A quick vacation in Hong Kong and Macau.
Estimated Budget: PHP 15,000 All In
Hong Kong is a fusion of East and West. There is no better place to experience both eastern and western cultures and experience traditional and modern life. It is a shopping paradise, bringing all the world famous- brands together. Shopping malls, department stores, boutiques, and street markets are clustered around the island. Also, boasts a highly developed transportation network. It is very convenient to travel to and from Hong Kong.
Upon arrival at the airport, I went to the Customer Service Centre to get an Octopus Card. You may also get one at any MTR station and have it reloaded there. An Octopus Card is a credit card-size plastic train ticket that costs HKD 100 can be used as credit plus HKD 50 refundable deposit. This can be used to pay your public transportation and convenience stores such as 7-11 and supermarkets.
This is the fastest way to go around Hong Kong. It is the rapid transit railway system that runs from early morning till late night, seven days a week. High-frequency schedules ensure tourists will never have to wait for more than a few minutes for another train during rush hours, 08:30 to 09:00 and 18:00 to 19:00.
Since it is already late when arrived in Hong Kong, I preferred to take the Cityflyer bus A21 which is located outside the airport going to Tsim Sha Tsui, where my hotel lies.
Cityflyer Bus A21
Cityflyer route A21 serves the tourist areas of Kowloon. The buses run daily from 6:00 am till midnight with a frequency every 10-20 minutes. The return route covers the same areas, and the buses run daily from 5:30 am to 11:00 pm with a frequency every 10-20 minutes.
- Adult fare is HK$33. There are several ways to pay for a ride:
Buy a single journey ticket. It can be purchased at the Customer Service Centre (Airport Ground Transportation Centre).
- Pay by cash. You must pay the exact amount of HK$ for a ride because the bus driver will not give you change.
- Pay by Octopus Card. Octopus holders can enjoy a half-price fare on a return journey within the same day.
- Buy a Cityflyer pre-paid return ticket. It comprises a round trip between Hong Kong International Airport and Kowloon using any one of the following Cityflyer routes (A21/A22). The ticket can be purchased at the Customer Service Centre (Airport Ground Transportation Centre) at the price of HK$55 and is valid for three months from the date of issue.
It is one the major tourist attractions of Hong Kong because of its spectacular and panoramic view especially at night during the Symphony of Lights.
Take MTR West Rail Line to East Tsim Sha Tsui Station and get out from Exit L6. Then follow the signs to the Avenue of Stars and Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront.
Standing 44-metres tall, the old Clock Tower was erected in 1915 as part of the Kowloon–Canton Railway terminus. The once-bustling station is long gone, but this red brick and granite tower, now preserved as a Declared Monument, survives as an elegant reminder of the Age of Steam. It has also been a memorable landmark for the millions of Chinese immigrants who passed through the terminus to begin new lives not just in Hong Kong, but in other parts of the world via the city’s harbour.
From MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit E. Walk towards Salisbury Road, then turn right and take the subway (pedestrian tunnel) located next to the YMCA to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Turn right again and walk straight ahead towards the waterfront.
HONG KONG DISNEYLAND
Is a magical kingdom inspired by fairy-tale dreams and explore 7 lands – Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, Toy Story Land, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street, U.S.A. – filled with beauty, excitement, and Disney Characters.
The park features a daytime parade “Flights of Fantasy,” as well as a nighttime fireworks show “Disney in the Stars,” and the nighttime parade “Paint the Night.”
- Hong Kong International Airport MTR Station (transfer at Tsing Yi Station and transfer to Sunny Bay Station),
- MTR Kowloon Station
- MTR Hong Kong Station
An average meal in Disneyland is HKD 100.00. It includes a sandwich, a fries, and a drink. I decided to try the one I saw in a food truck. To my surprise, it is almost half the price compared to the food inside the park.
Since this is my third time in Hong Kong, so why not take this opportunity to come and visit Macau.
Macau is globally known as “Vegas of China.” It is a tiny Chinese territory that is about 30 square kilometers in size. It is a fusion of East and West in lifestyles, architecture, and food. Known for its enormous casinos and being the world’s top gambling city, it boasts some famous attractions for tourists to visit. It takes about one hour to get there by ferry from Hong Kong and about four hours by air from Beijing. You can make use of the FREE casino shuttle buses that go all over Macau.
Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal is a ferry terminal, located at China Hong Kong City, 33 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is one of three cross-border ferry terminals in Hong Kong.
I purchased my round trip ticket to Sky Star which offers the most affordable price for HKD 320.
The Venetian is a 39-story, casino hotel on the Cotai Strip in Macau. It is modeled on its sister casino resort The Venetian Las Vegas and is the seventh-largest building in the world by floor area. The Venetian Macao is also the largest casino in the world and the largest single structure hotel building in Asia.
It is a resort located on the Cotai Strip, Macau, China. In Galaxy’s lobby, a fountain turns into a roulette wheel before a giant diamond rises out of the top. “It’s a metaphor for wishing casino goers eternal luck and prosperity,” said designer Jeremy Railton, President of Entertainment Design Corp. The lobby also houses a series of “crystals” that float above a pool of water. The decorations have motion sensor technology that triggers special visual effects when guests come close. When all the “crystals” are activated, good luck symbols flash from the “crystals” and reflect in the water.
From Galaxy Macau, I took a bus 26A going to the Senado Square for MOP 4.20.
The Senado Square or Senate Square is a paved town square in Sé, Macau, China and part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. It is an elongated triangular shaped-square and connects Largo do São Domingos at one end and Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro on the other. A vast majority of the buildings around the square are European style, and many are protected monuments.
There are shopping centers and traditional Chinese restaurants around the square. Fashion clothes, popular snacks, and the scenic environment make it a famous attraction. Firework displays, lion and dragon dances are usually held on special days such as the Chinese Spring Festival and Christmas. One can go and enjoy those activities.
ST. DOMINIC CHURCH
At the end of the paved road, there is the St. Domingo’s Church. It is a yellow-painted Baroque-style church that serves within the Cathedral Parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau. The church is noted for its mixture of European and local Macanese features in its design.
SAINT PAUL RUINS
Walk to the north of the church, and you will arrive at the Ruínas de S. Paulo (Ruins of St. Paul’s). It is the most famous landmark in Macau. Today, the ruins are one of Macau’s best-known landmarks. They are often, but incorrectly, mentioned as a former cathedral. The front facade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church.
The Parisian is a luxury hotel in Cotai, Macau, China owned by Las Vegas Sands, which has a half-scale Eiffel Tower as one its landmarks. The interior has a large fountain and atrium giving a feel of modern France.
Macau Tower is a tower located in Sé, Macau, China. The tower measures 338 m (1,109 ft) in height from ground level to the highest point. An observation deck with panoramic views, restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and the Skywalk X, a thrilling walking tour around the outer rim. It offers the best view of Macau and in recent years has been used for a variety of adventurous activities.
The tower is one of the members of the World Federation of Great Towers.
HKD 1.00 = PHP 6.39
MOP 1.00 = PHP 6.20
Cebu Pacific Roundtrip Ticket (MNL – HKG – MNL) – PHP 1799.00
Philippine Travel Tax – PHP 1620.00
Octopus Card – HKD 150.00 (HKD 50.00 refundable)
Disneyland Ticket – HKD 589.00
Disneyland Food – HKD 60.00
Ferry to MACAU – HKD 320.00
Food in Macau – MOP 60.00
Galaxy Macau to Senado Square – MOP 4.20
Ave Cost of Food – HKD 50.00 – HKD 100.00 (depends on your lifestyle)
Accommodation for 3 nights (Agoda) = PHP 1800.00
ESTIMATED TOTAL BUDGET: PHP 15,000.00
- Make sure to get an Octopus Card.
- Always have a map with you so that you are ready to explore everything Hong Kong has to offer.
- English is widely spoken and almost all the street signs are bilingual.
- No need to secure a visa for Filipinos.
- Disneyland: During May to September (typhoon season), the weather may affect park hours and what attractions stay open.
- Hong Kong is in a sub-tropical climate, with weather that changes with its four distinct seasons. Temperatures vary from winter lows of about 10˚C to summer highs above 33˚C.
- The best time to visit Hong Kong is from October to December when the weather is sunny, cool, and pleasant. The weather from January to March is cold but sunny.
- Macau currency is Macanese Patacas (MOP). HKD is already widely accepted in Macau.
- Take advantage of the free shuttle casino buses.
References: Discover Hong Kong, HongKong.net, Travel China Guide