Everytime I will be asked what is the best free visa country to visit for FIRST TIME International travel, I usually recommend Hong Kong and Singapore. Aside from the fact the seat sale for Hong Kong is often, Hong Kong is very easy to navigate. Tourist attractions are easily accessible and public transportation is very convenient. Another plus factor is there are a lot of kabayans that can help you in case you get lost. But with the help of this guide, it will be easier for you to do your first international travel.
When to go?
Hongkong has for seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
- Winter December to February, obviously the coldest month but there will be no snow
- Spring March to May can be a transition period to summer. Humid and torrential rains are expected
- Summer from June to August, hot and humid, typhoons are also expected as like in the Philippines during July and August
- Fall is from September to November. This is the best time to go to Hong Kong. The skies are clear and the weather is not too hot or humid. But prices will be high as well like hotels.
Visa/ Entry Requirements
Visa – Visa is NOT Required. The Philippines nationals who desire to go to Hong Kong for transit, tourism or business with a stay of no more than 14 days do not need to apply for visas
Passport all visitors to Hong Kong must have a passport that is valid for AT LEAST ONE MONTH AFTER the period of their intended stay in Hong Kong. (Please take note that our Immigration Officer might hold you if your passport is less than 6 months. So to keep you free from stress and further questioning, have your passport valid at least 6 months on the date of travel)
Where to Stay
If you are on a tight budget, check out Mirador Building or Chungking Mansion in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). Aside from being cheap, accommodations in Tsim Sha Tsui is conveniently located near the MTR station and some famous attractions like the Avenue of Stars and Promenade for the Symphony of Lights.
We booked our hotel in Best Western Plus Hotel Hong Kong. I was able to get a very good deal for only Php12,500 for 3nights of Two Deluxe Twin Room – thats only Php2,083 per room per night.
Check the booking site below to find the best deals.
📌Hong Kong currency is HK Dollar (HKD). Exchange rate is 1 HKD = ~Php6.6. You can buy HKD in some Philippine Banks or you can also exchange your peso in many money changer center in Tsim Sha Tsui.
📌Macau currency is called Macanese Pataca (MOP). 1 MOP = ~Php6.4. You can use you HKD in Macau but MOP cannot be use in Hong Kong.
4 Days Suggested Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival and Victoria Peak
You can have a half day itinerary for today.
📌Depart Manila early morning. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines has early morning flight. Check here how to grab CHEAP FLGHTS and SEAT SALE.
📌Arrival in Hong Kong International Airport
📌Take Bus A21 for the cheapest transfer option from airport to TST (Kowloon) or A12 to Hong Kong Island. Fare is about Php250
📌If you cannot check in early, leave your luggage and stroll around your hotel. Have some brunch. Head back to hotel to freshen up para sa picture.
📌Visit The Peak or Victoria Peak for and experience the steep ride using the Peak Tram.
📌You can get discounted Peak Tram and attraction tickets in Klook. Just take note that the one offered in Klook is not a “fully guided tour”. Buying in Klook just gives you a little extra convenience instead of falling in line to get a ticket which sometimes very long.
📌The Peak is accessible by MTR Central Station, a little walk is required from J2 exit to tram station. If you purchase from Klook, there will be a guide waiting for you. Otherwise, you can use Google Maps from J2 Exit to Peak Tram. Its only about 500m from the station exit.
📌Enjoy the peak overlooking Hongkong. Just take note that fog on winter season can ruin the view 😁.
📌Several attractions are available in The Peak like Madame Tussaud’s. A combo ticket is also available in Klook.
📌After you explore and enjoy the Victoria Peak, you can go back again sa HK central. Along the way to MTR station you can have a quick stop in St. John’s Cathedral.
📌From Central Station, take the Red Line of MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui. From TST walk south going to the Avenue of Stars and watch Symphony of Lights (free lang sya)
📌Another option is to stroll along Nathan Road, people watching or shopping in Temple Street Night Market. Night Market is accessible thru Jordan MTR station, just one station after TST.
📌For your dinner option, there are several restaurants as well as street food in night market.
📌If you are staying in Hong Kong Island, don’t forget to try their traditional tramway or Ding Ding.
💵BUDGET for Day 1 (Php2500)
✏️MTR fare using Octopus Card for a day (fare is based from Tsim Sha Tsui TST) Php200
✏️Food depends on gaano tayo katakaw, 😂, a good budget meal is around Php300
(Peak Tram is currently undergoing maintenance and expected to resume after July 2019)
Day 2 Ocean Park
📌If you really love theme park, don’t miss the chance to visit Ocean Park.
📌Hong Kong Ocean Park is not just about big aquarium and marine life. They have cable cars and exciting extreme rides.It is open between 10:00am to 7:00pm
📌The park is easily accessible by South Island Line of MTR from Admiralty Station. So grab that MTR map and check your way to Admiralty station from your hotel.
📌Purchase your discounted voucher in Klook. The voucher in Klook has to be printed to claim your actual ticket in the entrance of the park.
📌I suggest to avail the Admission Ticket + Meal Combo. The combo is available in Klook as well. It will definitely give you discount on your lunch.
📌The Admission Ticket is already your “ride all you can” ticket. Just want to note this one as others are sometimes confuse if they still need to have another ticket to use the rides inside the park, however, arcade games are not included.
📌FasTrack ticket is also available but has to be purchased separately (almost the same price of one Admission ticket, P2500.00)
📌Ocean Park is divided into two major area – The Waterfront and The Summit. Cable car and train can be used to transfer between these attractions.
📌You can easily spend your one whole day (recommended) exploring the park.
📌Toddlers under 3yrs old are free.
📌If you want to experience more rides, go directly to The Summit while others are still busy exploring The waterfront to avoid the lines. Then you can visit other attractions afterwards which usually has shorter lines compared to rides.
💵BUDGET for Day 2, Php3700
✏️MTR Fare Php200
✏️Food, breakfast and dinner, Php 500. You can save more if you just buy some cup noodles for your breakfast and dinner (tipid mode budgetarian style 😂)
Day 3 Disneyland
📌Visit the Happiest Place on earth. Bring out the inner kid in you. Masarap magbalik sa pagkabata
📌The park is reachable by MTR (Yellow Line). Drop off at Sunny Bay station then transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line. This is the train that has Mickey Mouse design. Picture picture na for the gram
📌If you just want to have a picture in the Disneyland Welcome Arch, you can do it for FREE. The arc is just right outside the train station, you still don’t need a ticket to get a picture with the arch.😂
📌There are 7 dream lands in the park, (1) Adventureland, (2)Grizzly Gulch, (3) Mystic Point, (4)Toy Story Land, (5)Fantasyland, (6) Tomorrowland and (7) Main Street, U.S.A. So don’t forget to get that park map, it will help you a lot.
📌Budgetarian tip, magdala ng skyfkakes or some tinapay pang pawi ng gutom, ang mahal ng food sa loob. Bawal po ang food sa loob pero pwede mo naman maisiksik ung konting tinapay or skyflakes sa bag 😂
📌Character Greetings, don’t miss the chance to get a picture with your favorite Disney characters. Surely MickeyMouse will always get the longest line, but there are other chracters that has shorter lines like Chipmunks, TinkerBell, and Disney Princess. Download Disneyland App to help you find the character whereabouts.
📌Shows and Parades, get those printed schedules and plan ahead once you enter the park, para matantya mo ang oras mo at kung aling mga shows ang papanoorin mo – we really enjoyed The Lion King.
📌Do some advance search about the rides you want to experience soyou can also planned ahead and maximize your time when you are already in the park. Visit the official website of Hongkong Disneyland.
📌The park is open from 10:30am to 8:30pm. Stay late to witness the Disney Paint the Night Parade
💵BUDGET for Day 3, Php5,500
✏️MTR fare roundtrip, Php275
✏️Food, kung may baon kayo tinapaybor skyflakes, makatipid ka ng meryenda, take note nakakapagod maglakad magahapon ha. Need mo talaga meryenda😂. So lunch na lang sa loob ng disney which priced on average of Php1000 per meal with drinks. Your dinner sa fastfood na lang paglabas or cup noodles ulit 😂
Day 4 Macau and departure
📌If you want to visit Macau, try to book your airfare as Manila-Hongkong, Macau-Manila. this will save you travel time going back to Hong Kong.
📌The same with Hong Kong, Filipino nationals do not need visa to enter Macau. You can now reach Macau thru bus or ferry. For cheap discounted ferry ticket check here.
📌Travel time is about 1hr between HK and Macau by ferry. Ferry terminal in Hong Kong is in Sheung Wan Station of Blue Line.
📌Bus fare is cheaper than ferry. But you need to remember also that bus terminal to the bridge is located in the island of Lantau, if you are staying in Kowloon or Tsim Sha Tsui, taking ferry is still the faster way going to Macau or vice versa. Also, bus requires at least 2 transfer to reach Macau.
📌If you take the bus, drop off are in some casinos like Venetian or Sands. On the other hand, if you took ferry, you still need to take FREE shuttle bus to reach the Taipa Island where Venetian and Parisian Macau is located.
📌If you arrive in Macau Ferry Terminal, you can first visit Senado Square and proceed to the Ruins of St, Paul as it is located on the same island.
📌Some casinos accept hold luggage for free like Venetian Macau when you need to store your big luggage before exploring the city. Otherwise, there is also a pay luggage in the pier.
📌Try your luck in some slot machine. If you want some souvenir, you can also ask for a free casino card with you name printed.
📌Places to visit and things to do for a day.
✏️Ruins of St. Paul – enjoy the free taste on the way to ruins
✏️Casino Hopping – The Venetian Macau, Parisian Macau.
💵BUDGET for Day 4, Php 2,200
✏️MTR fare to ferry terminal, Php65
✏️HK Macau Ferry, Php1100
✏️Food budget – it is safe to allot Php1000 so not to deprived you from eating. But still it depends on your appetite.
Note: The following were not included in above summary of expenses as it varies from person to person
1. Hotel accommodation prices depends on your preference.
2. Air ticket also varies – either you get a good seat sale price or not.
3. Food are just approximate amount only based on regular budget meals.