Hong Kong is considered to be the hub of international trade, having one of the most thriving economies in the world.
The cosmopolitan city also prides itself in being the world-class center for culture and business, combining both Asian and Western influence. Hong Kong also boasts of its rich gastronomic landscape, having the most restaurants per capita.
Aside from all that, the metropolitan is also famed to be a shopper’s paradise. From traditional Chinese stores to trendy boutiques and luxury shopping malls, you can find almost anything in Hong Kong.
The city offers a unique shopping experience that attracts many tourists and locals to it. But you may be wondering, how expensive is it to shop in Hong Kong? In this article, we will explore this question.
We will compare the shopping experience in Hong Kong and other regions and look at the cost required to shop there.
Are Things In Hong Kong Expensive?
Whether or not Hong Kong is an expensive place, is a common concern that most travelers have when thinking of visiting the city. The Metropolis was ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world for one to live in.
This is major because of the high rent and the tourism industry mostly gearing towards the high-end markets. The truth is, Hong Long is quite an affordable place to live when all things are considered.
To begin with, the city’s public transportation is not only reliable but affordable as well. It is public transit comprises of a ferry network, streetcar system, buses, and an underground train system that is cleaner, and faster than in other regions like London or New York.
All of these transport options are affordable and can take you to any part of the city. You also have the option of a convenient Octopus card that can be pre-loaded with money at a convenience store and used to pay for any public transit. The average cost of a train there, for example, is less than $2 a trip.
The place also has cheap eat-outs so you never have to worry about what to eat. Many street foods are offering delicious Chinese street cuisine for only single-digit dollar prices.
There are also many restaurant options and fast-food joints offering different traditional and foreign cuisines for very few dollars. If you are more of a DIY type of person then you can always get affordable instant meals to make at home, from any one of Hong Kong’s supermarkets.
Aside from, shopping, food, and transport, there are a lot of free sites, landmarks, and scenery to visit while you are there. You can go hiking, sightseeing or learn about the history and culture of the Chinese people. So, all things considered, Hong Kong is not a costly place if you choose to explore the quirkier side of its culture.
Is Hong Kong A Good Place For Shopping?
Having been named the shopper’s paradise, it would seem that Hong Kong is in fact a great place to shop. You have a vast selection of stores from large malls, to trendy boutiques, to traditional Chinese stores, and even the open markets which are great for buying souvenirs.
Kowloon and Hong Kong Island are especially a must-visit when shopping they are homes to some of the most popular shopping areas. These include places like Mong Kok and Jordan in Kowloon as well as Central and Causeway Bay, found in Hong Kong Island.
The duty-free policy on imports, also makes Hong Kong the best place for shopping for foreign products. That is because the price doesn’t include the extra tax charge.
The low taxes as well as the competition from the numerous shopping areas, also help with lowering the price of the products in Hong Kong. What’s more, you can find virtually anything in Hong Kong, from luxury brands to accessories, to clothes, cosmetics, and even electronics and food.
The city also holds two major sales every year, which further contributes to the cheaper prices. The two sales are the Summer sale between July-September and Winter sales which is between December and February.
In addition to that, all major credits like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are acceptable in this Metropolis. Open/street markets, however, only accept cash in Hong Kong dollars, but what is great about them is that their prices are negotiable.
Is It Cheaper To Shop In Hong Kong Compared To Other Places?
Hong Kong has for a long time been known as the go-to city for both foreign and local products, even though the price of Chinese manufactured products cost the same in mainland China.
Why is this? The simple reason is because of the low taxes, exchange rates, and beneficial policies like the duty-free policy on all imported goods.
Currently, however, Hong Kong is not the paradise it used to be for shoppers about a decade ago. This is especially for luxury items produced in regions like Korea and Japan.
That is due to several factors that make deals in Japan and Korea better than in Hong Kong, including deals on Chinese luxury products. In 2015, the purchases of Chinese luxury products had tripled in Japan but reduced by 25% in Hong Kong.
By 2019, with the drop of the Korean won and Japanese yen, more and more Chinese mainlanders traveled to these regions to shop there instead. What’s more, the high real estate and rent prices by 2020, were causing an increase in retail prices in Hong Kong.
Still, Hong Kong remains an excellent place to shop for certain products. The low taxes and no VAT or sales tax are still a huge attraction for many shoppers. The city remains the best place for items like food, both traditional and international.
They also offer great prices for foreign luxury and mid-tier clothing brands and cosmetics, as well as high to mid-range electronics.
How Much Money Do I Need Per Day In Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is a relatively cheap place to live if you do not consider the high real estate and rent prices. This will of course also depend on what you do in a day in Hong Kong. You should steer clear of the high-end market hotels and restaurants. There are plenty of cheaper options available for everything.
Starting with accommodation, you can pick a three-star hotel as opposed to a fiver star one and pay as low as $77 per night. You can also opt for dorms and guesthouses that go for as low as $20.
The only downside is the quality of the dorms or guest houses is terrible. For transport, you can access any of the affordable public transit options and pay using the Octopus card that is usually loaded with money. A ferry ticket goes for less than a dollar while a train ride can cost $1.50.
For food, you can spend an average of $4-$25 depending on where you choose to eat and what you order. As for going out, be it for drinks, food, coffee, or a movie, you are likely to spend between $4-$13 in a day or more. Most sites and landmarks are free so you do not have to worry so much about exploring the city at a high fee.
Is Shopping In Hong Kong Cheaper Than Singapore?
Both places have been ranked as the most expensive areas, while individuals living in these respective areas claim that they are the cheapest places in the world. Some say that there are especially plenty of cheap places to eat in both places. But which of the two is the cheaper region for a shopper?
Considering the duty-free policy, no VAT tax, and other beneficial factors, Hong Kong seems to be the cheaper place, especially for foreign luxury products. Hong Kong also offers more product variety, both local and foreign.
Singapore however, also offers GST refunds, so their products are also cheaper but they lack the variety. Still, Hong Kong is the winner in this case.
Despite the high rental and real estate prices, that have shot up retail prices on products, Hong Kong remains the go-to shopping destination for most people.
This is thanks to their numerous shops, variety of products and favorable policies. So, the next time you’re looking to buy from a luxury brand like Chanel, you might save extra money if you were to visit their stores in Hong Kong.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.