Bloodsport – Cost to Visit Hong Kong for the Kumite

Hong Kong street fighter, © Seat17A

Want to roundhouse kick your way to Hong Kong to recreate the Kumite in Bloodsport? How much would it have cost to visit in 1988? Channel your inner Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), here we explore the cost then and now.

Ground Transportation

Frank Dux flees his military base in California, visits Tanaka, and then flies from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). By taxi, this trip is about $45 today. In 1988, Dux would have landed at Kai Tak Airport, which is now the ferry and cruise terminal, and taken a bus as shown in the movie. Today, you would arrive at Hong Kong International Airport and pay around $6 for a bus ticket to Kowloon (MTR subway is recommended). Total ground transportation: $51.

The Flight

Frank’s flight is not shown in the film, we leave Tanaka’s house and see Frank on the bus to Kowloon. We assume he departed from SFO and arrived at Kai Tak, an option not available today. Today, flights average $1,200 to Hong Kong. This excludes basic economy and assumes he booked well ahead.

Hotel – East Lake Hotel

My room in Hong Kong (2018), submarine themed at The Fleming hotel

Frank stays at the East Lake Hotel, along with Janice and the other competitors, a real hotel at the time. Today it is an apartment complex with shops encompassing the lobby in the Causeway Bay area. This is inconsistent with the story but looked very nice. For our estimate, we will use hotels near the Kowloon Walled City (the location of the Kumite). Luxury hotel: $125 a night @ 4 nights = $500.

Meals & Extras

We’ll never know how much a ticket would have cost to attend the Kumite. In our example, let’s assuming we are a fighter, not a spectator. Hong Kong is a foodie paradise and eating is inexpensive. You can easily get by on $25 a day but let’s round up to $50 and have some drinks. That may seem low, but remember we’re here to fight in the Kumite not sightsee… Total $200.

Grand total in 2023: $1,951
Grand total in 1988: $763

Footnotes: I visited Hong Kong in 2018 prior to recent inflation, that trip cost around $2,200. We’re fighting for honor and our lives in this trip so it’s a no frills analysis. It is also a solo trip. To estimate the 1988 cost, we used the Consumer Price Index of the 2023 value. Like this series? See our posts on Home Alone, Pretty Woman, and Crazy Rich Asians.

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