Hong Kong

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Hong Kong Money-Saving Tips

Airport Transportation

The inexpensive Airport Express operates on the MTR railway lines, and takes less than 25 minutes to travel between the airport and the Kowloon and Central MTR stops.

Midweek Museums

Hong Kong’s seven major museums offer free admission on Wednesdays. Be sure to check out the Hong Kong Museum of History for a fascinating primer on the last 400 million years of the island’s history. 

A Walk in the Park

The city’s many parks (Hong Kong Park, Victoria Park, Kowloon Park) boast a constant variety of free activities, from kung-fu demos to art fairs. Free morning tai-chi sessions are offered on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade (Mon., Wed., Fri.).

Don’t Forget the Flora and Fauna

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens are home to apes, pythons, and over 1,000 plant species, and admission is always free.

Gaining an Area Education

Take a free tea appreciation class at the Lock Cha Tea Shop (www.lockcha.com) next door to the Museum of Tea Ware in Hong Kong Park (4-5pm; Mon., Wed., Fri.; registration necessary), or attend a free lecture by a local expert on feng-shui, kung fu, or Cantonese opera via the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Cultural Kaleidoscope program (www.discoverhongkong.com).

Handy Phrases

Even though many people in Hong Kong speak English, it’s still a good idea to ask your concierge to write down the name of your hotel in Chinese characters so you can present it if you get lost. Many hotels also give their guests pre-printed cards with this information. Although Mandarin (Putonghua) is understood by many, Hong Kong residents are more likely to speak Cantonese.

Dress Conservatively

Dress conservatively if you plan on visiting temples – wear shorts or a skirt that are at least knee-length and cover your shoulders. Some temples will loan visitors a wrap, but it’s prudent to bring your own.

Visa Info

U.S. citizens can visit Hong Kong for up to 90 days without a visa. If, however, you want to cross the border into China (including Shenzhen), you’ll need to apply for a Chinese visa before you go (allow at least three days for processing). If you’re in a hurry, Chinese visas can be obtained in 24 hours but there is an express charge.

Car Free

Don’t rent a car – Hong Kong traffic can be bad and parking is tricky. Besides, the public transport system is cheap, efficient, clean, and easy to navigate. Taxis are also abundant, and inexpensive.

Transportation Discount

Save on most public transport by buying a multi-use Octopus card, which you can top up in MTR stations when funds run low. In addition to being accepted on trains, ferries, buses, and trams, it can also be used in convenience stores, supermarkets, to phone from a public call box, and even in photo booths.

Bargain Smart

Friendly haggling is expected in most markets and small, locally owned stores. Just keep it civil and be prepared to pay the price you name. Never try to bargain in malls or well established stores.

Free Entertainment

If you’re looking for evening entertainment that’s easy on the wallet, head to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and stand on the promenade around 8pm; there’s a free light show every night over Victoria Harbour and the city skyline.

Compare Rates to Hong Kong

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