You Could Win One of the 500,000 Free Tickets to Hong Kong!

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by Writer Emma

Hong Kong has been a booming tourist destination for decades. It has long served as a gateway to the East, where tourists could comfortably communicate in English, eat delicious authentic and fusion Asian cuisine, and experience a modern Western lifestyle while in the tropical heart of Asia.
In 2020, under the pressures of the global pandemic, Hong Kong turned to strict quarantine rules, which all but decimated the tourist industry. Now, being ready to open to travelers once more, the Hong Kong Tourist Board has released 500,000, or half a million, free plane tickets to Hong Kong. The Tourist board hopes that with the news of these free flights, tourists will be saying "Hello, Hong Kong!" once more. So, let's find out what the "Free Tickets to Hong Kong" campaign is all about and how you can be one of the lucky 500,000🔥.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hong Kong with sunset

Hong Kong with sunset (Source: Photo by Manson Yim on Unsplash)

What is the "Free Tickets to Hong Kong" campaign, and what does it mean for tourists?

The "Free Tickets to Hong Kong" campaign✈️, which has been named "Hello Hong Kong" by the Hong Kong Tourist Board, is an effort the revamp the territory's tourism industry after the pandemic. The campaign is offering half a million round-trip free plane tickets to Hong Kong, as well as discounts on transport, accommodation, food, and the events that will be taking place across the city throughout the year.

👉 The Hong Kong free tickets will be released in phases, with the first phase having already launched on March 1st and being open to those already based in Asia. The upcoming free plane ticket releases will be for departures from further afield, such as from Europe or North America. The flights can come from a variety of destinations thanks to the number of airline carriers based in Hong Kong. Free tickets will be issued for round-trips on Cathay Pacific, HK Express, Greater Bay Airlines, and Hong Kong Airlines – meaning travelers from as far as the US or as close as China will be able to profit from this great opportunity.

👉 It should be noted that the flights are not entirely cost-free, as free plane ticket winners will have to pay any taxes and surcharges connected to the ticket. Unfortunately, due to the fluctuation of supply and demand, flight costs between the US and Hong Kong are quite high currently, meaning that the taxes and surcharges (which are calculated in percentages) will be more expensive. It would not be strange, therefore, to win a free ticket to Hong Kong but end up paying USD$450 to cover the taxes and surcharges.

The market campaign for Hello Hong Kong’s free flights to Hong Kong

The market campaign for Hello Hong Kong’s free flights to Hong Kong. (Source: Cathay Pacific)

Don't let this charge put you off, however, as despite USD$450 seeming like a hefty sum, it is nothing compared to average flight costs. For example, a return flight between New York and Hong Kong currently averages about USD$1,900, meaning "Hello Hong Kong" is helping your dream trip to Hong Kong become a much stronger possibility👍.

👉 These free plane tickets will definitely save you money, so it would be crazy not to apply for them. Simply remember that there is a cost involved.

How can you apply for free tickets to Hong Kong?

The free plane tickets offered by the Hello Hong Kong campaign will be awarded in the same way as a lottery system. This is because, as you can imagine, there will be a lot of people wanting to win the tickets – more than 500,000💥. So, 👉 to get your free tickets to Hong Kong , you'll have to register your interest on the Hello Hong Kong page, which is sponsored by the Hong Kong International Airport website, and become a Cathay Pacific member. Here, you'll join the many other hopefuls in an effort to secure your free holiday to Hong Kong😍!

Free Tickets to Hong Kong. (Source: Cathay Pacific)

A tip to securing your free flight tickets is to register early, as this could give you a better chance of winning. However, depending on the departure destination, you may still have to wait for a little while before registration becomes available. For example, the current release of tickets is for the Asian market only. So, if you are looking to win free flights to Hong Kong from Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, or Northeast Asia, head over there and register as soon as possible. If, however, you will be heading there from another location (such as the United States), then you'll have to wait until those free plane tickets are released.

Who can apply free tickets to Hong Kong?

The Hello Hong Kong flight lottery is open to every holidaymaker who is over 18 years of age and registers as a Cathay member. That means any adult Cathay member looking to stay in Hong Kong for 90 days or less can apply for these free tickets to Hong Kong – remember, you can go if you are an adult tourist and are not a permanent Hong Kong resident.

👉 This campaign is a great option for anyone, but it is particularly suited to the following tourists:

Tourists with less to spend:

Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hello Hong Kong HK Goodies

Hello Hong Kong - HK Goodies / Source:

The free tickets to Hong Kong are an amazing opportunity for those people who wouldn't usually have the opportunity to travel so far or to a place that is renowned for being quite pricey. Winning such a free plane ticket means that tourists with a tighter budget can save up enough money for a truly unforgettable experience of a lifetime. Additionally, the Tourist Board has released 1 million free HKGoodies, in the form of discounts and vouchers to some of the best bars, restaurants, hotels, events, and venues in the city will help cover the costs during your stay.
Imagine never having gone further afield than the neighboring state, and now you have the opportunity to travel across the globe. Embark on a foreign land with a new culture, language, and cuisine – all at a heavily discounted price. The most exciting thing about this is that it doesn't have to be a scary or bewildering journey since English is one of Hong Kong's official languages, and this modern city is filled with international residents and visitors, Western bars and restaurants, and so much more. It will be just like putting on a pair of comfortable old shoes.

Tourists looking for a multi-stop holiday east:

The Hello Hong Kong campaign is also an amazing offer for those looking to take a longer holiday east, as it provides the perfect stop-over destination filled with quintessential Hong Kong food and events before heading on to another exciting destination.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland / Source:

Multi-stop holidaymakers can save money with their free tickets to Hong Kong, using their stop-overs to experience some of the best dinners the East has to offer. Household names like Lan Kwai Fong can help you enjoy the magnificent views over the bay from Victoria Peak or simply head for a family day out at Disneyland Hong Kong. Then, you can hop onto another flight (purchased separately) to the next destination. Multi-stop holidaymakers would, of course, need to come back to Hong Kong for their flight home.

Solo travelers

As the free tickets to the Hong Kong campaign are a lottery system, it could be hard to guarantee that a couple or the entire family could receive enough free tickets to go together at a discount price. This makes the Hello Hong Kong campaign ideal for solo travelers.

👉 A solo traveler who wins one of the 5,000,000 free plane tickets to Hong Kong won't have to worry about co-paying for their partner or friend's flight tickets since it will just be just one person on board. These travelers can explore the stunning natural beauty Hong Kong has to offer, from the many islands and their tropical beaches to beautiful mountain hikes. After that, they can take the famous Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) to Hong Kong Island, where they will easily make friends with the international and local crowd sharing the wonderful Hong Kong nightlife.

Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hong Kong nightlife

Hong Kong nightlife (Source: Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash)

When should you apply for free tickets to Hong Kong?

Applying for free tickets to Hong Kong will depend on where you are flying from – with tickets within Asia being released first. However, once flights from your departure area are released (if flying from outside Asia, the tickets will be released in May), you should apply as soon as possible. After all, the sooner you apply, antes your chances of winning free tickets.

👉 The best course of action would be to register as a Cathay member beforehand so that you will be ready to apply as soon as your tickets are released. Then, after answering a few questions, you'll be added to the waitlist.

👉 To make sure you don't miss your free tickets for the Hong Kong release date, below you'll find a table of the release dates and times according to departure regions.

Table of regions & starting time of the free tickets to Hong Kong campaign:

ThailandMarch 1-7
SingaporeMarch 2-8
PhilippinesMarch 3-9
IndonesiaMarch 15-21
MalaysiaMarch 16-22
VietnamMarch 17-23
CambodiaMarch 18-24
Mainland Chinafrom April 01, 2023
US, Europe, and the rest of the worldfrom May 01, 2023
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hong Kong with mountains

Hong Kong with mountains. (Source: Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash)

What can tourists do in Hong Kong once they’ve taken advantage of their free tickets to Hong Kong?

Now that you're thinking about the possibility of a heavily discounted trip to Hong Kong, then let's talk about what you can do and see it as a preview.

1. Visit Victoria Harbor

Taking a Hong Kong water taxi or the Star Ferry from TST are great ways to experience Victoria Harbor. If going at night, be sure to time it with the spectacular Symphony of Lights and be ready to be impressed by the lights over the water. By water taxi or ferry, you can take pictures of Hong kong's impressive skyline (which must be witnessed during the day and night) as well as get from A to B. Below are some of the amazing views of the harbor from above by heading to the Sky100 observation deck in Kowloon or from the shoreline by heading to the historic old clock tower in TST.
Junk boat on Victoria Harbor

Junk boat on Victoria Harbor (Source: Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash)

2. Visit Victoria Peak

Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Peak Tram

Peak Tram / Source:

Head up to the famous Peak on the Peak Tram to experience the Hong Kong of the 1900s while on your way to the most famous viewing point in the territory. Here you'll be able to eat, drink, and buy souvenirs with a beautiful view. Take in the stunning sunset over the skyline and the bay for a panoramic view. Finally, take the moderately challenging trail back to Hong Kong (if you so choose), or cut your time down by a few hours by hopping back on the 7-minute tram ride back downtown.

3. Enjoy a day at a theme park

Hong Kong is full of life, and that includes theme parks. This means that when on your free trip to Hong Kong, whether alone, with friends, or with family, you'll be able to make the most of some of the best entertainment, like rollercoasters and water parks. If you head over there during the hotter months, do not miss a trip to Ocean Park via cable car over the peaks. Here, you'll be able to cool down on the rapids, wonder through nature trails, be amazed by the animals and marine life in the huge aquariums, arctic fox den, and panda village, as well as get your thrills on the likes of the Hair Raiser.
Cable car to Ocean Park in Lantau, Hong Kong

Cable car to Ocean Park in Lantau, Hong Kong / Source:

For a day that is filled with fun and excitement, why not head over to Hong Kong Disneyland? The renowned theme park offers you classic Disney family fun, with princesses and princes, dancing, rollercoasters, and live shows that include all your favorite cartoon characters.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland / Source:

👉 In addition, Hong Kong offers many other thematic entertainment venues, including the Legoland Discovery Center or the Noah's Ark theme park.

4. Go to Lantau Island and see the Big Buddha

Lantau Island offers the biggest nature park in Hong Kong, with white sandy beaches, mountainous hiking trails that combine breathtaking views with history and culture, old fishing villages, yacht clubs, regattas, and of course, the Big Buddha itself. The island is a must-visit on your Hong Kong trip and can be visited solo or on a Lantau Island private day tour.

Tai O fishing village / Souce:

The Big Buddha is perhaps the main attraction here, which you can visit via a glass-bottomed gondola and then a short walk up the stairs to experience its sheer size up close. However, Lantau has more to offer than the beauty of the sitting buddha. It is also home to the longest beach in Hong Kong, Cheung Sha, where you can kayak, paddleboard, and more.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Discovery Bay

Discovery Bay / Souce:

In Lantau, you can get a taste of how the local expats live by heading to Discovery Bay, also known as DB, where you can find an indie crafts market (held every second Sunday), watch the regattas, and soak in the atmosphere. You can also get a local experience by going to the quaint Tai O fishing village, which boasts very "Instagrammable" houses on stilts over the water. After a long day of endless fun, be sure to head over to some of the restaurants found in these houses to enjoy traditional local seafood and maybe even catch a glimpse of the rare pink dolphins that frequent that area.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Tai O fishing village

Tai O fishing village (Source: Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash)

5. Go to the races at Happy Valley Racecourse

The Happy Valley Racecourse is a great spot to visit if you find yourself in Hong Kong on a Wednesday evening. It was built in 1845 by the British colonial power at the time. The racecourse still operates to this day, with horse races going on until 23:00, often accompanied by live music.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Happy Valley Racecourse

Happy Valley Racecourse / Souce:

The racecourse also offers a viewpoint opportunity since it was built on swamp land and has been kept flat, but skyscrapers have been built up all around it. As you can imagine, this makes for a fantastic sight of the modern and the old, especially in the evening when the racetrack lights up the green running track, and the apartment lights brighten the sky all around it. Happy Valley is a bucket-list stop for a beer, some low-value friendly betting, and a relaxing atmosphere among the groups of people.

6. Visit a local street market

Saying Hello to Hong Kong would not be complete without a trip to one of its many street markets, where you can get anything, from food to clothes and souvenirs. One of the must-sees is Temple Street Night Market, where in addition to food and souvenir stalls, you'll also find a lively atmosphere around the karaoke machines. If you are looking for some clothes to fit in, then one of the most famous (and one not to miss!) is the Ladies' Market, where you'll find all sorts of wallet-friendly designer products look-alike at low prices, as well as some peculiar items that may one day become a sensation on social media – as was the case with the fish slippers.

If you want some guidance when visiting these street markets, with local knowledge on how to haggle, where to eat, and what to buy, you can find tour guides to take you on street market private tours (once you've secured your free tickets to Hong Kong).

Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hong Kong street market

Hong Kong street market (Source: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Hong Kong Travel tips to remember when receiving free tickets to Hong Kong:

When traveling on one of the tourist board's free tickets to Hong Kong, it is important to remember that you are headed to a land that is foreign. So, in order to have the best time that you can possibly have and not rub anyone the wrong way, here are seven fantastic Hong Kong travel tips to keep in mind:

How to travel for the weather in Hong Kong:

Hong Kong / Source:

Like the US, Hong Kong also has four distinct seasons. However, seasons there may not be as you want them to be. This is because Hong Kong is subtropical, meaning it gets very hot and very moist. Not to worry, though, as the area is graced with a sunny but mild(ish) autumn and a cool and dry winter – both of which prove to be a better choice for Western travelers than the hot summer or the humid spring.
If visiting Hong Kong sets in the spring, get ready for high humidity but manageable temperatures. For this type of weather, you'll want thin, breathable fabrics and floaty clothing. Avoid anything too tight, as you may sweat, and your clothing will become damp and stick to you (not a good look!). This isn't a big problem, however, as Hong Kong has air conditioning everywhere, so you'll be safe when out for a meal, in a bar, and strolling through the shopping centers. You might even want to bring a cardigan in case the aircon makes you feel a little too cold.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Central

Central / Source:

Suppose traveling in summer (June to September). One should expect high temperatures and lots of rain. This means carrying an umbrella and thin clothing with you, as they are essential for the trip since a jumper or thick coat will simply be too much for this time of the year. You might also consider more changes in clothes since you are likely to want to change frequently. Thankfully, Hong Kong is built for this weather, and you'll find you can often go long distances by walking through shopping centers and MTR stations or simply by using covered walkways, including the longest outdoor escalator in the world.
👉 If you are visiting Hong Kong in the autumn (September to November), then you've hit the jackpot! Get ready for some sunny days with pleasant temperatures, so pack as though you are heading somewhere near the end of summer. Pack t-shirts and other tops, shorts and skirts, a pair of light-colored long trousers, and perhaps a pair of jeans and a light jacket or cardigan for the cool evenings.
👉 If you are heading over there in the winter (December to March), you'll find it's still sunny, but it might get a little chilly. This is a great time of year to visit as you can participate in more outdoor activities, such as hiking or exploring the islands. However, we recommend packing clothing such as long-sleeved t-shirts, jackets, and a scarf just to be sure. It won't get too cold, so if you think of it as packing in typical autumn fashion, you'll be fine too. A scarf is an important element to protect your neck from the cool wind since catching a cold during your stay is not fun.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Hong Kong street with rain

Hong Kong street with rain (Source: Photo by Nic Low on Unsplash)

What to know about Hong Kong’s culture?

Hong Kong is a fascinating blend of East and West. People over there are well-educated and internationally savvy. A deep cultural familiarity with the West makes them so much easier to talk to. However, let's not forget that Hong Kong still has deep roots in its Eastern traditions, especially with regard to morals and politeness. So, during your stay, it is important to be polite and respectful to your surroundings – swearing, littering, and being publicly intoxicated are frowned upon.

What languages are spoken in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is an incredibly diverse place, and you'll hear a great variety of languages spoken, from the local Cantonese to English, French, Hindi, Mandarin, and more. This makes it really easy to travel around and explore the area, as well as experience some authentic restaurants.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Avenue of Stars

Avenue of Stars / Source:

However, Hong Kong has two official languages: Yue Chinese (Cantonese) and English. Cantonese is the local tongue, while English is due to the fact that Hong Kong was once a British territory from 1841 to 1997 (except for a few years during WWII). Regardless of the history, however, this fact makes Hong Kong a truly attractive holiday destination for those who are slightly daunted by the language barriers while traveling. You'll find that nearly everyone speaks English well there.

What currency will you need in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has its own currency, the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), which trades at about USD$1 to HKD$8 (rounding up to make the math simpler). This is great, as you will feel you have a better budget option and bank balance during your stay!
Hong Kong is very cash-based, so remember to always have some cash and change in your wallet. This is especially important if you are dining at a local Hong Kong café or buying souvenirs from some famous street-side markets, such as the Ladies' Market or Temple Street Market.

What’s the best way to get around in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong's transport is varied and exciting, from ferries and subways to tall skinny trams that look like they have come straight out of a Harry Potter novel. Getting around Hong Kong is also very cost-effective when using an Octopus card – the travel card used on the MTR subway, the ferries, and buses.
The Octopus card can be bought for HKD$50 (USD$6.37), which can then be used to travel anywhere in Hong Kong. Since one journey on the MTR costs about HKD$3.60 (USD$0.46) to HKD$52.60 (USD$6.70), depending on the distance in question, you can see for yourself how cheap it is to get about. Taxis are also very cost-effective in Hong Kong, but an Octopus card is indispensable – especially as buses and trams will not give you any change.
A taxi in Hong Kong

A taxi in Hong Kong (Source: Photo by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash)

Where should you eat in Hong Kong?

Eating in Hong Kong opens up a great number of doors, and unlike some other Asian countries, you don't need to be too worried about eating at the cheaper eateries. In fact, eating where the locals eat can be a great way to experience some of the best local flavors, such as Dim Sum, wonton noodles, BBQ pork (known as siu mei), or fish balls.
Free Tickets to Hong Kong - Fuk Kee Congee

Fuk Kee Congee / Source:

If you are looking for a nice sit-down meal, however, you will rarely be disappointed. You can find amazing food in most places, but for the most upscale choices, head to Central on Hong Kong Island for Michelin star food, where amazing Western and fusion dishes or other mouth-watering authentic Asian cuisines, such as Indian and Nepali food can quench your thirst for some decent food.

How can you budget in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is not known for being cheap. However, it is possible to budget when staying in Hong Kong. One way to do this is to stay in cheaper hotels, which are usually found off the island on the Kowloon peninsula. This part of Hong Kong is buzzing with locals, delicious restaurants, lively nightlife, and street markets, and boasts the best view of Hong Kong (from TST).
Another way to save money after using your free tickets to Hong Kong is to only travel by local transport using the Octopus card. Then, once arrive at your destination, eat like the locals. You'll find delicious and cheap snacks everywhere, and if you head to a local restaurant (known as a Cha Chaan Teng), which is usually found around the business and working districts, you can buy the main course with a drink for as little as HKD$50 (USD$6.37), up to HKD$80 (USD$10.19).

👉 If you are on a tight budget, try not to buy much in Central or Wan Chai. However, we would recommend opting for the business there, as that's where you'll find some of the best and most affordable eateries.

Free Tickets to Hong Kong

Hong Kong Junk boat in Victoria Harbor. (Source: Photo by Sean on Unsplash)


  • Do I need to quarantine in Hong Kong?

    No, but it is recommended that you take daily rapid antigen tests (RAT) from the day of your arrival until day 5 of your stay.

  • Do I need a Covid vaccination shot to travel to Hong Kong?

    No, but you will need a negative PCR or RAT test.

  • Do I need a PCR test for entry into Hong Kong?

    Yes, you will need a negative RAT or PCR (self-administered or by professional swab) test result for Covid-19 before entering Hong Kong.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Hong Kong?

    No, citizens from most countries can stay in Hong Kong for up to 90 days without a visa.

  • Is Hong Kong cheap to visit?

    Hong Kong is not a cheap destination, however, cheaper alternatives can be found.

  • Can you visit Macau from Hong Kong?

    Yes, if you're staying a little longer, you can easily (and quickly) get to Macau by jet ferry. It only takes one hour and is definitely worth the visit.

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Free Tickets to Hong Kong