Hong Kong is not exactly known for being cheap. The former British colony, perched on the shore of the South China Sea, frequently graces ‘most expensive cities in the world’ lists for its sky-high rents, acres of posh shopping malls, and dazzling displays of wealth (think Rolex shops on every other corner, women clutching Prada bags as they hail taxis, lapdogs in bejewelled collars).
But despite its glitz, the city still has plenty of bargains – provided you know how to find them. In general, Hong Kong Island itself is the most expensive part of town, while the Kowloon Peninsula across the harbour and the adjoining New Territories are gentler on the wallet.
The home to dim sum, brisket noodles, huge fluffy pork buns and other delights, Hong Kong abounds in budget eats. Wherever you go, the city has hole-in-the-wall restaurants with lines snaking out the door. Unlike many Asian cities, Hong Kong does not have a huge street food presence these days. But just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there – former street vendors now hawk their bowls of noodles, dumplings and braised chicken feet inside public ‘cooked food centres’. The unadorned concrete-and-tile design of these buildings can look a little forbidding, but they generally have produce, meat and fish markets on their bottom floors, and cooked food on the top.
When it comes to free things, you can’t beat nature. Those who haven’t visited Hong Kong before are often shocked by how green th...