Last Updated: September 10, 2017
For my first international trip with my friends, Hong Kong turned out to be a hit. As promised, I would be sharing with you my 4D3N Hong Kong Itinerary and how we managed to keep it under PHP20,000. This would be a mid-level travel guide – private rooms, private bathrooms, paid attractions, and all that. I would try to be as detailed as I could, and at the bottom of this post, you could get a detailed 4D3N Hong Kong itinerary and cost calculator FOR FREE.
When to Go
Hong Kong has four seasons, namely:
- Spring – March to mid-May
- Summer – May to mid-September
- Autumn – late September to November
- Winter – December to February
Per different websites, the best time to visit Hong Kong is between October to December. Despite it being winter, it doesn’t snow in Hong Kong. The temperature is also significantly pleasant at those times. Once the New Year is over, it is considered peak season in Hong Kong and hotel rates are higher. Also, be wary of heading to Hong Kong during summer as typhoons and thunderstorms are expected.
We went to Hong Kong last February 20-23, 2016. Temperature was averaging on 13 degrees Celsius and there wasn’t much of a crowd at tourist attractions.
How Long to Stay There
I would say about 3-5 days is enough to cover the majority of the tourist attractions in Hong Kong. It depends on the pace of your travel, though. While at Hong Kong, you can also consider taking a day trip to Macau.
Where to Book Flights
There are several budget airlines flying from Manila to Hong Kong and vice versa. I usually book flights with Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. There are also sites that search the cheapest flights for you like Skyscanner and Farecompare.
- Subscribe to the airlines’ newsletter to be up-to-date with promos and discounts.
- Follow the airlines’ social media accounts.
- Seriously stay up until midnight to be one of the firsts to try their luck trying to book piso fares.
I was the one who booked our flights for this trip. I was up at midnight and was able to score a roundtrip ticket for around PHP2200/HKD328/USD52 with a 20kg baggage that will be shared within the group.
Where to Stay
There are many hotels and hostels available for your picking. I’m personally a fan of booking accommodations through Agoda.com, Booking.com, and AirBNB.com. Below are the following neighborhoods that I think is a good place to stay at when in Hong Kong:
- Tsim Sha Tsui – This place will give you stunning view of Hong Kong’s skyline with its proximity to Victoria Harbour. You can also have access to Avenue of the Stars and a lot of shopping options. Low-budget hostels are also spread along the place and the location is pretty great with access to ferries and MTRs.
- Central – Here is where the high-end shopping centers and companies are. Think Makati or BGC. Central is where The Peak is located – one of the top tourist destinations in Hong Kong. If you’re also the partying type, here is the place to stay at.
See also: I have written a review of Cosmic Guest House – a hostel in Tsim Sha Tsui that we stayed at.
How Much Money to Bring
This solely depends on your travel style. We travelled Hong Kong for 4D3N for around HKD2529/PHP16948.50/USD339. You can check out Lonely Planet’s and Budget Your Trip’s site for an overview of how much you are expected to spent when in Hong Kong.
Where to Exchange Currency
The easiest answer to this is: not at the airport – which was mistake #1 of our trip. The rates are the airport will reap you off and you will literally be better off anywhere else. Tip: Bring enough Hong Kong dollars for you to pay to reach the city if you’re not exchanging all your currencies from your home base. Here are top two following places that offer competitive rates:
- Chungking Mansion/Mirador Mansion – There are plenty of money exchange kiosks here. Make sure to compare each one to get a better rate.
- Banks – Banks are the better option if you’ll exchange all your money in one go as they charge a fee of HK$50 per transaction.
Do you need a VISA?
No. If you hold a Philippine passport, you can stay at Hong Kong for 14 days without needing to apply for a VISA. A total of 170 countries’ nationals can enter Hong Kong without a VISA. Check the list here.
How to Stay Connected
Free Wi-Fi is located all over Hong Kong – in major tourist attractions, shopping malls, parks, museums, and even MTR stations. But if you want to be connected 24/7, you can use either of the two options below:
- Sim Card – Directly after immigration, you can see a stall selling sim cards. It costs around HKD80 and you can choose what promo you’ll subscribe to. You can also buy them online.
- 3G/4G Pocket Wi-Fi – You can book these online for unlimited data during your stay. You can pick them up and drop them off at the airport.
Here are the apps I used to make travelling Hong Kong easier:
- Metro Hong Kong Subway – Shows you the complete map of the MTR routes. It’s really helpful especially since it shows you what time the next train is and how much time, money, and transfers it’ll take from Point A to Point B.
- Google Translate – This will totally save you if you get lost. Not a lot of locals know how to speak English so this will save you time from trying to find one that does.
(The links redirect you to the Apple Store, but I’m sure they have a corresponding Android app for those.)
How to Reach the City
There are three main ways to reach the city from the airport. I recommend the first one since you save a lot of moolah but I’ll let you decide on that.
- Public Buses – The cheapest option to reach the city. You can look here to see the routes or prices of the fare. We only paid HKD35 to reach our hostel! But the ride was almost an hour long.
- Airport Express – The airport express takes passengers to Central in around 24 minutes. To reach Hong Kong station, you should pay HKD115.
- Taxis – This is the most expensive option, as always. Your fare will at least be HKD300.
How to Get Around
Like above, you mostly have the same transportation methods in roaming Hong Kong. It’ll all depend on your preference. Hong Kong boasts of having one of the world’s safest and most efficient transportation system in the world, and I agree.
I strongly recommend getting an Octopus card whether you prefer to ride buses or trains. As soon as you head out of immigration, you can see a stall selling octopus card. They sell them at HKD150 and they will refund you HKD50 once you return it. Octopus card are refundable in 7-Eleven and other places. You can also use your octopus card at convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets, vending machines, etc.
- 02:20 PM – Arrival in Hong Kong
- 03:00 PM – Check in the hostel
- Ride a bus towards city center – cheaper and you get a glimpse of Hong Kong already.
- 04:45 PM – Head to The Peak
- Ride a bus towards city center – cheaper and you get a glimpse of Hong Kong already.
- Be prepared to line up for hours especially if going on a weekend or peak hours.
- 07:30 PM – The Peak
- Prices are significantly more expensive here.
- Optional: Madame Taussauds Hong Kong
- View HK’s skyline in Sky Terrace 428
- 11:30 PM – Optional: Lan Kwai Fong
- Hong Kong’s nightlife. Walking distance after getting down from The Peak.
- Open until after midnight.
- 08:00 AM – Head to Tai Sin Temple
- Take the MTR and walk a few meters to reach the temple.
- You can have your fortune read or pay respect.
- 09:45 AM – Head to Hong Kong Ocean Park
- Take the MTR and a short bus ride to reach Ocean Park.
- You can buy discounted tickets from hostels, etc. or on Klook.
- Rides are more extreme compared to Disneyland’s.
- Tipid tip: You can bring food in Ocean Park!
- Tip: Get up the cable car as early as you can to avoid long lines and explore the top part of the park first.
- 06:30 PM – Head to Central
- Take the MTR and go down at the Central station.
- Have dinner at one of the local noodle restaurants.
- Roam the shops and go try the famous Hong Kong egg tarts.
- Get on the mid-levels escalators – the world’s largest outdoor covered elevator system.
- 08:00 AM – Head to Zoological and Botanical Garden
- Take the MTR and take a 10-15 minutes’ walk uphill to reach the garden.
- It is one of the oldest zoological and botanical centers in the world.
- There are more than 1000 species of plants in the garden and over 600 birds, 70 mammals, and 40 reptiles housed in here.
- 11:00 AM – Lunch at Café de Coral
- Different food selections at an affordable price.
- My favorite place to eat at in Hong Kong, for now.
- 12:00 PM – Head to Disneyland
- Take the Disney MTR to reach the place!
- Let your inner prince/princess come out. Take note of show and mascot time, and ride whatever you’ll desire.
- Fireworks start at 08:30 PM.
- 09:00 PM – Head to Ladies’ Market
- Take the MTR to Mong Kong
- Have dinner. I recommend Café de Coral again! Hehe.
- Shop for knick-knacks and souvenirs.
- 08:00 AM – Check out from the hostel
- 09:00 AM – Head to Ngong Ping 360
- Take the MTR to Tung Chung and leave the baggage at the lockers in Citygate.
- 10:00 AM – Ngong Ping 360 Crystal Cabin Car Ride
- Ride takes around 20-25 minutes to late Lantau Island.
- No need to take the crystal cabin if it’s foggy. You literally won’t see anything.
- Tour around Lantau Island: Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping Plaza
- 02:00 PM – Head back to Citygate Mall
- Late lunch at Food Republic.
- Last minute shopping and bought a box of egg tarts.
- 04:45 PM – Head to Hong Kong International Airport
- Take the bus from Citygate bus terminal. Travel takes 10 minutes.
- 05:00 PM – Reach the airport.
- End of trip.
I would be attaching my very detailed itinerary on the bottom of this post plus an Excel file that you can play around with so you can see how much the total of the trip would be.
|Description||In HKD||In PHP (x6.7)|
|3N Hostel Stay||390||2613|
|Over-all Transpo Expenses||200||1340|
|Over-all Food Expenses||274||1840|
|Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ticket||230||1541|
|3-in-1 Peak Ticket||260||1742|
|Ocean Park Ticket||345||2311.50|
|Disney Land Ticket||500||3350|
There you go, folks. There’s a wiggle room in my itinerary and you can make your visit cheaper than how I did it. I admit that we weren’t really eating at the cheapest restaurants during our entire stay and we definitely didn’t need to take a crystal cable car ride to reach Lantau Island. You can play around with your itinerary and expenses to make it fit your travel style more! I can say that it’s worth every peso I spent in this country. If given the chance to come back, I would be visiting other places and change up my itinerary – and I’m so excited to share it to you guys, if ever!
As promised, you can download my itinerary and cost calculator files below. Just give me a like/share to unlock the files.
PS. 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. 🙂