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Cost of Living in Hong Kong

The Cost of Living in Hong Kong in 2014

Living in Hong Kong as an expat is a costly exercise, be under no illusions. But a few small adjustments can save significant costs here. We break down and summarise the cost of living in Hong Kong.

The Cost of Rent

Renting in Hong Kong can vary hugely but generally, the biggest variable is living on Hong Kong Island, or not. For a compact two-bedroom flats in a relatively central area (Hong Kong Island), you will pay around HK$25,000. Head towards the more popular areas on Hong Kong Island (like Soho or Central) and accommodation goes up by 20-30% to HK$30,000-HK$35,000. For more on cost and where’s good to live, visit our where to live guide.

How to Save

  • If you are looking to save money, head for Kowloon. Here you will find accommodation at a fraction of the cost and with far greater space. You can find a flat for between HK$10,000 and HK15,000 here – compared to the prices mentioned above on Hong Kong Island. New Territories will also give you more space and facilities for your money. This is a popular choice with expat families. Fully serviced condominiums are plentiful here but the trade-off is the commute. Hong Kong is very well serviced transport-wise so you’re never that isolated.
  • Using a flatshare site like EasyRoomMate can save you a significant amount of time and money when looking for your first home in Hong Kong. This is also a great way to make new friends when moving to Hong Kong.

For more information on accommodation, visit out our accommodation section.

Electricity & Water costs are relatively expensive. For a two-bed apartment you should expect to pay around HK$1000-HK$1500 per month on electricity and water depending on usage of course. Don’t forget to switch off the air-con when you don’t need it- it’ll save you a lot!

Cost of transport in Hong Kong is extremely good value. Buy an Octopus card at any MTR station or in 7Eleven and you’ll save hugely on bus and MTR travel. Taxis are also extremely good value- a 5km trip will set you back around HK$50. The starting fee is just under HK$20

Grocery Shopping in Hong Kong is expensive as almost everything is imported. Also, many people in HK eat out most of the time, partly because eating out can be very cheap, but it could also be because of lack of facilities in their accommodation.

Here is a list of prices to give you an idea (estimated):

Bag of Ground Coffee: HK$65-85

Minced meat (250g): HK$60

Butter (227g): HK$35-40

Fresh Milk (1L): HK$20

Loaf of Sliced Bread: HK$15-20

Bottle of beer: HK$11-15

Drinking in Hong Kong can be quite reasonable but can sky-rocket as your new expat social might too. An average bar will set you back HK$30-40 for a pint of lager or beer and HK$70 for a glass of wine. Depending on your taste, prices can go as high as you like: a beer in certain places can reach over HK$100. For more on Drinking in Hong Kong, click here.

Eating in Hong Kong can cost as much or as little as you like, from HK$15 at a stall to HK$5,000 at one of Hong Kong’s fine dining joints. For more on Dining in Hong Kong, click here.

The cost of living in Hong Kong can be relatively high when it comes to your children’s education. International schools’ tuition fees can range from HK$90,000-HK$200,000 per year for secondary education and between HK$45,000 and HK$100,000 for primary education.

One thing to consider is that the tax rate in Hong Kong is one of the lowest in the world, so you will have a significantly larger monthly sum at your disposal. So remember to consider the cost of living in Hong Kong relative to your NET income each month. For a more detailed look, please visit our income tax blog.

48 Responses to The Cost of Living in Hong Kong in 2014

  1. John Horne March 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    useful guide… cost of living in hong kong sounds expensive… i’m earning 40000HK per month- will i have enough to enjoy myself?

    • Chris March 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      Should be enough. Of course it depends on your standards and you can easily spent that money in a month but its absolutely enough to have a nice life as long as you don’t want to invite every girl in Lan Kwai Fong Parties every night ;-)

    • Ian Humphreys April 4, 2013 at 1:10 am #


      Depends how you enjoy yourself. After accomodation, utilities and the other basics there will not be lot left with which to “enjoy” yourself.

    • Jeff June 20, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

      More than enough brother, don’t listen to the others. HK is a cheap place to live as long as you have half a brain :)

    • Island Girl July 1, 2013 at 3:16 am #

      40k (HKD per month)
      20k (hkd per month) apartment (for a small western style at least 500 square foot place in a convenient location)

      Then depends how you eat and live, but yes, definitely more than enough.

  2. Ormus March 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I got a job offer in HK as a drama teacher. But it’s only 18 000 HKD/month and goes up to 20 000 HKD after 6 months. Sounds like I would starve to death while living in a shoe-box…? Or am I exaggerating…?

    • Lala May 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      I am a local Hong Konger, knowing Hong Kong much. Actually I think this article over exagerate Hong Kong. For most locals, we earn less than $20000HKD. A professional teacher would only earn about $20000 after university graduation. You can definately live with $17000/month.
      Ofcourse, maybe this article is writen for wealthy foreigners. Said in the article, a two-bedroom flat costs $30000. Ofcourse you need this amount of money if you wanna live in the most expensive area eg Central in the city. But if you are expecting that high, a three-bedroom flat (~1000sq. feet) in Tai Wai, which is a very convenient New territories area, only one station from the centre of Kowloon, would only cost $~20000. And these kind of private estate can already be called as big hair house in the eyes of local. If you are single, you can find a one bedroom flat under $10000 in farer areas.

      Actually, $18000 is not very little. A lot of locals live with $15000 for a family of four.

      After all, what I would say is this article is just so “wealthy”. This is not the live of locals.

      • Richard Lawless June 19, 2013 at 4:35 am #

        It’s a shame that many local Hong Kong colleagues of mine share the mus-guided opinion that foreigners are wealthy. While some definitely are, just as some local Hong Kongers are very wealthy, many of us suffer from that assumption. I have lived here for 16 years and I find whereever I go to a market or when I’m negotiating my rent Ican say for certain that I’m being charged more based on my nationality and ethnicity. I’m a teacher who earns $20,000 a month, I don’t have any family support like my colleagues do and if I should become unemployed I am in serious trouble as I have nothing to fall back on. If I want to visit my family its also very expensive and time consuming. Most of my frinds are in a similar financial bracket and we live on out-lying islands as thats all we can realistically afford. Don’t mis-understand me, I love Hong Kong and feel it is very much my home but I don’t care for some local people’s assumptions of the extravagance of an ex-pat lifestyle.

        • Island Girl July 1, 2013 at 3:17 am #

          Yes, how true it is. Well, they see a foreigner, they automatically assume they are wealthy, just like if you tell them you are from the states, they will think the same thing….. even if you are not at all wealthy.

        • Colbert October 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

          Entirely agree.

    • Jeff June 20, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

      20K is fine, at most you will need to spend about 10-12k a month in rent, but depending on where you live you may pay less. Everything else is incredibly cheap compared to other places (food, power, water, internet etc). You can always do PT work for cash money anyway ;)

    • Neil July 16, 2013 at 12:34 am #

      Depends where you are teaching and therefore where you hope to live. If you are prepared to commute up to an hour each way you can find accommodation in a local area in HK/Kowloon or anywhere in the New Territories that will give you plenty left to live on. If you are prepared to flatshare you will have that much more left to live on. As a rule of thumb, try not to spend more than 30-40% of your income on rent. It is do-able. But Hong Kong living for all but the wealthiest is, I’m afraid, mostly about shoebox living compared with most places that foreigners come from. I live in DB and rentals are not too bad here, plus the lifestyle is great, although geared more towards families than singles. Loads of teachers living here too!

    • Steve October 22, 2013 at 12:49 am #

      On 18K you would be miserable ! if you want to live like the average expat i.e. have a holiday once a year or go home to see your family, go out to dinner with other expats, go out for beers with mates etc. Dinner out with your expat mates & a couple of beers will cost you $600HKD minimum. Unless you want to live like a local & do local things with your time, $18k is not enough. It’s true not all expats are wealthy in HK but you will spend $15,000pm in any sort of accommodation in an area that would make you happy. The article is grossly wrong regarding property prices. A 2 bedroom 800 square foot flat on HK island will cost you $30k a month and $15000 out at the airport. We used to pay$65k in town for 2.5 bedroom in a nice western style building in town.
      On the other hand, HK is still one of the most exciting cities in the world to live as an expat especially. It is safe, cosmopolitan & has a true 24/7 buzz. An experience that will blow your mind but only if you have enough money!. My advice, don’t write it off, if you are serious get on a site like Asia Expat Hong Kong and talk to other expats to get some advice from people who are actually doing it. Good luck.

  3. Imran March 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Please required for job in telecomm.

  4. Chiez May 6, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    To Ormus, for foreigners like you and me, since we were hired from abroad as part of the contract there should have Food and Housing allowance like what i have, thats very likely to be lighter for the expenses…but eventually base from my experience, the company got prerogative to take it out after your next contract…so might as well include that budget of housing and food in the Salary that you will negotiate. i think thats pretty low salary that they offered you as a Drama Teacher, thats the Price that was offered to my friend to work in China which is a good price IF you will work in CHINA but not in HK.

  5. Mark May 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    a brilliant post!!

  6. Ekkorn May 15, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I got a job offer salary at 77500 HKD per month, it would be enough for my education fees of my kid age 5 years?

    • Lala May 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      Depending on what education do you wnat your kid to receive. A 5 yr old should be studying in K3. Kindergarten fee varies. It can cost from under 1000 to over 5000 per month. Most cost 1000-2000 for local kindergartens. a private english kindergarten costing 3000 can already provide a very good education.
      75000 is definately enough if you are not living a life of a millionaire.

      • Raj September 8, 2013 at 7:40 am #

        Hi, If you could let me know some schools for Kinder Garden where the fees are around 5000 or 6000$. Then do let me now. . Iam planning to Move to HK but the fees on the school websites are too high, may be iam looking in the wrong place.

        • Addison Kwek September 18, 2013 at 2:54 am #

          Hi Raj,

          There are a number of HK kindergardens in your budget range, you will need to look harder. If you really need help in finding a school, take a look at this :

          Best of luck.


  7. vabs June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I have a job offer of 50K HKD yearly. Would it be sufficient to live a descent life with wife and 5 year kid (primary school going) ?
    Am i be able to save something ? I am considering here descent life (not too lavish).
    If general breakup would be provided for ; apartment rental, school fees (English medium descent school), grosseries, transnportaion & tax. It would be really very helpfull to conclude something for me.
    Any kind of advise will be highly appreciated.


    • Sharath November 16, 2013 at 2:38 am #

      HKD 50K per annum, it’s only sufficient for 2-3 months at most.

  8. Not made in HK June 7, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    It is sad to think some may read this article and genuinely think HK is an expensive place to ‘live’ compared to other urban centres where expats would most likely be found. I live in HK and pay $5000 dollars in rent for my room and I’m two stops away by MTR from the financial district (15-20 minute trip including walking).

    Utilities in HK are not expensive at all, you just can’t waste them as you would in Western countries. In fact most of the services are configured in such a way that you don’t really need to use many resources, for example in most normal flats there is no central heating or central air conditioning so it keeps costs down. My utilities are about 100-200 a month.

    As for groceries, you can live ridiculously cheap in HK if you wish to. The best thing is they have few sin taxes, so alcohol (at least beer) is very cheap. I don’t know if the bottle of beer the writer bought was gold-encrusted but I can buy a whole 12 pack for ~$25 or two large bottles (~650mL) for $12 total. The same goes for the rest of their examples, divide it by two and you’re about right. Except the milk.

    The thing you have to understand about HK is that here, more than in any other city in the world most likely, there is a tremendous gulf between the prices of things in the same category. For example you can buy a $30 imported bottle of beer or you can buy a $5 local/Chinese beer of comparable quality. It is like this for anything you buy. Same goes with dining out, everything. This is essentially because expats and locals live separate lives in separate areas of the city on separate salaries, but both still have to survive.

    TLDR these articles are very misleading as the cost of living is the cost of living exactly as you would back home in your Western country as opposed to the cost of adapting (which is very easy to do indeed). If you are reading this article in English you are probably a resident of a Western country. If so, HK is not relatively expensive at all. The only thing that complicates my above argument is if you have a family and/or are infirm, then everything gets much more expensive. But who would want that?

  9. Kim June 8, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    Correction: the starting fee for taxis on HK island is exactly $20, not less than.

    This article totally overstates the issue. Hong Kong can be expensive, but there are plenty of cheaper options. We don’t all live in Soho and dine at Sevva every night. My outgoings, including rent (sharing with boyfriend), food (eating out included), transport, and the odd night out (I don’t drink much) are 12,000 a month. I know plenty of people who make between 16 and 25k a month and are able to live comfortably and save money.

  10. Devin June 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    We moved from Star Street in Wanchai to TKO, which gave us more space for almost the same rental price, and relatively lower service/food/other living costs….HK is expensive, but as one person commented most people here don’t live on expat downtown finance center salaries…move out of the central-tst-wanchai corridor and you’ll find some great deals even nowadays, plus see a bit more of the local side of life.

  11. borat June 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    not true…tell me where to buy a HKD200 beer?????????

    • Island Girl July 1, 2013 at 3:19 am #

      lol, so true, beer would be less than 120 HKD the most. 200 is A LOT, definitely not for a beer. a jug maybe, lol.

      However 200 would be enough for 1 and a half dandy cocktail for the ladies if you are in lkf.

  12. Matt H June 11, 2013 at 4:18 am #


    I live in a 2 bed place on the East of the Island which is only 17,000 and you can find many cheaper places!

    Similarly, not sure whose electric is that expensive, at most I am paying $500 HKD a month in the middle of summer with constant air-con! Not forgetting the fact that over the last 6 months I haven’t paid any electricity because the government gave us all a free grant of 1800 which was more than enough for 6 months not during the summer!

    Lastly, while somethings are expensive worth remembering that tax rate is maximum 15% which is a lot lower than other countries, so when I compare it to what I had in the UK I am much better off here on a comparative salary!

    • Annalise June 29, 2013 at 4:44 am #

      Well it really depends on where you live,
      I mean I’m a child living with my parents here in hk, I have 3 siblings, so i live with my parents, my 2 sisters 14 and 11 and my brother 23, it is very expensive since we live on hong kong island, because my parents wont move father out, my father is the only one that works, he works part time at 2 english tutor centers he only earns around, 28k per month, the housing in hk island is really expensive like around 30k just to find something big enough to fit all of us in, but there are cheap apartments under 20k for the same size in new territories but thats too far, the food isnt that expensive, but in the summer the air-con bill is really high, around 1800hkd so i wouldnt reccomend living in Hong kong ISLAND if you have a family but its realliy nice and cheap if you move to kowloon or new terroiters

  13. Dan T June 26, 2013 at 5:19 am #

    It’s pretty simple. If you can live on your salary in Sydney, you’ll live like a king on the same salary in Hong Kong, albeit in a smaller apartment.

    I reckon Sydney is twice as expensive than Hong Kong!

    • Carm3nka July 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Agreed. Sydney is sky high, has been for a while now. All nationalities who come to Syd are amazed at how expensive it is.

      You won’t find a can of coke for less than USD $2.50 (not that you should be looking for this sort of drink in the first place…)

  14. Island Girl July 1, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    17000 HKD would get you : (It’s not a lot and not too little, assuming you are an expat with some skills (aka a degree and some work experience), if you are a local, they think it’s quite a bit). but if you move to china, you will most likely get housing but not even half of 17000HKD, but more chances and much cheaper other things …

    (If you want to live the poor expat life) in hk with 17000 hkd per month
    a small small and small apartment in nice area (commercial district): central or sai wan or sheung wan (for HKD13000 per moth or less)
    1000HKD or less utilities and phone
    3000HKD for whatever else you want to do (aka eating, dining out, transport)
    You will basically have no savings whatsoever

    If you want to live the richer expat life with 17000 per month
    move to cheung chai, mui wo, (DB/Park Island) pay HKD 5000-8000 per month for a small but not so small that you think you would choke village house/apartment
    Much more for transport (Ferry and the time for commuting) dunno how much it would cost
    1000 hkd utilities
    you can probably save a few bucks and able to explore other parts of asia with your savings

    And goodness, you don’t need to take the taxi in hk, not really anyway, buses and mini vans and trams are everywhere. And there is such a thing call the train (MTR). If you want to be posh and take a cab everywhere, it won’t break your bank.

    For the other guys with much bigger offer. I think your financial commitment is much higher. Couple things to consider:

    A) Do you have to pay tax in your home country also. double tax is a pain and reduce the amount of deposable income you have.
    B) How many kids do you have and their age. It will mean finding them a school and finding a area to live that are kids friendly. Schools in HK are CRAZY. International schools are very expensive and hard to get in, even when you wave them cash and donate even more cash. Do you want your kids to be grown up as third generation kids?
    C) Housing allowance, does your package come with a housing allowance, if it takes, grab it, rent in hk is not for the faint hearted, worse than tokyo, much worse than Singapore. Singapore is probably better for family with kids (if you like singapore)
    D) How long is your contract? you may not be aware, but people get layoff here in the banking sector quite commonly, and also people do change job qutie often…

    If you are not thinking about all these money thing.
    Ask yourself, do you like a fast pace, noisy city, because if you don’t, you won’t like HK. While HK is very convenient, a lot of people may find it suffocating. You either love it or hate it, there’s not a lot of middle ground with a city like Hong Kong. It’s a weird weird city but I love it.

    Pray and seek God and talk with people and do some research before you come.

  15. Island Girl July 1, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    20,000 for drama teacher, that is not a lot, but a lot if you teach kindergarten. If your job is for high school, it doesn’t sound qutie right….You can definitely get a much better package, depending on your experience and qualification.

  16. Island Girl July 1, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    Hi vaibhav, do you mean 500k (hkd) yearly? You would be pretty comfortable with 500k (hkd) yearly, if you don’t have a mortgage or student loan to pay off. Depends how you spend your money really.

    If you spend 20000 per month for a house. 5k per month for your kid, 2k plus utilities and transport to pay, 5k for food etc. And if you hire a maid (helper), that’s another 3k-4k. Insurance….Depends how you live really. You will still have money left.

  17. Manish July 3, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    Hi Friends, How much will be one room flat cost for rent/month in HK dollars in areas in New territories, I have to study Near Shatin and am just wondering what should be the budgeted cost considering place, party areas around and ofcourse kind of apartments. Any suggestion.

    (I am hearing 5000-6000 HKD/person/room/month – Is it too Expensive/on the higher side.)

    Thanks in advance

  18. Andrew July 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Am moving to HK as was offered a job at 60,000 HKD a month plus 25,000 HKD housing allowances per month. Office is at Kowloon, is the housing allowances enough to find a place in Kowloon itself or better for me to move to the NT? Is the salary offered reasonable as an expat salary? Am single and don’t fancy clubbing. Don’t smoke and a social drinker.

    • Anneka July 5, 2013 at 7:13 am #

      This article is nonsense. I have been working in Hong Kong for 7months on a salary of 18000HKD/month and have managed to go on three trips to south east Asia, whilst living well in hk (going out and shopping) and still I’ve managed to save some money. Hong Kong is only that expensive if you want to live in a swanky flat in central, shop in Chanel and choose to drink $200 bottles of beer when you can get it as cheap as $18. You would need a big salary to live that lifestyle in any city.

      • Harold Westendorf July 5, 2013 at 8:22 am #

        Hi Andrew, I thought it would be good to give you some perspective from someone in a similar salary bracket to yourself.

        I would say that 25k per month would cover a smallish apartment on HK Island (This is where you really want to be). Face it- while you’re here you want the best experience and that is on Hong Kong Island. New Territories is for families and Kowloon is for backpackers.

        You can get a drink for $18 – if you buy a can in the shop and drink it on the street!! 40/50 is more sensible. The higher society establishments start at 100 and go up to 220+.

        All in all, 60k will give you a great time – and dont foregt tax is almost nil!

        Enjoy yourself, Harry

        • HK July 19, 2013 at 10:24 am #

          If you say Kowloon is for backpackers then you are the most close-minded and ignorant expat I have ever come cross. Have you ever been to Olympic and Elements area? It’s nice you give the new fellows some advice but your stereotype comments. Learn more about the city is my advice to you!

      • Ismail September 25, 2013 at 9:33 am #

        I’m 28, single and planning to find work in marketing / advertising firms in HK. Have 3 years of experience of working in Pakistan and UAE for a few months too.
        After reading many comments, I have realized that the prices stated are at a higher side of the scale, and plus it is for rich expats, so I’m not taking these into account as such.
        I want to know if a 12-15k salary be doable in HK? I am understating right now, just for the idea if this is doable. The more, the merrier.
        I lived sharing a room in dubai and abu dhabi and it got very economical for a person like me. Are there room sharing arrangements allowed in HK also? If yes, that can save a lot.
        Not a drinker, smoker, prefer eating lighter, easy food.

        Any help or opinion will be highly appreciated.


    • Kes July 5, 2013 at 10:11 am #

      You can find out exactly how much you need in Hong Kong to maintain your current standard of living and how much you need to improve your standard of living using the cost of living salary calculator at

      You will also get the prices of every items, utility bills, furnished and unfurnished apartments and the personal tax summary in Hong Kong.

  19. MJH July 16, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    This article is totally exaggerated and inflated, i wonder how much advertising money the sites you’ve mentioned have paid you to drive traffic to their business! Shame on you!

    • James McLoughlin July 17, 2013 at 1:41 am #

      MJH, I don’t know what reality you live in. I would go the other way and say it can be so much more expensive than the prices quoted above. For those in a decent salary bracket, like myself, expect to pay at least 25k for a decent place. BTW – easyroomate is a nice way to save cash for those not in a position to pay that price. MJH – you should check it out :)

    • Colbert October 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

      I live in Midlevels, not even in a ‘swanky’ apartment as previous people have described and the above costs are exactly if not less than what I pay. Like all cities, the further out you live, the more economical housing is but the article was quite specifically referring to the Island, Central and Soho.

  20. ABC July 18, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    Good article, this was written for overseas employees looking to stay in HK. All of the facts are correct, it’s just that most full-time jobs in HK won’t pay you more than $20,000 HKD per month.

    Of course, foreigners who work in international schools and big companies get housing allowance and a great salary. keep in mind that you are in HK. and to live a lifestyle of the west WILL cost you money.

    overall, you can find anything from dirt cheap to expensive, it all depends on what kind of lifestyles you want.

    for locals:

    1.) we never spend money in Lan Kwai Fong because we know where to go for cheap beer and chicks
    2.) most of us don’t live in central because rent is ridiculous for your average employee
    3.) we rarely dine in expensive restaurants because our salary doesn’t allow it

    If you see a local doing all of the above, he is considered a wealthy person.

  21. Saqib September 23, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    Dear All,

    I am a banker by profession and expected to get HomgKOng immigration. Can you guide me about the expected salary/compensation in HK for me, as i have more than 8 years of banking experience in Pakistan. Moreover the family cost of living (moderate average type) in HK as i have kid of 6 months as well. Suggestion are needed…..

  22. Alan November 1, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    The problem is most expats live in their own little bubble in the mid-levels, only eating western restaurants in Soho/central, only party in LKF. Of course it will be expensive. Its all inflated western prices, comparable to Sydney. If you live in Kowloon , eat local food. shop at local supermarkets and drink at local bars/clubs than its very easy to live off 25K month.

    Its ridiculous how much some westerners spend here in HK and im pretty sure from Heralds comments above he is one of these expats. 25K for a smallish apartment , are you kidding me? and obviously he has never been to Kowloon, which is the real HK. If you want to experience HK, stay in Kowloon. At my supermarket I can buy 3 longneck beers for $16.

  23. Marcellus November 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Almost all has been said before. You can ‘do’ HK as cheap or expensive as you like (also depending on your budget). As an expat, if you decide to live as the locals HK-ers do, you don’t have to spend more than HK$ 100 / day. That includes:
    1) transport KL – HK island (return) is less than HK$ 30.
    2) Lunch in a local restaurant (usually a complete meal) cost you less than HK$ 30.
    3) Dinner (if you go before 6 pm, you may enjoy the teaset price) cost you around HK$ 40
    4) Budget 50 HK$ a day for other expenses (including drinks), so you will spend HK$ 1500 per month for additional (fun) things.

    In general for housing / rental: you pay more if:
    a) you live closer to MTR (pay for convenience)
    b) you live at a higher floor
    c) you have a sea view (Kowloon: especially when you have a view on HK island)
    d) your apartment building is newer
    e) you live in a certain ‘high standing’ location

    Avoid the Western or Fusion style restaurants if you want to save money (and besides, they are not necessarily better than local restaurants….but guaranteed much more expensive). Planning your journeys can save you a lot of money too (bus, minibus are the cheapest, MTR is faster but a little bit more expensive, take the taxi only when you are in a hurry). Don’t buy a car (it is inconvenient, expensive and actually you don’t need it when you live in most HK island / Kowloon areas). For some outer areas with poor access to public transport, a car can be useful, but not all the way.

    If you are vegetarian, buy local veggies like Choi Sum. Usually you can buy two bags of vegetables for just HK$ 15 (Welcome). Add some noodles to it (which cost between 8-10 HK$) and you will have a simple meal for two days (and still some noodles left). Drink tea (choose local brands) instead of Coke of other sweet drinks.

    If you do this for 30 days you will spend 10k for the rent (small apartment) and 4,5k on food, transport and some fun (acceptable life style). The rest is for insurance, water, electricity, tv, clothes and some savings (if you make 20k / month).

    About Kowloon: backpackers is only for those who stay in cheap dodgy hotels on Nathan road. Nowadays you can find (very) expensive apartments all over Kowloon, especially Olympic, Kowloon (Elements), Austin area, but don’t forget TST, Kowloon Tong, Hung Hom, Ho Man Tin. Kowloon is upgrading for quite some time and prices go with it.

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