This post is for you when you are planning the first time to visit Hong Kong and you have no idea what to expect there. I want to share some of my experience and observation, sometimes we just don’t know things in advance and some things we learn the hard way, sometimes.
When you are about to book a place to stay whether at a hostel or a hostel, check that it’s close to public transport and check out the environment around on google maps before you book anything. But coming to the most important thing I can say: do not book a hostel that is located in a building called Chungking mansion. I repeat: do not book a hostel in Chungking mansions. From my experience, entering Chungking Mansion is the most annoying experience ever even though my hostel was okay.
What is worse: never ever arrive at Chungking mansions an let someone “help” you there to find an accommodation – those hostels usually not have a license to operate and are illegal.
Typhoon season is from March until September. You can of course visit Hong Kong during that time, just be prepared that shops are closed and people don’t go to work as long as there is Typhoon 8. I also recommend to bring a pair of flip-flops and an umbrella (or buy, up to you) with you, sometimes it can rain really bad and you don’t want to ruin your best pair of shoes, do you? In summer months like July and August it is also very humid which make you suffer extra – you can leave your skinny jeans at home.
- Know about public holidays
Hong Kong is usually quite crowded and even more around public holidays like Chinese New Year. Especially hotel prices are bananas during that times! 30 Euros for sleeping in the living room of a hostel?! Prepare your trip good in advance to avoid the struggle to find a hotel room or overpriced hotel rooms.
You already heard of some typical tourist markets such as Ladies Market of Temple street night market. If you decide to go there to buy some souvenirs, gadgets or fake accessories be prepared to haggle! Some things have also a price advertised, even for these things it’s better to compare prices from different vendors first.
Honestly I’m not a big fan of haggling, the only thing that makes me help to be more confident in this is knowing the price I want to pay without spending too much. The first and second price they offer you is way too much. Haggling takes time and nerves until you find a price, both the vendor is accepting and you are happy to pay.
- Tab water
Before I went to Hong Kong for the first time I asked as many people as possible about things I should know about Hong Kong and Asia. Everyone told me to avoid to drink tab water because it’s not always drinkable. The place I stayed the water had also its own certain smell, so I had even less desire to try drinking it. There are of course hostels and hostels where you can drink tab water without worrying but please ask the hotel staff first.