Travelling solo doesn’t mean travelling alone. The bustling city of Hong Kong with its friendly locals, rich heritage and thriving culture make for the perfect destination for a solo travel experience.
As a solo traveller, you want to feel safe and secure in your ability to get around and most of all, not be totally lost in translation. And if travelling in Asia, Hong Kong offers these securities and more.
Getting around this cosmopolitan city is a breeze with the clean and efficient MTR (Mass Transit Railway) system. The rail system is part subway, part above ground, covering all the major districts in the territory, including stops at the boundary with mainland China (Lo Wu Station and Lok Ma Chau Station).
Hong Kong’s Octopus Card allows you to get around easily on trains, buses, ferries and trams. The card’s convenience also extends to purchases at select convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets and vending machines.
Hong Kong’s glittering skyline may suggest otherwise, but the active traveller will also find all kinds of outdoor activities to enjoy. Just a short distance from the city environs, nature lovers can explore hiking and biking trails as well inviting beaches.
Use your Octopus Card to head to the golden sands of Big Wave Beach on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island at Shek O. Contrary to its name, the calmer bay waters are the perfect place to lay a beach towel down and enjoy the peaceful coastal views.
More than just a place to escape the heat, don’t miss the prehistoric rock carvings nearby. Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, Exit A3, then take bus 9 to Big Wave Bay Beach.
For the cyclist, you don’t have to wander far from downtown to enjoy the various bike routes. Winding river paths and scenic ocean roads with mountain views will reward those who seek two-wheeled adventure.
Back in town, a great way to mingle and meet like-minded travellers is at one of the many food and wine festivals hosted throughout the year.
The Great November Feast is a month-long festival with multiple culinary events, food fairs, tasting and presentations. Held in a variety of locations around the city, you can taste everything from gourmet cuisine to delicious street food.
Held each October, the Hong Kong Food & Wine Festival is a highlight of the festival calendar. Showcasing some of the best food and wine the region has to offer, there’s also live music, entertainment, and gorgeous city and harbour views. This four-day event is definitely worth a visit.
Found throughout the city, don’t miss an opportunity to dine at one of the many Chinese barbecue restaurants. Their flexible menus allow you to pair different roast meats with rice or noodles, making for a great way to sample multiple dishes at once.
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Solo travellers should also consider a small group tour. Experience the historic, and the natural offerings of the surrounding islands, or, if you prefer, explore safely on your own with the Octopus Card by way of the public transport system.
On Lantau Island, for example, you’ll find the small fishing village of Tai O. Houses are built above water, on stilts, making for the perfect Instagram capture!
The small streets and laneway markets are packed with fresh and dried seafood. And the local restaurants’ “catch of the day”, is literally that.
While on Lantau, continue another 15 minutes past Tai O, towards the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. It’s here that you’ll find the extraordinary Tian Tan Buddha statue (informally known as the Big Buddha). Overlooking the lush forests and surrounding mountains, the 34-metre high statue can be seen from eight kilometres away.
Opposite the statue, the Po Lin Monastery offers beautiful gardens to admire. Don’t leave without enjoying a meal at the popular vegetarian restaurant, where the food is lovingly prepared by the monks.
While the streets of Hong Kong are safe and easy to navigate, the free Wi-Fi found throughout most the city will ensure you never get lost. Most locals speak some English, with street signs and subway maps printed in both Chinese and English.
But if you ever need assistance, the friendly locals are always happy to help.
Our best tip for travelling solo in Hong Kong; simply wonder the energetic streets, soak in the vibe, and enjoy the colourful scenes around you.
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