Apps To Make Your Life Easier In Hong Kong
Hong Kong is amazing, but as an expat, getting to grip with daily life can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, no?
Nothing an app can’t fix.
From entertainment to food delivery, dating, networking, getting your fitness fix or even contact tracing- there’s an app for just about everything. So which ones make your life a bit smoother and safer? Scroll below:
Weather in Hong Kong changes on a dime. It pays to have your phone well equipped with reliable apps for the most detailed forecast.
Hong Kong Observatory: Black rain, flooding, hot weather warning or an impending typhoon – Hong Kong’s weather can get extreme and no app is as detailed or accurate as our very own Observatory. It’s a must-scan every morning because one minute you can have sunshine and the other a downpour! Android/iOS
We’re passionately smug about how efficient our public transport is. Our Mass Transit Railway or MTR is the gold standard for urban train systems in the whole world. While the MTR is easy to navigate even for a newbie, the bus routes and cabs are an altogether different story. Here are the must-have apps for getting up and about in the SAR:
Hong Kong Taxi Translator: Total. Lifesaver. This. App. Translates common addresses into Cantonese in big, flashy font so your cabbie doesn’t have to reach for his glasses to read. More than 3,000 names of streets, buildings, schools, hospitals, beaches, parks, malls and touristy locations are loaded on the app. Android/iOS
HK Taxi: There are more than 18,000 cabs in Hong Kong but try hailing one on a Saturday or in the wee hours at Lan Kwai Fong and you know it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there! Available in both Chinese and English, this handy tool saves you the hassle of bargaining for cabs on the phone or queuing up on stands. It is easy to navigate, pretty reliable, comes with a real-time tracker so you know the exact location of your cabbie. Android/iOS
Bus: Not the most efficient mode of transport during rush hour but a smooth option for those crossing islands or living in remote, open areas of Hong Kong which aren’t well serviced by the train. CitybusNWFB and KMB are handy apps to download.
Citymapper: The ultimate transit app, Citymapper is a must-have app for getting around the city. It integrates all modes of transport and takes into account the traffic situation to plan the fastest commute route. Android/iOS
Dining, Food and Drinks
From global cuisines to workday lunches, when you’re in Hong Kong, you’re going to eat out a lot.
And we mean A LOT.
If Pret’s getting a bit boring for weekday takeouts, these apps will be your best buddy to snag some good deals:
Open Rice: It’s Hong Kong’s rendition of Yelp. A local favourite, the app has every restaurant, cafe, bar listed – from location, contact details, menu, reviews, pictures, bookmark tools and a shortlist feature – it has everything you need to know about eating out. Try searching your nearest street-side juice stall on this app for fun sake. You’d be surprised to even find that listing! Android/iOS
Eatigo: Justify your dining splurges with Eatigo’s generous discounts. After serving Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, Eatigo has been rolling out 10 to 50% discounts on more than 3,000 eateries in Hong Kong since 2017. Android/iOS
The Entertainer: A lifestyle money-saving app, albeit a paid one. For a one-time annual fees, you can snag great dining, spa, hotels, sports and fitness deals. The app has family sharing options and is a good investment when flights and travel open up. iOS
It would be an outright sin to not take advantage of online shopping in the COVID-era. The discounts, the latest trends, the convenience of it all is just too good to miss.
Clothing, Bags and Shoes: Adidas, ASOS, Charles & Keith, J.Crew, Longchamp, Matches Fashion, NET-A-PORTER, Next Direct, Nike, Zalora, Zara all offer the retail therapy you’ll need at the end of a hectic day.
Fitness and Wellness
Gyms and fitness studios have been in and out of lockdown since March 2020 but that doesn’t mean your exercise routine needs to distance itself too. Sweating it out at home is all rage at the moment. No advance bookings or gymtimidation here, ya’ll.
Sweat: Kayla Itsines, Adelaide’s uber famous personal trainer hit Instagram stardom in 2014 with her Bikini Body Guide. A mum to an adorable toddler, she has programmes for strength training, HIIT, pilates, yoga, post-natal – whatever’s your jam, there’s a SWEAT for you. Android/iOS
Strava Running and Cycling: The app might make you ditch the gym and hit the pavement for good! For runners, cyclists and hikers, no app comes close to the features which Strava offers. Distance, speed, elevation, power, cadence, heart rate all tracked and integrated into easy-to-understand graphics. Track your progress and compare virtually with friends for motivation. Android/iOS
MyFitnessPal: This genius food-tracking tool has dominated the fitness space even after 13 years on the market. With more than 6 million food items on its database, the app makes food-logging a breeze and is an excellent option for those who mindlessly munch or have zero clue how calorie-dense their Frappuccino really is! Android/iOS
KFit/ Guava Pass / Class Pass are all variations of the same concept – mobile fitness pass. They’re priced differently and with each of them you can get unlimited access to different partnering fitness studios in Hong Kong. Check out the schemes on offer before involving your wallet, if you’re lucky, you can snag a one-month free trial.
It’s rather debatable whether swiping left or right for love is a step-up but what’s clear is that apps have changed the dating landscape for good.
Raya: It’s an ultra, ultra elite dating app, or shall we say, it’s more like a secret society. This invitation-only, private app accepts only about 8% of its applicants. You have to be uber rich, famous (we’re talking millions in Instagram followers), attractive and know the right people to get an entry. A little birdie told us that Channing Tatum and Demi Lovato were on the app swiping for love!
Try your luck? iOS