I’ve always wanted to go to Hong Kong. Seat Sales passed, and I was left wondering if I should go for it.
It was November; it’s typically cold in Hong Kong in November to January. I love the beach, so I was a little hesitant to travel to Hong Kong; but because it was my birthday, I just decided to go for it.
Hong Kong is one of the most beautiful cities in Asia. Many Filipinos live there and many travel there for leisure. There are so many things to do there. When you Google what to do in Hong Kong, it will always say that you should visit Disneyland, Ocean Park and go shopping. Believe me or not: a 3 days 2 nights trip will not be enough, so here are some tips if you will be visiting Hong Kong for the first time.
5 Top Tips for Hong Kong First Timers
Let’s start with the planning….
Book Your Flight and Hotel Ahead of Time.
During Peak Season, flights to Hong Kong can be a bit expensive. Though most airlines travel to Hong Kong, the prizes really vary. I booked our flight to Hong Kong through the Traveloka App, which has special discounts and packages (with travel tax, baggage allowance and food). I suggest you book at least 3 months before your preferred date/s, so you can get the cheapest ones or the ones that will give you the most value for your money.
For your Accommodations, it’s really important that you book ahead of time. Most AirBnB’s and Hotels run out easily. Don’t book the first one you see, though! I was looking at AirBnB’s for at least a month and from what I noticed and from the info I got from my friends, most homestays are tiny. Though most of them are in prime locations, rooms only fit a double bed and showers are placed on top of the toilet. So after a little bit more research, I found Ibis Hong Kong Central and Sheung Wan. The location is great and it is near most public transportation like the MTR, Tram and Bus.
When you get to Hong Kong Airport
Get Tour Deals and Exchange Your Money.
Most travelers don’t want the traditional tour where they are picked up and take charge of the itinerary. You can get the iVenture Card for Hong Kong from Klook. Klook is an app where they have discounted deals for tours, restaurants, activities and even transport. The iVenture card is your access to Hong Kong’s Ocean Park, Ngong Ping 360, Peak Tram, Sky100 Observation Deck, Noah’s Arc, Hong Kong Water Tours, Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus Tour and Macau attractions too! If you have this, you can also get discounted tickets for Hong Kong Disneyland.
I have always worried about exchanging money and from experience, the best rates are always at the airport. Though there are money changers everywhere in Hong Kong, you can always get the best value at the airport.
Get Train Tickets.
We also got an Airport Express deal and Octopus Card from Klook. From the airport, we boarded the Airport Express train directly to Hong Kong station in Central. Hassle-free!
Don’t forget to get an Octopus Card. This is like the HK version of our Beep Card, but even better. It is a card you can top-up to use for MTR, Trams, Buses, 7eleven and even McDonalds. It is super duper useful, especially if you plan to go around Hong Kong.
I am serious. This has to be the most important tip I have when traveling to Hong Kong. You should expect a lot of walking, especially if you will be visiting Ocean Park and Disneyland. There are multiple train transfers (though travel time is only around 30 minutes) and you have to walk around the huge property of both theme parks.
Make Sure You Have Enough Space In Your Luggage For Shopping.
There are so many stores in Kowloon and Mong Kok. It is a haven for gadget lovers, sneakerheads, and fashionistas. Make sure you watch out for the HKD50 stores! Don’t forget to raid the sneaker stores, either; they have old and new stocks that are not usually present in the Philippines. For Gadget lovers, you can score cheaper gaming consoles and mobile phones there! The iPhone 8, 8Plus and X are way cheaper there in case you want to check them out.
Hong Kong is loved by many Filipino travelers because of its very homey environment. It is easy to find Filipinos walking around in case you get lost and need directions. We stayed there for 5days and we covered most of the places that are must-visits. The city is beaming and the food is amazing. You will never get enough of it. Lucky for us, it’s visa-free and it’s near!