Hong Kong Travel Guide (With Itinerary & Expenses) | Blushing Geek

Hong Kong Travel Guide (With Itinerary & Expenses)

Hi everyone! I finally created this travel guide after such a long time, lol. These guides and recommendations are based on our previous experience traveling in Hong Kong last March 2024. If there’s any important updates that weren’t added in my post below or if you have any tips, please don’t hesitate to drop them in our comments section below to also help our fellow travelers to enjoy their trip. Thank you!

Hong Kong Travel Requirements

As of April 2023, all travelers arriving in Hong Kong are not required post arrival quarantine and testing. Mandatory mask wearing and social distancing measures were also lifted as of March 2023.

Before your trip, make sure you bring your passport with you and check that it is still valid for at least the next 6 months.

Travelers from 170 countries can travel to Hong Kong visa free from 7 to 180 days. Check out your visa requirement here. If you are a Philippine passport holder, a visa is not required for visiting Hong Kong for up to 14 days. If you would like to stay longer,  you are required to get a visa. Visa requirements are also available on the link provided above.

Best Time to Visit Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a year round destination. However, summers are generally hot and humid, while winters are cool and dry. Below are 4 distinct seasons of Hong Kong:

  1. Spring (March – May) is warm and humid (first two weeks of March is still relatively cool especially in the evening)
  2. Summer (June – August) is hot and wet
  3. Autumn (September – November) is temperate and settled
  4. Winter (November – February) is cool and dry

Best months to visit would be between October and December. Hong Kong is the coldest in December and February, so if you prefer a cold weather for your visit, I recommend going around those months. I also advise not to visit around Chinese New Year since there will be a lot of people on those days.

We visited Hong Kong the second week of March, and it is still pretty cool, especially in the evening. There were rain showers once in a while though but it was so little that it didn’t hinder our trip.

Hong Kong Essentials

  • Hong Kong travel adaptor – Hong Kong uses types D and G. Plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug type G is the plug which has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. Hong Kong operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
  • Hong Kong internet/data connection – while accommodations and some areas in Hong Kong usually offer free wifi, it is highly recommended to have your own internet connection when traveling.
    • Hong Kong sim card – I recommend opting for this one if you are only traveling alone or two to minimize cost. You can get one at 7/11 upon arrival at HKIA or through Klook. My recommended sim would be CMHK.
    • Pocket wifi – If you are traveling in a group, I recommend opting for this one. You can get one from Klook or directly at the airport.
  • Octopus card – is an extremely versatile stored-value electronic card that can be used on most forms of public transport, as well as for purchases in convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets, vending machines and more. I recommend getting a rental octopus card rather than the tourist one if you don’t travel to Hong Kong often. You can get this through Klook, airport or any MTR station in Hong Kong.
    • Place note that it’s one card, one person. There’s also cards for children.

Currency Used in Hong Kong

Hong Kong uses Hong Kong Dollars which is around 7 point something in Philippine peso. Exchange rate changes every time but it usually just stays around 7 peso. I recommend using a GoTyme card or Gcash visa card (but Gcash visa card for me is much better) and withdrawing at any China Bank ATMs in the airport. If you have US dollars, I recommend exchanging it at Chungking Mansion.

HONG KONG TRAVEL GUIDE:

Where to Stay in Hong Kong

The best budget place to stay in Hong Kong would be around the Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok area. You can book directly on your choice of hotel or through booking apps like Agoda.

We booked  ours at Unique Hostel. And yes, it’s inside Chungking Mansions. It was very small but it still has the majority of what we need. You can read more about it in my post here under the “Our Hostel” section.

Getting Around Hong Kong

There are plenty of ways to get around Hong Kong, whether it’s by taxi, rail, ferry, bus, uber or tram. This city has one of the most efficient and safest public transport systems and accepts multiple modes of payment such as Octopus card, debit/credit cards, cash, etc.

Getting to and from the Airport

  • Airport Express – The MTR high speed Airport Express takes approximately 24 minutes to reach Hong Kong Island and is the fastest way to get between the city and the airport.
  • Taxis – are readily available from the taxi pick-up area in front of the airport’s Arrivals Hall. If you’re traveling to Hong Kong Island or Kowloon you’ll need to catch a red taxi. If you’re headed for the New Territories you’ll need a green taxi, and those going to Lantau Island will require a blue taxi. All taxis in Hong Kong are able to take passengers to and from the airport. Fares are metered and detailed information about charges are clearly displayed inside each cab.
  • Bus – there are more than 20 convenient Airbus ‘A’ routes that can take you from the airport to key locations on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and in the New Territories (including Lantau Island) with fewer stops than an ordinary city bus. When you exit the Arrivals Hall, turn right to find Airbuses and city buses.
  • Coach and Limousine Charters – passengers who require their own personal limousines, minivans, vans and group coaches (buses) can book their transport from service providers located in the Arrivals Hall.

Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the most used and most popular mode of public transport in Hong Kong. It connects 80 stations across Kowloon, Lantau Island, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories, over ten lines. They run very frequently every 2-4 minutes from 6AM till 1AM. (This is what you mostly used during our recent trip!)

My Personal Travel Trip Before You Explore Hong Kong

  • Please be reminded that December – February is the coldest so plan accordingly. For Spring, it’s ok to just bring a regular jacket.
  • Wear comfortable shoes because there’s going to be a lot of walking in Hong Kong.
  • Before your trip, make sure you purchase Alaxan fr and take it every night before going to bed after the whole day of exploring HK. I guarantee that you will not have any body pains the next day, *wink.
  • For your Disneyland trip, I recommend availing the meal vouchers available in Trip or Klook to save money. I traveled with my 2 friends, but we only purchased 2 meal vouchers with both lunch and dinner (and a snack). I recommend having your lunch at Royal Banquet Hall since they have big servings, and your dinner near the Disney castle. We also brought some snacks like nuts and biscuits. Also, instead of bringing individual tumblers with us, we only brought a 500ml mineral water so we can easily discard it after. You know, just traveling light, *wink.
  • Still in Disneyland, have your dinner early around 5PM so you’ll be early in choosing a good spot during Momentous.
  • Lastly for Disneyland, when booking for park tickets, please take note that prices depend on tier numbers. The higher the tier number is, the higher the price. You can check out what your tier is based on your preferred date by checking the disney calendar.
  • Practice the art of haggling when you are shopping at the Ladies Market. Sample prices of souvenirs are here.
  • Local restaurants in Hong Kong usually have big servings. For the three of us, we usually ordered two meal sets and it’s already more than enough for us. If you think you can finish it, go for it, *wink. Just bring a tupperware or ziplock incase you have leftovers.
  • For restaurant recommendations with big servings, I personally recommend Cafe de Coral and Taste. You can also find bento boxes at Donki, and can be purchased at discounted prices around closing time. It’s also the same for bake shops too.
  • Purchase water in the grocery store, rather than the 7/11 to save money.
  • They don’t have free bags when you shop, so make sure to have an eco bag or any bag with you to put your orders when grocery shopping. You can also purchase a bag directly there which is usually at $1 (ordinary plastic bag).
  • If you are going to Macau, I recommend riding the ferry rather than the bus for convenience and to save time. It’s a bit more expensive than the bus, but very convenient. If you ride a bus, expect 3 hours travel time (1 hour from studio city to HKZMB Macau Bus terminal, then 1 hour bus ride from Macau to Hong Kong Airport, and another 1 hour bus ride from Airport to your accommodation).
  • If you are going to Macau for a day trip, I recommend just using your local sim for roaming. For us, since we were preoccupied with the walking, wahahaha, we only availed the roaming data for google maps plan (Globe). It was only Php 100.
  • For the Macau tour, I recommend staying for 2 days because if you are doing DIY, it’s so tiring going to each place in just one go. Plus, Macau looks beautiful in the evening too!
  • As for cards, I recommend using a Gcash visa card. I used GoTyme because of a recommendation from an FB HK group that I was part of, but I found out that Gcash has a better conversion rate than GoTyme.
  • If you don’t want to withdraw cash at the ATM, I recommend converting USD in the Philippines and have it converted to HKD at Chungking Mansions. Conversion there are usually pretty good.

Sample 5 Days Hong Kong and Macau Day Tour Itinerary

  • 3:30 PM – Depart from Cebu
  • 6:25 PM – Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport
    • Pass immigration (Arrival card is usually given in advance during your flight) 
    • Get luggages in carousel
    • Get octopus card and sim card at MTR counter (We got the bundle on Klook)
  • 7:30 PM – Ride bus from the airport to hostel
  • 8:45 PM – ETA hostel
    • Check-in
  • 9:00 PM – Late dinner
  • 10:00 PM – Back to hostel
  • 9:00 AM – MTR to Tung Chung
  • 10:00 AM – Bus to Ngong Ping Village (we chose bus going up to save money)
  • 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Explore
    • Ngong Ping Village
    • The Big Buddha
    • Po Lin Monastery
  • 3:00 PM – Bus to Citygate Outlet
  • 4:00 PM – MTR to MongKok
  • 4:45 PM – 7:00 PM – Stroll around Mongkok
    • Sneaker Street
    • Ladies Market
  • 7:00 PM – Dinner
  • 8:00 PM – Back to hostel
  • 9:00 AM – MTR to Victoria Park
  • 9:30 AM – Hong Kong Flower Show
  • 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Lunch
  • 12:30 PM – Bus to Choi Hung Estate
  • 1:30 PM – Choi Hung Estate
  • 2:30 PM – Bus to Chi Lin Nunnery
  • 2:42 PM – Chi Lin Nunnery
  • 3:42 PM – Nan Lian Garden
  • 4:42 PM – MTR to Mongkok
  • 8:00 PM – Mongkok
    • Sneaker Street
    • Ladies Market
    • Dinner
  • 9:00 PM – Back to hostel
  • 7:00 AM – MTR to Sheung Wan Station (Turbojet station)
    • Get physical ticket, immigration (free ferry until July 2024, there’s also a free bus)
  • 8:30 AM – Ferry ride to Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal
  • 9:30 AM – Arrival in Macau
    • Pass immigration 
  • 10:00 AM – Explore
    • Fisherman’s Wharf
    • Grand Lisboa
    • Senado Square
    • St. Paul’s Church Ruins
    • Macau Museum
    • Monte Fortress
  • 1:00 PM – Lunch at Venetian Macau
  • 2:00 PM – Macau giant panda pavilion
  • 4:30 PM – Back to Venetian Macau to explore
    • Venetian
    • Londoner
    • Parisian
    • Studio City
  • 6:00 PM – Dinner
  • 7:00 PM – Bus to HKZMB Macau Bus Terminal
  • 8:00 PM – Bus to HK Airport
  • 9:00 PM – HK Airport to hostel
  • 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Victoria Peak
    • Sightseeing
    • Go to The Sky Terrace and visit Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
  • 12:30 PM – Travel back down through the Peak Tram
  • 12:40 PM – Lunch
  • 1:40 PM – Explore
    • Mid-level escalator
    • Tai Kwun Heritage
  • 3:00 PM – MTR to Time Square
  • 3:30 PM – Explore
    • Time Square
    • Eat snacks around Time Square
    • Don Donki
  • 5:00 PM – MTR to Little Dubai
  • 5:16 PM – Explore Little Dubai
  • 5:40 PM – MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui
  • 6:10 PM – Explore
    • Avenue of Stars, K11 Museum Art Mall, Harbour Wonder, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Clock Tower
  • 8:00 PM – Watch Symphony of Light Show
  • 8:30 PM – Dinner
  • 9:30 PM – Back to hostel
  • 8:00 AM – Breakfast
  • 10:30 AM – 8:30 PM – Hong Kong Disneyland
  • 7:30 AM – Buy egg tarts at Bakehouse TST for pasalubong
  • 8:30 AM – Walk around TST area since the view is different during the day
    • The Peninsula, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Victoria Harbour, Clock Tower
  • 10:00 AM – Eat snacks bought at Bakehouse.
    • Hostel checkout
  • 11:00 AM – MTR to Tung Chung
  • 12:00 PM – Leave bags at Citygate locker station (in the car park level)
  • 12:30 PM – Lunch
  • 1:30 PM – Explore Citygate Outlets for last minute shopping
  • 3:00 PM – Ride bus to HKIA
  • 3:30 PM – ETA HKIA
    • Return octopus card
    • Flight check in
  • 7:25 PM – Flight back to Cebu
  • 10:20 PM – Arrival in Cebu

Note: There were some places that we weren’t able to go but I still added them above in case you are interested to see them.

Expenses

Please note that I didn’t add any personal expenses, such as food and souvenirs. This computation is good for 1 person per 3 pax traveling together. I also didn’t include individual train fare per station/destination since it was already added to Octopus card load and reload purchases. Btw, for this trip, we still have remaining balances in our cards so we had a refund after returning it to the airport.

Btw, our budget for food per meal was supposed to be $100, but there are times that we eat at local restaurants that have big servings so we usually buy 2 sets of meals for the three of us. I guess it’s safe to say that $40 – $55 per meal is already enough unless you go to fine dining restaurants, lol.

To have an idea, I had Php 15,000 pocket money which is already enough for the meals, octopus card reloads, pasalubongs, and other personal expenses. I used a GoTyme card during this trip. But I noticed that the exchange rate in the Globe visa card is better, unfortunately it’s too late for me to know since I already used my GoTyme card. I only withdrew once ($1,500) and used GoTyme for the others.

Lastly, even though we accumulated the following overall expenses below, we still have some remaining money from our initial withdrawals, octopus card deposit and remaining amount in our octopus card. I think it was around $100 (sorry, I can’t recall anymore huhuhu). So I guess it’s safe to say that our overall expenses could be around Php 24,000.

Hong Kong Travel Expenses | Blushing Geek

Hong Kong Travel Guide (With Itinerary & Expenses) | Blushing Geek

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Sophia Rose
1 month ago

I really appreciate getting your guide and practical tips to consider when traveling to and in Hongkong. You mentioned things I wouldn’t have thought about for good moneysavers.

Thanks, Vanessa!

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