I would like to thank Gina for publishing this article. Her site is an amazing place for information and tips about traveling in the Far East, as well as following her own adventure. After reading this article, I highly recommend you head over to this post to check out the pictures of the highlights of the incredible year she’s had.
Hong Kong is one of the greatest financial powerhouses of the east, so it’s easy to see why people think that a trip to this spectacular city might cost an arm and a leg. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a bit of insider knowledge and research, it’s easier than you’d think to find an array of awesome activities that don’t come anywhere near to blowing the bank. These are just five of the best budget-friendly attractions that the city has to offer, but there are many more like them to make any trip to this exciting place a fulfilling and worthwhile experience.
The Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Hong Kong is a myriad of spiritual spaces with buildings from almost every religion imaginable being showcased on the great city’s streets. There are hundreds of temples, as well as many churches, mosques and synagogues, and luckily for travellers, most of them are free to enter. However, with so much choice, it’s sometimes hard to find the best of the best, so we’ve spared you the hassle.
The Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas, as the name suggests, boasts spectacular grandeur far outshining many of its peers. Situated high up on the hillside above Sha Tin, the journey to the main site is up a winding stairway lined with golden statues seated against a backdrop of emotive red walls. The main site is centered with an impressive nine-story high pavilion, alongside many other ornate buildings. The main temple is intricately decorated with miniature Buddha statues, which give the site its name; however, there’s actually around 13,000 them!
Nan Lian Garden
This beautiful garden complex is another stunning attraction you can enter free! A welcome variation from the many urban high rises that surround it, the garden is a 3.5 hectare lagoon of beauty and tranquility. Every water feature, flowerbed, potted plant and structure has been meticulously planned and landscaped in such a way that it guarantees a breathtaking experience for anyone willing to wile away an afternoon wandering around its paths.
History enthusiasts will be interested to know that the garden is actually a replica of the Yishouju Garden of the Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.). There is also a vegetarian restaurant or tea house so, due to the free entry, you can afford to splurge on some of the tasty delicacies without breaking your budget.
Victoria Peak is a mountain located on the west side of the Hong Kong island, and it offers a worthwhile—if slightly unexpected—chance to get out of the city and explore some of the beautiful nature that it has to offer. Crowned with a world famous viewing point, the peak boasts some of the most spectacular panoramas of this bustling and energetic city and its skyline.
The cheapest way to experience the mountain is to take a trek to the top, which takes 45 minutes, but also comes with a number of picturesque views and the chance to be surrounded by nature. However, if you’re in a rush—or just don’t fancy a hike—there is a cable car that runs up to the peak of the mountain regularly and only costs 40HKD round trip.
Either take in the sun-kissed views and escape the heat during the midday sun or gaze out over the incredible light-show that is the nighttime skyline. Night or day, a trip up this mountain is sure to amaze.
There are very few places in the world where your accommodation can double as an exciting attraction. The Chunking Mansions, however, offer exactly this. Known colloquially as “Asia’s World City,” this massive 17-story building is a plethora of low-rent accommodation for travelers, offices, restaurants, apartments and shops of every kind imaginable.
Whether you spend your time browsing the impressive third-floor shopping mall where merchants sell everything from clothes, art, gadgets and second hand mobile phones; grab food at one of the wide variety restaurants; try to find the best conversion rates in the many money-changers or just relax in your guest-house and have some downtime watching Netflix, you can occupy yourself for a whole day without ever even leaving the building. Existing as a microcosm of Hong Kong itself, nowhere else can you experience the manic and vivacious energy that drives this city as within these four walls. However, if you are looking spend some time away from the hustle and bustle and catch up on your favourite TV shows, make sure you have a VPN installed to unblock content while overseas.
Wan Chai Street Concerts
Wan Chai is in the northeast of Hong Kong and is known to be one of the central art hubs of the city. As well as being home to the Hong Kong Art Center, the Academy of Performing Arts and many different cinema complexes, this area also hosts some of the best street concerts in the city—made even better by the fact that they’re free!
The concerts take place across three venues: outside the Arts Center every third Saturday of the month, every second Thursday outside the Blue House and ever last Sunday at Comix Home Base. The first two are evening performances and start at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively (finishing between 8 and 9), whereas the latter takes place in the afternoon from 3:00-4:30 p.m.
These eclectic concerts cover all genres of music including classic, jazz and even indie and are put on by events organizer, Kung Shi-shing. For those on a budget, or even those who aren’t, these little spectacles of street entertainment are an unmissable addition to any trip to Hong Kong.
There are just five of the many budget-friendly activities that Hong Kong has to offer. If you know of any other attractions that you think should have made the list, or have any advice about the ones already mentioned, then be sure to leave a comment below!
Jess Signet is an avid traveler and enjoys writing about her adventures. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further. Traveling is her drug, and she’s addicted. (Please, no intervention!)
Jess is a seasoned traveler an you don’t want to miss out on her travel tips and adventures. Head over to tripelio.com for more!