Categories
Top Resorts

Anantara Ubud Bali Resort Set for Mid-2022 Launch

Anantara Ubud Bali Resort Set for Mid-2022 Launch
gaurav.banerji
Mon, 08/30/2021 – 12:50

Categories
Cruises

Crystal River Cruises Resumes Operations

Crystal River Cruises Resumes Operations
gaurav.banerji
Mon, 08/30/2021 – 12:37

Categories
Top Resorts

W Philadelphia Opens August 20 in Downtown Philly

W Philadelphia Opens August 20 in Downtown Philly
gaurav.banerji
Thu, 08/19/2021 – 14:01

Categories
Top Beaches

Free Gospel Festival Set to ‘Make Waves’ in Myrtle Beach

The Waves of Praise Gospel Festival is coming back to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Friday and Saturday, September 3-4, 2021 – and you won’t want to miss it! This two-day festival features an array of local, regional and national gospel groups and performers and admission is free.

Friday is honoree night and weekend jumpoff and performances begin at 6:00 p.m. at the Burroughs & Chapin Pavillion Place (812 N Ocean Boulevard) in downtown Myrtle Beach. Special musical guests include Swanee Quintet and Gemeyal Brown, and other performances will include the Spiritually Anointed and Anthony Brown. While admission is free, parking throughout the weekend is located Pavilion Parking Garage 914 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, for a fee. 

Saturday’s events will take place back along the ocean at Burroughs & Chapin Pavilion Place  and will begin at 2:00 p.m and end at 10:00 p.m. Saturday’s attendees will be able to catch performances by a number of gospel artists, including The McDuffies, Tamela Mann, Damon Little, The Clark Sisters, Travis Greene, and many more! See the full lineup on the Waves of Praise event website

Vendors will be on-site for food, beverages, and souvenirs; there will be a Kid Zone, and bringing a beach chair or blanket is a good idea. No outside food or drinks will be allowed into the festival, but free water will be available. Face masks are recommended. 

For more information on the Waves of Praise Gospel Fest, visit www.mbwavesofpraise.com.

Categories
Top Resorts

Mandarin Oriental Opens Urban Resort in Istanbul

Mandarin Oriental Opens Urban Resort in Istanbul
mturner
Mon, 08/23/2021 – 12:07

Categories
Cruises

Viking Announces Parallel 2023-24 World Cruises

Viking Announces Parallel 2023-24 World Cruises
gaurav.banerji
Fri, 08/27/2021 – 11:44

Categories
Top Beaches

On Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Today, we are traveling to Myrtle Beach, one of the 14 beautiful communities of the Grand Strand, as we explore down the 60 miles of coastline that make up our area. Where do we start with all there is to see, do and eat in Myrtle Beach? Well, keep on reading as we highlight our favorite things to do, adventures, and restaurants in Myrtle Beach.

The SkyWheel is an icon of the Myrtle Beach skyline, as it is located right on the Boardwalk and can be seen from almost any spot on the beach. The SkyWheel is 37 stories high and offers rides in air-conditioned gondolas where you will be able to see one of the best views of the Atlantic Ocean and Myrtle Beach.

You must start the day with the most important meal – breakfast. Head over to Croissants Bistro & Bakery, a French bistro inspired restaurant where you will find buttery pastries and other breakfast dishes all made fresh. Or check out Johnny D’s Waffles and Bakery, a diner style restaurant with famous waffles, eggs benedict, and omelets. They both have delicious menu items sure to please everyone in your family.

An undeniable must-see is the Gay Dolphin Gift Shop, located on the Boardwalk. A fixture of both Myrtle Beach past and present, visitors have been finding their favorite souvenirs for over 70 years at the Gay Dolphin. Find your name on their iconic blue license plates or pick out a t-shirt to wear back home!

While you are at the Boardwalk, visit The Funplex, an amusement park right off Ocean Boulevard. The Funplex offers 7 different rides for all ages, ranging from mild to adventurous, and has a beverage bar and food options that are not only tasty, but unique and fun. The Funplex also just opened a new ride, Mach Fun, the tallest flying jet ride in North America.  

For outstanding views of the Atlantic Ocean, eat lunch or dinner at Riptydz Oceanfront Grille and Rooftop Bar. Riptydz has both indoor seating and a rooftop that offers unobstructed views and a menu with options from burgers to seafood to specialty mac and cheese.

Our next stop is Broadway at the Beach , a shopping, entertainment, and dining complex only a few blocks from the ocean. Located in Broadway at the Beach, the Simpsons in 4D is the perfect family friendly entertainment spot with themed snacks and drinks at the Kwik-E-Mart. The Hollywood Wax Museum , also located at Broadway at the Beach, is home to your famous stars – wax museum style of course! The Hollywood Wax Museum also offers a mirror maze and zombie experience that will keep the entire family amused for hours.

Night shot of marquee at Simpsons 4D at Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach, SC

Ripley’s Aquarium, also located at Broadway at the Beach, is an enchanting two-story aquarium filled with all types of aquatic life. If you love penguins as much as we do, you have to try the Penguin Encounter, where you can learn about and pet a penguin. Ripley’s also has a glass tunnel so you can walk underneath the “water” and see the fish and sharks from above.

If you are looking for fine dining or date night location, Hook & Barrel is owned and operated by award-winning chef, Heidi Vukov, and is famous for excellence in fresh, sustainable cooking. Sea Captain’s House is another renowned restaurant in Myrtle Beach, where its traditional coastal dishes like she crab soup and fresh fish have stood the test of time for over 50 years.

And of course, there is always the beach! For the vacationers who like to stay active, there are watersports galore, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boating. Check out the watersports page on our website for more information.

Banana Boating

Did you know that the first state park in South Carolina is located in Myrtle Beach? The Myrtle Beach State Park is located right on the beach and spans one entire mile. The park provides secluded campsites, a nature trail, a fishing pier, and educational opportunities to learn about the oceanfront maritime forest.

Next, head over to The Market Common, a beautifully-designed village shopping and dining center, located near the Myrtle Beach International Airport. From retail shops and local boutiques to a relaxing movie theatre and restaurants, The Market Common is when you can shop-til-you-drop and relax all at the same time, all in one place.

Myrtle Beach also hosts two famous festivals, among others in the area. The Sun Fun Festival, which marks the start of the summer season in Myrtle Beach, began in 1951 and is both nostalgic and fun for all ages. The second is the Carolina Country Music Festival, or CCMF, featuring country music stars such as Eric Church and Kelsea Ballerini during a 3-day long festival in mid-June. Thousands of people join us in Myrtle Beach for CCMF, and next year, you could be one of them!

If you are interested in learning more about the history of Myrtle Beach, and the entire Grand Strand, visit our Area History page.

Now, all you have left to do is plan your next beach vacation and find an oceanfront room at the perfect resort or hotel in Myrtle Beach! Many accommodations in the area are featuring deals, so that your family can experience all the fun in Myrtle Beach at an affordable price. Check out our hotel deals page for this information. We can’t wait to welcome you at The Beach!

Myrtle Beach Hotels

Categories
Top Scenery Views

Tackling Single-Use Plastic in Miami Beach

This blog is written by Victoria SanJuan, Victoria is a passionate ocean lover and professional scuba diver who is currently studying biology at Florida Atlantic University. As the Communications Intern for Big Blue & You, she worked on newsletter composition, social media branding, and content generation.  She believes in being the change you wish to see in the world and inspiring others to care for our earth. 

As younger generations come along, they develop their own priorities and face new challenges. At this time in our history, younger generations are concerned about their futures on the planet, threatened by the climate crisis, plastic pollution and other environmental dangers. Many young people have been told that they can’t do anything to solve these problems because the problems are much bigger than they are—or that they’re too young to really have an impact for change. But young activists think otherwise.

Miami Beach is a hotspot for tourism—and for single-use plastics.

Litter from single-use plastics is suffocating the city’s beaches and marine life. This summer, a group of motivated, and very impressive, high school students have been hungry to change that.

<!– –>

These aspiring young conservationists, called Big Blue Crew’s “Plastic Free MVPs”, met and contacted businesses about their use of plastic products. The MVPs proposed sustainable solutions for the establishments. Their goal is to gradually reduce Miami Beach businesses’ plastic practices and prove that sustainability can be beneficial to business owners’ wallets and improve the health of the local environment. Altogether, they have enrolled more than 10 businesses in less than a month. The future will be brighter if a program like this can run year-round!

Businesses that pledge to use sustainable products are promoted by Debris Free Oceans and the City of Miami Beach on social media. They receive a plaque, which they can exhibit to customers, that states they are an Ocean-Friendly Establishment  and are featured on Miami Beach’s ocean-friendly business website.

This initiative was developed through the passion and dedication of Ocean Conservancy, Big Blue & You and Debris Free Oceans to promote the Shores Forward partnership with Miami Beach. #PlasticFreeMB is a promising step in the sustainability movement for Miami Beach.

This has been a significant shift in the youth taking more control of their futures.

Big Blue & You is honored to train and guide these teenage activists to accomplish this important challenge. We hope that the local youth can inspire other potential activists to continue advocating for change in their home cities. Together, we can position Miami Beach as a plastic-free role model.

The post Tackling Single-Use Plastic in Miami Beach appeared first on Ocean Conservancy.

Categories
Food & Drink

Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Hong Kong

Fast internet. Impressive co-working spaces. Ample networking opportunities. Dumplings (obviously). Hong Kong has begun to embrace its entrepreneurial spirit and Digital Nomads are taking notice!

This is a city of unparalleled energy, and having been based here for the past six months, I have a really good grasp of what it’s like living in Hong Kong.

Digital Nomads – if you’re looking at Hong Kong for a long or short-term stay, I’ll show you the tips and tricks to lower the cost during your time here and share all the exciting aspects of Hong Kong life.

In this Digital Nomad Guide to living in Hong Kong, we are going to look over everything about living here — accommodation, internet, food, entertainment, and networking opportunities.

I leave no stone unturned, so you can plant yourself in this city and confidently get some work done. 

Here’s my guide to living in Hong Kong as a digital nomad.

About Hong Kong

Asia’s “World City” as it is commonly referred to is a semi-autonomous territory in the far south of China. The area comprises the large and mountainous New Territories, Hong Kong Island and the Outlying Islands.

The dazzling skyscrapers of the downtown area are centred around Victoria Harbour which separates Kowloon from Hong Kong Island by a thin stretch of water.

Hong Kong was a British Overseas Territory from 1841 to 1997, when it was handed back to China, and as such, the city has a unique blend of British and Chinese culture.

You can be shopping at Marks and Spencer one moment and enjoying Dim Sum in a small, lantern-filled back alley the next.

The territory is home to 24 national parks and you may be surprised at how wild and rugged these areas can be so close to the city.

In these parks, you can find a wide variety of flora and fauna from dolphins and turtles to monkeys, water buffalo and even giant Burmese pythons!

Hong Kong for Digital Nomads

Hong Kong is the perfect destination for digital nomads thanks to its modern infrastructure and world-record-breaking WiFi speeds.

Here you will find some of the best remote working spots in the world with views of the harbour, city skyline, mist-covered mountains and sea views.

living in hong kong

The city is very easy to get around thanks to its compact size.

It has one of the best public transport systems in the world which includes a 10-line MTR (subway) system plus a network of buses, trams, taxis and ferries that can take you anywhere within the territory.

The world-famous Star Ferry crisscrosses the harbour between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from 6am to 11pm every day and the crossing takes just 8 minutes and costs $3.20 HKD (that’s about $0.40 US cents)!

In addition to the thousands of food stalls, cafes and restaurants, the FoodPanda app is a great way for people living in Hong Kong to have a range of cuisines delivered directly to their door.

Looking to keep fit as a digital nomad in Hong Kong? There’s little excuse not to hit one of the hundreds of hiking/jogging trails around the city (Victoria Peak is perfect for joggers).

However, if you prefer to hit the weights bench, then the city’s vast array of gyms can keep you toned.

Is Hong Kong Safe?

Hong Kong is a safe city, but as with anywhere, there are some things to be aware of.

Crime

Hong Kong is regarded as one of the safest cities in the world thanks to its low crime levels compared to western cities like London and New York.

For example, the Economist rated Hong Kong the sixth safest place in the Asia-Pacific region. You will not feel unsafe walking around the city at night, but of course take the same precautions you would anywhere else.

However, although violent crime is extremely rare, Hong Kong has seen some civil unrest over the past two years thanks to China’s controversial National Security Law.

Some residents feel that the city is losing its autonomy as Beijing seems to be ignoring the “One Country, Two Systems” ethos that the territory has previously enjoyed.

Wildlife

One of the most prevalent dangers, especially to hikers or people living in smaller villages (sometimes even in the city itself) are Hong Kong’s snakes.

Out of the 40 species that call the territory home, nine of them can cause potentially lethal bites.

The beautiful but deadly bamboo pit viper has been spotted on the trail around Victoria Peak, and a cursory glance over the Hong Kong Snake ID Facebook page will show that the city’s kraits, cobras and vipers can be found almost anywhere.

Hong Kong is located in the tropics, so the coastal waters around the city are home to some dangerous sea life. As with the snakes, and indeed any wildlife, if you leave them alone, they will usually return the favour!

Admire from afar, and never pick any creatures up (for their benefit as much as your own).

So, providing you stay away from any protests, don’t pick up any snakes and swim at the city’s beaches with lifeguards and nets, you can enjoy all that this wonderful place has to offer knowing you are in one of the safest places in the world!

The Best Areas to Live in Hong Kong

Kowloon makes an excellent option for digital nomads living in Hong Kong. Its close proximity to the city (8 minutes by ferry), MTR stations, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants mean you have all you need on your doorstep.

One thing to be aware of is that space comes at a premium in Hong Kong.

Your money won’t go as far as it would in other cities and the sizes of rooms and apartments may be a lot smaller than what you are used to. But with so much to do on your doorstep, this should not matter too much.

Tsim Sha Tsui

The area around Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station (known locally as “TST”) is a great place for digital nomads in Hong Kong.

The Star Ferry is a five-minute walk away, it is home to the large i-Square shopping centre (and rooftop restaurant), gyms, bakeries, laundrettes and there is a thriving bar scene along Ashley Road.

Jordan

Just one stop farther north from TST and as a result slightly cheaper accommodation, Jordan is another great place to live in Hong Kong. It offers all the same amenities as Tsim Sha Tsui and benefits from its own MTR station.

Tsuen Wan

Tsuen Wan in the New Territories is around 12km north of Hong Kong Island but is a great option for those wanting better access to the mountains and trails. The town is packed full of everything you need and has great transport links to the city.

How to Find Apartments in Hong Kong

No Digital Nomad guide to living in Hong Kong would be complete unless we had a good chat about lodging.

In Hong Kong, co-working, food, transport, and sights can be done cheaply… but there is no way around the fact that you are going to pay a hefty price for a place to stay.

With an effective strategy, you can feel confident that you’re getting a fair price. Your accommodation strategy for HK should be based on the duration of your stay.

A Digital Nomad looking to stay for three days will have very different options than a Digital Nomad looking to stay for three months.

Short Term Stay

For Digital Nomads on a short-term stay (less than 3 weeks) the best option is going to be jumping around via Couchsurfing, staying in hostels or hotels, or renting an apartment through Airbnb.

Couchsurfing

As of writing this, there are nearly 30,000 registered Couchsurfing hosts in HK.

If Couchsurfing is your thing, finding a host should be easy. This is (obviously) your cheapest lodging option, and is highly recommended if you are new to HK. Couch-surf for a few days, save some money, meet some locals, and get your bearings.

Hotels

While the Hong Kong hostel scene is still well behind its Asian counterparts, they are playing catch up and making drastic changes.

Grimy Chungking Mansion used to be the only place travellers could find cheap-ish lodging. Now a quick look at Booking.com tells us a different story.

Tokyo-esque hostels and hotels (modern, clean, spacious rooms with fast wifi) are popping up all over the city, many with work spaces as well.

Add in the fact that you get free water, a nice clean (shared) kitchen, and a good location, staying in a hotel or hostel for a couple of weeks may not be so bad — especially if you are a solo digital nomad.

Airbnb

Airbnbs used to be much cheaper in Hong Kong, but the prices are steadily rising. The cheapest rooms can be found in the range of $30-$50 USD a night.

Sometimes the place is shared with other flatmates, sometimes you can get a private studio. Typically, the space will be very, very small. 

If you jump up to the range of $75-$100 USD a night, you will have some incredible options, which would typically include a work-friendly station, be modern and bright, and include all amenities (kitchen).

life in hong kong

Mid to Long Term Stay

If you are looking to stay in Hong Kong for longer than a month, you should be looking into renting an apartment. Airbnb is the easiest route, but not necessarily the most economical.

Airbnb

One of the best places to find apartments in the city thanks to the dedicated Hong Kong website. You can check the handy reviews to make sure the place meets your needs, and there are some excellent discounts (up to 50%) for long-term stays.

Most of the apartments around the $800 – $1000 USD/month are legitimate options. Airbnb prices are on average $200-300 more a month than you would pay to rent an apartment through local means.

But, renting an apartment through local listings is not without its challenges.

With Airbnb there’s the ease of use and booking, no security deposit necessary, you can pay with credit card, properties are reviewed and typically, there aren’t any scams if you’re on the official platform.

Local Listings

As with any major city, there are a plethora of websites that can connect you to real estate agents, aspiring renters, and flats looking for flatmates. Often such listings will require year-long leases, but there are plenty of short-term deals to be found.

HongKongAsiaXpat, Squarefoot, and Geoexpat are good places to look if you’re interested in renting out an entire apartment. 

Truth be told, it’s difficult when it comes to local listings as they can vary by the day. I found my apartment through friends. $5600 HKD plus bills ($719 USD) a month to live in Cheung Sha Wan.

First month’s rent + security deposit for a 4-month lease which was then extended to month to month.

You will find many options similar to what I found. It will come down to personal preference and how actively you are searching. But if you don’t mind putting in the time, it could save you upwards of $200 USD a month.

Wifi in Hong Kong

For Digital Nomads, the line between sanity and insanity is drawn by your wifi connection. Hong Kong internet is fast. Super fast.

coworking spaces living in hong kong

One of the best things about living in Hong Kong as an expat is the super-fast, city-wide WiFi. In January 2021 the city broke the record for fastest WiFi speed at a staggering 226.8 Mbps!

There is free WiFi at MTR stations, the Star Ferry terminals, on buses, ferries and in public spaces. There is usually a limit of two connections per day and 30 minutes per connection (though this does vary depending on where you are in the city).

I would strongly recommend using a VPN when connecting to the internet in Hong Kong.

This not only protects your private data like email accounts and passwords but enables you to unblock websites banned by the Chinese government — which given the way things are going, is very likely.

Nord VPN is a good option. 

There’s a cafe culture in Hong Kong, and in many of them you will find people on their laptops, but working 9 hours in a coffee shop isn’t really a thing here. This is one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Space is extremely limited and extremely expensive.

Coffee shops will have time limits for Wifi (some don’t even offer it) and typically they want you in and out.

Having said that, there are coffee shop options, you just gotta know where to find them (check out this great list from Foursquare). Outside of coffee shops, you need to either work from where you are staying or pay for a Co-Working space.

Co-Working Spaces in Hong Kong

With dozens of options, and more being built by the month — finding Co-working spaces in Hong Kong is easy! The hard part is finding one that isn’t expensive or doesn’t require a membership.

Hong Kong Island is the financial capital of HK and has the highest concentration of co-working spaces. But with financial capital influence comes financial capital prices.

Most of these co-working spaces are gorgeous and have lots of amenities… but they aren’t cheap. Kowloon provides cheaper alternatives to HK Island, my favorite being Ooosh (where I’m currently writing this article).

working as a digital nomad in hong kongCo-Working at Ooosh

The internet is fast. The coffee is free. The prices are fair. 

While you may find other Digital Nomads, Ooosh is a mostly local spot, so it might not provide the best networking opportunities. 

But if you are looking for something professional and affordable, it’s perfect for a temporary office. Below are some of the best places for digital nomads to work in Hong Kong:

  • The Desk – with offices in some of the most sought-after areas of the city (Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Hung Hom and Sai Wan), the Desk offers sleek co-working space and excellent opportunities for networking.
  • The Hive – My personal favourite co-working space thanks to its beautiful garden terrace. The clientele tends to be more creative rather than business, so perfect for digital nomads to network! Prices start at $2,200 HKD ($282 USD) per month for a “hot desk”.
  • Desk One – A great option thanks to the daily (and even hourly) rates rather than the usual monthly subscriptions. From $44 HKD per hour.
  • Nexen Workshop – Prefer to work when others are sleeping/partying? Well, Nexen has you covered with its 24/7 co-working spaces across the city! Popular with the new generation of remote workers.
  • Cats Tea Room – If like me you are a cat lover, why not consider working at one of Hong Kong’s many “cat cafes” such as the Cats Tea Room in TST?! Nothing like being surrounded by some feline friends to get those creative juices flowing (though it’s debatable how much work you can get done). It’s $68 HKD ($8.75) per hour including one free drink.

Cost of Living in Hong Kong

Living in Hong Kong is an immensely rewarding experience, however, it can become quite expensive if you don’t watch your spending.

The cost of living in Hong Kong is high compared to other cities in Asia, but that’s to be expected given its status as a financial capital of the world.

Digital nomads in Hong Kong should budget around $20,000 HKD per month ($2,570 USD).

The goals of many digital nomads are to lower the cost of travel and to create income to sustain travels (we at NomadsNation refer to this as The Two Nomad Commandments). 

I spend around $2,000 USD per month living in Hong Kong. But, you could spend less or much more than that. Have a look at these easy online jobs to supplement your current work if you need some extra cash. 

Room Costs in Hong Kong

Due to the limited space, many people rent a room in a shared apartment complex. This will cost anywhere from $3,000 HKD ($385) per month for a windowless box-room to $10,000 HKD ($1,285) for something a little more comfortable.

Apartment Costs in Hong Kong

The average monthly rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Hong Kong is $12,000 to $20,000 HKD ($1,540 – 2,570 USD).

Food Costs in Hong Kong

One of the best things about living in Hong Kong as an expat is the food scene.

You can pick up a breakfast bun on the street for a few cents, or you can blow a month’s salary on Michelin-starred dining, and there is plenty in between.

If you want to eat at “western” restaurants then expect to pay upwards of $150 HKD ($19 USD) per meal. If you want to try out many of the Chinese places then you can get a bowl of noodles for under $50 HKD ($6.50 USD).

what to eat when living in hong kong

Given Hong Kong’s year-round good weather and the number of parks and beaches, picnicking is a great option and will save you money on meals out.

A pint of craft beer in a pub costs around $80 HKD ($10.30 USD). Expect to pay around $40 ($5) in the supermarket. A half-decent bottle of wine can be had for under $100 HKD ($12.85 USD), and two litres of the cheapest bottled water costs $13 HKD ($1.70).

Transport Costs in Hong Kong

Any digital nomad in Hong Kong will want to pick up an Octopus Card as the first thing you do.

Similar to the Oyster Card in London, Octopus lets you pay for the city’s MTR trains, buses, trams and ferries at a reduced rate. The card can also be used to pay for groceries at places like Marks and Spencer and 7-11.

Transport in Hong Kong won’t break the bank and is cheaper than in similar cities in the west.

Most bus journeys don’t exceed $15 HKD ($2 USD) and the ferries are surprisingly cheap. A trip to Lantau Island (one hour) will cost from just $16.60 HKD ($2.15).

Taxi fares start at $20 HKD ($2.60 USD) and then go up by $1.70 every 200 metres, so they are best only for the shortest of trips.

Networking

If you are a Digital Nomad in Hong Kong and you like to network or have been thinking about networking, now is the time to take advantage!

Hong Kong loves networking and makes it easy. There are ample networking opportunities, so many that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

First off – follow your interests! Check Meetup Hong Kong and Eventbrite Hong Kong for groups and events that are related to what you’re into.

Coding, start-ups, entrepreneurs, vegans, films, puppetry! Whatever you are into, HK most likely has a networking group.

Another option is to put on a tie and check out some business networking functions with your country’s chamber, or check out a Young Professional Group.

A bit on the stuffier side, but it will put you into contact with a new group of people and thinkers. If you are new to networking, you’ll benefit in Hong Kong by being very proactive. Networking is as effective as you make it.

Making goals is a good idea. Focus on making two really good connections, or buying one interesting person a drink, or setting up a lunch appointment.

Another networking hack is to focus on the host. Arrive early at networking events and get to know the organizer/host. Let them know you’re new in town and they’ll likely give you direct introductions to other people as they arrive. 

SIM Cards in Hong Kong

In the Chungking Mansions, one can get SIM cards super easily and super cheaply. After walking into the main entrance, just turn right and you will be bombarded by Indian and Bangladeshi men yelling “SIM card? SIM card?!?”

china-mobile-sim-card-hong-kong

I bought a Mobile China SIM card for $150 HK ($19.34) for the card and $78 HK ($10 USD) a month for unlimited 4G data.

If you need a SIM card for international calls and texts there are other options, but it’s a good price for the data and it’s super fast.

Barter with the salesman. They might try to charge you more (you might even be able to get it for less), and if it’s not working, walk away and find a different vendor. There are dozens of other options. If heading to the “mansion” isn’t your thing, click here for other options.

Transportation in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has one of the greatest public transportation systems on the planet (some even say it’s the best). Between the subway (MTR) and buses, you can get anywhere, and Uber and affordable cabs give you a convenient third option.

Octopus Card

When arriving in Hong Kong, the first thing you need to do is get yourself an Octopus card. It’s $39 HKD ($5 USD) without any stored value. 

This card does not only give you access to the entirety of the city’s public transit, but is also an accepted form of payment at convenience stores, restaurants, and thousands of things in between.

The city is becoming increasingly Octopus friendly, and I’m finding an increasing number of days where I never need to use cash for a single purchase. Octopus rules Hong Kong. You’ll love it.

MTR

Clean. Safe. Beyond Efficient. On par with Tokyo, Seoul, and Singapore, Hong Kong’s MTR is state of the art.

transportation mtr in hong kong

The MTR single-handedly can get you almost everywhere you need to go, and it’s only getting better as they are investing 7 billion dollars into expanding and replacing outdated trains.

The heart of the city is connected by this web of underground trains, which means you’ll never have to walk more than 10 minutes (+ time on train) to get anywhere.

Outside of Kowloon and Central, it might prove to be more challenging to find a direct path via subway, but that’s what the buses are for.

Buses

Buses are a bit more challenging to get the hang of, but once you do you might completely leave the MTR behind. Compared to the simple-to-navigate-MTR, the buses can come across as intimidating — but you need not be afraid!

With a minimal amount of research on Google Maps, you’ll easily be able to conquer Hong Kong bus life.

After six months of crowded MTR rides (nowhere near as lawless as mainland China’s, but still hectic) I’m smitten to take buses any chance I get.

There are two types of buses in HK – regular buses and minibusses. Regular buses are the big double-deckers. They are spacious, cheap, and easy to navigate. Just use Google maps to find the best route.

The mini-buses are a bit different. Mini-bus drivers are entrepreneurs that have bought the buses outright, maintain them, and have the ability to work different routes. Their buses are their business!

transportation in hong kong for digital nomadsMini-buses. Cheap and available but beware – the drivers go really fast!

Because of this entrepreneurial spirit, Hong Kong’s mini-buses operate more like taxi services. There are established routes, but the drivers will deviate from the path if you need to be dropped off somewhere on the way.

As cool as that is, unless you speak Cantonese, there is little chance you’ll be able to take advantage of this service.

But it’s good to know so you don’t have a heart attack when your van is deviating from the route Google Maps told you it would take. Don’t worry, you’ll get to where you need to go, just after a brief detour… or five.

Cabs

Hong Kong taxis are phenomenal alternatives to public transit, and are relatively cheap. The first two kilometers will run you $22 HKD ($2.84 USD), and the fare jumps $1.60 HKD ($.21 USD) every 200 meters.

I recommend taking cabs when needed, especially in groups as there is no surcharge for additional passengers. The challenge with cabs (similar to minibusses) is that most of the drivers are not fluent in English, and are exponentially less fluent in English the further from Central you are.

An easy fix? Google Translate.

Uber

Uber is technically available in Hong Kong, but has received lots of pushback from the taxi companies.

Where and What to Eat

Digital Nomads – get excited! When it comes to food, Hong Kong is amazing.

Local Food and Street Eats

Local cuisine is cheap and tasty and Hong Kong is the epitome of an international city, with cuisines from all over the world.

You can eat authentic Indian, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, Indonesian, and Thai food for super cheap, and quality Western food for a higher price.

You can consistently find delicious food from $35 HKD ($4.50 USD) to $50 HK ($6.45 USD). Pork dumplings purchased on the side of the road are so delicious and only cost $8 HK ($1 USD) for all three.

cost of living in hong kong street food

Cheap Dim Sum is ubiquitous in Hong Kong. Four shrimp dumplings only cost $24 HK ($3 USD). Sit-down restaurants can be just as affordable as street food. The most likely options are going to be soupy-noodle dishes.

As ubiquitous as Dim Sum is the immortal Beef Noodle. There’s a beef noodle stand on every corner in Hong Kong, and these dishes will rarely run you over $5 USD.

While one can easily find expensive restaurants in HK, there’s no need to ever spend more than $80 HKD ($10.31 USD) on a meal. I will from time to time, but it will rarely be necessary.

Western Food

With HK being a major city, you can absolutely find food that is more familiar but expect to pay closer to the $20 USD mark.

Good burgers can be found around HK and if you are craving a slice, Paisano’s Pizzeria has three locations and will serve you a NY-style piece of pizza bigger than your head for around $50 HKD ($6.45 USD).

Produce

It’s Asia. Cooking doesn’t really save you much money. Fruits and veggies are very affordable, and can be purchased on basically any corner, but meat is a bit pricier and will negate any financial edge you were hoping to gain.

living in hong kong as a digital nomad shopping at marketsYou’ll see a million street corners that look like this in HK

Having said that, Hong Kong is not always a very vegetable-friendly dining environment. Veggies are often a rarity in restaurants. They love their meat and carbs. Access to a kitchen will help supplement your body’s nutritional needs.

Health and Fitness

There are many gyms, yoga studios, etc. for those of you who want to keep fit. Here’s a list of the best gyms, Crossfit is also available.

Gyms aside, Hong Kong has a gorgeous system of parks you can utilize for free! Pull-up bars, dip bars, monkey bars – it’s not a full gym, but it’s free and can be sufficient. If running is more of your thing, this is a great resource for the best runs and trails.

Activities and Things to Do in Hong Kong

There is plenty to keep digital nomads in Hong Kong occupied when not working. Below are some of the highlights and things to do in the city and surrounding areas.

Sights

  • Victoria Harbour – take the Star Ferry for sublime views of Hong Kong’s skyline
  • Victoria Peak and the Peak Tram – take a ride on the famous funicular to the highest point of the city for breathtaking views
  • The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery – marvel at this giant statue of the Buddha on Lantau Island
  • Cheung Chau Island – a picturesque island with a couple of small beaches and old fishing village
  • The Dragon’s Back – an easy but very scenic hiking trail on the south of Hong Kong Island
  • The MacLehose Trail – for hardcore hikers; this trail in the New Territories leads to some beautiful secluded beaches far from the crowds

Bars

The bar scene in Hong Kong is an absolute blast. The insanity of LKF, the sophistication of Central, the jams of Wan Chai, or (my personal favorite) the more local vibe of TST.

If you like to hit the town, HK’s got you covered. It’s fun… it just isn’t cheap. Beers will start around $50 HK ($6.45 USD) and cocktails around $80 HK ($10.31 USD), and will obviously increase in price as you increase in quality.

Drinking on the street is legal in Hong Kong and it’s completely acceptable to grab a few beers from 7/11 and enjoy them in between bars. Don’t camp outside of a bar only drinking beers purchased from 7/11, but feel free to grab an in-betweener beer. Or a bottle of wine.

Markets

If markets are your thing, Hong Kong has you covered. Goldfish Market. Ladies Market. Temple Street Market. Wan Chai Street Market. They’re a fun way to see the culture, wander aimlessly, people watch, and of course, haggle.

vegetable market in hong kong

Hiking

Arguably the best part about Hong Kong is having access to one of the largest cities in the world, yet only being 20-30 minutes away from gorgeous mountains, peaks and hills. HK takes their surrounding nature very seriously, protecting 75% of the available land (hence why they build up!).

The hikes range anywhere from this-is-easy! to am-I-dying? But regardless of the difficulty, you will be astonished that in such a short time, you can completely remove yourself from the city. 

It’s a great (and sometimes necessary) way to recharge the batteries and get away from the chaos of downtown. This is a good resource to get you started on some of HK’s best hikes.

Beaches

Surprise, Hong Kong has gorgeous beaches! They are a bit more of a hike to get to (usually an hour plus) but when you get there you will be shocked as to just how lovely they are.

Shek O, Tai Long Wan, and Lamma Island beaches are more popular. Lots of people barbecuing, playing volleyball and drinking.

If you want something a bit more off the path, then the stunning Tai Long Wan requires a challenging hour-long hike but you’ll have it to yourself on weekdays.

Or check out Sai Wan beach. It’s nice and big, and can get you within striking distance of the Sheung Luk stream which is highly recommended!

Macau

If you aren’t familiar with Macau, think Vegas, drop it in China, then add 400 years of Portuguese colonial influence. It’s a heck of a combination. Just a short ferry ride away, Macau is a very unique country, that is also the gambling capital of the planet.

In 2013 Macau recorded $45 billion USD profit. Compare that to Vegas which claimed $6 billion USD. Not even close. But, even if you aren’t into gambling (like myself) Macau offers enough culturally and historically for a day or two of really interesting sights. Highly recommended.

Pros and Cons of Living in Hong Kong as a Digital Nomad

Hong Kong is an excellent destination for digital nomads, but like everywhere, there are pros and cons. Below I’ll list some of the best, and not-so-good reasons for living in Hong Kong.

Pros of Living in Hong Kong as a Digital Nomad

  • Hong Kong is a vibrant, fast-paced world-city with endless opportunities for work and play
  • The city is clean with many green spaces
  • It has one of the fastest WiFi networks in the world
  • There are many great beaches very close to the city
  • There are many hiking trails of all difficulty levels close to the city
  • The food in Hong Kong is world-class with restaurants on every street
  • The temperature rarely drops below 10 Celsius (50 F)
  • The city is very easy to navigate
  • Transport is cheap compared to other “world cities”
  • Very high quality of living

Cons of Living in Hong Kong as a Digital Nomad

  • Accommodation is small and expensive
  • Summers can be very wet and there are occasional severe monsoons
  • Some of the wildlife might ruin your day
  • Hong Kong is not as free as it has been in the past
  • The police seem more militant than in years gone by

What is the Visa situation in Hong Kong?

Citizens of 147 countries do not need a visa to enter Hong Kong. Duration of stay ranges from 7 days (East Timor) to 180 days (UK). Citizens of 85 countries including Australia, Canada, the EU and the USA are entitled to visa free entry for up to 90 days.

Weather in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with four seasons. Winter is pleasantly warm and you can expect bright blue skies and temperatures between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 F).

In spring the temperatures rise and with it comes some mist, fog and drizzle.

The summer runs from May to August and temperatures are in the low 30s Celsius (86 F) with high humidity and frequent thundery showers.

This is also monsoon season so pay attention to local media for weather warnings. During stronger monsoons, the city’s ferry services will likely not run.

Autumn (fall) sees the rains subside and the pleasant weather return, with temperatures in the high 20s Celsius (80 F).

Conclusion

Living and working in Hong Kong as a digital nomad allows you to indulge in the outdoors and the amenities that a huge city offers, while also being connected to the rest of the world, and being able to indulge in some of the finest foods in Asia.

Granted, the city can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you are careful, and there is so much on offer that costs little or nothing.

Want to find a deserted island or go for a hike in the jungle? You can do both within an hour of leaving the skyscrapers behind, which still amazes me a little.

I hope you found this guide to living in Hong Kong as a digital nomad useful, if so please give it a share! Hope to see you here soon. 

Like it? Pin it!