What to Bring to Hong Kong: A Packing List for Teachers and Travelers

by | Jan 29, 2018 | Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an amazing city – regardless of whether you used it to take a break from China (like I did), to serve as a jumping off point for adventures in Asia, or as a home base while working, it’s hard not to love the city.  It’s also incredibly expensive – a trait that gives increased importance when considering what to pack for your trip to Hong Kong.  While you can get pretty much anything you need there, you can definitely save some money (and sanity) by bringing some of the items listed below with you.

Want more info on getting a teaching job in Hong Kong?  Check out our guide on what it takes (and how much you can make ) to work in one of the most iconic cities on earth.


Hong Kong is super hot most of the year with temperatures peaking close to 32C in July and August.  Central can feel even hotter thanks to the concrete so deodorant is pretty much a necessity if you’re going to be out and about.  I’ve personally found my favorite brands to be a bit expensive and always try to stock up before a trip.

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Universal Travel Adaptor

If you are traveling from the United States, the UK or any other part of Europe, you will need an adapter in order to power your devices. Hong Kong uses 220 volts and a good adapter will ensure that you have no issue keeping your phone and computer charged.

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Anker Portable Charger

Almost as necessary as an adapter is a travel bank that can provide power when you just can’t find a plug (like on the metro).  Be sure to get a travel bank with capacity in the 10000mAh range and you’ll be set for 3 charges for the iPhone 6s and other devices depending on the battery capacity.

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Hand Sanitizer bottles are a must for your trip to Hong Kong. Needless to mention the myriad of germs and microorganisms lurking around, these portable sanitizers will go a long way in terms of maintaining and improving your hygiene when abroad. One or two squirts will ensure that your skin and items stay safe and uncontaminated we find them particularly handy when using public transportation often.

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Sun Hat

Trust us when we say that buying a hat in the heat of the moment (excuse the moment) is a pain – there is nothing worse than being limited by the selection you have in front of you.  If you’re going to be exploring Hong Kong in any capacity (and why wouldn’t you, really?) then plan ahead and get a hat to protect against the sun – it’s much easier to find one you like when you’re not facing an imminent sunburn.

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Remember what we said about the heat and planning ahead?  Sunscreen is part of that and it’s much cheaper to buy it at home than in Hong Kong.  The right Sunscreen should not hurt your skin, be invisible and must be able to deflect the harmful rays of the sun with UVA/UVB protection to see you the times of the year when Hong Kong gets the hottest.

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Even with how hot Hong Kong can get, it is not without rain.  If you’re traveling in August, the rainfall is unpredictable and can be as much as 281mm – having something that can keep you dry while taking up almost no space in your bag is a game changer.

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Travel Pants

Whether Winter, Autumn or Summer, a quality pair of travel pants will do you no harm during your stay in Hong Kong (and adventures into surrounding areas). These travel pants are excellent to keep away insect and mosquitoes for summer camps and other sport-like adventures with the added benefit of keeping the sun off of your legs. Be sure to get a convertible pant that you can instantly transform into a short should the need arise!

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Travel Dress

For girls not sold on the idea of travel pants – I get it – dry a travel dress instead.  We suggest something below the knee to appease the parents when teaching and protect you from the winds if navigating through the gusty streets of Central.

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Dry Fit Shirts for Men

Much like Chacos, dry fit shirts are a must when packing for Hong Kong (or SE Asia in general).  Not only are they infinitely more breathable than any other fabric, they hide any sweat you might have from teaching or trekking – I always have a few in my bag!

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Chacos Sandals

Chacos are very much a “never leave home without them” item for me – they are light enough to strap on the back of your pack, rugged enough to hike in, and waterproof enough to survive a Hong Kong downpour.

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SIM Card

Hong Kong data and cell service is fast and readily available – the only downside is that the lines to get a SIM card at the airport can be long and unforgiving.  Save the hassle and prepare ahead of time if you can!

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Astrill VPN

While not as extreme as the Great Firewall in China, visitors to Hong Kong will be without some of the comforts from home like Netflix and Hulu.  A VPN allows you to browse the web as if you were at home and is a cheap way to ensure you stay connected.

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Mosquito Wristband

With humidity topping 80% in the summer, mosquitos are an unavoidable reality.  If you’re like us and not too keen on smelling like sunscreen all day then the best alternative is this wristband – no smell and no bug bites!

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Lonely Planet Guide Book

I’ve yet to meet a traveler or guidebook publisher that puts as much time into understanding a country or city like Lonely Planet.  No matter if you’re spending a week or a year in Hong Kong, I always consider their books worth packing – try to pick one us used if possible, the notes from past travelers can be a great asset!

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World Nomads Travel Insurance

Particularly important to the more adventurous travelers, it’s always a good idea to get some travel insurance before your trip.  Even if you’re working in Hong Kong and your employer will be providing a policy, it will take a bit of time to get enrolled and even something basic can provide peace of mind.

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Ready to Pack for Hong Kong?

If you’re reading this while preparing to pack for your trip to Hong Kong – I’m jealous.  Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities and never ceases to awe me every time I’m lucky enough to visit – let this packing guide serve as a jumping off point and don’t forget that many of the items are also valuable for the rest of Asia!

Happy travels!

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