I was planning an out-of-the-country trip last October for our anniversary and I originally considered going to South Korea. However, we cannot provide the visa requirements on time so we decided on a country that required no visa when entering.
Our first pick? Hong Kong! It’s very near (in the same time zone), just a 2-hour flight. It boasts numerous tourist attractions, the weather is nice, the cuisine is very close to our hearts… and the selling point? Of course, a trip to Disneyland!
So here’s our amazing trip to Hong Kong! Read on for some tips and travel guides.
About Hong Kong
I read that Hong Kong was frequently described as a place where “East meets West”. It was formerly colonized by the British empire and became a Special Administrative Region of China in 1997, influencing the culture to be a mix of western and oriental.
Tourism is highly promoted, where both local and tourists can enjoy culture, heritage, arts and its great outdoors. For more information, visit Discover Hong Kong.
Transportation and Getting Around
Hong Kong has one of the most convenient transportation systems in the world. It is far more efficient compared here in the Philippines. Their MTR is so extensive that we’re able to reach other areas of Hong Kong easily and on time! I ride the MRT in EDSA every day so I really get to compare the experience. Since the trains are well-maintained and always on-time, the commuters don’t pile up even during rush hours. People are very disciplined, they know how to queue. And what’s more amazing? No one’s sitting in the designated seats (for elders, people with disabilities and pregnant women) inside the train even if the cart is full.
Another option is to take the bus. Hong Kong is famous for its two-decker bus. Buses are available as early as 6 AM and as late as 2 AM. Fees vary depending on your destination and distance traveled. When we had the opportunity to ride one, we chose the seat on the top. It really had a nice view!
Taxis and Uber are also available. These are the more expensive options but you can conveniently reach your destination. Some drivers don’t speak English so be ready with your translate apps to aid you when giving directions.
Over-all, I would recommend taking the subway trains. It’s easy to understand and much cheaper!
Hong Kong has faster internet speeds compared to the Philippines. There are several options for you to stay connected during your stay there.
Klook offers wi-fi device rental for as low as PHP 250/day. Please take note that a security deposit is usually collected by the merchant which will be refunded once you return the device.
Book your 4G Wi-Fi Device via Klook here: https://www.klook.com/city/2-hong-kong/47-tag/?p=1&order=0
We opted for a wi-fi router rented from Flytpack. Our return flight to Manila was via Macau so there was no chance for us to return the device if we were to rent from Hong Kong International Airport.
Booking through Flytpack was easy. Just go to their website and select your travel dates, the number of router you’re renting and your target destination. Payment is usually via Paypal or credit card. Please take note that you also need to pay for a deposit which will be refunded (within 14 days) once you return the device. The router was delivered to me 3 days before our travel dates, and I scheduled a pick-up day after our arrival.
- Wi-Fi Router Rental (PHP 320.0) for 4 days — PHP 1,280.00
- Courier Delivery — PHP 170.00
- Security Deposit — PHP 2,800.00 (refunded within 14 days)
- TOTAL AMOUNT PAID: PHP 4,250.00
Book your 4G Wi-Fi Device via Flytpack here: https://flytpack.com/wifi
As of January 21, 2018:
- 1 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) = 6.49 Philippine Peso (PHP)
- 1 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) = 0.13 US Dollar (USD)
I suggest exchanging your PHP to US Dollars and a few Hong Kong Dollars prior your travel dates. In BDO, you need to reserve 3-5 days before you’re able to buy USD. I do not recommend exchanging money in airports since the rates are lower. In addition, call your banks and/or credit card companies for a travel advisory so you won’t encounter any issues when using your ATMs and credit cards abroad. Making a travel advisory also prevents fraudulent transactions since the bank will be monitoring your account activities.
You can find plenty of money changers in Central Station, Mong Kok, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. Bring your passport or any ID, since they verify first before exchanging your money.
When to go?
I was told October to early December are good months to visit Hong Kong. It’s off-peak so the flight tickets and hotel rates are relatively cheaper. The weather is not too hot/humid nor too cold, and the rainy season had already passed. A week before our travel, the typhoon from the Philippines headed to Hong Kong. Fortunately, the typhoon left and we were blessed with a good weather during our stay there.
My husband loved the climate! He got to wear two-layer of clothes (a shirt and a jacket/hoodie) which he definitely cannot do in Manila (since it’s too humid!). Yey for hubby! As for me, I settled with dresses, blouses and pants. I put on my jacket at night because it gets colder after 7 PM.
Where to Stay?
We sought an assistance from a travel agency and booked us a Superior Queen room at Dorsett Tsuen Wann. It’s a 4-star hotel located at 28 Kin Chuen Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong. It’s near to the airport but far from the city center (e.g. Kowloon, Mong Kok).
The room we booked was great! When we travel, the one thing we’re always particular about is the accommodation. The space to move inside the room was small and limited, but I would say that the security, comfort and cleanliness we’re looking for were satisfied by this hotel. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom had a tub, was spacious and clean. It had a mini-ref and water heater. Our hotel booking also had a daily buffet breakfast package. The food was a mix of Chinese and American breakfast choices.
But if you’re looking for accommodations which are nearer to the heart of Hong Kong, I suggest you look around Kowloon, Mong Kok or Tsim Sha Tsui area.
Day 1: Hong Kong Island
|Start Time||End Time||Expenses||Activity|
|9:00 AM||10:00 AM||P2,398.00||Arrival and disembarking at Hong Kong International Airport
*Claimed Octopus Card Special Edition at Arrival Area Counter A13 (P1,496.00/card) — purchased via Klook
|10:00 AM||11:00 AM||–||Travel to Dorset Tsuen Wann Hotel|
|11:00 AM||11:30 AM||–||Unpack and freshen up|
|11:30 AM||1:30 PM||P2,516.00||Sky100 HK Observation Deck +
Lunch at Ritz-Carlton
*Claimed Sky100 Entrance + Cafe 100 Dining Package via Klook (P1,258.00/person) — purchased via Klook
|1:30 PM||2:45 PM||–||Explore Central Station|
|2:45 PM||6:00 PM||P3,467.76||Victoria Peak (via Peak Tram) +
Sky Terrace + Madamme Tussauds
*Claimed Peak Tram Fast-track Combo / Madamme Tussauds 3-in-1 Combo (P1,733.88/person) — purchased via Klook
|6:00 PM||8:00 PM||P1,000.00||Dinner at Lin Heung Tea House|
|8:00 PM||10:00 PM||P1,000.00||Night Market at Temple Street|
|10:00 PM||10:30 PM||–||Travel back to hotel|
|11:00 PM||–||Lights out!|
|DAY 1 EXPENSES||PHP 10,381.76 for 2 pax|
◊ Buy an Octopus Card.
We bought the Special Edition Octopus Card via Klook and claimed it at Hong Kong International Airport Arrivals Area Counter A13. The booth is open from 07:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Since Hong Kong has an extensive train system, you’ll pretty much be able to move around with just your Octopus Card.
◊ Enjoy Hong Kong’s skyline at Sky100 HK Observation Deck in West Kowloon.
Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck is located at the 100/F of the ICC Building, the tallest building in Hong Kong. It offers a 360-degree view of the territory and its famous Victoria Harbour. For more information, visit their website here.
Address: 100/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
How to Get There: Take the MTR to Kowloon Station (Exit C)
◊ Reach Victoria Peak via Peak Tram.
There are a lot of transportation options to reach the peak. You can go there via bus or taxi, but I recommend to ride the Peak Tram. It’s an 120 year-old railway that departs from the base of the mountain (terminus at Garden Road near MTR Central Station).
The queue in the Peak Tram gets very long especially on weekends and holidays; hence, we decided to purchase Klook’s Fast Track combo which let us by-pass the long lines, go directly to the tram and saved at least an hour of waiting.
Elevated at 552 meters above sea level, Victoria Peak makes itself a perfect point to view Hong Kong’s majestic harbour. Since it’s high up the mountains, the temperature is cooler here and in some instances, a lot of fog can be seen from the peak.
Peak Tram Operating Hours: 7AM to 12AM (Mon – Sun & Public Holidays)
Sky Terrace Operating Hours: 10AM to 11PM (Mon-Fri) / 8AM to 11PM (Sat, Sun)
PEAK TEAM ONLY: Single – HK$32 | Return – HK$45
PEAK TRAM + SKY TERRACE 48: Single – HK$77 | Return – HK$90
SKY TERRACE ONLY: HK$50 — Tickets can be purchased at Customer Services counter (Ground floor), The Peak Tower
◊ Take a lot of pictures with the wax figures at Madamme Tussauds.
This wax museum holds over 100 life-size wax figures of famous personalities and historical figures. I got to take a picture with Johnny Depp, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Chan!
Address: Shop P101, The Peak Tower, No. 128 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong Island
Operating Hours: 10AM to 10PM
Admission: HK$ 215
◊ Have a sumptous dinner at Lin Heung Tea House.
Lin Heung Tea House is an old restaurant and one of the few that serves dim sums in carts pushed by waiters. During the unli-dim sum hours, this restaurant becomes very busy and packed with a lot of customers. We had trouble looking for this restaurant because we boarded the wrong bus and got off at the wrong drop-off point. Boo! We also missed the unli-dim sum which ended at 4 PM. So we just ordered scallops with broccoli, stir-fried noodles and unlimited tea from their regular menu.
Address: 162 Wellington St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong | +852 2544 4556
Nearest MTR: Sheung Wan Station (4-min walk)
◊ Buy souvenirs and enjoy street foods at Temple Street Night Market.
Since we decided to skip the Symphony of Lights in Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, we decided to spend the rest of the evening at Temple Street Night Market. It’s in central Kowloon and the stretch of the street boasted numerous stalls for souvenirs, bags, clothes and street food. It’s probably Hong Kong’s largest and most popular night market, so if you’re looking for a place to buy your stuff, spend an hour or two here.
We tried the scallops and escargots (cooked land snails). They’re yummy!
Address: Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
Nearest MTR: Jordan Station or Yau Ma Tei Station
Day 2: Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade + Ocean Park
|Start Time||End Time||Expenses||Activity|
|9:00 AM||12:00 PM||–||Visit Waterfront / Clock Tower / Garden of Stars for picture-taking|
|12:00 PM||1:00 PM||–||Travel to Ocean Park via tourist bus|
|01:00 PM||08:00 PM||P6,700.00||Ocean Park
Entrance – HK$435/person (approx P2,600)
Food allowance – P1,000.00
Souvenirs – P500.00
|8:00 PM||09:00 PM||–||Travel back to hotel|
|10:00 PM||–||Lights out!|
|DAY 2 EXPENSES||PHP 6,700.00|
◊ Take photos at the waterfront.
In the morning, we visited the waterfront for some photo-op. The Avenue of Stars was closed until further notice for some improvements/maintenance, so we went to the Garden of Stars instead.
◊ Have a close encounter with the animals at Ocean Park.
By lunch, we proceed to Ocean Park which is a marine theme park. It’s bigger than Disneyland and a lot of attractions were available, including an oceanarium and cable car. There’s also the Ocean Express, a railway that connects the two sections of the park.
The park is divided into the following sections: Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City, Whiskers Harbor, Marine World, Polar Adventure, Adventure Land, Thrill Mountain and Rainforest. Comfort rooms and water stations were also strategically located inside the park. Before closing, there’s a fountain show at the Lagoon. It’s programmed with special effects which narrated the clash of two dragons. So entertaining! It’s similar to the Songs of the Sea I watched years ago at Sentosa, Singapore.
We went here on a Sunday, so there were many elder Chinese tourists and Indian nationals (we heard India was celebrating their long holidays). But hey, we still got to see a panda and a penguin!
Address: 38 Nam Long Shan Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong
Operating Hours: 10AM to 6PM
Admission: Adult HK$438, Child HK$219
Day 3: Hong Kong Disneyland
|Start Time||End Time||Expenses||Activity|
|9:00 AM||10:00 AM||–||Travel to Hong Kong Disneyland via tourist bus|
|10:00 AM||8:30 PM||P11,000.00||Hong Kong Disneyland
Entrance – HK$589/person (approx P3,454)
Food allowance – P2000
Souvenirs – P2000
|8:30 PM||09:30 PM||–||Travel back to hotel|
|10:30 PM||Lights out!|
|DAY 3 EXPENSES||PHP 11,000.00|
◊ Visit the happiest place on earth.
And of course, where is the best place to celebrate our wedding anniversary? It should be on the happiest place on earth! Hahaha! This was the first Disney park that we visited so we’re ecstatic and excited to see Mickey Mouse and friends! ;-p
Here were some our activities at the park (attraction descriptions taken from Disneyland website):
- Dine at Royal Banquet Hall (counter service) – the largest restaurant in Hong Kong Disneyland located at Fantasyland. It has four stations: Grill, Sushi, Dim Sum and Kettle. The cashier are located before you exit the order stations.
Set sail for high adventure during a guided tour of the mysterious and untamed Rivers of Adventure at Jungle River Cruise.
Get swept up in the enchantment of Disney animation in this 3D concert movie starring many favorite Disney characters at Mickey’s Philbar Magic.
Dash in and out of twisting caverns and rumble through Grizzly Gulch aboard speeding mine train at Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars.
Explore a mystifying museum where exotic artifacts from around the globe come to life right before your eyes at Mystic Manor.
The thrills become even more intense when you rocket into the middle of a Star Wars™ battle in this re-imagining of the classic HyperSpace Mountain attraction.
Have a close encounter with the Marvel Superhero – Iron Man himself! at Iron Man Experience and Iron Man Tech Showcase.
- Meet Chewbacca and/or other Star Wars characters at STAR WARS™: Command Post.
Drop from the sky with the Toy Soldiers from Toy Story during a parachuting drill with thrills at Toy Story Parachute Drop.
- Take at picture at the iconic Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
- Watch the Lion King show.
Just remember that the foods and drinks sold here are more expensive compared to those sold outside the park. To save on money, you can just buy a bottle of water before going in and just refill at the water stations.
Address: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong
Operating Hours: 10AM to 9PM (fireworks display at 8PM)
Admission: Adult HK$589
Day 4: Travel to Macau
After checking out from the hotel, our tourist bus headed to the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal. It is located at 168-200 Connaught Rd Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. The nearest MTR station is Sheung Wan.
We boarded the blue ferry of Cotai Water Jet which is a premium high-speed ferry service between Hong Kong and Macau. Ticket price ranges as low as HKD 171 up to HKD 2,704 depending on the seat class. For more information, you can visit Cotai’s website. Another option would be the red ferry of TurboJET.
I would say taking the ferry to Macau is the easiest and most convenient. Our one-way trip lasted for 45-60 minutes, including passing the immigration in Hong Kong and Macau.
For our detailed Macau day-tour itinerary, refer to this blog post.
Summary of Expenses
Here’s the total expenses of our 4D/3N trip to Hong-Kong and Macau:
|Round-trip Airfare (MNL-HKG, MFM-MNL)||P15,095.76|
|Hotel Accommodation (4D/3N)||P33,000.00|
|Miscellaneous (WiFi Router)||P2398.00|
|Day 1 Expenses||P10,381.74|
|Day 2 Expenses||P6,700.00|
|Day 3 Expenses||P11,000.00|
|Day 4 Expenses (Macau)||P3,000.00|
|Total Expenses for Two (2) Persons||P81,647.50|
Over-all, our Hong Kong-Macau trip is nothing but amazing! It was our first travel abroad as a married couple and this trip really tested our patience with each other. Hehehe!
You can definitely save more if you plan DIY instead of relying on travel agencies. It’s more exciting but needs a lot of work! So if you have longer time preparing, I suggest you plan out your trip super ahead of time. I started our itinerary around August and worked on it for 2 months. Research is very important, especially on the accuracy of directions. But hey! It’s exhilarating to get lost once in a while. 🙂
I hope you got something from this post. Let me know how your trip goes! Enjoy! 🙂
- Read our day-trip Macau itinerary here: A Day-Trip Guide to Macau