I always recommend Hong Kong for first timers in international trips. Why? Because the place is easy to roam around, everything’s accessible, great train system, I love the weather (as long as it is not summer) and because for the obvious reason >> Disneyland!
I’ve been to Hong Kong twice, on 2012 and 2016. I did almost the same activities, went to the same tourist spots with different set of friends 🤗 The major difference is due to bad weather on November 2016, we did not push with going to Macau.
I am a super fan of discounted tickets (who’s not?!) so for both trips, we were able to score less than P2500 roundtrip tickets via CebuPacific.
Hongkong – visa free for 14 day stay
Macau – visa free for 30 day stay
1. Accommodation – as a budget traveler, Tsim Sha Tsui is the common area for backpackers. As they say, you get what you paid for. As long as the place is safe and accessible to nearby tourist spots and with WiFi — then those are enough criteria in choosing your hostel. As always, you can rely in Agoda.com
2. Transportation – MTR using Octopus card is the best way to go around the Hong Kong. You have an option to buy the reloadable card or purchase 1,2,3 day unlimited ride which includes buses. For our group, we chose Airport Express Travel Pass so we can travel to and/or from airport without hassle. For MTR details, you may check their website.
3. Food – Note that accomodities here are a bit expensive. You may refer to Expatistan for the average daily consumption
4. Night market – the most famous is Mongkok
5. Tourist spots:
Disneyland – the first time we went here, we purchased the ticket on the day itself in Disney. But last year, we were able to score a discounted ticket in a money changer near our hostel 🤗
If you want to have a photo op with Mickey and Minnie, endure a 1-2 hours line
Aside from “Flight of the Fantasy” parade (which starts at 3:30 PM), there is also a “Paint The Night” parade which starts at 7:30 PM. In 2012, the night parade was not available yet then on 2016, due to the bad weather, the afternoon parade was canceled but Thank You, Lord — the rain stopped and we got to experience the night parade. For Disneyland activities schedule, kindly check here.
Honestly, I have not been here so I can’t share any experience nor a photo. I included it here because this is usually a part of the tourists’ itinerary. Based on the reviews, Disneyland is more child-friendly than the Ocean Park – this is due to the rides available for the adults 🤗 I guess if you want more thrill in a theme park, Ocean Park is a must visit place! For more info, check their website.
Ngong Ping Cable + Tian Tan Buddha
To get to Ngong Ping cable car station, you may either use a bus or in our case, via MTR. Via Red line, we alight at Lai King station and transferred to Yellow line going to Tung Chung station.
Tip: Be early as the queue is really looong. But if you can book online, then it will save so muuuch time.
For rates, please check their page.
There are several packages you can choose from. Ours was the roundtrip cable car + visit to Tian Tan Buddha. Note that you have to climb 268 steps to reach the Buddha.
The Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. At the most top, you’ll enjoy the views of the city and its waterfront through its viewing deck. Note that inside the building, Madame Tussauds is also a plus attraction.
The best way to reach the Peak is via Tram. For ticket prices, visit their site.
Avenue of Stars
One of the main tourist attractions. Note though that since 2015, there has been a renovation going on amd estimated to be completed this year (2018) thus, a temporary location was put up but still in Tsim Sha Tsui area.
Automatically, when you visit the Avenue of Stars, you would want to feel the breeze at the Victoria Harbour. At night time, you can enjoy “A Symphony of Lights”
St John’s Cathedral
This is quite popular due to our fellow kababayans working in Hong Kong. This is full with Pinoys especially during Sundays. Also, you’ll see them as soon as you get out from the “Central Station”.
Citygate Outlets is a huge shopping centre selling permanently discounted branded goods
Side trip: Macau
(Disclaimer: photos are from our group and old – sorry for the low res📷 )
From Hong Kong, it is a one-hour ferry ride to Macau. We boarded TurboJet in China Ferry Terminal
Address: China Hong Kong City, 33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong (1/F Departure Hall / 2/F Arrival Hall)
For updated rates and schedule, see TurboJet page.
Please make sure that you have your passports with you (actually whenever you go out from your hotel, it’s a MUST that you carry it with you for dear life everyday!). You have to go through Macau Immigration and they will allow you for a 30-day stay.
On the opposite side (outside) of the Immigration, several hotel buses are parked which you can hopped on for FREE. These buses will bring you to your preferred hotels. But don’t get me wrong, we only stayed here for a day so no check ins happened. You can take advantage of the hotel buses by going to the hotels near the tourist spots.
We have met some kababayans there who also offer private tours but we politely declined.
This is part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. Majority of the buildings around the square are European styled and many are protected monuments. They say that during the era of Portuguese control, this is where the local authorities used to review the troops on their inaugurations. This is also where you start your walk to the Ruins of St Paul’s.
Ruins of St. Paul’s
It was like a dream come true seeing the hotel where Boys over Flowers shoot one of their scenes (Jandi ❤️ Gu Jun Pyo)
Best time to visit Hong Kong is October to March as you can expect cool weather especially on the months of Jan-Feb
Money changer – they’re everywhere so no reason to worry at all! You can use HKD in Macau but most likely, the change will be in MOP (Macanese Pataca). Also, MOP cannot be used in Hong Kong,
Cost of living in Macau is higher than in Hong Kong so expect prices being doubled up
Must TRY: Lord Stow’s egg tart in Macau (of course you can have this in Manila but you have to try it in Macau so you’ll know what I mean 👌🏻 🤗 )