Last updated on December 4th, 2023 at 11:35 am
This post may contain affiliate links meaning I might earn a small commission if you click on the link to make a purchase but it doesn’t cost you anything. Thanks for your support!
Are you still on the fence about booking your trip to Hong Kong?
In this blog post, I’m going to do an honest deep dive into the pros and cons of Hong Kong.
Let’s get started!
Cons of Hong Kong
The weather here gets extremely hot and humid in the summer. It stays that way pretty much for the entire year except the winter.
On the bright side, there is strong air conditioning indoors in malls, trains, and double-decker buses. As long as you stay indoors mostly, it’s not completely unbearable.
For tourists who are coming in the summertime to Hong Kong, you need to know that there are often typhoons. The highest is Typhoon 10 and the lowest is Typhoon 1. When it’s Typhoons 1 and 3, it doesn’t affect most people’s daily lives. Stores are open and public transportation is still in operation.
Then there’s Typhoon 8, which happens usually at least once a year.
When it’s Typhoon 8, the government and Hong Kong Weather Observatory strongly recommend citizens and tourists stay home. The sea levels are high and it’s very windy. It usually rains too (there’s a ranking for the rainstorm system here. Amber rain is the lowest and black rain is the highest).
Everything is closed. If you’re out and about while Typhoon 8 is happening, it will be hard to find a way to get back to where you are staying.
Though the HK weather observatory will give citizens and tourists an advanced warning so everyone can make plans to get home safely.
Hong Kong’s weather can get unpredictable but the chances of a typhoon and/or rainstorm happening when you’re in the city should be quite low.
Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world. While public transportation is affordable, accommodation prices can get quite steep.
Unless you’re willing to fork out a large sum of money, do not expect your room to be extremely spacious. I was fortunate to have an upgraded room during my quarantine stay when I moved back to Hong Kong. But it’s a common complaint from tourists that their hotel rooms are smaller than they are used to.
Hong Kong is a densely populated city. There needs to be living space for 7-8 million people, not to mention the large city is even more crowded with tourists.
With millions of people squeezed into a small space, there are people everywhere constantly. Some districts will be less crowded but if you go to Tsim Sha Tsui or Mong Kok, you’ll almost be guaranteed to be bumping into people left and right.
People are generally used to it and don’t even blink an eye.
The concept of personal space here might be different than what you’re used to.
It depends on where you’re coming from but there are days when the smog will be pretty bad in Hong Kong. For example, there are hazy days when you can’t see the skyline properly. The air pollution is not unbearable but if you’re used to fresh, crisp air, you might find yourself unused to the air quality.
A lot of big cities don’t have the best air quality. Depending on where you’re from, this might not even be an issue.
Now that we’ve gotten the cons out of the way, let’s focus on the pros of Hong Kong.
Pros of Hong Kong
Great Public Transportation
Hong Kong has an efficient, reliable, and thorough public transportation system all over the city. Many Hong Kongers use public transportation more than driving their cars. It’s affordable and you don’t need to be worried about finding parking (parking can be hard to find here and it’s expensive).
For tourists, that’s terrific news!
It can be troublesome when you’re visiting a foreign city and it’s hard to find a route that gets to where you want to go. This isn’t something you have to worry about in Hong Kong.
You’ll have multiple options on how to get from one place to another.
Taxis are also abundant here (and affordable). There’s always a few cruising down the street. At your hotel, finding a cab will not be an issue unless you live somewhere far away.
Hong Kong people love to eat and understand the importance of it. During major events, we gather around to celebrate with a feast. This includes work events, wedding celebrations, and holidays.
Since it’s so important, Hong Kong makes an extra effort to include diversity in cuisines. Foodies will love the restaurant choices here. It’s not all about dim sum although it’s what Hong Kong specializes in (it’s definitely something you should try at least once while you’re here).
There are also fantastic Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Thai restaurants worth trying.
In addition, Hong Kong has all kinds of price ranges for food. There are Michelin fine dining restaurants but also street food and local cafes. Even the food courts in the malls are decent for the price and quality.
No matter what your budget is, there is always good food.
Just make sure you come with an empty stomach because you will be too full during your trip.
Try not to overeat too much during your stay in Hong Kong or else you’ll feel bloated and uncomfortable when you fly back home.
Being an international hub, there’s not much of a language barrier.
Most of the signs and directions are in English and Chinese.
On average, Hong Kong people speak pretty decent English. This makes navigating your way around the city so much easier. When you need to ask for direction help, most people can answer you in English.
Native English speakers will rarely have any trouble getting around compared to other Asian cities.
It’s one of the reasons why there is quite a large expat community in Hong Kong. Expats like moving here because they can still easily communicate with locals but a refreshing change from their life back home. With the low language barrier, it’s not as difficult to integrate into society.
Day Trip Options
Hong Kong’s city centre will keep you busy but there are plenty of day trip options for nature lovers. For example, there is Tai O Fishing Village, Cheng Chau, Sai Kung, etc. These three places are mainly outdoor stuff but it’s a change from being indoors all the time. Also, they are not far from the city centre. A short ferry and/or bus ride will get you to one of those above places.
Then, there are amusement parks like Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park (Hong Kong’s local theme park).
You can stay here for at least several days and not be bored!
Close to Other Cities
Hong Kong is close to other Asian cities like Shenzhen, Taipei, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. There is a wide variety of other cities you can explore in addition to visiting Hong Kong.
There are also smaller cities like Macau where a weekend trip would suffice.
The distance between Hong Kong and other Chinese cities is a big bonus. The longer your vacation is, you will want to seriously consider visiting other places. You’re going to be already in Hong Kong, might as well go visit other cities as well.
Depending on what you want to buy, you might need to visit the different major shopping districts.
Affordable shopping is mostly in Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po. Those with a tight budget can browse the stores there. The most touristy shopping areas are Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay. Central is for luxury shoppers and it’s where the financial district is.
No matter your budget, you will be satisfied with the shopping here.
No Sales Tax
In North America, the total of what you buy always ends up higher because you have to account for additional taxes. In Hong Kong, if the seller says something costs HKD 100 then it’s HKD 100 exactly.
Hong Kong does not have a sales tax. You don’t have to pay more than the price tag. Yay!
A Mix of Tradition and Modern
With historic temples and modern architecture, Hong Kong has the perfect mix of both. Those who appreciate history have museums and temples to visit.
On the other hand, those who are more into the modern lifestyle will also like the vast options available.
The contrast between the two makes some great Instagram spots. Whip out your phone or camera to snap away at the beautiful scenery of Hong Kong.
Many Tourist Attractions
The dozens of tourist attractions will keep you extremely busy during your trip to Hong Kong. There’s so much to see. If your trip is only for a short time like 24 hours, you’re going to have to be really careful and choose which tourist attractions you want to visit.
With a population of around 7-8 million people, Hong Kong is pretty safe. There are still the chances of being pickpocketed like anywhere else but the chances of encountering a dangerous situation are almost zero.
The overall crime rate is pretty low so you don’t have to fear for your life as you’re touring the city even late at night.
Fun Night Life
Hong Kong has an active nightlife.
The most known place for nightlife is a place called Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Lan Kwai Fong is a set of narrow streets with bars and restaurants. Locals come here for a drink after work and/or on the weekends.
Tourists visit here because it’s a cultural landmark. If you’re a night owl or want to grab a drink before heading back to the hotel, this is the place to go.
When you visit Lan Kwai Fong during the day, you’ll see and feel a completely different vibe compared to nighttime.
It’s not as busy when the sun is out. The place only truly comes alive in the evenings/nights.
Final Thoughts – Pros and Cons of Hong Kong
Everything has pros and cons but as you can see, the pros outweigh the cons for Hong Kong. Don’t let the cons of the city stop you from visiting the beautiful Hong Kong. There are many wonderful things to appreciate about this place.
Hong Kong is one of the top tourist destinations in the world for many reasons.
So what are you waiting for?
Plan your trip to Hong Kong on your next vacation!
Now to You – Pros and Cons of Hong Kong
Like this post? Pin it NOW!