A gawk-worthy modern skyline and exciting urban attractions are the top reasons that got me on a plane to Hong Kong on my first trip abroad.
With so much travel information available online and popularity among other first-time international travelers, it is so easy to plan an itinerary and enjoy traveling to this compact city.
Highlights & lowlights from Detourista adventures in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Star FerryCentral Hong Kong Skyline viewed from the historic Star Ferry that crosses the Victoria Harbour
Victoria Peak ViewHong Kong's soaring skyline, viewed from The Peak - Sky Terrace 428 in Victoria Peak
Overlooking Lantau IslandOverlooking view of Lantau Island's green landscapes from the Nong Ping 360 Cable Car Ride, in Hong Kong
Nong Ping Village and Tian Tan BuddhaNong Ping Village and Tian Tan Buddha built on the mountains of Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Tian Tan BuddhaThe gigantic Tian Tan Buddha, also known as "The Big Buddha," in Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Hong KongScenic sunset at the Sleeping Beauty Castle along Main Street in Disneyland Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disneyland Fireworks"Disney In The Stars" fireworks show at Disneyland Hong Kong, in Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Ocean Park Doplhin ShowDoplhin show at Ocean Park Hong Kong
Hong Kong Thrill RidesThrill rides at Ocean Park Hong Hong
Central Hong Kong Shopping DistrictShopping district at Central, Hong Kong
Madame Tussauds Hong KongWax statues of famous American political figures at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Madame Tussauds Hong KongWax statue of Hu Jintao, Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Bank of China TowerBank of China Tower building in Central Hong Kong, viewed onboard the Star Ferry
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition CentreHong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre building in Central Hong Kong, viewed onboard the Star Ferry
Hong Kong International AirportHong Kong International Airport viewed from the Ngong Ping 360 cable car in Lantau Island, Hong Kong
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Backpackers & budget travelers can expect to spend around HKD300 to HKD800 daily per person. Mid-range travel expenses should cost from HKD800 to HKD1,800. Prepare to spend at least HKD1,800 daily to enjoy the best in top-end / luxury travel in Hong Kong.
Hotel/hostel — Accommodations in Hong Kong is generally more expensive than most countries in Asia. It has one of the World’s most compact city centers. So, this is to be expected. A dorm bed in a backpacker hostel or guesthouse starts at HKD160 per night. A room for two in a budget hotel would set you back HKD400 to HKD600 per night. Most mid-range hotels offer rooms around HKD800 to HKD1,200 per night. If you are staying in a luxury hotel or resort, room prices usually start at HKD1,200 (& up) per night.
Up to 80% OFF Hong Kong hotels & hostels. See the cheapest rates by sorting the results by price, from lowest to highest. Make sure to read guest reviews before booking.
Sights & tours — Admission fees may take up a huge chunk of your expenses if you plan on visiting many themed attractions, rides, and museums. Attraction tickets may be priced anywhere between HKD80~ to HKD500~ per person.
Up to 60% OFF Hong Kong tours, attractions & packages. Save money, time & enjoy cashless convenience by prebooking your ticket online.
Food & drinks — Prepare to spend around HKD90 per day on a backpacker budget or HKD200 per day & up if you want to dine on casual restaurants.
Transport — MTR train fare usually cost HKD9 to HKD12 for short rides within the city center. A single journey airport express ticket to Kowloon costs HKD90.
How to go to Hong Kong?
Most travelers arrive at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), which is well-connected by plane from all major cities across the globe.
Frequent ferry services link Hong Kong to Macau (1 hour) and cities along the Pearl River Delta. By land, roadways, and trains connect Hong Kong to Mainland China via Guangdong & Guangzhou.
How to get to Hong Kong from the Philippines?
Frequent daily flights connect Manila to Hong Kong (2 hours). You may also fly from Cebu, Iloilo, Clark & Kalibo. Direct flights are operated by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific & TigerAir.
How to find cheap flights to Hong Kong?
The easy way is to search on airfare comparison sites that can show you the lowest fares on many airlines in one go.
Start your search on Momondo, Wego or Dohop.
How to book Hong Kong promo fares?
Check Hong Kong promo alerts several weeks or months ahead of your trip if you are planning your trip early. The cheapest promos are sold up to a year in advance of the travel/flight departure date & are often only available if you book directly with the airline.
Where to stay in Hong Kong?
The best places to stay in Hong Kong are Hong Kong Central and Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei & Jordan).
If your hotel is outside these areas, you’re generally good to go as long as an MTR train station is nearby. Or, you have arranged private transport.
What are the best hotels/hostels in Hong Kong?
Choose a place to stay within your budget from these top-rated hotels and hostels.
Backpacker — Cheap yet decent hostels & guesthouses for travelers on a shoestring budget.
The Mahjong Boutique Hotel
Budget — Cheap yet decent bang-for-buck hotel for budget-conscious travelers.
Check Inn HK
Mid-range — Comfort and convenience at a bargain.
Residence G Hong Kong
High-end — Splurge & enjoy the best.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Where should I book a hotel/hostel?
Go to Agoda, Booking.com & Tripadvisor to check room rates & discounts. Book as soon as you have finalized your travel dates because hotel/hostel prices rarely go down the closer you are on your trip. Make sure to filter your search based on your budget and sort the results by guest review rating.
When are you going? See the best rates & discounts you can book today. Enter your travel details and search.
Book your tours & tickets online
Save money and time by pre-booking your Hong Kong tours, attraction tickets & packages online. Enjoy discounts, save time from queueing at the ticket booths, and avoid the hassles of bringing & exchanging cash.
15% OFF Hong Kong Disneyland Admission Ticket
11% OFF Ocean Park Hong Kong Admission Ticket
76% OFF Hong Kong-Macau 3G Unli Internet Pocket Wifi
17% OFF Peak Tram + Sky Terrace Skip-the-line Combo Ticket
48% OFF Sky100 Observatory Admission
30% OFF Hong Kong Airport Express Train Tickets
5% OFF Hong Kong-Macau CotaiJet Ferry Tickets
Hong Kong Tourist Octopus (Train & Bus) Card
10% OFF Hong Kong-Macau iVenture Attractions Pass
15% OFF Hong Kong Big Bus Tours
See more discounts
Do Filipinos need a visa to visit Hong Kong or Macau?
Filipino citizens (Philippine passport holders) can visit Hong Kong & Macau on a free tourist Visa on Arrival (VoA).
You can simply show up at Hong Kong or Macau airport/ferry terminal, get your passport stamped. Filipinos can usually visit Hong Kong for up to 14 days and Macau for up to 30 days.
A free tourist VoA means you do not need to apply for an entry visa before your trip, granted that you are traveling for tourism purposes only.
Make sure you are able to provide the following — (1) Passport not expiring within 6 months; (2) Evidence that your are visiting for travel/holiday purposes only; (3) Evidence that you are able to fund your stay for the entire duration of your visit.
You can check updated visa policies on the Hong Kong Immigrations Department website (see Part II, #12), and Macau FSM website (see Section VII, #1).
How to get Hong Kong Dollars?
Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) is the primary currency in Hong Kong. You should be able to exchange your USD, EUR, GBP at most money exchange stalls. Don’t exchange a large amount of money at the airport. Shop around at the city center for the best rates. Better yet, simply withdraw from ATMs or use a credit card for payments.
You do not need to bring all of your money in cash since ATMs are widely available. Make sure to activate your card for international withdrawals before your trip.
Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants but many budget places only take cash.
Philippine Pesos (PHP) is widely accepted as there is a huge Filipino community in Hong Kong. You can bring enough money in USD or PHP to last you the trip to the city center or the first day and exchange/withdraw the rest of your money at the city center. Before you leave the Philippines, make sure to activate your ATM card for international withdrawals.
Get an Octopus Card
Pick up an Octopus Card at the airport to enjoy MTR discounts & save time by avoiding the queue at the ticket booth. This stored-value electronic card can be used for most public transport in Hong Kong including the MTR, public buses and public ferries.
It can also be used for purchases in convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets, cake shops, vending machines and more (see full list). You can top up the card at any 7/11 store.
There are different types of Octopus Cards that you can buy. Buy the “On-Loan” Standard Octopus card for HKD150 per adult initial cost (HKD50 deposit plus HKD100 initial stored value) for short visits.
With this card, you can claim a refund of the HKD50 deposit before leaving Hong Kong plus any remaining stored value.
The card can be returned & refunded at any MTR Customer Service Centre (found in most MTR stations). A $9 fee may be charged, which means you can only claim HK$41 out of the HK$50 deposit.
You can also buy the “Sold Tourist” Octopus Card for HKD100 (HKD50 non-refundable deposit plus HKD50 initial stored value). This card has a nice decorative print that you can take home as a souvenir.
Be as mobile as possible. Bringing less stuff will help you enjoy a hassle-free trip. Both Hong Kong and Macau are trolley-friendly places, so you do not necessarily have to bring a backpack.
Make good use of luggage storage / left luggage services to maximize your time.If you arrive early at Hong Kong Airport, you can also take the train to your hotel and leave your stuff there.
In Macau, you can also leave your bags at the left luggage service at the airport. The Macau International Airport and Taipa (temporary) Ferry Terminal are located next to each other, easily walkable.
If you arrive early at Hong Kong Airport, you can also take the train to your hotel and leave your stuff there. In Macau, you can also leave your bags at the left luggage service at the airport. The Macau International Airport and Taipa (temporary) Ferry Terminal are located next to each other, easily walkable.
Don’t miss out on Hong Kong’s exciting street food scene. Your wallet and tummy will thank you for it.
Pre-book your meals.
Save money on unique dining experiences at Disneyland or Ocean Park by booking meal voucher discounts online.
Food at theme parks is generally pricey. There’s also the option of bringing takeaway / takeout if you really want to spend less.
Get rent a Pocket WiFi or buy a mobile data SIM card.
Stay connected online during your whole trip. Not only does it make it possible to share your travel moments instantly, you can also travel better by having access to all your favorite travel apps anytime.
See all Hong Kong / Macau SIM card discounts.
MTR train fare usually cost HKD9 to HKD12 for short rides within the city center. A single journey airport express ticket to Kowloon costs HKD90.
Galleries, stories & itineraries from Marcos’ detours in Hong Kong.
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