Singapore’s proximity to other Asian countries has entitled many Singaporeans to frequent overseas travels. The emergences of budget airlines and AirBnb have further facilitated this privilege – there truly has never been a better time to travel than now.
In this curated guide, we will show you how to travel to Hong Kong with just S$290 (includes air fare, activities, accommodation, transportation and meals). There is no need to stay in a hostel or scrimp on food; traveling on a budget without the compromise of comfort is very possible.
With just S$290 per person, you can sample the best food Hong Kong has to offer and visit iconic sites in 3 days 2 nights.
#1 KAM WAH CAFE
Kam Wah café is a household name amongst the locals; they are renowned for having the best bo lo bao aka pineapple buns (HKD 6 / SGD 1 each) in Hong Kong. Word of its bo lo baos has extended beyond the city’s boundaries and now the cafe receives a significant influx of foodie tourists on a daily basis.
Interestingly, the traditional pineapple buns actually have no traces of the fruit. The name ‘pineapple bun’ was bestowed to the snack due to its uncanny resemblance to the checkered fruit. These legendary sweet buns are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and served warm with a slab of butter in between. Besides their signature pineapple buns, Kam Wah Café also sells many other Hong Kong style dishes at extremely affordable prices.
Kam Wah Cafe is also listed in our guide to Hong Kong’s Best Pineapple Buns.
$: HKD 21 / SGD 3.70 for a breakfast set
G/F, 47 Bute Street
#2 GOLD FISH MARKET
Feng Shui is an integral part of Hong Kong’s culture and gold fishes have been said to bring good luck. While we do not think it is possible to bring a pet gold fish onboard a plane or let even check it in, it is still worth a trip down to the local Gold Fish Market. It was a fascinating sight to see rows of bagged fishes displayed along the street.
The pretty fishes are stored in transparent bags and displayed clearly to onlookers. Besides fishes, most shops sell a variety of other aquatic creatures too such as terrapins and crabs. You will also chance upon a handful of pet shops selling the cutest puppies and kittens along the same street.
Tung Choi Street North
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Accumulated from a few trips’ worth of exploration, we share with you 23 Best Western Cafes in Hong Kong you must visit at least once in your life. Time to look at the city from a different perspective!
#3 HONG KONG’S EGG WAFFLE
Odd looking egg-shaped golden brown waffles called Gai Daan Tsai in Cantonese are sold in almost every street in Hong Kong. The local snack is best described as conjoined balls of cooked batter. The petite waffle is actually very filling due to its high carbohydrate content. The waffle’s eggettes are easily fragmented when plucked and is perfect for sharing. While recipes vary across each vendor, the best egg waffle would be one that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Over the decades, North Point’s delicious fluffy egg waffles have won the hearts of the locals. There are many franchises across Hong Kong to cater to the high demands for it. Unsurprisingly, Hong Kongers have ranked the affordable and tasty egg waffles as their favourite street snack.
$: HKD 15 / SGD 2.60 for an egg waffle
#4 LADIES MARKET
Ladies Market is where you can put your bargain skills to test (and leave your shopaholic girlfriend to rest). The market boasts over 100 stalls selling all sorts of items. The name of the market may be misleading as vendors actually sell more than just ladies’ accessories.
While you might not be looking to purchase anything, it is still interesting to window shop through the market’s chaotic crowd. Do note that the luxury goods are ridiculously cheap only because they are counterfeit. Police raids do happen, though not often and is an exciting sight. Watch in awe as the makeshift stalls disassemble in front of you instantaneously.
Tung Choi Street
Mong Kok, Kowloon
#5 FLOWERS MARKET
It is Valentine’s Day everyday at Flower Market. The breathtaking display of blooming fragrant flowers and potted plants will lift your spirits immediately. Located on Flower Market Road, the market is actually a strip of flower shops selling all sorts of flowers you ever dreamt of. Bouquets are readily available or if you would like, stalks of roses can also be bought at relatively cheap prices.
Flower Market Road
Prince Edward, Kowloon
#6 YUEN PO STREET BIRD GARDEN
The traditional garden is second home to a community of elderly bird hobbyists who are extremely proud of their caged creatures’ gorgeous feathers and melodious chirping. Besides showing off their prized possessions, the Yuen Po Street Garden also serves as a convenient meet up place for the old folks. Take a stroll through the bird park and be captivated by the colourful canaries. Free wifi is also available throughout the garden.
Yuen Po Street
Prince Edward, Kowloon
If you already have an intimate bonding with Hong Kong, how many of these can you resonate with? But if you haven’t been, maybe it is time to fall in love – hard. Here are 29 Reasons To Love Hong Kong:
#7 MAK’S NOODLES
Mak’s Noodles can be found almost everywhere in Hong Kong but the store at Wellington Street is its founding father. The first thing one notices about their signature springy Wanton Noodles (HKD 33 / SGD 5.80) is its tiny palm-size portion, which makes it more of a snack than a meal. Mak’s Noodles specializes in shrimp wantons and its fragrant broth is infused with dried shrimp roe, pork bones and dried flounder.
The brand has been around for more than half a century but its original recipe dates back to more than hundreds of years. Mak’s Noodles had won over the likes of Anthony Bourdain, David Myers and even former China President Chiang Kai Shek. Today, Mak’s Noodles is the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred eatery.
While Mak’s Noodles will be opening in Singapore this July, you would not want to miss the opportunity in dining at the original store!
$: HKD 33 / SGD 5.80 per bowl of noodles
77 Wellington Street
Central, Hong Kong
#8 AVENUE OF STARS
A jogging trail amongst locals by the day and a major tourist site by the night, The Avenue of Stars is a 400 meters long promenade created to pay tribute to Hong Kong’s film industry. As its name suggests, the sidewalk features handprints and signatures of famous Hong Kong movie stars such as Jackie Chan.
A spectacular 13 minutes long lightshow takes place at the Avenue of Stars every night at 8pm and the glitzy performance showcases Hong Kong’s cityscape at its very best. This brilliant show has also been recognised by the Guinness World Records as the ‘World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show’.
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a feast of dim sums. From lukewarm siew mais to freshly baked egg tarts, these dainty snacks surprisingly filled us up quicker than we thought. We highly recommend Maxim’s Palace at City Hall for an afternoon of dim sums.
While visitors may question the authenticity of dim sums at Maxim’s Palace due to its grand décor, you can be rest assured that Maxim’s has actually strived to retain Hong Kong’s traditional traits in every possible way.
From traditional dim sum teahouses, to the cheapest Michelin Starred dim sum restaurants, and very posh Chinese restaurants that offer an exquisite dining experience like no other – here is our guide to Hong Kong’s top 12 dim sum restaurants.
The informative waitresses donned in their aprons push carts filled with delectable dim sums around the grand hall, stopping from time to time to replenish tables of hungry diners. Besides storing endless stacks of bamboo steamed baskets, the trolley also doubles up as a walking menu.
$: HKD 105 / SGD 18.45 per pax
2/F, City Hall
5-7 Edinburgh Place, Central
#10 YUET HIN
For a no-frills and cheaper alternative, venture into the backyards of Hong Kong’s local neighbourhoods and you may discover an unexpected treat. Yuet Hin offers equally mouthwatering dim sums at half of Maxim’s price. The shop’s clientele is predominantly local but features a few unique take on dim sums.
$: HKD 50 / SGD 8.70 per pax
G/F, 27 – 29 Luen Hing Street
Luen Wo, Fanling
#11 THE PEAK
Everyone knows about The Peak for its amazing panoramic views of Hong Kong. Getting up to The Peak is however the tricky part. You can choose to take the bus number 15 (HKD 10 / SGD 1.75), taxi (HKD 45 / SGD 7.85 from Central MTR), tram or even walk.
While the classic tram (HKD 53 / SGD 9.25 for one way) is the most preferred transportation method, peak travel periods will have you enduring a painful queue of up to an hour or more. It takes about 90 minutes to hike up The Peak. Upon arrival, you can visit Victoria Peak Galleria’s roof top terrace for free.
Mid Levels, Hong Kong
#12 SHEUNG WAN
The eclectic neighbourhood of Sheung Wan is a hot spot for hipsters, fashion instagrammers and gourmands. Take an hour or two to explore the vicinity with your camera, where an enclave of indie-looking shops is waiting to be discovered. From stylish cafes and coffee shops to the humble old school Cha Chaan Tengs, Sheung Wan is filled with surprises at every turn.
$: From HKD 20 / SGD 3.50 for coffee
#13 YAT LOK GOOSE RESTAURANT
Famed for their award winning succulent roast goose meat, Yat Lok Goose Restaurant has gained a special place in the hearts of both local Hong Kongers and foreigners. The geese have been roasted to perfection – juicy tender meat with a crispy glistening skin that tastes amazing on its own.
The signature meat is served with a sweet plum dipping sauce and bowls of plain rice/noodles. Despite being recommended in the Michelin guide and raved about by various international TV personalities, the family business remains humble and keeps their prices affordable.
$: From HKD 50 / SGD 8.80 for a main
G/F, 34 -38 Stanley Street
Central Hong Kong
#14 LAN KWAI FONG
With over 90 bars, clubs and restaurants, Lan Kwai Fong is a notorious party district and the ideal destination for Hong Kong’s nightlife. ‘Happy Hour’ in Hong Kong starts at 5pm and ends at 9pm, where you can get an iced cold beer at a steal (about HKD 20 / SGD 3.50 per bottle).
The end of ‘Happy Hour’ is actually only the beginning of the entertainment Lan Kwai Fong has to offer. There are many nightclubs in the vicinity that open till the wee hours and popular clubs include Magnum Club and Dragon-I. Cover charges do apply, but females are entitled to free admission and complimentary drinks on ladies night.
$: From HKD 20 / SGD 3.50 a beer during happy hour
#15 TSUI WAH
Tsui Wah is akin to fast food chains with the primary difference being that they too sell Cantonese food such as wanton noodles. While Tsui Wah may not be a dining destination worth making a special trip to, it offers comforting filling meals at very low prices. Some of the outlets are open 24 hours and is a great option for supper. We particularly enjoyed their Fish Balls and Fish Cakes in Fish Soup (HKD 30 / SGD 5.30) – their fish balls are actually made fresh daily!
$: Mains start from HKD 30 / SGD 5.30
A trip to Hong Kong is not complete without eating at Cha Chaan Teng. Here’s a list of the Top 10 Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng.
TOTAL EXPENSES PER PERSON FOR 3D2N (ALL-INCLUSIVE)
AirBnb Stay (2 nights): SGD $100 (for 2 persons)
Return airplane tickets: SGD $136** (per person)
Transportation + Return airport transfer: SGD $43.60
Food: SGD $60.40
Attractions: Mostly free (assuming no shopping was done)
TOTAL: SGD $290 per person (all-inclusive)
** This fare is based on the ticket that we booked (a month and six days in advance the trip) without check in baggage.
About the writer:
Hui Jun Ng was previously a marketing executive and freelance photographer in the food industry. Her work has been published on Epicure, Lifestyle Asia and Meld Magazine etc. She is currently on a break and traveling around the world. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram or The Keepers Map where she shares useful curated travel itineraries.