May 15, 2016

The Do-It-Yourself Hong Kong Experience

Located in eastern Asia, Hong Kong is a country frequently visited by Filipinos due its visa-free entry and close proximity to Manila. It is a magical place where both kids and adults will surely have a great time, and it’s only a two-hour flight away.

view from the tram on the way to The Peak



Be ready to pack your bags and check out this suggested Do-It-Yourself Hong Kong guide.

How to Get There?

It is recommended to take an early flight to Hong Kong to maximize your stay.
There are at least 15 flights per day with MNL – HKG routes which you may choose from.
You may check out fights from Philippine Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air Asia, and Cebu Pacific.


Watch out for those airline sales, as a Manila-Hong Kong round-trip ticket can cost as low as PhP2,000.


Accommodation

Hong Kong is well-known for being a country where space is a luxury.
As always, there are a few options you may choose from to get the best out of your budget.

AirBnb
AirBnbs are booming alternative to hotels. From HKD800 (PhP5,000++) a night, you’ll get an entire apartment to yourself where you can cook and do laundry. This is recommended for those traveling in groups to save on your accommodation.

Guesthouse
Golden Crown Guesthouse – located in one of Hong Kong’s busiest streets, Nathan Road, Golden Crown is one of the popular guest houses in Hong Kong. An overnight stay for a family room (accommodates 4 to 5) will cost you HKD600 (PhP3,600++) while a room for two is around HKD420 (PhP2,500++).

Boutique Hotels/Hotels
If you have more budget for accommodation, you may opt to book your stay in a hotel.
Check out Butterfly on Prat in Agoda to score the best deals for this hotel.


Weather



Hong Kong is classified as a sub-tropical climate, which means that it has a warm to hot summer and cool to mild winter. It has a high tourist volume all year, but if you want to enjoy cooler months, it is best to travel between mid-September to the end of February.

Make sure to check out the weather forecast at least a week before your trip.

The last time I went to Hong Kong was around February which was still very cold and windy. The jacket I was wearing was simply not enough. I needed to wear two jackets as soon as we landed at the airport.

Getting Around

Before heading out to the city, be sure to buy your Octopus Card at the airport.
This card is used as a contactless way of payment for most transportation around Hong Kong as well as for other establishments.

Got our Octopus Cards at the Airport

The Octopus Card comes with a refundable HKD50 (PhP300) deposit. 

For a five-day trip, I suggest you get an initial top-up of HKD100 + 50 deposit (Php900++), and just top up when necessary. 

You may top up your Octopus cards at MTR stations, 7-Eleven and other partner establishments

Public transportation is relatively efficient and there are a lot of ways to enjoy the city.

Airport Express – The fastest way to reach the city from the Chek Lap Kok Airport is the Airport Express.

To give a rough estimate, a one way ticket from Airport to Kowloon is around HKD90 (PhP540++).

Taxi – the most convenient way of transportation if you are travelling in a group. However, be mindful also that Hong Kong taxis do not come cheap. The flag-down rate for red taxis, operating throughout most of Hong Kong, is HKD22 (PhP133++)

Bus – Buses run on a specific routes and are guided by Bus Numbers. Make sure to plan ahead the bus numbers that you will need for your destination.

MTR – The Mass Transit Railway is the most popular method of commute in Hong Kong especially for tourists due to its efficiency. Check out explorehk.com to plan out your routes and estimated travel time.

Ferry – For experience you may try to take the Star Ferry between Central to Kowloon. You may check out detailed fare table here.

Tram – Hop on and take the upper deck for a lovely view of Hong Kong Island with a flat rate of HKD2.3 (Php13).

Tip: Having been a British colony for 99 years, Hong Kong is a right hand drive country.
Be sure to look from right to left when crossing the street.

Suggested 4-Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Early fly in to Hong Kong
              Make sure to get your Octopus Card at the Airport
              Check in to Hotel
              Stroll around TST 1881 Heritage, Harbour City Shopping
              Avenue of the Stars, Old Clock Tower, Symphony of Lights

Day 2 – Ngong Pin Village (Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car + Giant Buddha + Po Lin Monastery)
              Citygate at Tung Chung station              
              Disneyland

Day 3 – Ocean Park
              The Peak / Madame Tassaud's Wax Museum 

Day 4 – Last Minute Shopping 
              Flyout

You can add one more day for a side trip to Macau.

For a more relaxed itinerary, you may opt to stay for at least 7 days in HK to fully enjoy this beautiful country.

Bonus Tip: When packing for your trip, be sure to leave space on your luggage as there are a lot of discount sales in Hong Kong. I’m sure you are in for one-of-a-kind shopping experience while there.

Be sure to check out my other Hong Kong DIY Series:

Hong Kong DIY Trip Part 1 - Welcome to HK and Avenue of the Stars
Hong Kong DIY Trip Part 3 - The Peak and Star Ferry
Hong Kong DIY Trip Part 4 - Ocean Park
Hong Kong DIY Trip Part 5 - Disneyland

**Exchange rate used is 1 HKD = 6.01055 PHP as of May 15, 2016

21 comments:

  1. This post makes me wanna go back to HK, we were not able to visit Ocean Park because my son prefers Disneyland so we had 2 days trip in HK Disney.

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    1. Mas prefer ko din ang Disneyland kesa Ocean Park :).

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  2. Oh, I would love to visit HK in the future with my boys. I wish we could go there when my hubby comes home.

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    1. Go for it sis! I'm sure your boys will love it :)

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Hong Kong is in my bucketlist! Will surely keep this in mind if we will this place.

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  5. Thank you for the tips! We always stay at Butterfly on Prat for convenience. Dati they serve breakfast pa when it opened in 2008 or 2009, ngayon wala na.

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    1. Yes very convenient and maganda talaga sya diba :)

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  6. A DIY trip is always fun because you get to choose your itinerary! I'm sure you had an amazing time while you were there.

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  7. I didn't know that its VISA free to go to Hongkong, I think its about time to think about summer vacation. Thanks for this awesome blog post Sis
    www.wish4less.info

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  8. Nice itinerary. We didn't get to some of the places you mentioned here except for Disneyland, Avenue of the Stars, and Nathan Road where we stayed. We used the MTR to get around.

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    1. There's always a reason to go back :)

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  9. I just went to hk last January. One of the best months to visit hk since its winter :)

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  10. HK is certainly very doable for 4 or 5 day intenary depending on which places you wish to visit. It has been a few years since I last visited that country.

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    1. Yes very doable. Even a 3 day trip to HK is okay:)

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  11. Thank you for this. We are planning to fly to Hongkong maybe next year. I want a DIY trip also kasi it's cheaper, hehe.

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  12. We are planning a Hongkong Trip sometime soon and we are also DIY-ing it.

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Hey there! Thank you for visiting this little world of mine :)