“I want to go to Disneyland!”
“I want to travel abroad but I can’t leave my work for so long.”
“I want to experience a cold weather and try to wear winter clothes.”
“I want to try authentic dimsum!”
“I am on a budget but I want to have my passport stamped.”
These travel goals may be running into your mind over and over again. That’s why I am writing this blog post to tell you that a trip to Hong Kong and Macau might be your next travel goal for this year! Sharing to you the details of my recent trip to HK + Disneyland and Macau. (Ohh, I forgot to tell you. It’s already 2 countries in just 1 trip!)
Since I was bitten by the travel bug, I had so many attempts of travelling to these countries. As they said,
“Most unplanned trips happen than those that are planned”.
Finally, I just visited HK and Macau last January 19-24, 2017. I was not really excited of the trip because I hardly thought of it due to heavy workloads (and some laziness). The trip was not really planned and as result, a lot of unexpected things happened. But nevertheless,
“No trip is a trash because you always get something out of it – memories, learning and of course, IG-worthy photos.“
Our recent trip was a 6 days and 5 night getaway. But in the last part of this post, I created a 4 days and 3 nights Itinerary and going on the same places.
Here’s my 6 days and 5 nights DIY Itinerary to Hong Kong with Disneyland and Macau.
Again, just to reiterate, I wasn’t able to plan for it very well so this trip is not really on a budget. I’m just sharing this blog post to give you a hint how much will be your probable cash damage if you travel without planning. (Haha! No! I just want to tell you to really plan your trips very well and don’t follow my laziness!)
Travel Tip 1:
Before you travel any country, you should check the weather forecast to make sure that you bring with you the right clothes to survive the trip.
In my case, January in HK is the coldest month. Temperature is down at 13 degrees and in Macau, temperature is always minus 3 degrees of the temperature of HK. So, I brought jackets, long sleeves, scarves and boots. (If you don’t have any winter clothes, you can buy in HK at a very cheap price.)
I travelled with my workmate May and we left the country last Jan 19 around 7pm. We arrived in HK around 10pm (2 hours plane ride from MNL).
Travel Tip 2:
DO NOT exchange ALL your money in the airport just enough to take you to your hotel. My friend shared that the best PHP to HKD exchange rates can be found in Chungking Mansions, Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
We bought Octopus Card (just like our beep card here in PH). You need to pay $HKD150. That’s $HKD 50 for the deposit and you can spend for the remaning $HKD 100. We can use the card to pay in convenience stores, train or MTR, buses and a lot more. Don’t worry, you can ask for refund of the deposit when you leave HK. Check more details from their website: Octopus Card
Check also MTR Guides here: MTR Guide
How to go to Tsim Sha Tsui from HK Int’l Airport?
Airport is bit far from Kowloon City where most hotels are situated. It would take more than an hour for you to get there. We hopped on the A21 Shuttle Bus and paid through Octopus Card. (I think it’s $HKD 33). It’s my first time to ride on a double deck bus. How I really wish we have like that here in PH.
Travel Tip 3:
Know what station you should drop off. Check the bus route! The bus stop nearest to Chungking Mansion is Middleroad. Make sure not to miss where you should drop off.
We arrived in Chungking Mansions around 11:30 pm and looked for our hotel, Las Vegas GuestHouse which I booked through Booking.com. Unfortunately, no one was there. We rang the doorbell many times but no one was answering. I was so stressed that night because I don’t know where else can we stay. So went back to the ground floor and looked for other hotels within the building. Luckily, Apple Hostel has available rooms for us to stay. We booked there for 5 days. Though it was a bit higher compared to the hotel we booked online, but at least we have a place to stay that night.
Travel Tip 4:
When I shared this experience to a well-traveled friend, she was so shocked why I decided to book in Chungking Mansions. Hahahaha! So, you better plan very well. She suggested for me to book next time at YMCA.
It’s a new day and I am waking up in Hong Kong! We went out around 9am and took our breakfast at a noodle restaurant near MTR Jordan Station. It was the spiciest noodle soup I tried in my entire life. I was crying every sip of it!
Right after breakfast, we rode a bus going to Harbour City to see Victoria Harbour, Clock Tower and Avenue of the Stars. All these places/landmarks are near to each other and it’s very near from Chungking Mansions.
From Avenue of the Stars, we went to try Tim Ho Wan as suggested by other bloggers. Though there’s also Tim Ho Wan in Manila, we still gave it a try.
After a late lunch, we went back to our hotel to rest a bit. Around 7pm, we walked towards Victoria Harbour to witness the Symphony of the Lights every 8pm.
After the show, we rode a bus going to the Ladies Night Market to try street foods and buy pasalubong.
Can’t wait for this day! Woke up early to have breakfast at a nearby McDonalds and to arrive in Disneyland early to avoid the long qeueing. We reloaded our Octopus Card since we don’t know how much would it cost going to Disneyland.
How to go to Disneyland from Tsim Sha Tsui:
In front of the Chungking Mansions is the MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station.
Here’s your route:
Tsim Sha Tsui Station (Tsuen Wan Line) -> Lai King Station (Tung Chung Line) ->
Sunny Bay Station (Disneyland Resort Line) -> Disneyland Resort Station
We arrived in Disneyland around 9:30am. Bought our ticket and queue at the entrance lane. 1 Adult ticket costs $HKD589 that’s Php 3,948.30 ($HKD 1 = Php 6.70)
Ohh! And that Iron Man experience that just opened last January 11 was absolutely perfect! Despite long lines before I’ve experience it, it was totally worth it! Will surely try it again.
The prettiest sunset I’ve seen in my life!
Hooray for Disneyland! I will not share to you so much about the Disneyland adventure but I will leave you with this. You MUST see it for yourself!
“Go, take a leave and visit Disneyland!”
It is a place that I will go back and visit again. Thinking of getting a two-day pass together with my family. Dreaming also of visiting other Disneyland in the world.
We left Disneyland after the fireworks show around 8:30pm. Follow the same route when going back to Tsim Sha Tsui. We decided to drop off at MTR Jordan Station to eat noodlessoup. Then, straight back to the hotel.
One of the nicest opportunities to grab when you are already in Hong Kong is to go to Macau for a day. Macau is known to be the “Las Vegas of Asia”.
How to go to Macau from Hong Kong?
From our hotel, we just walked going to China Ferry Terminal. Buy round trip tickets if your off for a day tour.
Because we went there on a weekend, the ticket rate is a bit higher. You can save if you will travel to Macau on a weekday. Round trip ticket costs $HKD 370. We bought already round trip tickets. For your return ticket, buy the last trip schedule to avoid rushing in case you need more time to roam around Macau. In case you want to go home earlier, you are allowed to hop on an earlier trip.
Travel Tip 5:
Since Macau is another country, specifically an autonomous region of China like HK, you need to bring with you your travel documents because you will pass by the immigration. Don’t forget to bring your passports!
We arrived in Macau around 12:30pm. As we went out the ferry terminal, Ate Flor, a Filipina, spoke to us and offered us a day tour. Transportation in Macau is bit hard unless you are familiar with the free shuttle buses offered by the hotels. Since we arrived late in Macau we wanted to maximize our remaining time, we opted to take Ate Flor’s offer. (It’s one way to help our OFWs earn additional income through their sidelines.)
My memorable experience in Macau is to try legit gambling. I even got membership at MGM Grand.
We also went to Parisian and Venetian Hotel. Going there was a motivating experience for me to even work hard and save harder to finally witness the real Eiffel Tower in Paris and Venice, Italy.
After the hotel hopping, we went to Senado Square and walk our way to the Ruins of St. Paul.
You don’t need to worry if you are already hungry because in Macau you indulge yourself in jerky and almond cookies for free. This is also the best place to buy your pasalubong.
Around 6:30 pm, Ate Flor let us hop on a bus back to the ferry terminal. We just waited for our chance to ride on the next trip since we took an earlier schedule. (Don’t worry, I think they are always used to chance passengers.) We arrived in China Ferry Terminal around 8:30 pm.
We just had our breakfast in the hotel.
How to go to Lantau Island from Tsim Sha Tsui?
Here’s your route:
Tsim Sha Tsui (Tsuen Wan Line) -> Lai King Station (Tung Chung Line) -> Tung Chung Station
We went to MTR Tung Chung Station. From there, we walked towards the bus terminal going to Ngong Ping. We paid $35 Round trip bus ticket. The trip was almost an hour.
In Ngong Ping, you will see the quieter side of Hong Kong. You can see the Big Buddha, the Temples of the 10 Gods, and the Ngong Ping Village. Actually, you can reach Ngong Ping Village through 360 degrees cable car. However, that time when we were there, it was under construction.
We left Ngong Ping Village around 12:00 noon. We dropped off at Central Station and walked towards The Peak Tram. We paid $88 for the Sky Terrace, and round trip Tram ride.
You should not miss to go to the Sky Terrace. When you’re up there, you can see the whole of Hong Kong from above. I think it will be also amazing if you go there in the evening. (We went there around 4pm and I was already freezing!). We went back to Tsim Sha Tsui and buy some pasalubong.
How to go to Tsim Sha Tsui from the Peak Tram?
Line up at the bus lane going to Central Station. Ride on MTR at the Central Station bound to Tsim Sha Tsui Station.
How to go HK Int’l Airport from Tsim Sha Tsui?
From Chungking Mansion, we just cross and waited for an A21 Bus going directly to the airport.
Once in the airport, here are other things you can do:
- Exchange your remaining HKD to PHP
- Refund your deposit in Octopus Card
We arrived in PH around 10:30am.
So overall, here’s our total expenses. But I can assure you that this can be lowered if you prepared for your trip very very well.
But here’s an itinerary I made as a suggestion for you.
My currency exchange rate for this is $HKD 1 = Php 6.7. It’s a bit high but I’d rather be conservative. I didn’t include also the cost of food in Disneyland (e.g. water, sandwich and meal). You can also deduct the minimum refundable $HKD 50/ Php 335 from the Octopus Card. The budget doesn’t include the airfare but a lot promo airfares are available from Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and Philippine Airlines.
Note that you can always reduce the budget if there’s more of you travelling. The 4 days trip is jam-packed and you have traveled to HK + Disneyland + Macau. But the schedule is a bit tight. So if you want a relaxed trip, you can also follow what we did during our recent trip.
I hope I helped you with this! Can’t wait for you to achieve your travel goal this year. If you have questions, just send me an email or send me a message on my Facebook Page. 🙂