Hong Kong can be quite an expensive place to live in when you are an expat just arriving and trying to get your bearings. Typical expat neighbourhoods like Mid-Levels, Discovery Bay and Sai Kung might be nice and convenient but they certain can’t beat the prices of more local-oriented areas. So, if you want to save some real money, it is time that you step out of your comfort zone and explore how locals live.
Where to Live
Aside from the typical neighbourhoods, there are actually plenty of choices for expats. On the island side, there are Kennedy Town and Quarry Bay, where they have a great array of restaurants and recreational facilities and are only a 20-minute ride to Central, with prices of renting a studio as low as HK$7K-8K. Other options include Mui Wo on Lantau Island, a paradise for healthy entertainment like cycling and hiking which is just a 45-minute ferry ride from Central Pier with rental of a 1-bedroom starting at around HK$8.8K, and Lamma Island, which has a beautiful natural landscape and much cheaper rent.
>> Read More: What to do in Kennedy Town
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>> Read More: What to do in Mui Wo
What to Do
The bar scene and nightlife in the expat-frequent Lan Kwai Fong is certainly hype and glamourous but of course, so is the bill that comes after a night of booze and fun. Why not find out what locals do for entertainment? Checking out what people here do for fun can offer you an abundance of alternatives – singing karaoke, playing darts and snooker, eating Chinese desserts, watching midnight matinee, fishing at a pier, visiting night markets, the list goes on and on. These are cool and cheaper options you should definitely consider.
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What to Eat
If you insist on western food like burgers, Hong Kong has one of the cheapest McDonald’s in the world! LOL. Come on, Hong Kong is a foodie heaven, meaning there is good food 24/7 at a reasonable or even cheap price, it all depends on your willingness to explore and try new things. Barbeque pork rice, fish ball or wonton noodles, congee, dim sum… the list doesn’t end. And if you prefer home cooked meals, the wet market is the place to be. Yes, the floor is always wet and slippery and it kind of stinks but nowhere can beat the prices and freshness of wet market meats and veggies. Notable wet markets in Hong Kong include Graham Street Market (Central), Bowring Road Market (Causeway Bay), Chun Yeung Street Market (North Point), Kowloon City Market (Kowloon City) and Tai Po Hui Market (Tai Po). If you are worried about the language barrier, here’s two phrase that will work everywhere – ‘Gei dor chin ar?’ (‘how much?) and ‘Ping d la’ (cheaper please) ,and hawkers will show you the prices on a calculator.
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