Hong Kong for First-Timers: 4 Essential Tips to Keep in Mind
The beehive of the East, Hong Kong has become a staple destination for Europeans as well as any global traveller eager to have a taste of their ancient culture, amazing food, and limitless opportunities to enjoy Mother Nature. What’s most essential nowadays is to organize safe travels during the pandemic, especially if you plan to visit this exotic destination from the UK. From taking care of all the proper permits, as well as the still relevant prevention rules, your travel plans will depend on how thorough you are with choosing which sights to add to your list, as well as the kind of flights you book, insurance you take, etc.
Here, we’ll tackle a few of the most vital components of traveling to Hong Kong as soon as the lockdown is over, and you’re permitted to, once again, visit faraway places. For the time being, this little guide can help you brace yourself and make sure that you have everything prepared when that happy moment comes! Here’ what you can do to make the most of your first Hong Kong visit when the ban on travel is lifted
Think: comfort and layers
Sub-tropical or not, Hong Kong can be very fickle when it comes to waves of hot and cold weather, sudden splashes of rain and sweltry heat. Humidity can be through the roof, while nights can get quite cool, so you should keep the season you choose in mind when packing your wardrobe.
The safest bet for all seasons is to pack layers, waterproof shoes (and comfortable flats for the summer months), as well as long sleeves no matter the season. For summer, make sure you opt for light and breathable fabrics, because the humidity levels can be truly staggering, and it makes it easier on your skin!
Find reliable and safe accommodation options
Crowds will be everywhere, so it’s advisable to at least choose your accommodation in parts of Hong Kong that are safe, well-connected, and give you ample privacy. You can look into service apartments in Hong Kong that have all the right amenities for travellers with a superb cleaning service to make sure that hygiene is up to par. With the right base for your trip, it’s much easier to move around and explore.
Ask for available public transportation options that can take you to your desired sightseeing spots, escapades in nature, and the like. For extra safety, share your contact and itinerary with someone back home, and make sure they can reach your accommodation just in case.
Safety first when deciding on your itinerary
The pandemic has redefined how we see safety, but for solo female travellers, some essential habits should still be on the list, in addition to a few new ones that are relevant for the destination in question. If you have booked the right type of accommodation in a safe neighbourhood, you should make sure you’ve learned a few essential phrases in Cantonese, just in case you come across hospitality workers who are struggling with English or you find yourself in an unfavourable situation in the street.
Keep your passport and ID close by, but also make sure you have a copy stored just in case something goes awry. Make sure to only use transportation that’s approved and trusted by locals, so you can download a local taxi app to give yourself options to move around safely, outside of larger, more crowded options.
Don’t miss out on the food staples
Not sure if you’re all that eager to rush to a crowded restaurant when you head to Hong Kong? Makes sense. Still, you cannot go to Hong Kong without trying their exquisite, diverse, and somewhat unconventional flavours and staple dishes. The best way to do that without confining yourself to a restaurant is to head to one of their street food spots, order a dish that represents their culinary scene and start your day right.
Dundas Street is one of those places where you’ll find a slew of different street food options, but be sure to try stinky tofu, delicious egg tarts, and of course, curry fish balls. Grilled squid tentacles are for those of you who enjoy some truly delicious seafood with that “street” edge. Their local coffee is a must, and of course, snack on fried chestnuts from Shantung Street as you peruse the area.
Whatever your reason might be for choosing Hong Kong (and we all know there are many) as your next destination in the post-pandemic world, you should keep these tips in mind. Safety, health, hygiene, and prevention will definitely be part of the travel rulebook for all, and especially UK travellers heading to this part of the world, where crowds can be overwhelming and excursions too alluring to miss out on. Apply some of these when the time comes to go abroad, and you’ll have the chance to explore this vivid place with greater peace of mind!