If you're planning a trip to Hong Kong, you might be concerned about the expense of such a journey, in addition to the extra cost of sightseeing and eating out. The good news is that the city is full of interesting attractions, many of which are free or cost very little to visit.
The historic region, located in southern China, is now a largely modern, cosmopolitan settlement, with many contemporary flat and office blocks jutting high into the skyline. Building upwards is necessary in this densely-populated, small area, and the skyscrapers make for a spectacular view from an aeroplane window.
As you journey overhead, take in the light show if you're travelling at night. The tall buildings are lit up with a range of colourful beams after dusk, making for an engaging introduction to the area. Once your flights to Hong Kong have touched down, make your way to the accommodation you've booked into and get established in your new surroundings.
You're likely to realise around this time that you're hungry, and if you haven't much cash to splash don't despair - there are street stalls dotted all over the place selling fresh, tasty food. If you're staying in the bustling Kowloon area, you'll discover many such stalls, from which you can order noodles, congee or seafood, among other things, and these scrumptious dishes are a fraction of the price you'd pay at a classy restaurant.
Kowloon is one of Hong Kong's main areas and is known as a cultural hotspot. Here you'll find numerous landmarks, as well as various bazaars. Admire the mosque and pay a visit to the scenic Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, a temple set up in honour of the former monk and deity. Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism are all practised here, and visitors often call in at the Good Wish Garden to send up their hopes and dreams, although there is a charge to enter this part of the complex.
While in Kowloon, visit some of the bustling markets the area is home to. Among these are the jade bazaar, the night market and the Ladies' Market, the latter of which is particularly popular. Here, you can browse all manner of clothes and accessories; keep your eyes peeled for a bargain or simply soak up some culture.
One attraction you might be willing to shell out for is a visit to the Peak. This mountain is a popular tourist draw and it's little wonder; from the top of the Peak you can admire stunning views over Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, as well as the glittering skyscrapers and distant verdant hillsides. The mountain is reached via the Peak Tram, which will transport you upwards for 373 m. When you set foot on the mountain you can admire the visas from vantage points like the Lugard Road Lookout and the Peak Circle Walk. Alternatively, head into the Peak Tower and you'll find the highest panoramic viewing platform in the area, which stands at 428 m above sea level. The tower is also home to shops, restaurants and entertainment venues if you want to make a day of it.
If you're looking to explore further afield, head to some of Hong Kong's outlying islands. Cheung Chau in particular is a lovely spot if you fancy sunning yourself on the sand, as there are a couple of good beaches here. The island also boasts some great spots for swimming, if you want to cool off afterwards. As well as relaxing on the beach, you can visit the Pak Tai Temple, built in 1783 to honour the Taoist god of the sea, or head to the wet market and purchase some fish, which you can either cook yourself if you've chosen self catering accommodation, or take to a nearby restaurant and have prepared for you.
Before you board your cheap flights home, head to another popular attraction - the Po Lin monastery. Situated in the mountainous landscape of the Ngong Ping plateau, the monastery is an interesting place to visit if you want to find out more about Buddhism. Not far from here is the Wisdom Path - a tangible expression of the Heart Sutra prayer, in which you can see sections of the prayer displayed on wooden pillars.
Also in the vicinity is the Giant Buddha - a must-visit on any trip to Hong Kong. The tall statue of Buddha took 12 yearsto complete and requires a climb of more than 200 steps to reach the platform on which the sculpture is seated.