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Where to drink on a budget in Hong Kong

by Violetta Polese

Even coming from London - where the cost of beer is already very high - you will be astonished at how much it costs to go out for a drink in Hong Kong.

The typical price of a pint of beer in many central locations is 70 HKD. That's nearly seven quid, folks! Prices can even rise to as much as 120 HKD a pint. And there is often a 10% service charge as well!

Many people dismiss such prices as justifiable, attributing this to import tax or sales tax. But there is actually no import or sales tax in Hong Kong - and, for beer, actually no tax on alcohol.

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There are two reasons that the price of beer is so high. One is the high cost of renting properties in central locations. The other is that the owners of bars and restaurants know they can get away with this.

Not everyone, though, has this kind of money to spend on going out in the evening.

Luckily, there are a number of places where you can get beers for much less.

Okay, so these places might not be suitable for going out on a date. But they will probably be good enough for a relaxed evening out with a mate.

So, where to find them?

A number of local restaurants in Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau sell beers for as little of 16 HKD for a big bottle. Amazing! These places are chilled out, and if you don't go at peak time they won’t mind it if you order just drinks. And why not accompany your beer with a little snack, especially if at this price you are planning to make the most of it?

Just opposite Wong Tai Sin temple - in Lions Rise Mall - there is a lovely little bar where beers are served in bowls. This place an outdoor area and is a great place to see locals having fun and laughing after a drink or two.

And what if you don’t want to go so far away?

Maybe it won’t be as traditional, but if what it counts for your is low-price booze, you may be surprised to know that even in Central and Wan Chai you can find a beer for as low as 15 HKD! And we are not talking about the 7-Eleven!

Just next to Wan Chai MTR station, you will find Masala Train - a small Indian eatery where beers cost just 15 HKD. Or try Ebeneezer's, in both Wan Chai and Central, where you can combine your drink with a kebab or a cheap but decent Indian meal.

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