Hong Kong has always been a favorite destination for first time out of the country Filipino travelers. Its low fare advantage, visa free access and being only a few hours away from the country, there’s no doubt why it has been tagged as one of the must visit places for Filipinos.
As for me, though it’s not my first trip abroad, it was my first international trip as where I spent my own hard earned money for the pleasure of traveling. It was also the first time I did a DIY itinerary which paved my interest in planning and organizing my own trips.
Along with my college buddy, we both went on a 4D3N Hong Kong and Macau DIY itinerary covering what we think was best of both cities. I admit that we were not able to cover as many places but I think that will be a good excuse to be back, eh? 🙂
Disclaimer: This trip happened June 2015. Nevertheless, I updated the prices/fees and also considered the current exchange rates. Some experiences may/may not be the same. This write up is just to give you an idea and a guide on where to go and what you can possibly do. I am also delighted to share our experiences during the trip.
6:20am – 9:00am Flight from Cebu to Hong Kong
After clearing Hong Kong Immigration, you will be given a small sheet of paper to keep. Be careful not to loose this as it serves like an entry “stamp” to Hong Kong.
Before leaving the airport, be sure also to get an octopus card which is important as it will be used to pay for the Train and Bus rides. Fee for octopus card is HKD 50 and the minimum top-up is HKD 100. The card is a bit expensive but the good news is, you can have it refunded including the unconsumed amount of your card.
9:30am -11:00am Ride to Guesthouse at Tsim Tsa Tsui
How to get here: Ride Airport Shuttle Bus no. A21 – Terminal located at Arrivals Area- Level 5 of the Airport (Hung Hom KCR Station). Go down at Bus stop No.13 (MTR Station/Tsim Tsa Tsui, Nathan Road) Guesthouse is in between Citibank and Standard Charter Bank
There are many great locations to choose from as to where you can stay in Hong Kong depending on which areas you would like to be near at. We chose Tsim Tsa Tsui, particularly Golden Crown Guesthouse, because it’s a walking distance to museums, The avenue of the stars, train station and more. Not only that, our guesthouse also offers reservation of discounted attraction tickets. It was a big life saver. Another big plus is we were able to do an early check in since our room was already available.
11:00am -12:30pm Freshen up and Lunch
12:30pm- 2:30pm Hong Kong Museum of History
We walked towards the Hong Kong Museum of History but got lost along the way. It was quite funny because we had no idea how to use an actual map at that time haha! Despite being lost, we still managed to find our way and the best part was we found our way to find more Museums in the area like the Arts Museum.
What better way to start off our HK tour than to learn about its history and culture, right? I was actually quite amazed at how big the museum is. It offers interactive activities, shows and more. The best part was, admissions are free on Wednesdays. Lucky us!
TIP: Attractions/Museums sometimes have free access on certain days. Try to do a little research so you can conveniently plan your trips
2:30pm-5:00pm Ngon Ping Village 360
How to get here: Walk to East Tsim Tsa Tsui Station. Ride train to Nam Cheong Station. Interchange at Nam Cheong Platform 3 towards Tung Chung Station. Alight at Tung Chung Station Exit B. Walk to Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal
Taking up the long cable car ride to Ngon Ping Village was very memorable. It was the longest cable car ride that I’ve tried and it gave us an awesome view of Hong Kong from Lantau Island. The ride will take you to and from Ngon Ping Village. When you reach the top, you will find various shops and experience their culture all in one place. Just a walking distance from the village is where you’ll find the Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery.
5:00pm-8:30pm The Peak (Peak Tram, Sky Terrace, Madame Tussauds)
How to get here: From Tung Chung Station, alight at Hong Kong Station. Walk your way to Central Station Exit J2. Turn right, through Chater Garden, cross Queen’s Road Central, and make your way up Garden Road. You will pass the Bank of China Tower and Citibank Plaza on your left and St John’s Cathedral on your right.
For our trip to The Peak, we opted to purchase a 3 in 1 discounted ticket for The Peak Tram, Sky Terrace and Madame Tussauds – which was actually a pretty good deal. The line for the tram during the time we came was a bit crowded so we had to wait a bit. The ride going up was such a unique experience. Seeing the buildings tilted made me a bit anxious and exhilarated and at the same time.
Upon reaching the top, we immediately went to the famous wax museum, Madame Tussauds. You will see popular personalities/characters both from the east and the west.
On the top of the Building is the Sky Terrace where it gives you a majestic view of the Hong Kong Skyline. It was already night time when we came and the city lights were just awesome. It’s a perfect place for dates and family time. Also, you might want to bring a shawl or something if you plan to go at night as it can get really cold.
8:30pm-11:00pm Dinner and Temple Street Night Market
How to get here: Walk back to Central Station. Take the Tsuen Wan Line and Ride to Jordan Station. Take Exit A.
Temple Street Night Market is basically where most tourists would go for their souvenirs. Here you will find lots of goodies, shoes, clothes etc. Name it they have it. Take note though that most stores in HK would close at 11pm.
11:00pm-11:30pm Back to hostel
9:00am-10:00am Avenue of the stars
We walked our way to Avenue of the stars thanks to our trusty google maps. This place gives another awesome view of the Hong Kong skyline and where you’ll find star emblems similar to that of Hollywood’s walk of fame.
During the night, the Avenue of the Stars is also a site witness a night light show.
How to get here: From East Tsim Tsa Tsui Station, take the West Rail Line and alight at Nam Cheong Station. Change lines to Tung Chung Line and head to Sunny Bay. Interchange line to the Disneyland Resort Line
I cant express my happiness upon setting our foot in Disneyland. It’s definitely true that your inner child will come out. It was a dream come true for me. Being just by the entrance in itself was already breathtaking. It was so exciting! Now I can’t even put to words my experience here in Disneyland so I’ll just leave you with the most memorable pictures from our trip.
TIP: Bringing in of outside food is not allowed. But for our lunch, we snuck in sandwiches which we bought ahead. Prices inside Disneyland (or any other theme park) is crazy high. It would also be better to bring tumblers as there are drinking fountains around. Water can cost around Php 150-200 inside the park. Also, we deeply regret buying meal coupons online. We found out that our meal coupon price was higher than the food we ordered. The meal coupon just lets you cut the line. But there was no line when we went to buy food. So it was a waste. I guess we can charge it to experience.
9:00am-10:30am Travel to Macau
How to go to Macau: From Tsim Tsa Tsui Station, take the Tsuen Wan Line to Central Station. Change to the Island Line and head to Sheung Wan station. Ride the Cotai Jet to Macau Taipa Terminal
Macau is considered the Las Vegas of Asia. But aside from that, Macau also boasts a rich culture. It can be eminent with their historical sites and architecture. They have once been colonized by the Portuguese. Thus, the presence of European influence in their buildings and food are all around Macau.
To be honest, we didn’t really research as much for our Macau trip and just trusted our instincts and went with the flow on where it would lead us. haha. But getting around Macau was actually not as hard as I thought. There are complementary air conditioned buses (which means it’s for free) awaiting just outside the terminal that will take you to popular Macau Hotels such as the Sands Macau, The Parisian Macau and the Venetian Macau. Don’t be afraid to ride on one even though you are not booked in their hotels. They don’t really mind. Most of the hotels are also located beside each other and are accessible through walking.
There are also lots of Filipinos in Macau. Most of them work in the hospitality industry. Some will approach you and will give you a tour of the hotels (for a fee), especially in the famous Venetian hotel. It’s their sideline to make extra income. If you prefer to go by yourselves, just smile and be kind enough to turn them down 🙂
10:30am-5:00pm Explored Macau (Venetian Hotel, Sands Cotai Hotel, Senado Square, St. Paul Ruins, St Joseph Church, Fisherman’s wharf)
Sands Cotai Hotel
TIP: To get to the city center where the Senado Square is located, you can ride the free buses located outside of the hotels. You can also ask around.
St. Paul Ruins
TIP: From the many hotels, there are free buses bound for the Taipa Ferry Terminal. Don’t be afraid to hop aboard on one 🙂
Since there are flights to the Philippines from Macau, you may opt to have your return ticket from there to save you more time and money instead of returning back to Hong Kong.
5:00pm-6:00pm Trip back to Hong Kong
7:00pm-11:00pm Temple Street Night Market
Day 4 Flight back to Cebu
*Please note that I excluded the airfare, Travel tax and Terminal Fee in the table below
|1 HKD = 6.6 PHP|
|Bus Fare to Hostel||33||HKD|
|Total Train Fare||55.7||HKD|
|Hotel Fee (3 nights)||630||HKD|
|Ngon Ping 360||160||HKD|
|The Peak 3 in 1 ticket||270||HKD|
|Lunch (bought ahead)||30||HKD|
|Dinner (Meal Coupon)||110||HKD|
|Total Train Fare||28.6||HKD|
|Ferry Fare RT||285||HKD|
|Total Train Fare||28.4||HKD|
|Bus Fare to Airport||33||HKD|
|Total in PHP||15,864|
So there you have it. I hope that I was able to shed some light and helped plan your upcoming or possible future trip to Hong Kong-Macau. If you have any questions you may reach me through my Facebook page: The Curious Filipina or comment down in this post. I’ll be more than happy to answer you with the best that I could.
Ciao for now 🙂
Pics by my travel buddy Yang. Say hello to her on Instagram: @cyngxterfy