Hong Kong may be known for its glitzy skyline and plethora of high-end opportunities to blow money like bubbles in the summertime, but that kind of high-flying lifestyle isn't conducive to many (or most) travelers. So we asked Gillian Chu, a VPN or proxy in China to get around the Great Firewall), for some tips on how to see the city without seeing the bottom of your wallet. Here are a few of her suggestions.>>>
Parts of Hong Kong may be as materialistic as it gets, but the city does offer some non-shopping alternatives for those who would like to explore the city's natural scenery; it may be a surprise to some, but Hong Kong isn't just made up of shopping malls. In fact, it's also famous for the beaches and mountains that surround the city, many of which are within an hour's ride from downtown and the Central Business District. We even get travelers that come over especially for the hiking and surfing. Here are a few secret hideaways known mainly to the locals that won't be a burden your wallet.
Read on after the jump for Gillian's Hong Kong hotspots....
Chinese style garden right on top of it, with a wee museum inside describing the curious history of the land. Kowloon City was also once where Hong Kong's airport was situated, and is one of the reasons why there is a huge variety of international and local cuisine available for sampling. The park is relatively close to Xinjiang dishes at an unbelievable price, so it isn't something you can afford to miss!
The Tuen Ng Festival, but you can count on the paddlers to be rowing all year round to keep their physique up. Head over to Stanley's main beach during the weekends to watch them in action, and you might even be lucky enough to see them breaking off into races. This is an awesome alternative to getting squashed by a million other spectators on the race day, and you also get the luxury of catching up with the athletes at the Pizza Club. Done with all the dragon boat spotting? Spend the rest of the day sunbathing at the Stanley beach while munching on Si Yik's renowned french toast and Kaya toast. If you haven't tried the local dai pai dong (a kind of open-air eatery that was once omnipresent on the streets of Hong Kong; these days, their numbers are dwindling) before, this will be a great place to start!
The fish ball noodles that even the Honkies would travel across the island for? On Lee Noodle is known for their Chiu Chow style fish balls, which are made in the traditional way with fresh fish every morning, ensuring that you get the best they have to offer.
Finally, if you are in Hong Kong, how can you miss out on the hiking scene? Big Wave Bay, which is just at the end of the hike, and enjoy some nice action in the sea breeze! After your hike, try Tong Kee Store's instant noodles with assorted toppings—you'll be rubbing shoulders with the Honkies in the true local way.
Gillian is a Hong Kong based lifestyle blogger who loves to travel around China, digging through its longstanding history and rich culture. Like what you read? Stay up to date with her on her blog!