Out the Street Life
Hong Kong is one densely populated metropolis, and with all those people packed in only a few square kilometers of the island comes a vibrant street life. The buzzing street life makes for some great sightseeing, shopping, eating, and people watching. You cannot go more than a few hundred meters before encountering some sort of market, where you can get anything from dried goods, seafood, meat and all manner of exotic produce. Head for some of the bustling neighborhoods such as Mong Kok and I guarantee that you will have a taste of some of the best street food in the city.