Considered by many as being the ‘gateway’ to Asia, Hong Kong is a global cosmopolitan city. Nestled in South-Eastern China, Hong Kong used to be a former British Colony which has immense effects on the 7 million people that lives in the city. Densely populated, this ultra modern global city is a business hub as well as a major port city with an enviable skyline that is studded with skyscrapers.
Since the population of Hong Kong has steadily increased over the years, space or lack of it is a major concern. Tourists have to shell out a lot more (a premium) to have access to bigger space and luxury. All the while if budget is a concern then a choice of accommodation in Hong Kong becomes necessary as the disparity in terms of cost is extremely wide. Communication is never an issue here as locals do speak English although not fluently but efficiently.
Most tourists assume that Hong Kong is predominantly divided because of the harbour into two distinct areas – Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. However, there are a few New Territories which lies North of Kowloon that encompasses the beautiful and vibrant districts such as Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay amongst others.
Here’s my take on where to stay in Hong Kong as a first timer
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The financial centre of Hong Kong, Central is the most attractive part of the city to stay. Located in the vicinity of the most visited spots Victoria Peak and Lan Kwai Fong; the International Finance Centre and Man Mo Temple are also a must-visit here. To enjoy the amazing skyline views of Hong Kong, Victoria Peak is the best spot; Lan Kwai Fong is the place where people accumulate in numbers as the area is filled with bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs. Some of the most high-end hotels and boutiques can be found in the Central area for people to indulge.
Where to stay in Central
Admiralty & Wan Chai
Even though Wan Chai is the main commercial area of Hong Kong; it does not feel too constricted like Central area as the accommodation options are cheaper and affordable. Although being close to the Central area, Wan Chai does have a feel of being slightly more spacious. If weather permits, many people can be seen walking/strolling between Wan Chai and Central quite often. The area comprises of the famous Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre which lies in the vicinity of the main government offices. Admiralty is a slightly upmarket area compared to Wan Chai, however since they lie very close to each other, it can get overwhelming for a first timer to differentiate between the two areas. Admiralty has the beautiful and popular Hong Kong Park along with Bauhinia Square where people gather to watch the beautiful Hong Kong sunset. The MTR trains are very connected from the area and helps people reach places faster and without hassles. The area is ideal for people looking to spend some time in Hong Kong.
Where to stay in Admiralty & Wan Chai
With a traffic signal that is considered and recognized as being one of the busiest in the world, Causeway Bay is the heart and soul of Hong Kong Island. Bustling with people almost round the clock, Caueway Bay with its chaotic, crowded, brightly lit and vibrant surroundings it can wear a first timer down easily. Popular among visitors and locals for low cost high-end gadgets and fashion trends in the backstreets and alleys of Causeway Bay; the area is also full of dining options, cafes and bars that stays open until very late in the night. If the place over-whelms anyone, a stroll through the nearby Victoria Park is recommended.
Where to stay in Causeway Bay
Tsim Sha Tsui
The most popular tourist area in Hong Kong is Tsim Sha Tsui that is more commonly known as TST is located in Kowloon. With amazing views of the skyline from Victoria Harbour, there is no doubt that it attracts the most tourists. Most area in TST are concentrated with tourists – backpackers to luxury travellers who throng the area around Nathan Road that is filled with restaurants, bars and shopping centres. The nightlife in the area is also quite high-spirited and vibrant that often goes on until wee hours of the morning. The other popular spot here is the Avenue of Stars which is the Hong Kong equivalent of Hollywood Walk of Fame. Advisable for people looking for fun, frolic and activities in the same area.
Where to stay in Tsim Sha Tsui
Yau Ma Tei & Mong Kok
Yau Ma Tei & Mong Kok are the more subdued but fascinating areas compared to the shiny and blingy Tsim Sha Tsui. The area although being subdued, consist of a few interesting and colourful markets that deal in items made out of jade, artifacts made of flower, traditional clothing/fabric, etc. The area is often regarded as being ‘stuck in time’ because traditional buildings and houses are still visible. That is also to say – there are quite a few accommodation options which are considered as quirky and artistic. Photographers – both amateur and professional can be found here clicking pictures of the area to get a glimpse into the old days of Hong Kong. This area is recommended for people with artistic and creative curve.
Where to stay in Yau Ma Tei & Mong Kok
With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!
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