LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 07, 2017
As promised, I would be sharing with you my 4D3N Hong Kong Itinerary and how we managed to keep it under PHP20,000. I also promise I won’t be talking about sharing bathrooms with strangers or eating the cheapest food – nothing wrong with that, but I’m really maarte especially when it comes to sharing bathrooms! This is your mid-level DIY travel itinerary/guide to Hong Kong with tips and details on how to get from one place to another, exactly how much things cost, etc.
We travelled around Hong Kong from February 20-23, 2016; it was still considered winter season and I loved it! Temperature was averaging on 13 degrees Celsius on our entire trip. I love experiencing this weather while they’re not much tourists in the city. I swear I didn’t line up for anything more than ten minutes for both Disneyland and Ocean Park – except for the photos with the mascots.
SCORING CHEAP FLIGHTS
Our plane tickets was bought four months in advanced. We waited for piso fares from budget airlines and when the opportunity to get it at a really low price came, we bought our tickets. Round-trip ticket was around PHP 2000 (USD 48/ HKD300) but we decided that one of us would get the 20KG baggage for souvenirs and such so we divided that and it left us with PHP 2200 (USD 52/ HKD328) each for the flight and baggage.
For tips to score cheap flights, check out this article.
GOOD BUT AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATIONS
Next thing we did was to score ourselves a good but affordable accommodation. We searched through Agoda.com, Booking.com, and HostelWorld.com trying to find a good hostel with affordable price, great location, and positive reviews. Just do your research to get the best deal there is! That’s the only secret on finding cheap accommodations. I am really particular about having our own private bathroom, and I’m glad to be able to book at Cosmic Guest House. We ended up having our own private room with two double beds and private bathroom for an affordable price of PHP2587 each for a 3 nights stay! Read my review about Cosmic Guest House here.
PS. You can get something as cheap as PHP600 per night in shared rooms. Just make sure you know what you’ll be sacrificing if you want to really squeeze in your money.
I would suggest getting an Octopus Card and a local sim card as soon as you arrived in Hong Kong – unless you have no need for data or you can afford using your own phone plan for emergencies.
The Octopus Card is basically all you need to survive Hong Kong’s efficient transportation system. You can use it on MTRs and buses. Not quite sure if it works in taxis. You can also use it on some stores like 7-Eleven.
You can rent an Octopus Card at the airport for HKD150 / PHP 1,005 / US 24. HKD100 is consumable while HKD 50 is refundable when you return the card. Octopus Cards can be conveniently reloaded at all 7-Eleven stores. Note that the minimum reload amount is HKD50. If you have excess consumable amount in your card when you refund it, you can get the back as well. You can refund it at any MTR station or at the airport.
The sim card can bought at the airport for HKD 80 / PHP 536 / USD 12.76. We already planned on buying one so we are can contact our loved ones in the Philippines 24/7 and it’s way cheaper than using our own PH sims. We asked the lady selling the sim to subscribe us to a cellular promo. For around HKD35 of the balance, you get 1.5G of cellular for 5 days which is more than enough. The extra balance you can use for calls and texts. This is also cheaper than buying one of those pocket Wi-Fi. We divided this expense to four of us so that’s only like a hundred pesos each.
The hardest thing about every travel plan ever is doing the itinerary. It took me days to finish an itinerary and then modifications when I shared it to my travel buddies. Then there’s the problem of how to get to one place to another and where to eat and such. I googled a lot of blogs to see a detailed HK Itinerary but there’s very few so I’m trying to be as detailed as I could in my itinerary below.
A word of caution to anyone planning to use our itinerary: don’t do it if you’re going with little kids or elderly. At least remove one destination per day because you will get tired if you follow this. Your feet will almost literally curse you out. I know mine did. We were basically up at 6 AM every day and home by 11PM-ish each day.
- Wong Tai Sin Temple
- Hong Kong Ocean Park
- Citygate Outlet Mall
- Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ride
- Big Buddha
- Po Lin Monastery
- Ngong Ping Piazza
*We didn’t get to do this because our flight was delayed for two hours and we were beat. Totally doable on one day tho.
Here’s a more detailed version of my itinerary.
Exchange rate I used for the itinerary: HKD 1 = PHP 6.70 = USD 0.16. For reference, USD 1 = PHP 42.00. We did however managed to exchange some pesos at the rate of HKD1 = PHP6.55. Still, better I use the higher amount than the lower so you guys can have an allowance if you plan to use my itinerary as a guide! 🙂
- Don’t exchange your money at Hong Kong International Airport – unless you have to! Even then, just exchange enough to buy your Octopus card and sim card. The exchange rate in there sucks.
- In that point, do exchange your money at Tsim Sha Tsui area. Compare with a few money changers until you get a good deal.
- You can bring packed lunch and water at Hong Kong Ocean Park. Food there is really pricy. Snacks are at HKD 40 already! Cheapest option is McDonald’s – which we took. McDonald’s doesn’t even offer free water.
- Ditch the cabs and ride the train. It’s very, very efficient and will get you from point A to B directly and cheaply.
- Feel free to haggle at night markets. They expect it and when you make a move to leave their stalls, they will offer you lower prices.
- Better stuck up on water. Personally, I bought a liter and a small bottled water. I just refill the small bottle every time we go out so I can still get liquid in my body in a small price.
- Know your directions. A lot of Hong Kongers doesn’t know how to speak English. Better yet, write down the place in Chinese and show it to them.
- It’s a good idea to visit Lantau Island on your last day as you can leave your baggage in the Citygate Outlet lockets for HKD20 per hour. It’s also only ten minutes away from the airport! You save on transportation.
- Lines for The Peak Tram is very long on weekends. Try going on weekdays if your schedule allows it. We waited for at least an hour before getting on the tram.
Our over-all trip (excluding the shopping) is around PHP 18,975 /HKD 2,832 / US$ 450. You can even keep this cheaper by making sure your meal cost doesn’t exceed HKD40 per meal and to just take the standard cabin rather than the crystal one when going to Lantau Island. And if you decide to only do one out of Disneyland and Ocean Park, I’m sure you can fit it in PHP 15,000 / HKD 2,238.80 / USD 357.14.
So, that’s it! This concludes my Lost in Hong Kong series! In case you missed it, there’s a link up there for the PDF version of our itinerary. Whew! This was a hard post to make!
If you need more help to make your itinerary, I offer to make personalized travel itinerary at an affordable price. You can go through my shop. 🙂