A backpacker’s Guide to Hong Kong and Macau
Talking about Hong Kong and Macau at the same time—one can hardly miss out on the fact that these two popular tourist destinations are as diverse in terms of “feel” as two places can get. Macau – for instance- takes you back to “Central Europe” though officially it’s a part of China. This is something which adds a distinctive touch to Macau and maybe – differentiates it from not only Hong Kong but from most of the other Asian destinations as well. The reason – of course- is that Macau remains one of the oldest European colonies in the Orient and the “influences” here are more prominent than in any other Asian region.
Hong Kong and Macau: Are you planning to Backpack?
Both Hong Kong and Macau can turn out to be exceptional backpacking destinations - provided you are doing your homework properly. In the course of the post, we seek to assist you with the same. Do read on!
To start off, let us tell you that Hong Kong does not have a heartening reputation among backpackers with most of the regular travelers complaining about its expensive ways – especially when it comes to tourists. But here we plan to unravel some backpacking tips for you.
Hong Kong, as you have already gauged by now, is not really a quintessential backpacking destination. However, your efforts towards saving can initiate with your search for the quality guesthouses (the number of which is only growing here). They definitely will not cost you as much as the five-star hotels.
In terms of flights, it is actually very easy to reach this place. Hong Kong actually makes for one of the major Asian hubs for air travel making flights frequent and inexpensive with long-distance flights to places like New York, Sydney, and London all taking off from here.
Be informed…Ask the most seasoned travelers out there and they will tell you that Hong Kong is a city with a lot of interesting places that can actually be covered within just three or four days. You can at least cover the major attractions within the timeframe. If you are staying for a week or so you can even expect to cover the beaches of the nearby territories or the exotic greenery of the New Territories.
And when it comes to budget food, we can tell you that you can actually find some of the best Chinese and Cantonese food of the world – right on the streets of Hong Kong! For instance, an entire plate of rice and char siu can be obtained for around $5 or so!
Budget travel in Macau (as with any other place) actually initiates with your search for budget accommodation. Now, it is very important for travelers to learn that in Macau budget accommodation actually starts with 2-star hotels. However you should be prudent enough to find reputed hotels otherwise you may unwittingly end up booking a brothel in the guise of a hotel. Try and avoid the inner harbor area two-star pensions for this reason.
Macau promises you a string of activities that don’t really require you to cough up a fortune such as a hike in the islands (Coloane and Taipa), swimming in Coloane Islands and visiting churches. Apart from this there are many other great attractions you may want to visit but could be put off due to the cost however the Hong Kong iVenture Card can help save you up to 50%. The attraction pass allows access to a whole bunch of attractions and tours in Hong Kong and Macau all for one low price.
Notably, one activity which you cannot even think of indulging in here if you are on a budget is gambling. Yes! Often touted as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is basically home to a number of casinos. Needless to say, tourists do contribute significantly to their business as well. However, backpackers should ideally stay away from them.
You can cover the older part of the city on foot. The place is not really too large just make sure you bring along a pair of comfortable shoes so that you can walk without hassle.
The place offers you access to delicious street food. The Portuguese and Chinese restaurants are mostly expensive, so street food, once again, might as well be the way to go!
Not to forget, backpacking remains a thrilling proposition for many but the challenges pertaining to budget should be dealt with in a prudent fashion. With a limited budget, you are clearly required to conduct more research. We hope that this particular piece has already made you aware of at least a few challenges of budget travel. However, you can easily resolve them by doing your groundwork properly. The more research you do the more you can save and the more you will enjoy your travels.