For most people in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Macau were among the first places to trigger their wanderlust. Being just a little over two hours away, and with cool weather to boot, the two make a great weekend getaway. But before you go ahead and plan your trip, make sure to follow this five day budget guide with the help of travel expert, Runaway Girl.
Hong Kong is 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Manila. And since, it’s a popular destination, multiple local and international carriers fly to Hong Kong almost every hour. If you’re lucky enough to catch a promo fare, you can score all-in one way tickets for as low as 800 pesos.
Since your return trip will be from Macau, this will require you two (2) one-way tickets. Flights from Macau will cost you around the same price. Before planning a trip, make sure to download the Traveloka App to keep up-to-date on the latest deals and promo codes!
The best way to get to Macau from Hong Kong is by high-speed ferry. The trip will take you about an hour, and ferries depart every 15-30 minutes from the Shun Tak and HK China Ferry Terminals. Prices for ferry tickets start at around P950.
Since there’s no time difference between Manila and Hong Kong, you have no excuse to start your adventure as soon as you arrive. So, have a good power nap on the plane, and get ready for a full day of adventure.
Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong is the first of its kind in Asia. The popular wax museum holds nearly 100 wax figures of famous Hollywood celebrities, international stars, and famous Hong Kongers. These figures are set on different backdrops and categorized by themes such as Hong Kong Glamour, Music Icons, Historical and National Heroes, The Champions, and World Premier.
One of the most exciting parts about getting to The Peak is the journey. To get the complete experience, you must take the Peak Tram which is one of the world’s oldest form of funicular transport. The trip up is so steep (396 meters) that the view below will appear to be leaning from 4-27 degrees sideways. Once you reach the top, you can expect stunning views, great shopping, nature walks, delicious dining options, and more!
See the largest chocolate photo in the world in museum that showcases over 2,000 kilograms worth of (edible) chocolate art. Unlike museums with strict no hands off policies, this museums has a designated “touch zones” where guests are allowed touch and sample some of the chocolate.
From fortune tellers, to delicious bowls of claypot rice, there’s almost nothing you can’t find in the Temple Street Market. Catch the rowdy scene right when the sun dips down to welcome the night, and find yourself with a bag full of trinkets, and a belly full of Hong Kong’s best street food.
Despite being the smallest Disneyland in the world, the Hong Kong version still has its charm, and is definitely worth the visit. Some rides to prioritize during your trip include The Hyperspace Mountain, Iron Man Experience, and the Mystic Manor. If you have a whole day to kill, it’s best to wait for the iconic Disney fireworks at night.
The Ladies Market is a one kilometer stretch of bargain-friendly stalls where you can find accessories, knock-off clothing, bags, furniture, and more. If you have space in your luggage, now’s a good time to start shopping for pasalubong.
On your way to Ngong Ping Village, your must take the crystal cabin or the glass bottom cabin for the best experience. Hong Kong is famous for its amazing views and there’s no better way to experience it than from a 360-degree view see thru cable car.
Ngong Ping Village is a cultural themed village composed of three major attractions — Stage 360, Motion 360 and Walking with Buddha. Here you’ll find numerous shops and restaurants as well as nearby attractions such as the Bodhi Wishing Shrine and the statue of Big Buddha.
There’s no better way to introduce yourself to Macau’s rich history of influences than through their food. Food Street at Broadway features a row of hawker-style food stalls where you can sample their East meets West flavors and local favorites like the world-famous Macau egg tart.
Even if gambling is not your cup of tea, you must make time to visit the giant casinos. You can limit your exploration to The Venetian, the world’s biggest casino; The Wynn, one of Macau’s swankiest casinos; and The Galaxy Macau, Macau’s largest resort complex.
The Fisherman’s Wharf is Macau’s largest leisure themed entertainment complex where you can find Macau’s version of the European Colosseum.
Built in the 1600s by the Jesuits, St. Paul Church was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia at that time. Today, though just left with a facade, the ruins stand as part of the Historic Center of Macau, a UNESCO heritage site.
With the whiff of pork buns in the air, the sound of footsteps on the mosaic pavement, and rows of chic fashion boutiques, Senado Square will transport you to a strange but beautiful European town in the middle of Asia.
Since you’ll be on your feet during the most part of your trip, it’s important to have a comfortable place to retreat after a long day. Make it a point to book hotels that are either close to the spots you want to visit, or walking distance from public transport.
Don’t change your money at the Hong Kong or Macau airport, you will get a better deal in the Philippines or in Money Changer kiosks such as the one in Tsim Tsa Tsui. Macau accepts HKDs as payment so you don’t need to change to their local currency.
When in Hong Kong, make sure to purchase an Octopus card. It’s extremely convenient as it is used in the MTR, buses, and even in 7/11 and other stores. You can purchase the cards at the airport or at the MRT station.
Food expenses can easily rack up your bills. If you’re on a budget, choose to eat in any of the outdoor food markets where you can get the most authentic experience at less cost. Before visiting Disneyland, stuff yourself with a heavy meal to avoid paying too much for theme park food.
While in Macau, you will find many stalls that will offer you a free taste of their specialities — don’t be shy! Bring some bottled water and taste the town for free.
Purchasing tickets at door price will cost you a lot more money. Plan your must-visit places ahead and find out if you can buy a package deal.
Take note that this budget does not include meals, shopping and your accommodations of choice in Macau.
Estimated total: P14,379
Shanice Jo or Runaway Girl is a Filipina who is in constant pursuit of great adventures. You’ll often find her booking her next trip or in transit to the next beautiful destination on her list. Follow her for some awesome travel tips, budget itineraries, and lovely photographs of her travels.
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