Everyone knows that space is a rare commodity when it comes to living in Hong Kong – according to findings gathered from the Hong Wrong blog, if everyone lived at the same density as we do in Hong Kong, the human race could fit in Egypt. While the city continues to grow vertically with the increase in high-rise buildings to cater to the population density of the city, some new developments provide cheap options for cash-strapped citizens as property prices continue to skyrocket in the city.

The first capsule hotel in Hong Kong

To help the citizens beat the woes of Hong Kong rent prices, Galaxy Stars Limited has opened up a branch in Hong Kong to provide cheap living options – that is, if you’re ready to give up space and privacy. Inspired by the design of space capsules, owner of Galaxy Stars Limited Eric Wong has created a capsule hotel for tourists or students looking for short-term living arrangements: ‘It’s like you’re an astronaut going up in a spaceship. When you’re travelling, you are out all day and only need a place to sleep at night.’

These capsule rooms are made of plastic with steel reinforcements, where each room is equipped with air-conditioning, power outlets, light switches, a smoke alarm, a TV set and small shelves. At the price of $240 for a single room per night, the room is certainly affordable, but the “room” is around the same size as a single bed, measuring 1.9 metres long, 1.15 metres high and one metre wide. Other than living in a small and cramped space, residents also have to give up their privacy, as the rooms do not have doors due to fire safety reasons – there is merely a blind that can be pulled down for minimal privacy.

Ideal for budget travellers and students

While these types of living conditions sound extremely depressing and similar to the infamous cage homes of Hong Kong, this new development definitely serves a purpose, as it provides an affordable living situation for travellers and students on a budget. Travellers often resort to shared rooms in hostels, but for a similar price they can live in a capsule room and have some form of privacy. The capsule hotel also serves as an ideal living arrangement for university students, as residential hall spaces are limited and if the students live far away from campus, they can choose to live in this capsule hotel to save time on travelling. It also gives them a chance to learn to be independent by living away from home.