How to do Hong Kong on the “Cheapo”

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A new website shows how surprisingly affordable Hong Kong can be. The aptly-named “Hong Kong Cheapo” aims to debunk the myth that the city is prohibitively expensive, helping travelers and residents alike to experience all it has to offer, on a budget.

New travel and lifestyle website Hong Kong Cheapo officially launched on Thursday, January 31. Hong Kong Cheapo is the latest addition to the stable of websites run by Hong Kong company Fast Train Limited, the name behind Tokyo Cheapo, Japan Cheapo, and London Cheapo.

CEO and co-founder Chris Kirkland said that he hoped Hong Kong Cheapo would go some way towards breaking down the image that Hong Kong was the playground of “rich expat bankers” and would help it to become more widely known as a place that can be accommodating to those on a budget. Articles on subjects such as how to spend 48 hours in the city on less than US$100 and wallet-friendly area guides would assist in this regard, he said.

In light of January’s announcement that Hong Kong has, for the ninth year running, taken top spot on the list of the world’s least-affordable housing markets, the launch of Hong Kong Cheapo may have come at a good time for residents. The website suggests ways to enjoy days out and travel within Hong Kong with frugality front and center.

As with the other websites that are part of the Cheapo brand, the emphasis is on value, explained CTO and co-founder Greg Lane. “It’s about helping people get the most for their money, without compromising on quality,” he said. “Cheap doesn’t have to mean inferior.”

Across its network, Fast Train Limited reports over 1.8 million page views each month, with close to 1 million unique visitors. The company has offices in Hong Kong and Japan, with a number of team members working remotely from as far afield as Canada and South Africa.

The business saw its first success with Tokyo Cheapo, launched as a small, off-the-wall blog in 2012. Since then, the website has evolved into Fast Train Limited’s flagship site serving over 600 000 readers each month as the largest English-language website about Japan’s capital. While growing Hong Kong Cheapo is a key focus for 2019, other cities are in the pipeline, including Singapore and Cape Town.

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