ASIA,  DESTINATION,  TRAVELS

Ultimate Guide in Visiting Hong Kong and Macau (Budget + Itinerary)

DISCLAIMER: Due to the pandemic, travel restrictions are implemented, and requirements might be needed (e.g., quarantine, vaccination, etc.) Please be guided accordingly and stay safe!

Hongkong is one of Asia’s fast-paced city, and those who have been there will agree to this. Not only that, but Hongkong is also known for modern skyscrapers, temples, busy shopping streets, and theme parks. Meanwhile, Macau is reputed as the “Vegas of Asia” due to its plenty of casinos and luxury hotels.

Both countries are genuinely famous for first-time travelers. So whether you are spending four days or a week trip, this guide might help you maximize your stay.

PRE-TRAVEL GUIDE

1. No VISA required – Philippine passport holders can enter Hong Kong & Macau visa-free and stay for a maximum of 30 days. Ensure that your passport has at least six (6) months of validity left.

2. Several airlines fly directly in Hongkong-Macau – Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines. To score a cheap flight ticket, make sure to turn on your notification for SEAT SALE or promos.

3. Prepare all your travel documents. Make sure to have a copy of your passport because some hotels require it before check-in.

4. Make a reservation for your accommodation ahead of time, at least a month before. Find the lowest price in Booking, Airbnb, Agoda.

5. Purchase Sim Card via Klook app before your travel date to stay connected.

6. Hong Kong uses Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) as currency. 1 HKD = 6.49 PHP, while Macau uses Macanese Pataca (MOP) as currency. 1 MOP = 6.31 PHP. You can use HKD in Macau, but MOP cannot be used in Hong Kong as currency. Change your Peso to Dollar here in the Philippines for better rate conversion.

HOW TO GET AROUND?

Hong Kong

MTR is the most convenient transport system. Octopus Card is a smartcard used in Hongkong instead of money. It costs HKD 150 for adults and HKD 100 for kids. It comes with a refundable HKD 50 deposit. You can use the card for public transport, dining, entertainment, shopping, and many more. 

If you book via Klook, redeem your Octopus card in HK International Airport arrivals A13 from 7:00 am-11:00 pm only.

Macau

Buses are the main transportation for both locals and travelers. The fare is HKD 6 or MOP 6 for every destination, and you have to pay the exact money. Make sure to download the City Mapper and Macau Easy Go application for your travel guide.

WHERE TO STAY IN HONGKONG & MACAU?

There are a lot of hotels and guest rooms in Hong Kong. We stayed in Mirador Mansion, located in Nathan Road, Tsi Sham Tsui. Our place is close to convenient stores, great restaurants, and an MTR station. It costs 3023PHP/4days, suitable for 2pax.

We stay in Zayne Homestay in Macau, which costs 2000PHP/night, suitable for 2pax.

Image source: AGODA

AIRPORT TO YOUR HOTEL OR CITY PROPER

You might be confused about which is the best way to get from Hongkong International Airport (HKIA) to your hotel or city proper. Well, there are a lot of transportation options available from HKIA. I listed some of them below:

Hongkong MTR Airport Express

The fastest way and more convenient to get into the city proper. You can reach the city within 24 minutes, and it will only cost you $8. You can either use your Octopus Card to pay or purchase at the HKIA ticket office. The MTR runs from early in the morning until midnight.

HK Tour Guide MTR Map

Hongkong Airport Bus

There are a lot of busses that take passengers from the airport to different districts in Hongkong. At the airport, follow the signs that will lead you to the bus terminal. Ride in A21 City Flyer Bus and pay using an Octopus card or pay in cash. If your accommodation is along Nathan Road (which is very common), alight at stop 13 or 14, then from there, look for your hotel.

By Taxi

Riding a cab is a good alternative for group travelers. If you want to relax after a flight, you might consider taking a taxi although the fare is slightly higher. At the same time, taxis have designated operating areas. Urban taxis (red taxis) operate in most areas of Hongkong, except Tung Chung Road and roads in South Lantau). New Territories taxis (green taxis) mainly operate in the North-Eastern and North-Western parts. Lantau taxis (blue taxis) operate only in Lantau Island and Chep Lap Kop. All taxis are allowed to operate at the passenger terminals of HKIA, the Hong Kong Section of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

ITINERARIES FOR 5 DAYS & 4 NIGHTS

DAY 1: Exploring Ngong Ping & Lantau Island

We rode a blue taxi from the airport to City Gate Mall. We leave our baggage there, and most travelers are doing the same thing. Locker rentals: Small 10hkd/2hours, Large 20hkd/2hrs – Opening hours are 8 am-11 pm daily. Lockers are located in B2 at City Gate Mall.

From City Gate walk to Tung Chung MTR, Exit B. Walk around 10 minutes, you will see a cable car going to Ngong Ping & Lantau Island. We booked our package tour via Klook. The cost is PHP1503 per person, and inclusion is a Roundtrip/Shared/Crystal (for Non-Hong Kong citizens).

Tickets to Ngong Ping & Lantau Island
Skip the long queues if you booked via Klook website.
The best way to explore Lantau Island is to ride Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
Big Buddha located in Ngong Pin, Lantau Island.

Ngong Ping 360 to Tsi Sham Tsui

From Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, walk to City Gate Mall to get the luggage. Then, walk to Tung Chung Station transfer to Tsuen Wan Line. Get off to Lai King, then go to TST.

Tsi Sham Tsui at night.

DAY 2: Choi Hung State & Disneyland

Mirador Mansion to Choi Hung State

Take the MTR and drop it off at Choi Hung station on the Kwun Tong line. Take exits C3 or C4. Locate Choi Hung Estate on google maps, and you will arrive at the entrance of a complex of buildings. Search for the Parking Lot and take the stairs up the colorful basketball court is above.

Choi Hung State to Disneyland

From Choi Hung Station transfer to Platform 4 to Whampoa. Get off to Prince Edward, interchange to Tsuen Wan Line Platform 1. Get off to Lai King, interchange to Tung Chung Line at Platform 3, drop off at Sunny Bay, and follow the signs. Transfer to Disneyland Resort train.

By the way, we bought our tickets via Klook for PHP3568 – One-day general admission.

DAY 3: Monster Mansion, Ocean Park and Avenue of Stars

From TST to Monster Mansion

From Tsim Sham Tsui station, transfer to Platform 2 to Central, then get off to Admiralty. Transfer to Platform 3 to Chai Wan, then get off to Quarry Bay. Take exit A MTR and walk along King’s Road towards Tai Koo. After walking to the junction of Mount Parker, you will reach the entrance to Montane Mansion. It only takes 5 minutes to get there.

From Quarry Bay to Ocean Park

From Quarry Bay transfer to Platform 2 to Kennedy Town. Drop off at Admiralty. Then transfer to South Island Line at Platform 5/6 to South Horizons. Get off to Ocean Park.

We booked our ticket via Klook for 2527PHP. Inclusions: 1-day ticket admission plus free kiosk meal combo.

From TST to Avenue of Stars/Symphony of Lights

Both places are just walking distance from Tsi Sha Tsui Station. Take Exit E, cross the road and follow the signs. The Symphony of stars show starts at 8 pm.

DAY 4: Hong Kong Cultural Center, Mongkok and Victoria Peak

From Mirador Mansion to Hongkong Cultural Center

The Hongkong Culture Center is just walking distance from Tsi Sha Tsui Station. Take Exit E and cross the road.

From TST to Mongkok (Pasalubong)

Take the Tsuen Wan Train to Mongkok Station. Take the B2 or B3 Exit. You can buy cheap pasalubong at this place, just like chocolates, shoes, and souvenirs.

From Mirador Mansion to Victoria Peak

We booked via Klook for as low as 504php/pax. Inclusions of peak tram RT plus sky pass ticket. The location of their pick up is at Central MTR station Exit K. You must be there 15minutes before your selected time.

From Hong Kong to Macau

Bus Location: along Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

The most recommended way to go to Macau from Hong Kong is by ferry. It takes about 1 hour by ferry boat. The one-way fare is about 210 HKD. Better to book in Klook ahead of time for a discount price

We stayed in Zayne Homestay near Jardin Lou Lim Ioc Bus Station.

DAY 5: Side trip to Macau

From Jardin Lou Lim Ioc to Parisian Macau

From Jardin Lou, walk to Victory Garden. Take route 25 towards Vila De Coloane. After ten (10) stops, get off to Sands Cotai Central, then walk to Parisian Macau.

From Parisian Macau to Ruins of St.Paul

From Parisian Macau, walk to Est. do Istmo/Parisian. Take route 26 towards Bacia Norte do Patane. Alight after 19 stops, then get off to Luis Camoes Square. Then walk to the Ruins of St.Paul

From Ruins of St.Paul to Senado Square

You can walk from the Ruins of St.Paul to Senado Square. It will take you 5-10 minutes only.

WHERE TO EAT IN HONGKONG & MACAU?

If you are staying in Nathan Road, there are many restaurants, fast-food chains, and street foods that suit your budget. There are Jollibee, Mcdo, Pizzahut, Starbucks, Milktea stalls nearby. 

If you want to try their local foods, visit One Dimsum in Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward, Mongkok, and Cafe De Royal near at Tsim Sham Tsui area.

In Macau, there are a lot of restaurants and MCDO available anywhere. If you are going to the Ruins of St.Paul, I highly recommend eating at Amore Italiano. The chef there is Filipino, and at the same time, they offer Filipino foods. You can search the place on google maps.

TRAVEL TIPS

1. For Hong Kong, download the MTR mobile app. For Macau, download the City Mapper and Macau Easy Go app. You can also download the XE Conversion.

2.Foods in Disneyland at Ocean Park are costly. If you eat there for lunch, especially in Disneyland, you will pay more or less 1000php/pax for a set of meals. So, I suggest bringing your water and snack, covering it with your clothes inside your bag (just like what I did, lol). Luckily, we got our ticket in Ocean Park with a free kiosk meal.

3.Make sure to pay the exact MOP 6 when you are in Macau. They will not give you an exchange.

4.You can also bring cup noodles and snacks before you leave the Philippines, especially traveling with kids. Their foods are slightly pricey.

5.If you are looking for affordable shoes just like Nike, Adidas, Lacoste, etc., do not forget to visit City Gate!

6.The unused value of the Octopus Card and deposit is refundable to any MTR station.

7.If you want to enjoy your travel, do not compute!

EXPENSES

I promise my readers that I’ll be transparent when it comes to my expenses. So, here are my expenses.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Please, do not forget to me on social media accounts:

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