This post was originally published in 2013, but was updated in 2019.
Back when I was a single female (before Josh came along), I wanted to travel, but it was always difficult to find others who could travel with me. If this is the way you feel…don’t feel stuck…just go it alone! Traveling solo can be a wonderful experience, full of personal growth and introspection. Some females are a bit wary of traveling solo, and it’s true that some destinations are more challenging to explore as a solo female, but visiting Hong Kong is not a problem. Below are 10 reasons why solo travel in Hong Kong is actually pretty awesome, even for women!
1. Is Solo Travel in Hong Kong Safe?
Hong Kong is regarded as one of the safest cities in the world. With low crime rates, well maintained infrastructure & roadways, and well trained police and medical services, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. As a solo female traveler, I never felt scared while moving about the city – even at night. But of course, common sense should always be used and trust your instinct.
2. Great Transportation in Hong Kong
Public transportation in Hong Kong is fantastic. In additional to well maintained sidewalks and even elevated walkways, there are a series of underground trains, above ground trains (countryside), trams, buses, and boats; so you will have no problem getting around. I recommend doing your research in advance by reviewing the maps and schedules so that you are well aware of how to get around and how the process works.
The Octopus card is a great option if you plan to make use of public transportation. Similar to the Oyster card in London (and many other cities), you can purchase and load the card with funds, then use it throughout the city during your trip.
3. Hong Kong Has Some Inexpensive Accommodation Options
As many of you know, I am a fan of budget accommodation – especially if you are traveling solo and don’t have anyone to split the cost with. Hong Kong has wide variety of of accommodation options, from budget to 5 star. The nicer hotels in Hong Kong can get surprisingly expensive, and the rooms will be very small (since space is at a premium).
For my trip I chose to stay in a hostel, the YesInn. It was a great hostel and I highly recommend it. The Yesinn was safe, comfortable, and in a great location with easy access to public transportation. Plus, I couldn’t beat the price! I think I paid about $20 USD a night – in the center of the city!
Chungking Mansions Warning…
As a side note, if you are doing research for hostels in Hong Kong, you will likely see a bunch of places that are located in the “Chungking Mansions”…I wouldn’t recommend them! This complex is full of SUPER cheap hostels; however, it is sketchy inside & the some of the building look like they could crumble at any moment. While it is in a very convenient location and dirt cheap to stay there, I’ve heard a lot of not so great experiences, especially females. You can pay just a few dollars more and get a much better experience elsewhere (without the prostitutes and hustlers outside your door).
UPDATE: Now that I’ve traveled to Hong Kong many times (since writing this original post), read more about our recommended Hong Kong Hotels.
4. Experience Hong Kong’s Culture & History
When I travel, I love learning about the culture and history of my destination, especially in an authentic way. I was impressed with the Hong Kong tourism board and their website; it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. The website is organized well, and has a ton of information about the different parts of Hong Kong, activities, events, etc. So be sure to check it out.
When I first traveled to Hong Kong, they had a Cultural Kaleidoscope program where I could participate in a number of culture activities…for FREE! Some of activities in the program included: A Tea Appreciation Class, Chinese Medicine Class, Chinese Cake Making Class, Cantonese Opera Appreciation Class, Fung Shui class from a Master, and a historic Chinese Junk Boat ride in the harbor! I had so much participating in these cultural activities because they enhanced my experience and I was able to meet and interact with other travelers!
** UPDATE: As of today (2019) I do not see any reference to this Cultural Kaleidoscope program on the Hong Kong tourism website; therefore, I fear it may have been discontinued — which is a mega bummer because I thoroughly loved it! However, there are plenty of other free things to do in Hong Kong which you can do on your own.
5. Hong Kong is Full of Zen Moments
Part of the reason I decided to go to Hong Kong by myself was because I needed a break! Things were stressful at home and I really wanted some time to myself. Hong Kong has a number of beautifully manicured parks, so I would break up my day by relaxing in a park or walking through an intricate “zen garden” with water features and sculpted plants.
For a unique experience, be sure to check out the Po Street Bird Garden. People will bring their birds out so that they can chirp with each other, and so people can interact with the birds. It’s a cool experience to see it and listen to the chirping!
Also, each morning I woke up before the sun rose and would go to a nearby park for Tai Chi classes. I had to laugh at all the elderly people who filled the parks doing various forms of exercise, including Tai Chi every morning. But I must admit, it felt amazing…so they are on to something! It was an invigorating way to start each day.
6. Hong Kong For the Physically Active Travelers If you are looking for more physical types of activities and love getting outdoors, then you may be surprised to hear just how many active outdoor opportunities exist in Hong Kong! For example, I took a 30 km bike ride through the Hong Kong rural countryside with Hansen’s Hikes & Rides.
The company also offers other types of biking excursions, as well as many hikes throughout the countryside and up steep mountains! Some of them can be quite strenuous, but provide great scenery and a way to exercise while seeing the landscape.
7. Hong Kong Shopping
While I’m not a huge shopper, Hong Kong provides plenty of opportunities for those who are! There seem to be malls everywhere; however, I found the street markets to be the most interesting. Just like going to any other Chinatown, you can find all kinds of goods at the markets and haggle your way to a good deal. I did end up bringing back some nice scarves and handmade silk pillows. Great souvenirs from the trip!
Read also Tips for Mastering the Foreign Street Market
8. Hong Kong Provides A Taste of Asia, but Westernized
One of the nice things about Hong Kong is the way that it is both Eastern and Western at the same time. If you haven’t traveled much or feel nervous going to Asia by yourself because of the language barrier, then Hong Kong is a perfect place to visit. It’s like dipping your toe in Asia, but not completely leaving the Western world. Because of its British heritage, much of central Hong Kong speaks English and the signs are in English too. This makes it an easy Asian city to explore.
9. You Won’t be Bored in Hong Kong
I planned to spend a week in Hong Kong, and I remember my mother telling me that I would be bored; especially because I was by myself. However, I had the complete opposite experience! I left the hostel before 6 am every day and didn’t return until late at night; just in time to put my exhausted self to sleep!
I was so busy visiting museums, attending classes, going on bike rides, cruising the harbor, exploring temples, doing a bit of shopping at the market, venturing out to rural villages, or taking boat trips out to outlying islands that my 7 days were packed! And I still didn’t get to see it all! Just one of the many reasons for me to return.
10. Relax With a Massage in Hong Kong
If you have ever been to Asia, then you know what I mean. Massages are available all over the city for crazy cheap, tempting you indulge to in some relaxation every day. In fact, there was a great massage facility right in front of the building where my hostel was located. So every night when I returned from an exhausting day of exploring the city, I would make a stop for an hour of reflexology on my tired feet (for a bargain $10 USD). It was a wonderful way to end each day (or a nice break in the middle of the day). Yes, some days I had two massages.
Overall, I would highly recommend planning a visit to Hong Kong – even if you can’t find anyone to go with you, don’t let that stop you! And especially solo female travelers, it’s a really great place to visit. There is so much to do, the infrastructure is great, and the people are wonderful. Happy Travels!
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52 thoughts on “10 Reasons for Solo Travel in Hong Kong (even solo female travelers)”
I absolutely LOVE Hong Kong. In fact, the city inspired my first love letter on my blog 😉 It’s a great place to travel solo, and the international mix of people means English is spoken nearly everywhere.
Thank you for the comment! Agreed – it is such a wonderful place to visit, actually it seems like a pretty cool place to live too. A love letter – huh?!? We will need to check that out!
Liz & josh
Thank you. An Australian solo traveller of 6 years living in remote PNG, this was exactly what I was looking for. A week in HK, last minute decision. I think think the Cultural Kaleidoscope sounds like a great place to start.
Thanks David. You will have a great time! Really cool city and their Cultural program is a lot of fun. I met some wonderful travelers in the classes and it was a unique way to experience the city.
Thank you SO much for this article. I am accompanying my fiance on a work trip next week and was hesitant on whether I should explore solo, but after reading this article I’m totally inspired and looking forward to it!
Thanks Anastacia, I’m so glad to hear it! Hong Kong is such a wonderful place, I miss it. You will definitely have a nice time. Lots of markets to shop at too.
I love travelling alone and Hong Kong sounds like an awesome place to do it. I’d love to go some day and enjoy wandering around aimlessly to see what I can find.
If you enjoy traveling solo, you will definitely enjoy Hong Kong! There are some great sites and hiking out on Lantau Island too. Taking a boat to the island from the main harbor is a lot of fun!
I love Hong Kong, so much that I stayed for a month! The pace can be killer, but there are ways around that. What were your favourite spots? Fave restaurants? Fave things to see, eat, and do? 🙂 Thanks for writing about Hong Kong, Liz!
Thanks for the comment Henry! Wow, there were so many things that I loved about Hong Kong – I would love to live there for a while. It is fast paced, but I really liked all the outdoor things that you could do to get away from the craziness easily. Going on hikes, or to the other side of the island to a quite beach. I also went on a really fun bike ride through the countryside – beautiful and peaceful. I also enjoyed visiting Lantau island. I think what I loved the most was the intense city, surrounded by outdoor beauty! 🙂
After a 25 yr absence of living in HKG I return a solo traveller but staying in a nice hotel….looking forward to seeing the place with older eyes and much travelling in Europe. I have returned to Asia after many years and wonder why I ever left. I hope its as good as I remember and I’ll try not to cry too much with childhood memories….
This is exactly what i need:) many thanks . By the way did you stay at yesinn in fortress or in kowloon? Ty
Hi Suki – thanks for the comment! I stayed at the Fortress hill location. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but it was clean and pleasant inside the hostel. Comfortable beds, helpful employees, and a good location! I definitely recommend it for the price! Have fun!
Great post! just what I was looking for. Im planning a trip alone to Hong kong and your post is excellent. will try them out. thanks for the recommendations. So encouraging!
Awesome! Thanks so much for reading Shalini – I’m so glad that it helped you!
Hi, I just check the site of Yesinn to check the rate for my solo trip in HKG. They have 3 branches already (I think) Which branch did you stayed specifically? 🙂 I would really appreciate your response.
Hello Lilay – thanks for the comment! It’s funny, we are actually in Hong Kong right now! 🙂
I stayed at the Fortress hill location. It found it to be basic, but quite comfortable. The people were super friendly, and I felt totally safe walking around as a solo female.
Have a great trip!
Thank you so much for this article !! I am going to Hong Kong in the summer and although I am joining a tour I have a few day pre-tour to myself so this advice and the recommendations are so reassuring!
Thanks for this, I’ve really wanted to go to Hong Kong for ages, but the prospect of travelling on my own somewhere I don’t speak a word of the language was putting me off – but this has reassured me that I can do this safely – so just need to plan the trip and get on with it, just might need to go for longer than I thought to fit everything in.
Thanks for the comment Liz. Yes, you do not need to worry about not speaking the language in Hong Kong. Everything important is in English, and many of the tourist areas are in English. You won’t have a problem. It’s amazing how much there is to do in such a small area like Hong Kong – I assure you, you won’t be bored!
Hey guys! Im heading over to HK for 2 nights in a couple of weeks on my way to the UK…no idea what to choose accomm wise and where!? Travelling solo there a Friday night until Sunday morn..Any ideas!?
Hey there Nathan – sorry I am a couple days late on replying to your comment. I was traveling with very limited access to the internet.
I’ve been to Hong Kong many times, and every time is a blast! Your location in Hong Kong can really make a difference – and there is a huge variety. If you want something that is cheap, but still quite good quality and great location, then I can highly recommend a place where we recently stayed (only 3 weeks ago) – the Homy Inn (link below).
It’s in a great location just a 5 minute walk from Tsim Sha Tsui station in the heart of Hong Kong, with easy access to everything – yet, it is on a quiet street. The rooms are small and basic, but new, clean and comfortable. The staff was super friendly – and there are a ton of bars and restaurants located at the entrance. We really loved it and will be staying there again on our next visit. Here is the link to check them out: http://www.agoda.com/homy-inn/hotel/hong-kong-hk.html?asq=HlaoD2wfOgMvsaXfEp8qgPXeKzSsc53uAR2iZyP1%2bm6elnu8qR2bwYl8GI2E0RcjIXIAthxJ537hluk7mnCCxpgli1hdbqyhB8rgntZ4A97Zoq7LNjwHHZI7mOdRdRn%2bmjmvjUWetimW%2fmAPU4L8FwK2haGfOdXZj7W3SI%2flmJaDXGu9PviXdURZWaVNiDAsB8xZ5LzogCVbumPEWrmdFB4RI6Lcz3%2bF8pri5IT%2fKk1xibhwOoLcLmXtP4WMPL2H7lUHqPXv5JmzhCKvx4cNgwGoWMWNQ74CcwUESUm%2blyE%3d&cid=1647566&tag=SBNR_banner_1647566_2836_0
Thanks for the comment – and I hope you have a wonderful visit!
Thanks a lot for this lovely post! I’ll be travelling to HK next week by myself and I am a bit anxious, but your post reassured me 🙂 I’ve been there with friends before and loved it. We also stayed at Fortress Hill which I was very satisfied with. I’ve now booked a room at Homy Inn which I see you recommended too so I’m looking forward to it!
I really enjoy travelling and exploring by myself, but the only thing I’m a bit unsure about is where to eat alone as a 20-sth girl. Do you have any tips? I am on a budget and if possible, I’d like to stay away from Western food, but I’m open for anything! Thanks 🙂
Thanks Julie! We’re glad you enjoyed the post and hope that you have a blast in Hong Kong!
I would recommend some of the food stalls near the street markets. You can get reasonably priced local food that is quite good. In particular, there is a hole in the wall that I liked on the south end of Temple street (just north of the entrance to Kowloon Park). If you walk that part of the street, there are some nicer restaurants and bars — but there is a little Chinese takeout place — it’s not really a restaurant, just some stools and counters to sit at, no front door! But the food is cheap, and really good! I ate there many times by myself during my last visit. The big menu on the wall is in Chinese, but closer to the register, there is a faded version in English.
I hope this helps. As a solo traveler, I don’t think people will look at you strange for dining by yourself. On my most recent trip, I also went into a couple local restaurants on my own. Although, sometimes if they are busy (like at lunch time) they will sit you with someone else…or have another solo person join your table! It’s strange if you are unprepared, but I’ve always found the people to be nice — or quiet. But overall, always a great experience.
Thanks for the recommendation! I am somehow hesitant going alone coz it is my first time but after reading this I am confident enough!
Thanks for reading Dave, I’m so glad to help. Have fun!
hi liz, your written is inspiring me, i have bought tiket to hongkong this november, unfortunatelly my hubby cant make it…..the show must go on….:)
Thanks for reading Yani – I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it. You will have a very nice visit to Hong Kong, even if your husband can’t come along. Hong Kong is a wonderful place! 🙂
I am going by myself for one week next month to Hong Kong, I just started traveling which I wanted all my life. Same thing so much stress at home. Any suggestions for a women going alone to Hong Kong.
Hi there Rose! I’m so glad to hear that you are setting out to explore the world, as you have always wanted. The tips in this post will get you started planning your visit to Hong Kong. But for more detailed information and many posts about where to stay and things to do, check out our comprehensive Hong Kong Travel guide here: https://www.peanutsorpretzels.com/plan-your-trip/travel-guide-hong-kong/. Have a great trip!
Thank you for writing this article. I’ve been asked to go on a work trip for a week this coming February. I’ve been feeling uneasy about traveling there as a female going alone. I’ve never had a problem traveling by myself as I just went to Sydney Australia alone. But not knowing much about Hong Kong, I felt like maybe it wouldn’t be safe going alone as a female, I hear so much about people getting food poisoning eating there and then the language barrier. So you have somewhat put my thoughts at ease. To know you have been there many times and really enjoy it is nice to hear. My husband fears for my safety going to china.
Hey Laura – thanks for reading, I’m glad it helped you feel reassured. There is no need for you to worry, Hong Kong is honestly one of the safest cities in the world (even in a recent global report that I read yesterday). Hong Kong is not at all like the rest of China, not at all. Only if you venture far outside the city into the countryside does it resemble the mainland, but even then, it’s not the same.
If you are staying in the main areas of the city, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the language barrier or the food — the food is great by the way. I have been to Hong Kong around 10 times now, and NEVER had any trouble of any kind…especially with food.
Thanks again and relax. You will enjoy your trip!
hi there! finally got the courage to travel alone and hongkong is my very first destination. i’ll be there this march. i will be checking yesinn and homy inn as you have suggested. im wondering what would be a perfect itinerary for 3 days. i am planning to see disneyland. it’s my childhood dream. any suggestions on what to do, where to go and where to dine for the entire trip? thank you so much looking forward to your response. 🙂
This is a great post. I actually just got back from 5 days in Hong Kong, my first time there (and in Asia) and I had a great time. I stayed at a hotel in Mirador Mansion, which is like the Chungking Mansion but not as busy and seemed safer. I was a little worried about my accommodation, but even though the building itself doesn’t look amazing on the outside, I found the hotel I stayed at (Premium Guesthouse) was very nice (a little small, but that was to be expected) and very clean and safe. The touts on Nathan Road were a little annoying, but I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable there. When I was asked if I wanted a new suit or “rolex” watch I just said no and kept going. I’m a 5 foot 10, blue-eyed, blonde girl from Canada with almost no knowledge of Cantonese (I learned some basic phrases) so it is pretty obvious that I’m not a local, and I can’t really blame them for approaching me. One day I did wander through Chungking Mansion and it was a lot busier in the lobby (and the lineup for the elevator had about 30 people.). Mirador Mansion was never super busy, and having the Tsim Sha Shui MTR station just outside the building made it really easy to get around.
Alouise – thanks so much for reading and for the comment. We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit, and thanks for the info about Mirador Mansion. We are actually heading back to Hong Kong in a couple weeks. So many of the hotels are in the Chungking Mansion…but every time we are in Hong Kong we see such LONG lines for people waiting for the elevator at Chungking — so it makes me never want to stay there. The touts are quite annoying too, but it’s only in that area.
Take care and happy travels!
Thank you for your post! I took my first solo trip to Hong Kong and I was somewhat worried a) being a female and b) never traveled alone. But I have to agree with all of the above, I feel content that I chose HK as my solo destination.
Thanks for reading Ashley and for the comment! So happy to hear that we were able to make you feel at ease with your solo travel choice. You definitely will have a blast — I’ve since visited Hong Kong many, many times…and it’s still one of my FAVORITE places to explore. You will love it!
Great article, thanks for the tips! A dynamic and vibrant cosmopolis, Hong Kong has much to offer. However, there are also quite a number of crooks who target tourists in the country.
Do be wary of the bait and switch scam, overcharging shops, weighing scale scam, shopping tours, fake herbal medicine scam, bad aura/spiritual blessing scam, fake antiques, counterfeit products, art scammers, pickpockets, spiked drinks and many more!
Thanks David. You are right, there are travel scams everywhere in the world – so it’s important to be aware. And if it sounds too good to be true (or some stranger is acting WAY too friendly…then trying to get you to do something) — walk away.
But overall, I’ve been to Hong Kong many many times – and never had much of an issue with scams (especially compared to other places like Bangkok).
What a great review. Even though i am male, but it is truly safe to explore here even for female travellers. That is why i said big agreement with your article. Cool!
Hi Bani – thanks so much for reading and for the comment! I’m glad you enjoyed it and appreciate your input on the safety in Hong Kong. It is still one of my favorite destinations and highly recommended to anyone (male or female).
Thanks for the informative and helpful review. I plan to visit HK by myself in April 2018. Any others tips from you while in in HK.
Thanks for this. I’m a female who often travels solo as hubby and I never can align our leave. I was planning another solo trip to Japan, when it struck me…why not try something new? Hong Kong sounds perfect. My concern was language and transport accessibility…but it sounds like if I can manage in Japan, Hong Kong will be easier. I can’t wait!!!.
Hi J – thanks for reading and for the comment.
Actually, yes I think Hong Kong may even be easier for you! In fact, Hong Kong really has one of the best transportation systems — so it is incredible easy to get around. And it’s surprising how the language isn’t really an issue. You will have a blast I’m sure!
Happy travels to you!!!
Hong Kong is beautiful place for roam. Solo traveling in Hong Kong is better for female. You share the information on Hong Kong is very useful for female solo traveler. I appreciate this post. Thank You!
You are very welcome. Thanks for reading!
Happy travels to you!
I love the transportation in Hong Kong. It’s very convenient for us to combine MRT, bus and taxi. Hong Kong just has three factors attracting me such as shopping, trekking and ……… transport. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.
Thanks for reading and for the comment! Agree, it is probably one of the most easy major cities to get around.
Happy travels to you!
I was thinking of doing a solo travel to Hong Kong and chanced upon your website.
I find it to be really helpful for my planning. Thanks a lot for sharing your solo travel experience and also so much useful information. Amazing website! I’ve bookmarked it for future reference! heehee! 🙂
That’s so wonderful to hear Leona – thanks so much for the feedback!
We are happy to help and I hope you have an absolutely WONDERFUL time in Hong Kong. One of my dear favorite places to visit (I think I’m going through withdrawls really…time to go back!).
I was looking through your website and got really curious when I saw the title of this post- I would say Hong Kong is the one place I’ve ever felt uncomfortable traveling alone. Even with friends that lived in the city, I was so nervous about getting lost. However, I never actually felt unsafe.
I’m so glad you had such a great experience. Thanks for sharing your side of it. It’s a beautiful city and I hope one day I can get back and see it with a new perspective.
Hi CJ – thanks so much for reading and for the thoughtful comment.
I’m so glad to hear that you had a nice time visiting Hong Kong, it’s a wonderful place. I’ve been fortunate to visit Hong Kong countless times now, and I never tire of it. Always wanting to go back! 🙂
Happy travels to you!