HONG KONG: Adventures in Asia’s World City

Summer in other countries can be very exciting and tiring at the same time. I realized these once I landed in this autonomous Chinese territory formerly managed by British colonizers. Hong Kong, is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Chinese: 中華人民共和國香港特別行政區). With my workmates, we only dreamed on a trip until piso fare (PHP1 base fare one-way) came roughly 5 months before our intended departure. Four of us agreed and immediately booked the flights with 15kg baggage both ways. Total airfare summed up to PHP3248.55 per person.

Since Hong Kong is visa-free, we planned on our itinerary and included the happiest places on Earth as they say – Disneyland! I didn’t forget to include some heritage spots and spin-off trip to Macau since it was just a ferry away. I took care of the walk-through since I researched on train  and bus routes that we’ll use when we get there.

Finally, with less than half-year preparation, here’s how our Hong Kong trip went:

DAY 1:
Manila to Hong Kong 香港
Hong Kong International Airport 香港國際機場 to Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀
Spin-off to Macau 澳門

05:40 – ETD: NAIA Terminal 3 Airport (PHP1620 Travel Tax)
07:40 – ETA: Hong Kong Airport (Octopus card at HKD150=Deposit HKD50 + Initial stored value HKD100)
08:30 – Take A21 Bus to Tsim Sha Tsui (Cameron Road, Nathan Road) 13th bus stop (HKD33)
09:30 – Check-in at Urban Pack (Leave baggages). 4 bed mixed dorm: (HKD940 per pax for 4 nights + HKD100 key deposit)
12:00 – ETD: Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal bound to Macau (see separate post here)

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Welcome to Hong Kong!
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Hong Kong Dollars Bills and Coins (1HKD≈7PHP)
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Octopus Card (HKD150=Deposit HKD50 + Initial stored value HKD100)
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A21 Bus Terminal outside the airport. One-way fare is HKD33. Use your Octopus card. Just tap it!
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After tapping your Octopus card, put your luggages on a rack at the lower level, and sit on to upper level for sightseeing HK! No worries as the double-decker bus is CCTV-monitored.

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Lunch at nearby KFC. We survived eating at fastfood restos are we have tight budget.

DAY 2:
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort 香港迪士尼樂園度假區
07:00 – Wake up
08:15 – Breakfast then Go to Disneyland:
1. Take the Tsuen Wan MTR train (RED) towards Tsuen Wan
2. Get off at Lai King Station
3. Transfer to Tung Chung line (ORANGE). The train should be Tung Chung-bound.
4. Alight at Sunny Bay Station.
5. Transfer to Disneyland Resort Line (PINK).
10:00 – Disneyland Hong Kong Park Hours (10am-8pm operating hours) General Admission Ticket (aged 12-64) HKD589
13:30 – Flights of Fantasy Parade: It starts in Fantasyland, near the entrance to the Storybook Theater.
20:00 – “Disney In The Stars” Fireworks: Be sure to find a good spot in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle 30 minutes before.
21:00 – Sleep

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From Tsim Sha Tsui (RED), take subway to Lai King Station (RED/ORANGE) -> Sunny Bay Station (ORANGE/PINK) -> Disneyland Resort (PINK)
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Welcome to Disneyland!
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Disneyland Main Street Railroad Station (under renovation that time)
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It’s A Small World
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Philippines represent!
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Flights of Fantasy Parade
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Hey Mickey Mouse!
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Mystic Manor
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“Disney In The Stars” Fireworks

DAY 3:
Hong Kong Ocean Park 香港海洋公園
Hong Kong Museum of Art 香港藝術館
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and Clock Tower 尖沙咀鐘樓
Symphony of Lights 幻彩詠香江
Avenue of Stars 星光大道

07:00 – Wake up
08:15 – Breakfast
09:00 – Subway to Ocean Park
1. Take the Tsuen Wan MTR train (RED) towards Central;
2. Get off at Admiralty
3. Transfer to South Island line (LIME). The train should be South Horizons-bound.
4. Alight at Ocean Park Station
10:00 – Ocean Park Hours (10:00am-11:00pm operating hours) General Admission Adult (aged 12 or above) HKD438
17:00 – Subway back to Tsim Sha Tsui
18:00 – Stroll around Tsim Sha Tsui
20:00 – Watch the Symphony of Lights
20:30 – Walk along Avenue of Stars
22:00 – Dinner then sleep

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From Tsim Sha Tsui (RED), take subway to Admiralty Station (RED/LIME) -> Ocean Park Station (LIME)
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Ocean Park Hong Kong – World’s Premium Theme Park‎
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The Waterfront
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First time to see a real panda! So cute!
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Cable Car Ride from The Waterfront to The Summit
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Seals and Dolphins Show at Ocean Theatre
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Hair Raiser, my favorite ride!
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Ocean Park Tower ride overlooking Aberdeen Channel
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Hong Kong Museum of Modern Art. If coming from Nathan Road near the Tsim Sha Tsui Station, you can walk through the pedestrian subway to EAST Tsim Sha Tsui Station. Just follow the signs that lead to Exit J and you’ll be fine.
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Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower
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Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade with spectators waiting for Symphony of Lights.  This synchronized exterior lights and laser display features some of the city’s imposing buildings in both the Kowloon and Hong Kong sides of the harbor. Accompanied by music, this spectacular multimedia show happens every night starting at 8pm.
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Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island’s skyscrapers
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Duk Ling (Hong Kong Junk) at Victoria Harbour Nightsky
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Avenue of Stars monument at night
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Bruce Lee statue
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Bruce Lee’s Star!

DAY 4:
Ngong Ping 昂坪 (Tian Tan Buddha 天壇大佛 and Po Lin Monastery 寶蓮禪寺) 
Victoria Peak 太平山 through Peak Tram Sky Pass (The Peak Tram 山頂纜車 & Sky Terrace 428)
Hong Kong Park 香港公園 
Mong Kok 旺角 (Ladies’ Market 女人街) for dinner and souvenir shopping

07:00 – Wake up
08:15 – Breakfast
09:00 – Ngong Ping (Tian Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery) Take Cable car (HKD145) or New Lantau Bus 23 (HKD17.2)
12:00 – Lunch at Central Plaza (Tung Chung to Lai King, Change line ORANGE to RED, Lai King to Central)
13:00 – Victoria Peak
Peak Tram Sky Pass (The Peak Tram & Sky Terrace 428) Return: HKD90
16:00 – Dinner
18:00 – Mong Kok (Ladies’ Market for Souvenir Shopping)
It’s best to take the MTR. 1.Walk to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station. 2.Take the Tsuen Wan train to Mong Kok Station; Take the B2 or B3 exit.
22:00 – Sleep

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How to get to Ngong Ping: Take the MTR to Tung Chung Station. You’ll find Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car station here, but tickets are expensive (HKD 145 one-way standard cabin). However, we took the cheaper way: to take New Lantao Bus 23 parked near the station’s Exit B (HKD 17.2). Bus frequency is every 20 – 30 mins, and travel time is around 50 minutes.
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Closer look in the midst of rain
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View from the piazza
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Po Lin Monastery under renovation
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Temple opposite of main hall
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We missed Pinoy fastfood so much that we searched the location of Jollibee in Central for our lunch.
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After Ngong Ping, we took the same New Lantao Bus 23 back to Tung Chung Station (ORANGE) and rode subway to Central (last station). From there, we searched Jollibee and found it!
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Doulble the price of ours but heavenly! Cravings satisfied!
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Entrance to the Peak Tram’s Garden Road Terminus. How to get to Victoria Peak: From Tsim Sha Tsui, where most budget hotels are located, take the MTR to Central Station. Use EXIT J2. Upon exiting the terminal, cross the Chater Garden and walk uphill along Garden Road and you’ll see the Peak Tram Terminus on your left hand side.
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Alight at The Peak Terminus. Peak Tram Sky Pass (The Peak Tram & Sky Terrace 428) Return: HKD90
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Quick photoshoot with Bruce Lee’s Wax Figure
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Wearing the audio device provided at Sky Terrace 428. It tells the story of The Peak and its evolution through the years.
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Breathtaking view! At 552m, Victoria Peak (or Mount Austin) is the highest point in Hong Kong Island. Rising on the western end of the island, it offers the best and the most breathtaking views of the iconic Victoria Harbor, one of the world’s finest and busiest.
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The Peak Tower & Sky Terrace 428 Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am – 11pm; Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 8am – 11pm; Peak Tram schedule: 7 am to 12 midnight (Mon – Sun & Public Holidays) and departs every 10 to 15 minutes
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Heritage building within the park
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Fountain Plaza
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Another fountain!
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Ladies’ Market at Mong Kok (souvenir shopping where you can haggle as you can!)
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We met our friend’s relative in Mong Kok to send some souvenirs back home, so she treat us to a sumptuous dinner. Finally, a true HK meal: Deluxe Barbecue Meat Combo (BBQ Pork, Soy Chicken, Poached Chicken, Roasted Duck) with vegetable, Chinese soup, rice and tea

 Day 5: 
Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀 to Hong Kong International Airport 香港國際機場 
Hong Kong 香港 to Manila 

07:00 – Wake up. Prep to leave.
08:00 – Take A21 Bus from Tsim Sha Tsui (Kimberley Road, Nathan Road) 6th bus stop (HKD33) to airport. Breakfast and last minute shopping.
10:40 – ETD: Hong Kong Airport
12:40 – ETA: NAIA Terminal 3

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A21 Bus Stop with details
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You can refund your Octopus card credits and HKD50 deposit here once you return it at this airport kiosk.
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5J 111 Manila at Gate 29…huhu
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Hard to say goodbye (n_n)

WALKTHROUGH BREAKDOWN 1HKD=1MOP=PHP7

DAY 1:
Travel tax  232
Octopus card 150
A21 Bus 33
Urban Pack 940
Key Deposit 100
TurboJET Ferry to Macau 177
Lunch 30
Bus fare 25
Gondola ride 128
CotaiJET to HK 190
Dinner 30
TOTAL D1: HKD2035

DAY 2:
Breakfast 30
Disneyland 589
Lunch 30
Dinner 30
TOTAL D2: HKD679

DAY 3:
Breakfast 30
Ocean Park 438
Lunch 30
Dinner 30
TOTAL D3: HKD528

DAY 4:
Breakfast 30
Bus 23 roundtrip 35
Lunch 30
Peak Tram 90
Dinner 30
TOTAL D4: HKD215

DAY 5:
Breakfast 30
A21 Bus 33
TOTAL HKD63

GRAND TOTAL (EXCLUDING AIRFARE AND SOUVENIRS) HKD3520 PHP24640

Please note that I estimated 1HKD to PHP7 since exchange rate fluctuates from time to time. It still depends on your spending habits and now that there’s KLOOK App, you can now bag awesome discounts on attractions and transportation within HK! Also, download the latest MTR App for your subway navigation. May you have an awesome HK-Macau adventure soon! (n_n)

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