Known as the vibrant and densely populated city with busy people and an astounding skyscraper-studded skyline, Hong Kong is every Filipino’s first or second choice when it comes to a beginner’s international travel.
Since it’s perfect for every type of traveler – adventurer, shopper or foodie – you can visit Hong Kong lots of times and still never run out of ideas for your itinerary!
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- Language: Chinese and English
- Currency: Hong Kong dollar (1 HKD = PHP 6.77)
- Payment Options: Cash and international credit cards are accepted
- Plug: The standard electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plug types G, D, M are needed.
What to Know Before Visiting Hong Kong
- There is no open-bottle law in Hong Kong. This means you can walk around while drinking alcohol, and it’s perfectly okay and legal to do this.
- Always pack layers of clothing because Hong Kong never turns off its air-conditioning. For example, during summer, you may be sweating buckets while exploring the streets. But the minute you enter a department store or a restaurant, you’ll be shivering due to the cold.
- When on the escalator, remember to stand on the right and let people pass you on the left.
- Wear breathable clothing or nice loose-fitting cotton because this country is extremely humid.
- Want to eat an early breakfast? Hong Kong city starts late, and breakfast is often not offered until 8 a.m. (or later).
Filipinos who want to visit Hong Kong can stay visa-free for 14 days. You must complete an arrival card when clearing Hong Kong immigration and return the departure card, make sure you do not lose it.
For more details about visa requirements, you can also visit Hong Kong Immigration Department website at GovHK.
Best Time to Visit
Planning a trip to Hong Kong soon? The best time to visit is from October to early December. During these months, you can enjoy the sunny, but cool and refreshing weather.
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If you’re still in the Philippines, Czarina and Sanry’s are recommended for money exchange. Make sure to call them first so you can reserve your HKD before going there.
If you’re already in Hong Kong, you can exchange your Philippine peso at the airport. You can also have it changed at Chungking Mansions. Complete address of this establishment is at Kin Shing Money Exchange Co Ltd. Shop 87, G/F Chungking Mansions, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Connectivity in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong ranks third in the world for broadband internet download speed at an average speed of 142.65 Mbps. Can you imagine how fast this is? Also, if you’re using mobile, Hong Kong's average mobile download speed is 18.05 Mbps. If speed is your aim, you’re better off renting a mobile pocket wifi for $4/day.
- Currently, Hong Kong enjoys SAR (Special Administrative Region) status, which means Google and Facebook to WhatsApp and other globally available messaging services can be used normally.
How to Go to Hong Kong
Major airline companies in the Philippines such as AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Philippines Airlines have direct flights from Manila to Hong Kong and from Clark to Hong Kong.
Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport
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Dubbing itself as “the airport that never sleeps”, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is the number one cargo airport in the world where roughly 72,900,000 passengers pass through yearly.
You can find HKIA on the island of Chek Lap Kok, which is largely comprised of reclaimed land meant for airport construction.
Getting Around Hong Kong
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- Airport Express: Travel between HKIA and Central in just 24 minutes. Detailed schedule can be accessed here. An adult ticket from the airport to Hong Kong Station costs HK$115 (smart ticket) or HK$110 (Octopus card).
- Public Bus: From the airport, there are several public buses available for your transport. Fare ranges from HK$48 to HK$15, depending on your route. For exact details on bus route and specific fare, please refer to Citybus website or Long Win Bus website.
- Taxis: Should you choose to take the taxi, go to the Taxi Station located near the left-hand ramp outside the Arrivals Hall. Prepare to shell out at least HK$315 to HK$395, depending on your destination.
Things to do in Hong Kong
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- Explore Lantau Island and ride a glass-bottom gondola for HK$180.
- Get your fortune told at Temple Street Night Market.
- If you’re a foodie, you shouldn’t miss the Snake Soup served at Se Wong Yee in Causeway Bay area.
- Want something a little more sophisticated? Go up to the highest bar at Ozone bar in Ritz-Carlton hotel’s 118th floor and order yourself a cocktail.
- You can’t say you’ve visited Hong Kong unless you’ve visited Disneyland. Ticket starts at HK$619.
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Ocean Park Editorial Credit: Lee Yiu Tung / Shutterstock
- Victoria Peak: Best way to go here is to ride the tram to the top of this scenic viewpoint and from here, you’ll see skyscrapers, bustling city, and surrounding islands await you
- Ngong Ping Village: Situated on Lantau Island, this small Chinese style village is home to the famous Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery.
- Wong Tai Sin Temple: This is the temple to visit when you go to Hong Kong. Dedicated to Wong Tai Sin, or the Great Immortal Wong, Wong Tai Sin Temple is open seven days a week.
- Ocean Park: This attraction features the largest aquarium dome in the world, spanning 5.5 meters in diameter. If you’re a fan of roller coasters, pandas and unique sea creatures, this is the place to go.
- Tai O Fishing Village:The Tanka people who live in Tai O Fishing Village, located in Lantau Island, built their homes on stilts over tidal flats. Since they’re a community of fisherfolk, this village is perfect if you’re into a quieter way of life. Seafood is best eaten here as well.
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What to Eat in Hong Kong
- Pineapple Bun at Kam Wah Cafe (3 USD): Trust us when we say this is addicting. Imagine: crispy golden brown crust with soft bread in every bite! But the star of the pineapple bun is the large chunks of butter that go along with the bread. All these melt together in your mouth to create a symphony of flavors that you’d definitely need to order more.
- Curry Tendon beef brisket at Kau Kee Beef Brisket (5 USD): A flavorful broth of spices, complete with mouthwatering noodles and tender, fall-of-the-bone beef brisket is the target of the hundreds of people who fall in line just for this meal.
- Yat Lok Roast Goose (15 USD): It’s a Michelin-star establishment, so expect long lines and amazing food here. Order the Roast Goose Drumstick and savor the delicate crispiness and the juiciness of the roast goose together with noodle or rice.
- Chicken Chop Macaroni at Lan Fong Yuen (5 USD): You’ve never tried Hong Kong food, unless you’ve had a proper Hong Kong breakfast! And over at Lan Fong Yuen is where most of the locals go for their first meal of the day. Pair your chicken chop macaroni with milk tea and start your day right.
- Eggette at Lee Keung Kee North Point (1.5 USD): What makes this eggette different from all the others? It’s thicker in texture, chewier in bite, and crispier around the edges. Don’t believe us? Just check out the many celebrity photos posted at the shop and try it yourself.
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Where to Stay in Hong Kong
- Homy Hotel Central: Located in Sheung Wan, this budget hotel is a few minutes away from Sheung Wan MTR station. If you’re planning to go to Macau on a day-trip, it’s also the best accommodation as Macau and Star Ferry terminals are a five-minute walk away.
- Chelsea Hotel: Want to check out the mesmerizing skyline views that Hong Kong has to offer? This cozy property found in Tsim Sha Tsui is your best bet.
- YHA Mei Ho House: The rooftop terrace on this property is bound to make you feel #blessed. Together with 129 comfortable rooms and complimentary breakfast served at the hostel’s cafe, this property located at Sham Shui Po District is a few minutes walk from North Kowloon Magistracy.
- Cosco Hotel: Since this hotel is located harborside, you can be in SoHo for restaurants, bars and other foodie’s destinations in just 20 minutes. Looking for a more “local” vibe? Choose your room at this hotel centrally located in Kennedy Town for plenty of options when it comes to supermarkets and local groceries.
- Best Western Hotel Harbour View: Want to #treatyoself? This hotel’s rooftop swimming pool, complete with Hong Kong’s harbor-views is the right choice for a glamorous, yet affordable accommodation.