For most Filipino travelers, Hong Kong is one of the countries we choose to go for our very first international travel. Why? It’s in Asia, it’s cheap, and you don’t need a visa.
The city has lots of things to offer for everyone. For the shopaholics, it’s a haven, especially when you like branded items that you can buy from the Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung. If you’re into Eat, Pray, Love – there are so many beautiful temples and monasteries in Hong Kong; a variety of local foods and delicacies are everywhere; plus, if you happen to find love, that’s your bonus!
Wander Tips: Hassle-Free in Hong Kong
Booking Your Airfare
Cebu Pacific Air always offer seat sales, so I always choose to fly with them. I am always on the lookout for it, and I book without hesitation. When there’s a seat sale and you dream about going somewhere, just book it! If there’s a seat sale, grab the opportunity and travel!
My trip to Hong Kong this year was booked during a seat sale last April. I know that there’s a much cheaper price, but I just took it, and since December is usually the peak season for traveling to Hong Kong, I considered it a steal!
Airfare: Php3332.03 (includes 15kg round trip check-in luggage)
Booking Your Accommodation
Airbnb is my top choice when looking and booking for accommodations abroad. Why? Well, it’s much cheaper than regular hotels, plus, it feels like home!
Tip: Choose accommodations that are near the MTR stations or bus stops. If you’re a solo traveler, take into account if the place is safe. Once you’re there, check the surroundings to see if it is clean, check the water pressure and if the heating works, and consider if you can get some sleep at night.
Here’s my review for our Airbnb booking last year in South Korea.
Beating Long Queues
For my trip to Hong Kong, I had to do some pre-bookings to make my trip hassle-free. Since I was traveling alone, I thought that it would be best to skip the long queues.
While I was planning our South Korea trip, I came across an article that talked about Klook, so I decided to check it out.
Here are the things that I purchased from Klook:
- 4G/3G SIM Card @ Php362 – this includes 1.5GB of data for 5 days.
- You can claim this using a printed or a mobile voucher at the Hong Kong International Airport Arrivals Area, Terminal 1, Counter A13. Opening Hours 9:00am – 11:00pm
- They put the sim card on your phone for you and activate it.
- It was very convenient to have your own phone number, where your family can contact you from home, plus the data is quite fast.
- Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car ride @ Php1448 – I booked the round trip Standard + Crystal Cabin.
- This allowed me to skip the super long queue to ride the cable car. If I didn’t get a voucher, it would have taken me a minimum of two (2) hours to get to the front of the line just to get tickets. With the voucher, it was just less than an hour. Please note that I went there around 1:00PM.
Getting an Octopus Card
I have been to Hong Kong three times and I kept my Octopus card. An Octopus card is a rechargeable ‘smart card’ used on most forms of public transport and select stores and restaurants in Hong Kong. But I mostly use it to ride the MTR. If you’re getting a new card, it would cost HK$150, with HK$100 value, and HK$50 for the card deposit, that you can get back when you return the card.
It is really convenient to have because you don’t need to be on queue whenever you ride the MTR. You can reload the card in most MTR stations and in any 7-Eleven, so if you ever need get it topped up, it’s easy! I also used this to buy drinks at vending machines, as well as get meals at the airport before going home. The great thing about this card is it never expires.
Preparing Your Itinerary
I am a laid back traveler. I usually just go with the flow, but it doesn’t hurt to have a plan. Make sure that you create a time table of how you want to spend your day. It doesn’t have to be a tight schedule, just make a list of possible destinations that are near each other, so if your first choice doesn’t work out, you have a list of alternatives.
Travel Advisory On Your Credit Cards
When I travel abroad, I usually use credit cards for big purchases, and it is a good back up plan just in case you are short on cash. Before your travel date, make sure to call your credit card hotline to tell them to put a travel advisory on your credit cards to avoid having your credit cards declined when making transactions. This helps credit card companies avoid fraudulent activities, that’s why it is important to let them know that you’re flying overseas.