The biggest disadvantage of Hong Kong for me is the cost of housing, be apartments or hotels the prices are insanely expensive. If it wasn’t for that, Hong Kong would be a great and relatively inexpensive city. Transportation, food, and shopping aren’t that expensive actually.
In this short article, I will try to explain my point of view about the infamous Chungking mansions building and what other options exist there to stay for cheap in Hong Kong.
What are Chunking mansions?
Originally an apartment complex, that many residents use now as cheap hostels and hotels. The building complex itself also hosts many another type of businesses such as foreign exchange, Indian restaurants, African bistro restaurants, clothing shops etc.
The place was made popular by Chungking Express movie in 1995.
Chungking offers the cheapest accommodation in the city. And so it attracts the lowest income citizens, petty criminals, touts, illegal immigrants, and all sorts of low-desired people.
For even more info on this building, a Wikipedia article can be checked here.
Well known as nearly the cheapest accommodation in Hong Kong.
Is it safe?
Yes, anyone can have a walk there. Almost all public areas have CCTV. But you have to consider that the place is full of touts that will bother you constantly. Offering drugs, prostitutes, rooms, tailor-made suits, and whatever crap they are selling.
I will avoid buying anything there, and I will avoid exchanging money there too or even visiting the place altogether. The potential of getting ripped off there is extremely high. You have been warned.
I heard that Chungking is the cheapest option for rooms in HK?
True, But let’s get this one out of the way early: Chungking Mansions sucks balls, and it’s best to be avoided. Period.
To call this rooms hotels is a way big overstatement, anything in there are reconverted small apartment rooms reconverted into glorified broom closet rooms with a small bathroom. The beds are literally fitted in there against the walls with no space for anything else.
People who have enough money to stay somewhere else… well, they do stay somewhere else, and that’s the biggest signal that you shouldn’t stay there if you can afford an actual good place. The place is seedy, people offer and sell drugs, prostitutes roam on the doors. Guys with illegal visas stay there. A lot of seedy stuff happens in there.
Another 2 myths about Chungking:
- “People recommend Chungking because the place because of the rates for money chargers”: False, there endless English-spoken banks and good places to exchange currency everywhere. Scams happen in Chungking money changers too.
- “People recommend Chungking mansions Indian curry food, African food, etc.”. And maybe there is good and cheap curry food there, but, so what?. What’s the point.?. There’s literally amazing local food everywhere. The place is Hong Kong, you should be eating Hongkonese and Chinese food, there are many good eateries in Hongkong to just avoid that place.
In short: I don’t recommend Chungking Mansions. If you are hyped by the Wong Kar-wai movie Chungking Express and want to visit, sure. I was there too, I loved that movie and visited the place. The amount of touts is insufferable, I stayed in 2 different rooms at Chungking as well.
What most rooms there actually looks like. The owners are usually nice, that’s the only advantage to have.
GOOD PLACES TO STAY IN HONGKONG FOR LESS THAN 100$ A NIGHT =
- The Emperor Hotel 4* 95$. (Wanchai, Hong Kong Island ). Rooms are 22m, pretty decent room. If you find for less than 100, I would book it, great location too.
- Eco Tree Hotel. 4* 85$ (Hong Kong Island). Even better location, on HK island and relatively spacious.
- Hotel Hart. 4* 95$. (Tsim Tsa Shui). Very new hotel. Rooms are 9m and not huge, but decent.
- Mini hotel. 3* 75$. (Causeway, Hong Kong Island). Rather cramped room.
- Homy Inn North Point 1* (North point MRT, HK island). For those who need to save money. Hostel rooms for 25$, single rooms for 50$. The subway is just beside the hotel so you can move quickly around the island.
For even more choices I recommend Agoda, clicking here. They do service at English consistently offer the best prices.
In Hongkong, the most typical hotel room price is 225-375$ a night. That is a lot, but that’s reality and how things go.
If you can spend I recommend this hotels =
- W Hong Kong Hotel. 5* 300$ a night. W is just great, and my favorite choice for a splurge.
- Attitude on Granville. 4*. 140$. Awesome rooms.
- The Salisbury – YMCA of Hong Kong. 4* 180. Spacious, decent rooms.
A decent room in the Emperor hotel in Hongkong. A place that I actually recommend.
A beautiful sunrise in Hong Kong from the stunning vantage point of Victoria Peak.
Where to stay?
The area of choice to stay in Hong Kong is not so crucial as in other cities. Stay where your preferred hotel is, and move around in the very convenient Subway. If the hotel is far from the subway, well, then I advise caution.
I for one prefer to stay on Hong Kong island, over Tsim Tsa Shui. In HK island I have more fun, there are better eateries and I love to explore old streets and get lost around.
Hong Kong offers so much and for many, is the first city to visit when going to Asia, when in Hong Kong I love to:
- Explore skyscrapers.
- Have a ride on the famous Hong Kong tram.
- Pig out and eat in the many glorious Hong Kong restaurants and eateries.
- Explore Lantau or the beaches in the south. (Yes, HK does have beaches).
- Star ferry, in Hong Kong always Star ferry.
This cirty always have something for everybody.