Hong Kong

Three Travel Tips for First Time Hong Kong Visitors

Octopus Card  pic

Octopus Card
Image: discoverhongkong.com

From 2001 to 2012, Michael Erin served in the United States Army, reaching the rank of Captain in 2009. He currently works as a principal and managing partner with boutique consultancy firm Progressive Management & Associates, located in Chicago, Illinois. Michael Erin has also traveled extensively in his free time, visiting multiple destinations worldwide, including Hong Kong.

With over 7 million people densely packed into the 427-square-mile city, visiting Hong Kong for the first time can be overwhelming. These three tips will help first-time visitors get around the city.

1. Airport Travel – Getting to and from Hong Kong Airport is a breeze with the Express train, which will take you to either Hong Kong Island or Kowloon. According to travel writer, chef, and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, the Airport Express gets you into the center of the city in less than a half hour, with tickets starting at just $13.

2. Octopus Card – Available for purchase at the Hong Kong Airport, an Octopus card is a prepaid debit card, meaning you load money onto the card to use in place of paper money and coins. The Octopus card makes traveling much easier, as you do not have to fumble for change to catch the subway or bus. As an added perk, many Hong Kong retailers accept Octopus cards.

3. City Center – The “Central” area of Hong Kong Island provides the ideal base of operations. From the city’s center, you will have quick access to shopping, restaurants, and attractions. For activities outside of the city’s center, the Central MRT station will easily get you there and back.


When to Visit Hong Kong

Hong Kong pic

Hong Kong
Image: travel.usnews.com/

Michael Erin is the chief of staff and director of operations at the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, where he has worked since 2014. He attended the Virginia Military Institute, where he earned his BA in economics and business. In his free time, Michael Erin enjoys traveling, and names Hong Kong and London as his favorite destinations.

Many travelers are drawn to Hong Kong, with its astounding skyline, fascinating colonial history, and Buddhist culture. It is also famous for its cuisine and fast-paced night life. Before you plan your trip to the southern reaches of China, be sure to plan your itinerary carefully.

According to US News & World Report, the best time to visit Hong Kong is between October and December. During this time, the city will still be active but the daytime temperatures will have settled into the 70s and accommodation prices will have dropped. Travelers should be wary of visiting during the first week of October, which is a popular time for mainland Chinese tourists. January through March offers temperatures in the 60s and a great deal of fog, which can make photographing the sights less fruitful. April to May is still a foggy period but the temperatures are manageable and the room rates reasonable. June through September is the most challenging time to visit, with hot, muggy temperatures and typhoons always a possibility.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens

An experienced economic development professional, Michael Erin currently serves as global initiatives manager at Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. Traveling for both work and pleasure, Michael Erin has been to several locations around the world, including Hong Kong and Singapore.

Although Singapore is mostly known for its shopping and dining attractions within the city, it is also home to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a lush oasis frequently visited by tai-chi practitioners, joggers, and tourists. First established in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens sits on 74 hectares of land just five minutes from Orchard Road in central Singapore. Despite having grown and improved over the years, the Singapore Botanic Gardens stays true to its heritage and is committed to becoming a leading botanical institution for plant conservation and tropical botany.

Open from early morning to midnight every day, admission to the botanic gardens is free for visitors. Every weekend, volunteers at the Singapore Botanic Gardens offer guided tours through the site. The tours are offered in both English and Japanese and are generally held several times a day. Each Saturday tour focuses on a different part of the gardens, starting with a Healing Garden tour on the first Saturday of every month, followed by the Rain Forest Tour, National Orchid Garden Tour, and Heritage Tour on the fourth Saturday.