How To Enjoy Hong Kong On A Budget
Star Ferry – A floating piece of Hong Kong heritage, the legendary Star Ferry was founded in 1880 and plies the waters of Victoria Harbour, with backdrop views of sky scrapers marching up jungle-clad hills. The 15-minute ride to Kowloon, or vice versa, must be one of the world’s best-value cruises. Catch it from either Central or Wan Chai.
The Peak – Rising above the financial heart of Hong Kong Island, Victoria Peak offers superlative views of the city. Ride the hair-raising Peak Tram, Asia’s first cable funicular (running since 1888), to the cooler climes at the top. Once you’re up top, there are excel lent gardens and a free viewing deck at Peak Galleria. Expect long queues for the tram on clear days.
Hong Kong Park – At the foot of striking skyscrapers such as the Bank of China Tower and the Lippo Centre, this eight-hectare swathe of greenery and water makes for dramatic photos. The urban rainforest effect is at its fullest inside the Edward Youde Aviary (9am-5pm), free to enter and home to around 600 birds from 75 species. Also free is the Museum of Teaware inside 1840s Flagstaff House – the c ity’s old est colonial building.
Good Hope Noodle – This 45-year-old shop in busy Mong Kok has a long-standing Michelin guide commendation and fan following. Its al dente egg noodles, bite-sized wontons and silky congee (rice porridge) have won hearts for decades and continue to be cooked the old way, but are now served in neat, modem surrounds.
Temple Street Night Market – The city’s liveliest night market runs a long Tern pie St from Man Ming Lane in the north to Nanking St in the south, cut in two by the Tin Hau temple complex. It sells anything and everything, and bargaining is expected. For street food, follow the smells to Woo Sung St, running parallel to the east, or to the section of Temple St north of the temple. You can get anything from a bowl of noodles to a full meal.
Tim Ho Wan – Serving what may be the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred food, Tim Ho Wan is the creation of a former Four Seasons dim sum chef, who has brought his magic to humbler surroundings. The Sham Shui Po and North Point branches are the ones with stars, but the standard is the same at the more central restaurant under Hong Kong MTR station. Try the top-selling baked barbecue pork bun.
PMQ – This new arts hub occupies the modernist buildings and breezy courtyard of the 1951 police married quarters. Dozens of small galleries and shops hawk hip handmade jewellery, leather goods, prints, clothing and non-tacky souvenirs. Th ere are also restaurants and bakeries, and an exhibition space with a rotating variety of free shows.
Man Motemple – One of Hong Kong’s oldest temples, atmospheric Man Mo Temple is dedicated to the gods of literature (‘Man’), holding a writing brush, and of war (‘Mo’), wielding a sword. Built in 1847 by wealthy Chinese merchants, it was, besides a place of worship, a court of arbitration for local disputes. Rows of large, smoky incense coils suspend from the roof.
Hong Kong Museum Of History – The Hong Kong Story exhibit at this museum covers the territory’s natural history and indigenous culture in eight galleries. Displays include recreated shop houses, a vintage tram and a colourful replica of a Chinese marriage procession.