You might be wondering how I managed to tour Hong Kong with a not-so-expensive budget for 3 days and 2 nights. Well, you read it right! I and my friends enjoyed the vast beauty of this autonomous territory nicknamed as Asia’s World City. The feeling when planning the trip was very exciting as some of the online reviews I read say Chinese are friendly.
I must say that there’s a hole in my heart that only Hong Kong can fill. Why? Aside from the fact that it is the first foreign city I explored on my own for leisure, it is a recommended destination for people who wanted to escape Manila’s urban fret (oopss sorry, just saying the truth). Also, the “modern and futuristic city” aura of Hong Kong is perfect for a first out-of-the-country trip.
Different spots in Hong Kong is very easy to go to because of the impressive, expansive systems of transportation — from its world-class airport terminals to its wide train network to its reliable bus system.
What you need to Know about Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Following British rule from 1842 to 1997, China assumed sovereignty under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.
Hong Kong’s economy is characterized by free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention. It is the world’s 8th largest trading economy, with the mainland of China as its most significant trading partner.
The climate in Hong Kong is sub-tropical, with temperatures dropping below 10 degrees Celsius in winter and exceeding 31 degrees Celsius in summer. It is warm, sunny and dry in autumn, cool and dry in winter, warm and humid in spring, and hot and rainy in summer.
According to Hong Kong’s government website, population was approximately 7.34 million in 2016. People of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority of the population, with foreign nationals comprising 8.6%.
As of November 16, 2017, Hong Kong dollars is equivalent to 6.52 Philippine peso.
Now, how I spent only less than P13, 000?
After getting to Hong Kong International Airport, we purchased an Octopus card which costs HK$100 for adults and HK$50 for kids plus HK$50 deposit. The deposit for both standard and children’s cards is refundable when you surrender the card.
Octopus card can be used when riding the MTR and buses. I strongly recommend to take a bus from the airport to the center of Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui) as it’s cheaper and more comfortable. And you don’t need to switch vehicles!
After getting the card, look for signs to the BUS terminal. It’s right in front of the airport building, you’ll see it immediately after the exit.
Board the A21 Cityflyer Bus. Look for the A21 sign and queue. Pay using Octopus Card. If you don’t have this card, you can pay in cash but you must have the exact amount. From Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui, you will only pay HK$33.
Alight at Stop 13 (Cameron Road corner Nathan Road) or Stop 14 (Middle Road corner Nathan Road), depending on what’s closer to your booked hotel.
Walk to your hotel.
We arrived at our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui at around 11 in the morning so we still have plenty of time in the afternoon to saunter the beautiful city.
We had our lunch at a Chinese restaurant that serves very delicious dim sum. Price of the food is ranging from HK$16 – HK$50.
After taking our lunch, we roamed around Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok. We started our tour in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui just in front of the Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hotel where you board the MTR that will bring you to the lively District of Mongkok.
In Mongkok, you will find colorful markets where you see everything from electronics to fish. It’s a great chance to load up on souvenirs and t-shirts and trinkets to bring home as well as a photographer’s dream, these are some of the liveliest streets and markets in the city.
Cable Car – Ngong Ping 360 (Morning Tour)
We rode via MTR Train from Tsim Sha Tsui to Tung Chung. From Tsim Sha Tsui there is only one change involved.
1) Take the Tsuen Wan line (Red), conveniently along this line are stations for some of the main areas in Kowloon: Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, Mong Kok
2) Change to the Tung Chung Line (yellow) at Lai King
3) Arrive at Tung Chung Station.
From either Central or Tsim Sha Tsui it will take about 40 minutes. Price tickets for single journey is HK$19
And remember you can use your Octopus Card to pay for the fare and get a small discount.
Once you arrive at Tung Chung Station, the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal is a short walk accross. Everything is well-marked, you cannot get lost.
Round trip pass is only HK$210.
Hong Kong Disneyland (Afternoon Tour)
After taking lunch, I was very excited as it was the moment I have been waiting for. To meet Mickey Mouse and his friends!
Disneyland was one of my childhood dreams. But because my parents couldn’t afford to take us to Mickey Mouse’s little world, I promised myself that I would fly to this place someday and that someday had finally come.
We rode the MTR Train from Tung Chung. Alighted at Sunny Bay Station then transferred to Disneyland Resort Line. It will cost you HK$17.
Ride all you can pass costs HK$589.
The Victoria Peak Tram
Before we headed back to the Philippines, we made sure to take a look at the top view of Hong Kong. Our group decided to try the Victoria Peak Tram.
From Tsim Sha Tsui, we took MTR two stops south towards Central and alighted at Central. Please note that do not exit the station immediately but follow underground signs to Hong Kong Station and exit there via Exit F into IFC Mall.
Another reminder, leave the mall via the walkway beside the City’Super supermarket, and immediately turn left and go down the escalator to street level and find the minibus stop under the walkway. Then, Catch the #1 GMB, paying exact change or with Octopus.
Let’s Sum it up!
Octopus Card – HK$ 150
Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car – HK$210
Hong Kong Disneyland Ticket – HK$589
Victoria Peak Tram – HK$90
Lunch and dinner – HK$250
Pasalubong – HK$200
Hotel and Accommodation – HK$500 (each)
Total: HK$1989 (Php12, 968.28)