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Wallet-Friendly Hong Kong

As someone who doesn’t have a savings account and refuses to spend more than £30 on shoes, when I go on holiday it’s always on a budget. I recently visited notoriously expensive Hong Kong – here are my wallet-friendly highlights:

Shek O
This cute-yet-shabby beach town lies on the south coast of Hong Kong Island and is the perfect day escape from the city. The beach and water are picturesque and the twisty lifeguard towers add to the postcard view. There’s a scattering of shack-like restaurants and bars around (serving the cheapest beer we came across) and it’s only about £1 to get there on the Public Light Bus from Shau Kei Wan station.

Lantau Island
Quite rightly placed near the top of most guidebook's highlights, Lantau island shouldn't be missed. Over half of this huge island is classed as a country park and boasts must-see wonders such as the famous Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and 360 cable car rides. There’s also a bunch of souvenir shops that were noticeably cheaper than those in the city centre.

Great views
Honestly, you can’t really go anywhere in Hong Kong without being struck by the "best" view. Although famous Victoria Peak is a hotspot for most tourists, we found another few places we loved too. For a slice of affordable luxury, Sugar bar (at the top of the East hotel) has a stop-and-stare view over the harbour that rivals most. The tapas and cocktails are reasonably priced (for Hong Kong) and there’s an MTR station right next door. Other captivating views include the observation deck on the 43rd floor of the Bank of China building and the Avenue of the Stars.

Try out the transport
Not as dull as it sounds. Hong Kong offer options from double-decker trams to slow-moving ferries. My advice is to pick up an Octopus card. It’s similar to London’s Oyster system and allows travel on all transport around the city -- that includes the MTR, buses, trams and the ferries. We even spied the option to pay by Octopus card at some retail outlets like McDonald’s and 7 Eleven! Hong Kong also boasts the world’s longest escalator system (which is free of charge) stretching 800m uphill and offering some great snapshots of Kowloon.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, London
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
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Sarah Neate