Last April my parents made the decision to move to Hong Kong which inspired me to write my first ever blog post. One full year and two Hong Kong trips later I am officially sharing my tips on How to Hong Kong!
1. Get an Octopus card. Unlike the States, public transportation is one of the most efficient ways to get around. The Octopus card can be used for the bus system, ferry, MTR (metro, subway), and most convenient stores. How do you posses one of these cards, you ask? The most convenient way to get one would be at the Hong Kong International airport as soon as you fly in. You may be tired and overwhelmed but save yourself some trouble and stand in the line to purchase the card, you’ll save yourself an extra trip once you’re ready to go exploring and you’ll soon find out that the lines tend to move pretty fast. If you decide to not get the Octopus card at the airport it’s no big deal, just type into Maps to find the closest station and you can buy and load one up there.
2. Make sure your Octopus card is loaded. You can fill your cards at any local convenient store such as Seven Eleven or Circle K, places that would usually be gas stations. I cannot stress enough that in order to load your Octopus Card you must have a minimum of $50HKD in CASH! They will not fill your Octopus with Visa, Apple Pay, Debit, etc. it must be cash so always have an emergency $50 in your wallet just in case your total gets away from you.
3. Understand that you are now experiencing an incredible part of the world. You’ll hear Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Russian, accents such as South African, Australian, and British. Hong Kong is by far the most diverse place that I have ever traveled to. As amazing as it can be to hear all of these new and interesting ways of communicating, it can be overwhelming to try and maneuver your way around a strange new city, which is why it’s so important to have the right tools to get around stress-free! There are two apps that my family and I find very helpful and they’re called Hong Kong Taxi and Mooveit. Hong Kong Taxi is perfect for when you are taking a taxi somewhere in the city. The drivers tend to speak little to no English and so this app is perfect for communicating with your driver on where you need to go! How it works is you search your location in their database and when it shows up it automatically shows you the address and the option to view the location in Cantonese so all you have to do is show the driver your phone! It’s incredibly simple…the only catch is that you may need wifi if you don’t have an international plan but luckily for you there is wifi almost everywhere!
The Mooveit app is great for navigating how to reach a destination by taking public transportation. I know that there are a lot of apps that do this but what’s great about this app is that it can tell you all the specifics and will even notify you of a direction change when you don’t have any wifi.
Now that you know how to get around it’s time to go see all that Hong Kong has to offer!
Where to go:
Peak Tram to Victoria’s Peak
Observation Ferris Wheel
Lan Kwai Fong
360 Cable Cars to The Big Buddha
High Tea at The Intercontinental
Escalators in SoHo
Nan Lian Garden
Hikes: Tiger’s Head in Discovery Bay, Mui Wo, Peng Chau, Llama Island
Our Favorite Places to Eat:
Miss Ho’s -Kennedy Town
Little Bao -SoHo Central
Le Souk- SoHo Central
Din Tau Fong- Tsim Sha Tsui