Friday, August 7, 2009

Backpackers' Guide to HK

As requested, Backpackers' Basic Guide to Hong Kong!







I have been to Hong Kong 5 times already but it's as intriguing and fascinating as my first visit. My family, friends and I always take a direct flight from Cebu to Hong Kong via Cebu Pacific Air. You could check Cebu Pacific Airfares on www.cebupacificair.com and book your tickets there.


TIP: A Cebu Pacific Agent told us that on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest flights on most Cebu Pacific Destination. And before boarding, you will be paying a terminal fee of PHP550.00 and Philippine Travel Tax of 1620php per person.

And before flying to Hong Kong you should remember to book a Hotel or Hostel. For budget travellers like me and my friends, we choose to stay in a hostel since its cheap and its the best way to mingle with other backpackers and tourists from around the globe. We always stay at Ah Shan Dragon Inn Hostel in Mongkok which costs 100HKD per person per night for a 4-bed-room(if you are travelling with 3 other companions) or 180 for a single bed room. It's best to book a 4- bed- room for 400HKD (updated rate 08-08-09) per night for the entire room if your travelling with 3 other backpackers to save. Book by clicking Ah Shan Dragon Inn. This hostel has been highly recommended for most tourists since it's in the heart of downtown Mongkok, probably the center for night markets(tiangge) and its very near the MTR station. Amenities include, free Internet Access( 2 Desktop Computers on the common room), Rooms has hot water bath, free drinking water, fridge, AC, TV, Fresh towels daily and slippers. You could also book a hostel of your choice at www.hostels.com.

TIP: Check in and check out time for most hostels in HK are at 1PM. But you could stay in the common area til check in Time.


Before flying, its important to bring the basics during travelling
1.
Medicine kit ( Paracetamols, Loperamide, Pain relievers, Salompas, Menthol rubs(vicks), bandaids and etc.) -- Its important to bring Loperamide( Diatabs/Imodium for Diarrhea) since you will be eating food that might be unfamiliar and might cause diarrhea. During your travel you would also do long walks and your feet and legs will surely hurt. So be sure to put on very comfortable and light shoes while travelling. And if you'll be partying during the night you could put a pair of party shoes on your travel bag. A menthol rub, like vicks would be very helpful to soothe those tired and aching legs and feet. Salompas would also be helpful in soothing your aching back.

2.
Travel toothbrush, Shampoo sachets, Shaver, Soap, deodorant etc....

3.
Travel Documents - Passport, Plane TIcket and 2nd Identification Card(Driver's License, Postal Id, SSS ID, etc.) before travelling, you need to make 2 photocopies of your passport and identification card and keep a copy on your travel bag and 1 for your family in the Philippines. this is important because you will be bringing your passport with you anywhere you go while your travelling around HK and you might loose your passport and for faster processing of your affidavit, you'll have a spare copy of your travel documents with you.





Cebu Pacific Flights from Cebu to Hong Kong arrives at HK International at around 12:45AM and since there's no MTR transport after 12MN, we would sleep at the airport and wait for 6AM for the Airport Express to Central Station.
TIP: If you are planning to sleep in your booked hotel/ Hostel right after you arrived at the airport and you arrived after 12MN, your only choice of transport is a taxi or hotel bus. A Taxi will cost you HKD400 from the airport to Kowloon, thats around PHP2400.00. Hotel buses are free. And if you will be riding the public transport, which runs from 6AM to 12MN, be sure to purchase the 3 Day Electronic Unlimited Octopus Card for HKD300.00(updated price 08-08-09) inclusive of roundtrip airport express and 3 day unlimited MTR rides.HKD50 will be refunded upon surrendering the octopus card upon leaving HK International Airport which could be claimed at the Airport Express counter on the ground level of the HK Intl. Airport. That would save you much money on transportation when going around HK. And If you are staying for more than 3 days, you could purchase a HKD55.00 (updated price 08-08-09) 1 Day Unlimited MTR Ride.You could keep the MTR Card after as a souvineer. The 3 day unlimited card could just be tapped on the MTR Station entrance and for the 1 way ticket and 1 day unlimited cards, you need to put it on the card slot and get the card back because you need it when you exit the station. For more information on Octopus Cards you could visit
http://www.kcr.com.hk/eng/train/products_index.html

Be sure you get tourist maps at Map stands inside the airport to guide you on where to go when your in Hong Kong. Don't worry they're free! Maps at 711 shops are for sale, so be sure you get your free maps inside the airport before lining up for immigration.

Places of Interest and How to get there:

1. DISNEYLAND www.hongkongdisneyland.com
(1 Day Pass Price: HKD 350) (updated price 08-08-09)
(Open daily from 9am to 7pm)

MTR and interchange for the Disneyland Resort Line at Sunny Bay Station.

  • Only 23 minutes from the Hong Kong International Airport, MTR Airport station,
  • 22 minutes from MTR Kowloon station




2. Po Lin Monastery (Giant Buddha) No Fee
Alight at Tung Chung MTR take Exit B, and then take bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Centre.

or take the Ngong Ping 360 Cable car.







3. OCEAN PARK www.oceanpark.com.hk
(Price for 1 day adult pass HKD 250 and 3-11yrs. old 1 day pass is125HKD)

Open Daily from 9Am to 6:30PM

Address: Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island

Route: City Bus 629 in Admiralty MTR Station










4. Victoria Peak
(Peak Tram round trip around HKD50.00)

Take the MTR to Central and make your way to the J2 exit of the Central MTR station.
Turn right, through Chater Garden, cross Queen's Road Central and make your way up
Garden Road. You will pass the Bank of China Tower and Citibank Plaza on your left and St John's Cathedral on your right before arriving at the terminus, which is to your left.








5. Repulse Bay HK Island (no Fee)

Take Bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66, 260 from Central (Exchange Square) Bus Terminus and alight at Repulse Bay







6. Kuwan Yum and Tin Hau Temple

a 5 minute walk from Repulse Bay(Follow Repulse Bay's instructions). If facing the beach, walk towards your left





6. Avenue of Stars (Symphony of lights is 8pm Daily) No Fee
Alight at Tsim Sha Tsui MTR then take Exit F towards subway East Tsim Sha Tsui KCR station and take Exit J and follow the signs.




7. Wong tai Sin Temple (2HKD donation/fee when entering the garden)

How to Get There: Take Exit B3 on Wong Tai Sin Station






8. Knutsford Steps
How to get there: MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit B1, turn right and go straight along Nathan Road until you reach the Miramar Shopping Centre. Then, turn right into Kimberly Road and walk up the steep hill on your left.




TRANSPORTATION MAP (MTR ROUTE)
click map for a better view

CLIMATE IN HONG KONG click a season for the readable version





Below is the Itinerary I made and my friends and I used during our last year backpacking trip with my friends complete with the expenses. Please take note that this was last year(2008) and prices may not be the same at this time.

Hong Kong- Shenzhen-Macau Itinerary

November 13-21, 2008

November 13, 2008, Thursday

7:00pm

Mactan International Airport

Flight no. 5J238

Airfare: 7,542php

Travel Tax: 1620php Terminal fee: 500

9:45pm

Depart Mactan Intl. Airport

11:55pm

Arrive at Hong Kong Intl. Airport

November 14, 2008, Friday

12:00mn

Hong Kong Intl. Airport

Sleep at airport until 5am

5:01am

Eat breakfast, brush teeth,

6:01am

Go to Monkok to leave bags @ hostel

7:00am

Wong Tai sin Temple

Wong Tai Sin station

8:30am

Mongkok (hostel)

Ah Shan Dragon Inn to Check In

HKD 390/day for 3 persons =

801php/day per person

10:00am

Disneyland Hong Kong

HKD 295 = 1770php

7:00pm

Watch fireworks

9:00pm

Mongkok (hostel)

Sleep

November 15, 2008, Saturday

9:00am

Mongkok (hostel)

Assembly Time

10:00am

Mongkok

Group Breakfast

11:00am

Tsuen Wan

Ferry to Macau

Turbo Jet 1 way : HKD 146 = 950php

12:30noon

Jetfoil Terminal Macau

Macau

1:00pm

Sanva Hostel

Check in Hostel

Double regular room = 100HKD/ person/day

600php/person/day

2:00pm

Venetian Hotel

Late Lunch at the Venetian

5:00pm

Macau Tower

Watch Fireworks

6:30pm

Sanva Hotel

7:00pm

Group Dinner

9:00pm

SanVa Hostel

Sleep

November 16, 2008, Sunday

8:00am

SanVa Hotel

Assembly

8:15am

World Heritage

11:30pm

12:00noon

SanVa Hostel

Checkout

1:00pm

Casino Lisboa

Watch Grand Prix

3:00pm

Fisherman’s wharf

Macau

5:00pm

Jetfoil Terminal

Leave for Hong Kong

Turbo Jet 1 way : HKD 146 = 950php

7:00pm

Tsuen Wan

Hong Kong

8:00pm

Mongkok

Check in Hostel

HKD 390/day for 3 persons =

810php/day per person X 4 nights =

3240php for 4 nights

9:00am

Sleep

November 17, 2008, Monday

9:00am

Mong Kok (hostel)

Assembly Time

10:00am

Aberdeen

Ocean Park

Admission: HKD 208 = 1352PHP

6:30pm

Leave for Victoria Harbour

Tsim Sha Tsui

7:00pm

Victoria Harbor

Dinner

8:00pm

Tsim Sha Tsui

Symphony of lights

9:00pm

Mong Kok (hostel)

Sleep

November 18, 2008, Tuesday

8:00am

Mong Kok (hostel)

Assembly

9:00am

Leave for Shenzhen

Tsim Sha Tsui East Rail

Fare one way: HKD 35 = 227.50PHP

10:00am

12:00noon

Shenzhen

Lo Wu

1:00pm

WOW Shenzhen

Admission: CNY: 120 = 720php

8:00pm

Leave for Lo wu

9:00pm

Lo Wu

To Hong Kong

Fare one way: HKD 35 = 227.50PHP

11:00pm

Mongkok (Hostel)

Sleep

November 19, 2008, Wednesday

9:00am

Mongkok (Hostel)

Assembly Time

10:00am

Ngong Ping Village

Roundtrip cable car:

88HKD= 572php

2:00pm

Leave for Victoria Peak

4:30pm

Central

Victoria Peak

Roundtrip Tram Ride:

48HKD = 312php

8:00pm

Monkok

8:30pm

Shopping at Night Market

9:00pm

Sleep

November 20, 2008, Thursday

9:00am

Mongkok (Hostel)

Assembly Time

10:00am

Kowloon

Kowloon Park

12noon

Repulse Bay

Picnic Lunch @ Repulse Bay

6:30pm

Sunset

7:00pm

Mongkok (Hostel)

Walk at the night Market

8:00pm

Mongkok (Hostel)

Get Bags

10:00pm

Airport

Check In

November 21, 2008, Friday

12:05am

Hong Kong Intl Airport

Flight no. 5J239 Depart

3:05am

Mactan Intl. Airport

Arrival

Will be posting tips and guides to Macau and Shenzhen soon! : )


16 comments:

  1. waaaaaaaaaaaa....kanice...huhu...will go there soon..:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow! detailed jud! helpful... when man mo balik doy? adto ta september na! naa ko long weekend ana..

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ Neiloy - ui muara bya ko sg! makisquat ko inyo house ha! sept. 2-8.

    ReplyDelete
  4. hi! i would like to add that there is actually a cheaper alternative to get from the airport to kowloon than taking the airport express.

    you could take the A21 or N21 bus for only 33hkd. and the trip takes about 45 minutes.

    we always take the bus from the airport to tsim sha tsui.

    ;]

    ReplyDelete
  5. @ Anonymous - weeeow! thanks for that information dude.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Koi, salamat kaayo! karon pa nako na basa and details!!!! very very helpful info! nakabook nami for accommodation, disney, and ocean park tickets. naa napud ko octopus card as u mentioned!

    Kulang nalang nako ang "jacket" sa zara! LOL! hapit na jud ko matintal have to check for the temperature 1 week before larga and if tugnaw, i would buy it! LOL

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Will be going back to Hongkong next year! We haven't been to some of the places you mentioned here during our first visit.
    I made my own guide to first timers in HK,here not as detailed as this though. You also made your own itinerary!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Can you suggest places to go in Macau for a whole day tour? Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Doy, how did you book rooms in dragon inn? online?

    ReplyDelete