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10 Must Know Life Hacks For Living in Hong Kong

By Sophie Pettit 24 September 2018
Whether you're looking to bag some amazing bargains and freebies, or want to discover clever ways to overcome some of the challenges that come with living in the 852, we bring you ten must know life hacks to make life that little bit easier. Enjoy!

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1. Save MTR dollars

Thanks to the 31 MTR fare saver machines dotted around Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories, you can save dollars on your trusty Octopus card. Simply tap it over the reader and enjoy up to $2 discount on your next MTR ride at designated stations. It might not sound like a lot of money, but you know what they say – it all adds up.

2. Reduced food at M&S

Craving a Marks & Spencer Hoisin Duck Wrap and a tub of Cocktail Sausages, but don't fancy forking out more than $100 to enjoy it? Fret not, because if you get your timing right you could bag yourself some hefty discounts on your favourite nibbles from the popular food section. Come 4pm on most days, many fresh food items in the refrigerator section get marked down in price, owing to their impending expiry dates, getting you as much as 40 percent off the original price if you're lucky. Yay, sausage party!

3. Drink for free

It's a well known fact that Hong Kong is one of the priciest cities to wine and dine in, but thankfully – if you're a woman at least – you can wind up drinking for free most nights of the week, if you know where to go. It's totally sexist we know, but Ladies' Night is very much a thing in Hong Kong, and popular bars like Ophelia, Cé La Vi, Oolaa, and Soirée offer free drinks to the girls if you get your timing right. Click here to find out when and where to go.

4. Cheaper flights 

Given Hong Kong's proximity to so many amazing holiday destinations around Southeast Asia, it comes as no surprise that Hong Kongers love to hop on a plane whenever they get the chance. But for those on a budget, it's definitely worth checking out Cathay Pacific’s fanfare website which offers incredible discounts on airfare within specific time frames. Released every Tuesday morning, this is a godsend if you have a short or long-haul journey to book and want to save some serious dollars in the process.

5. Free museums on a Wednesday

Schedule your culture fix for a Wednesday when many of Hong Kong’s galleries and museums open their doors for free. Whether you’re a history buff, mad about science, or love astrology, there's plenty to keep you entertained. Among the list are the Hong Kong Science Museum which regularly hosts exciting exhibitions, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum which includes a Cantonese Opera hall with regular performances, and the Hong Kong Museum of History which has over 1,600 animal specimens in its Natural History collection. Check out the full list here.

6. Free Wi-Fi spots

Finding free internet in the city can be a real headache if you don't have a large data package, but thankfully many big shopping malls, department stores, and even banks like HSBC offer free Wi-Fi across all of their branches, meaning you can stay connected when you're out and about in the city. It’s also worth downloading the Wi-Fi.HK app, which highlights all the free Wi-Fi connections near you, meaning you never have to go disconnected for long. Phew.

7. Discount cinema tickets

Wait until Tuesday to catch the latest movies on the big screen, as most cinemas in Hong Kong offer discounts on that day (except public holidays). You can save as much as $20 on an adult ticket, which will buy you a couple of bottles of 7-Eleven Coke to sneak into the movie theatre (ooh, we didn't say that!). Be sure to check out the Cinema City website which offers several exclusive discounts and offers for certain credit and debit card holders too. And for all the latest movie releases, click here.

8. Free Ocean Park entry 

If you're raring to hit the rollercoasters at Ocean Park, but don't want to part with the $480 entry fee (for an adult ticket), then why not wait until your birthday to go when the generous park grants you free entry if you show them your HKID card. Not only that, they will also give one friend half price off their ticket – now how's that for a special birthday treat!

9. Get all the apps

Hong Kongers are spoilt for choice when it comes to free apps designed to make life a little easier in the 852. Among our recommendations to download are HKTaxi, which is by far the best taxi app out there. Available in both Chinese and English, the app allows you to enter your location and phone number to search for the nearest available taxi. It also has a real-time tracker so you can see where your driver is and the estimated time of arrival. If you often find yourself facing a language barrier with your cabbie, then the Hong Kong Taxi Cards app has over 9,000 Hong Kong addresses translated into Cantonese, so you can rest assure you won't accidentally end up in China!

10. Go bargain hunting

If you're a sucker for a bargain, then it's worth checking out Hokobuy (the website formerly known as Groupon) which has tones of discount deals and offers on everything ranging from beauty and spa treatments, to hotel package deals, to dining options and fun day activities in Hong Kong and beyond. It's worth browsing the Weekly Big Deals too, which tend to feature practical gadgets for around the home.
Read more! Explore our Culture section and see What's On in Hong Kong.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.