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How to Pack for Hong Kong in the Summer: What You Need to Know and Bring

How to Pack for Hong Kong in Summer

The following packing list for Hong Hong in summer has been submitted by Courtney Rodgers. See all our packing list posts here.

Hong Kong was never on my travel bucket list, but I spent last summer teaching English there and can’t wait to return one day. Hong Kong is a vibrant and beautiful city and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of things there are to see and do. The last thing you want to worry or think about while on your trip is whether or not you have brought the right clothing and gear.

Here’s a list on how to pack for Hong Kong in the summer.

CLOTHING

With everything you bring, keep in mind that Hong Kong is extremely humid and hot in the summer, with rain nearly every afternoon. Shopping is abundant in Hong Kong, from street markets to deluxe shopping malls. Whatever type of trip you have planned should determine how much you bring and what clothing you’ll need. I brought mostly work clothes with some casual clothing for evenings and weekends since I was teaching, but the standard tourist may benefit from the following basic wardrobe.

1-2 Pairs Casual pants/shortsAvoid denim if you can, as it takes so long to dry.

1-2 Dresses/ Skirts/ Going Out Outfits– Whatever suits your trip best. Hong Kong is an easy city to dress stylishly for; go with simple basics that can be dressed up or down.

5-8 Tops– This is the one thing I really wish I had brought more of. Cotton t-shirts wear well in the humidity and are great for casual nights out. Bring what you’ll be able to manage washing as you go, depending on how long your trip will be. You may even consider some technical gear (some wicking, quick-drying items) instead.

1-3 Camisoles/Tank TopsLayering is crucial in Hong Kong. Wearing a tank under your shirt helps keep the sweatiness at bay and can help keep your clothes cleaner.

Leggings– If you wear a lot of skirts or dresses, you may want them for climbing in and out of buses and taxis, random gusts of wind, and standing on escalators or on the train at rush hour. Leggings also make great PJ’s in cold dorms and hotel rooms.

1-2 Cardigans– Air Con is often quite strong in restaurants and such. If your hostel or hotel is cold, you’ll be thankful as well.

Pajamas

Underclothes– 2 bras, 5-8 pairs of underwear and socks. Remember, you’ll be walking a lot.

Swimsuit

1 Pair of Flip–Flops– for the shower or the beach

Any other shoes you bring (flats, sandals, etc.) should be comfortable. You will be doing a LOT of walking. Keep the rain in mind, when selecting your day shoes.

how to pack for Hong Kong in the summer - View of the bay.
Hong Kong – View of the bay.

TOILETRIES AND MEDICINES

Many American products are available at drug stores, but not everything.

Insect Repellent– Mosquitoes are plentiful in the summer. Options are available there, but they can be expensive.

Sunscreen– Another thing I recommend bringing from home.

Baby powder– Can be used as dry shampoo, sweat absorbent, or to soothe and protect against chafing.

Deodorant– You’ll definitely want to bring your preferred brand.

Hair Ties/Pins– Most heat styling is quickly ruined by the humidity.

Soap/Shampoo– If you don’t plan on buying there.

Toothbrush/toothpaste

If you wear makeup, tinted moisturizers are great for this sort of trip.

Any medications you take regularly.

Tampons/Pads/Diva Cup

Antacid tablets or pink bismuth tablets— I found that these two medicines helped me the best with occasional stomach issues. There are so many delicious things to eat in Hong Kong, but also a lot of opportunities to find something your body won’t agree with.

Tissues– You can pick these up to throw in your bag. Most toilets in Hong Kong are western style, but you might find yourself at a squat toilet and needing tissue.

Hand sanitizer

Towel– Quick dry is best.

how to pack for Hong Kong in the summer - Victoria Peak, during a thunderstorm, of course.
Victoria Peak, during a thunderstorm, of course.

TECH/MISC

E-reader or a book– Necessary for me to unwind after the excitement of teaching and the city.

MP3 player– Or smartphone. For the MTR/ bus.

Camera

Sunglasses

Chargers/ Adapter– Hong Kong uses British outlets.

Umbrella– Completely up to you, but I brought one that fit in my bag and used it almost daily.

Daypack or cross-body bag– great for running around the city.

>> Read about our top travel purses.

Guidebook or Cantonese phrase book– The phrase book will be helpful when ordering at a restaurant that does not have an English menu.

Indoor clothing line– Even using dryers, I had to hang my clothes to dry overnight.

>> See our tips for drying clothes without a dryer.

Passport/Necessary Visas

You will probably want to pick up a map of the city as well. Navigating the MTR is simple, but it’s also easy to get lost.

Whether your interests lie in shopping, the arts, or adventure, Hong Kong has it all. There are plenty of sights to see from The Big Buddha on Lantau Island to the gorgeous views from Victoria Peak (try going when it isn’t storming) and all the beaches, streets, entertainment, and lights in between. Hong Kong is now a place I consider “home.” I think of it often, especially about the incredible food, and my new friends there. As a Western visitor, Hong Kong is an easy city to explore and enjoy. I recommend going to every traveler I meet and am already dream-planning my next trip.

how to pack for Hong Kong in the summer - Courtney (Center) and her teammates at Temple Street Night Market.
Courtney (center) and her teammates at Temple Street Night Market.

About the Author: Courtney Rodgers has a goal of filling out the pages of her passport before it expires. Her travels include experience as a teacher, performer, and volunteer. Courtney is currently a drama teacher, but is looking for her next adventure. In the meantime, she’s working on her third screenplay.

*All images except cover image supplied by Courtney Rodgers.

Book a Viator Tour Before You Go

Hong Kong Dessert Walking Tour

Hong Kong Dessert Walking Tour – $45.16*
Stroll through the Sheung Wan district’s PoHo and SoHo neighborhoods in search of the perfect dessert on this 2.5-hour walking tour of Hong Kong. You’ll sample 10 treats at half a dozen local venues including restaurants, dessert shops and boutique cafes.

Guangzhou China Day Trip

Guangzhou (Canton) China Day Trip from Hong Kong – $210.92*
Visit mainland China by catamaran on a full-day trip from Hong Kong and see some of China’s iconic sights with an informative guide. Meet an adorable panda at Shenzhen Safari Park, discover Qin Dynasty terracotta warriors and their horses, and tour the metropolitan city of Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton. Lunch, coach transport and a group visa are all included!

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Tari says

    Thanks a lot for the info!! I am going to HK in two weeks to do a semester abroad at the city university. I started to pack some stuff already..

  2. Meagan says

    Hey! This article has already been so helpful, but I was wondering if you have any good rules-of-thumb for interning in Hong Kong when it comes to what to wear in the office? I have an internship there this summer and I am a little nervous I won’t pack the appropriate apparel!

  3. Christina says

    AWESOME. My mom leaves for Singapore tomorrow. I figured all of the Southeast Asia/Hong Kong lists would work. Thanks for taking the guess out of it. More specifically- packing for women’s needs.

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