More Affordable Attractions in Hong Kong – Hidden Gems in Chinese City

in Hong Kong

Most visitors to Hong Kong spend their time shopping up a storm or hitting the casinos in nearby Macau. These tourists leave the Chinese region with a large hole in their finances, and little sense of Hong Kong’s culture. We’ve looked at some great tourist attractions in Hong Kong before, but in this article we highlight some more of Hong Kong’s hidden gems, the affordable experiences that offer a true taste of the region.

Hong Kong might be famous for its high-tech buildings, but it’s also a sanctuary for nature lovers. Nearby Lantau Island is an oasis located just a short bus trip from Hong Kong International Airport. Make sure you take the trail all the way up to Lantau Peak, a stunning lookout with views of the Shek Pek reservoir below. It’s a favorite spot to see sunrise, but you’ll need to set off early as it takes around two hours to reach the summit! The island is also rich in history, with ancient temples, forts, and other architectural remnants.

A trip to Wetland Park is another treat for admirers of the natural world. The 60-hectare reserve is home to herons, egrets, and kingfishers, so it’s a must-see for bird watchers. The salt-water crocodile Pui Pui is another crowd favorite. Admission costs $30HK, which is the equivalent of roughly $3.80US.

Hong Kong’s beaches are also often overlooked in favor of the city’s sights. However they’re a must for frugal tourists, as you can spend a few days wiling away the hours without spending a cent! The water at Deepwater Bay and Stanley Beaches is quite polluted, so you’re best enjoying time on the sand and the free BBQ pits. If you insist on a dip, head to cleaner waters at Lo So Shing and Silvermine Bay Beaches.

History buffs will love the Hong Kong Museum of History, a museum which teaches visitors about the city’s history from the Stone Age through to the handover from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. Standard tickets cost just $10HK, or $1.30US, but that fee is waived every Wednesday!

If you’re an early riser, make sure you start the day off like the locals with a Tai Chi class. This peaceful form of exercise is the perfect way to relax in the middle of the bustling city. It might seem daunting to master the fluid movements, but they’re much simpler than they look! The Hong Kong Tourism board runs free beginners Tai Chi classes at the Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront and The Peak Tower every weekday except Tuesday from 8 am. Bookings are essential though; call the Hong Kong Tourism Hotline on +852 2508 1234 to reserve your place.

Riding an escalator doesn’t sound very thrilling on paper, but the Hong Kong Central-Mid-Level Escalator is no ordinary escalator. Set above the street level, the escalator system is around 2625 feet long and rises some 443 feet! A one-way trip takes around 25 minutes, making it one of the longest escalator journeys you’re likely to take. Best of all, it’s completely free to ride!

Hong Kong's Lantau Island

Hong Kong’s Lantau Island

And no matter what time of year you visit, the locals are probably celebrating one of China’s many festivals. From Chinese New Year in February through to the hiking holiday dubbed the Cheung Yeung Festival in October, there’s likely to be a party happening in Hong Kong. It’s usually free or close to it to join in the celebrations.

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