You may think of it as a country town, but it’s not. Certainly, its density and crowds make it exhilarating at first glance, making it the very definition of a megalopolis. But Hong Kong has its residential areas. Hong Kong has its countryside. Hong Kong is full of history and curiosities to be shared, if one deigns to escape the escalators of Central for more conventional means of transport.
Hong Kong in practice
Telephony and internet
It had never been easier. All I had to do to get a prepaid SIM card was to go to 7/11 (a chain of stores that blooms all over the city). I didn’t even need to show any identification. Several plans are available, but overall the prices of the chip vary from 4 to 9€. And they already contain credit. Sending a text message or making a phone call is enough to activate it! You can visit https://www.simoptions.com/ for more about prepaid SIM cards.
Sleeping in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a real urban jungle. The houses are often tiny because of lack of space! It is not rare to see even the rather wealthy inhabitants living in a kind of rabbit cage at 800€ per month. For my part, I had made great use of Couchsurfing, but if I had to do it again today, I would use Airbnb, the home stay. For more information, check out my guide to Airbnb. And if you follow this link, you’ll get a 30€ discount when you sign up! The other solution, if you’re rather a guesthouse or hotel, is to use the Agoda engine, the one I prefer for my bookings in Asia (the most complete offer).
Transportation in Hong Kong and the Octopus card
According to the railway engineering researcher I had the opportunity to meet, Hong Kong has one of the most effective systems in the world. And I’m tempted to believe it: subways, trams, buses, cheap taxis – everything seems to work in the greatest harmony.
If you’re staying for a few days and plan to travel a lot, it’s worth investing in an Octopus (rechargeable) card that will save you money on all public transport journeys and save you the boredom of having to run to a ticket office or vending machine every time.
The card costs around 15€, and contains 10€ of credit. You can get the 5€ back at the start by returning the card, minus 0.90€ which will be withheld as an administration fee.