3rd October 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s high cost of living and expensive hotel accommodations have left many mainland Chinese tourists shocked. In response, a growing number of visitors are opting for “day trips” to the city, seeking to save both time and money while still enjoying the best of what Hong Kong has to offer. To cater to this demand, numerous online travel guides have surfaced, each claiming to provide the ultimate Hong Kong experience on a shoestring budget. Recently, one guide in particular has gained immense popularity, promising a near-perfect day trip experience at a cost of just HK$100, sparking heated discussions among netizens.
As one searches for “Hong Kong travel” on mainland social media platforms, they will come across an abundance of travel “guides” offering information on various public facilities, museums, shopping centres, and even recommendations for the best “Instagrammable spots.” With the recent National Day holiday, netizens shared tips online on how to find the perfect spot to witness the magnificent fireworks display. Apart from suggesting prime locations in Tsim Sha Tsui, some netizens even proposed hiking to the highest point of Kowloon Peak with flashlights to catch a breathtaking view of the fireworks.
Speaking of travel guides, one guide claiming to be the epitome of a “perfect 1-day trip in Hong Kong” has recently gone viral, amassing nearly 20,000 bookmarks. The author of the guide provides a detailed route, starting from the Shenzhen border crossing and taking visitors on a shopping spree through Mong Kok and Prince Edward. The journey continues with a walk from Yau Ma Tei to Tsim Sha Tsui to explore museums, followed by a ride on the Star Ferry to Central, where visitors can experience the iconic observation wheel. The guide then suggests taking a tram to Causeway Bay and finally returning to Wan Chai via another Star Ferry ride to enjoy the night view. The author even includes a meticulously crafted map highlighting the various landmarks to visit. Notably, the map does not feature any dining establishments, as the author claims to have completed the entire trip without spending money on meals. According to the guide, if visitors bring their own food, a budget of just HK$100 will suffice to explore Hong Kong to the fullest.
The route map has garnered admiration from countless mainland netizens, who express their awe by proclaiming, “This is incredible! I’m going to follow this guide.” Some even compare the author’s approach to that of a “special forces soldier” and jest that the guide represents “true poverty travel” since it excludes dining expenses. However, others question the feasibility of such an arduous itinerary, stating, “This seems exhausting. Why bother travelling like this?” Hong Kong locals join the conversation with humorous remarks like, “Why go through all this trouble?” and “You’ll end up with sore feet. Isn’t it better to bring your own food?” However, some netizens argue that the concept of “poverty travel” is subjective, pointing out that Hong Kong residents also engage in budget travel when they visit destinations with higher costs, such as Switzerland or Northern Europe.