As I mentioned in my previous article about how to save money in HK, counting the pennies does not mean that you can become a hermit (although it is a great excuse!) As much as I want to save a few bucks here and there, I still want to experience all that Hong Kong has to offer… I just want to do it on a budget!
So last weekend, I ventured to Tsim Sha Tsui to get out of the house and see some sights. I live in Happy Valley – one of the most pleasant and relaxing ways to get anywhere is by tram, so I jumped on one after breakfast and ventured into Central ($2.30). Here’s my guide to Tsim Sha Tsui on a budget!
I’m always baffled when people want to cab or MTR to TST – the Star Ferry is such a nice alternative, especially on a beautiful day. Without trying to sound like too much of a romantic, those few minutes it takes to get across make me feel so calm and appreciative of this city. For a penny-saving $3.40 ($2.50 on a weekday), I had crossed the fragrant harbour with the wind in my hair! Amazing.
No matter where you are coming from in Hong Kong, TST is accessible via Star Ferry (my personal preference), MTR, East Rail Line or bus.
WHAT TO DO
In case you haven’t heard, from now until March 31 2013, the largest touring exhibition of the works of Andy Warhol is being displayed at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The entrance fee is $20 and you can experience over 468 items from the collection of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, including paintings, drawings, photographs and screen prints. It is an incredible exhibition – I enjoyed it so much that I am going to go back again, rent a headset and get lost in Warhol’s world for a few hours. That $20 also gains you access to the rest of the museum’s exhibitions too… and even once the Warhol exhibition is finished, there are still plenty of other interesting shows coming and going here all the time!
Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2721 0116; closed Thursdays
Another favourite of mine is the Hong Kong History Museum. For $10, you can experience a completely different side to HK and learn more about the city that you live in. Perfect for a rainy day, the museum is a bit of a walk from the MTR or Star Ferry, but it’s worth it once you get there! The permanent exhibition, The Hong Kong Story, outlines the natural environment, folk culture and historical development of Hong Kong and it really is fascinating. So if you haven’t done it – go go go!
Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2724 9042; closed Tuesdays
Take a stroll through Kowloon Park. TST can be exhausting – having wandered Nathan and Canton Road, you’ll need a well-deserved break from the chaos. Hong Kong Park is a really lovely escape, so grab a fresh juice from the stall on the corner of Haiphong Road and Lock Road ($15) and venture into the park for a bit of rest and relaxation. You’ll find beautiful gardens, wild birds, plenty of benches and probably some folks practicing their tai chi too!
Kowloon Park, 22 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
WHERE TO EAT
There is no shortage of places to eat in TST that don’t break the bank. In fact, you are spoilt for choice!
A newfound fave in Cheung King Mansion, The Delhi Club boasts some of the best Indian food that I have had in a very long time. Don’t expect luxury but the staff are pleasant, the food is incredible and we had a great evening for $100 per person (drinks included!). There’s no service charge so be sure to leave a tip and make sure you book – this place is popular!
The Delhi Club, Room 3, 3/F, Block C, Chungking Mansion, 38-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2368 1682
New Korean B.B.Q. Restaurant is a favourite of Sassy editor, Rach. For just $138, this money saving establishment offers an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet (including all the best bits – lots of beef and bacon!). You can book in advance but be sure to get there early if you are just popping in on a whim, as the queues do build up quickly.
New Korean B.B.Q. Restaurant, 3/F, VIP Commercial Building, 120 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2779 4664
Carnarvon Street is the place for cheap eats in TST – Korean, sushi, dim sum, Thai… there’s a great selection of well-priced restaurants for you to choose from and few will disappoint. One dim sum stalwart is Tao Heung, located in Carnarvon Plaza. Venture there early to beat the queues and charge your batteries before heading into the chaos of TST!
Tao Heung, 3/F, Carnavon Plaza, 20-20C Carnavon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 8300 8122
If you find yourself in Harbour City lamenting the lack of cheap eats, never fear – Nha Trang is here! The ever-popular Vietnamese joint has opened at the Ocean Terminal end of the mall, so if you want a tried-and-trusted favourite that doesn’t break the bank, you know where to go. Similarly, the city’super cookedDeli is great for a quick bite. There’s loads of variety but you’ll have to battle for a seat!
Nha Trang, Shop G51, Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2199 7779; cookedDeli at city’super, Harbour City, Level 3, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2375 8222
There’s also a really lovely cafe in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre called Deli and Wine, which I would definitely recommend if you want a quiet meal. It’s run by the Maxim’s Group and feels like a more casual version of Simply Life except with a mix of Western and Chinese dishes!
Deli And Wine, G/F, Restaurant Block, HK Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2721 9866
Another Sassy favourite that Emma and I often visit is Sen-ryo. Located in the bottom of the Sun Arcade on Canton Road, Sen-ryo does fantastic sushi for next to nothing!
Sen-ryo, Shop B06B, Basement, The Sun Arcade, 28 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2730 5279
Other cheap but cheerful highlights in TST include:
- The Hong Kong Science Museum A mere hop, skip and jump across the way from the History Museum.
- The Symphony of Lights OK, it gets a bit boring, but it’s a great excuse to have your photo taken with the HK skyline in the background.
- Avenue of Stars A pleasant harbour-side promenade, plus the chance for you to see if you have the same size handprints as Jackie Chan.
- Granville Road For browsing the local stores, boutiques and fashion factory outlets. The delish-smelling Lush Cosmetics flagship store is now open here too!
- For non-big brand shopping, try K11 (the HKID Gallery there sells jewellery, accessories and other crafts handmade by local independent designers) or DNA Galleria.
My favourite thing about TST is that it’s just the start of an amazing adventure into what Kowloon has to offer. Jordan, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei and Shek Kip Mei are all full of great, cheap ways to spend your day. If you have a few hours, keep walking up Nathan Road – you never know what you find!
CHARLOTTE’S DAY IN DOLLAR
What’s your favourite way to spend a few hours in TST? Let us know any tips you have in the comments below!