The first part of my DIY Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen Trip series.
Our first international vacation was definitely challenging in planning a DIY itinerary. The culture, language and the lifestyle is a lot different from our country. Good thing we have a year to plan for the trip. I am the type of traveler who plans ahead for the trip (to keep everything in budget). I usually look for cheap hotels, where to eat, where to go, what to do and not to do in the place, mode of transportation, and many more.
I really got excited planning and I have a separate detailed itineraries at the end of this post. Then we set a ceiling for our budget including the airfares and everything we will spend for the trip. Starting with the airfare, we luckily got a promo fare via Cebu Pacific and paid about 6ooo Php round trip for 2 people and with 1 check in baggage round trip. That’s already a deal!
Thanks to a good friend of mine who has been to Hong Kong and Macau who shared to me some tips in going around. The first challenge for me was the mode of transportation. As a Filipino who commutes the jeepney or taxi, the use of MTR will be confusing at first. While I was searching in the internet how to use the MTR, I realize how amazingly easy and fast it is in transferring to one station to the other. How I wish we have these all over the country. This will really help our traffic issues!
Not just the MTR, but their bus stations are very detailed, specific and on time. The routes and stops are indicated in each bus stations. Same with the MTR, they display a guide in which station you are currently in, which route to ride and which exit you are headed to. Just like my mother in law used to say to my husband, if you know how to read, then you’ll never get lost.
It was a good thing that we booked a flight on February since this is still winter season in Hong Kong. I have read a lot of reviews that Hong Kong gets so hot and humid in summer season. Since you require a lot of walking in Hong Kong, I suggest to visit there during winter season. It will be very exhausting walking around under the scorching heat.
When we visited it was perfect, cold but not foggy. The weather was a lot different from the tropical weather in the Philippines, so this is very new to me. Their winter could fall from 14 to below 10 degrees. Do not underestimate the weather especially if this is your first time. It gets really cold and make sure you prepared your clothes for winter not just for OOTD’s. I was even excited to use my scarf and bonnet this time. Then I realized that this is not a fashion statement but you really need to use it to protect your neck, head and ears from the shivering cold. Also, put on moisturizers and lotion to avoid drying your skin. Thermal jackets and leggings are also a must.
Another challenge for this trip was communication. Thank God I did a lot of research and we had less supervisions from the locals. It was a bit difficult to explain and ask the locals in English since this is not their main mode of communication. But the good thing, I have a friend who works in Hong Kong who we can easily tap for help.
We haven’t had that so much problem with food. We love Dim Sum and there are a lot of Chinese restaurants in the Philippines. So the food isn’t new to us. Their street food starts from 10HKD up. They have Takoyaki balls, fish and squid balls and many more. But our favorite was the grilled squid in Avenue of the Stars for 30 HKD. And once you are in Hong Kong or Macau, do not forget their famous egg tarts. I tried one in Venetian Hotel Macau and in Hoover bakery Hong Kong.
Payment for transportation and other goods are very convenient by using their Octopus card. For the MTR, you just need to tap the card on your “From” station. Make sure to check your entering with the green check mark card reader. (Red X mark tells you to do not enter. Obviously.) Then tap the card again to your exit destination station.
And for the buses and trams, tap the MTR card while entering the bus or pay the bus fee in cash. You can as well use your Octopus card in paying for goods in 7/11, vending machines and many more. Reloading is easy and convenient, you can top it up using cash through authorized service providers or selected transportation customer service centers. Or electronic fund transfer via selected ATM’s of the AEON ATM network.
Check my daily itinerary on these posts: