DIY Hong Kong Travel (Guide + Budget + Itinerary)
I visited Hong Kong with my Family in December and we did a DIY during our travel. It is an ideal destination for those who want to experience the best of East and West. While it can be an expensive destination, there are plenty of ways to explore the city on a budget. In this DIY travel guide, we’ll show you how to experience all that Hong Kong has to offer without breaking the bank.
With its modern metropolis with stunning skyscrapers, bustling shopping districts, and vibrant nightlife. The city offers a range of attractions, from world-class museums and art galleries to beautiful parks and gardens. Its cuisine is diverse, with a wide selection of local dishes, from street food to high-end restaurants. The city also has convenient and modern transportation, you can explore the entire city in a short amount of time. The city is full of unique experiences, from historic temples to modern shopping malls.
As a Filipino, you won’t feel lonely since there is a large Filipino community.
When to Visit Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate, with four distinct seasons.
- Spring: (March to May) is a great time to visit if you want to see Hong Kong’s famous cherry blossoms, which bloom in late March and April. The weather is mild and comfortable, making it a great time to explore the city’s parks and outdoor attractions.
- Summer: (June to August) is hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching above 30 degrees Celsius. This is the peak tourist season, so expect crowded streets and high prices for accommodations. However, it’s also a great time to enjoy Hong Kong’s beaches and swimming pools.
- Autumn: (September to November) is a pleasant time to visit, with mild weather and clear skies. The fall foliage in the countryside is beautiful and it’s a great time to go hiking in the hills.
- Winter: (December to February) is cool and dry, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. This is the least crowded time to visit, making it a great time to enjoy the city’s attractions without the crowds.
How to get to Hong Kong?
On average, a round-trip economy class ticket can cost anywhere from PHP 6,000 – PHP 12,000 or more, but it can be higher or lower depending on the season.
The flight time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Do you need Visa in Hong Kong?
Philippine passport holders can stay in Hong Kong for up to 14 days.
Money Exchange in Hong Kong
The currency in Hong Kong is called Hong Kong Dollars or HKD.
1 HKD is usually around 7 PHP.
If you have been reading my previous travels, I often recommend just finding an ATM and withdrawing right there. Banks still have the best rate.
If you are withdrawing, make sure it is enough so you won’t have to pay the withdrawal fee every single time. It is usually around 200-300 PHP. This beats the hassle of exchanging your Peso to HKD.
Must-Haves in Hong Kong
It is a reusable smart card that can be used on the MTR and other forms of public transportation, as well as at many shops and restaurants.
Sim Card + Data
Although Hong Kong has numerous wifi spots, it is still important to have a reliable connection on your journey.
Hong Kong primarily uses type G electrical sockets, which are three-pin, square-shaped sockets that are compatible with UK-style plugs. These sockets typically supply electricity at 220-240 volts and 50Hz.
How to get around Hong Kong?
For those who prefer to explore the city on foot, there are plenty of pedestrian pathways, walking trails, and public parks. But if you need to go from point A to B, there are plenty of options out there.
The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the most popular way to get around as it is convenient, fast, affordable, and can take you to any part of the city.
You can purchase a Single Journey Ticket from the Customer Assistant booths but it is more convenient to get the Octopus Card.
There are plenty of bus stops in Hong Kong. The route varies so make sure you check your destination’s bus routes before hopping into one.
Taxi or Uber
Taxis in Hong Kong are metered and reasonably priced. I personally took one from Airport to my guestroom in Tsim Shah Tsui (TST).
Where to stay in Hong Kong?
While Hong Kong is known for its luxury hotels, there are also plenty of budget-friendly options available. Hostels and guesthouses are great options for those looking to save money on lodging and they can cost around HKD 200- HKD 500 per night.
Here are some popular areas to consider:
- Central: This is the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district and home to many luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, and designer shops. It’s also a great location for those who want to be close to the city’s main business and shopping areas.
- Tsim Sha Tsui: This is a popular tourist area known for its museums, the Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the famous Victoria Harbour waterfront. It’s also home to many luxury hotels, budget-friendly guesthouses, and hostels. I personally stayed in TST due to the proximity to many shopping malls, Victoria Harbor, and Avenue of the Stars.
- Causeway Bay: This is a busy shopping and entertainment district known for its high-end department stores, fashion boutiques, and restaurants. It’s a great location for those who want to be close to the city’s main shopping areas.
- Mong Kok: This is a densely populated area known for its street markets, street food, and its local atmosphere. It’s a great location for budget-conscious travelers looking for a more local experience.
- Hong Kong Island: This is the main island of Hong Kong and home to many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions such as the Victoria Peak and the The Peak Tower. It’s also a great location for those who want to be close to the city’s main business and shopping areas.
- Kowloon: This is the peninsula across Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong Island, it’s the most densely populated area of Hong Kong and home to many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions such as the Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery.
What to visit in Hong Kong?
One of the best ways to experience the city is by taking a walk along the Victoria Harbour waterfront, where you can take in the stunning views of the city’s skyline. You can see the famous “Symphony of Lights” light show at night.
Avenue of Stars
The Hong Kong Museum of Art
See a diverse collection of Chinese art and artifacts from the ancient to the contemporary.
The Cheesecake Factory
This is the only place in Asia with a Cheesecake Factory branch. Definitely a must-try.
The Cheesecake Factory in Tsim Sha Tsui
The Peak is another must-see destination, offering panoramic views of the city. The Hong Kong Museum of History is another great option, with free admission on Wednesdays.
The best way to get there is through the Peak Tram is a funicular railway that runs between the Central District and Victoria Peak. The journey takes around 8 minutes. A single journey ticket costs HKD 88 and a round-trip ticket costs HKD 108.
Hong Kong is also known for its shopping, and there are plenty of ways to save money while still getting a taste of the city’s famous retail scene. The ladies market in Mong Kok is a great place to start, offering a wide variety of clothing, accessories, and souvenirs at low prices. Other popular shopping destinations include the Temple Street Night Market and the Stanley Market.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is located on Lantau Island. Visit the city’s popular theme park and experience a world of Disney magic.
For adult ticket prices, it is around HKD 619 for a one-day ticket, and for children and seniors, it is around HKD 475. However, during peak seasons, such as holidays, ticket prices may be higher.
Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) on Lantau Island
Take a cable car to Lantau Island to see this massive bronze Buddha statue and explore the nearby Po Lin Monastery.
Ocean Park, Hong Kong is a popular marine life and theme park located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. The park features a wide range of attractions, including roller coasters, animal exhibits, and aquariums, making it a great destination for visitors of all ages.
For adult ticket prices, it is around HKD 488 for a one-day ticket, and for children and senior, it is around HKD 244. To purchase tickets, you can do it online or at the park’s ticket booths on the day of your visit. Or you can reserve a ticket from KLOOK here!
DIY Travel Tips in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong can be quite expensive by Southeast Asian standards but traveling on a budget is definitely possible.
- Meals in Hong Kong are more expensive compared to our country and neighboring countries. But the good news is, their servings are huge and worth it.
- The language barrier can be difficult. People in Hong Kong mainly speak Cantonese and not all of them speak English. I would recommend downloading a translator app and preparing commonly used phrases.
- An alternative option is befriending a Pinoy worker/resident there who can help! There are a lot of them out there.
A ticket from Manila to Hong Kong can cost up to PHP 6,000 – PHP 12,000
Approximately HKD 200- HKD 500 per night.
The cost of food in Hong Kong can vary greatly depending on where you choose to eat and what you order. Eating on a budget is definitely possible in Hong Kong, as there are many options for budget-friendly meals out there.
Prices for street food can range from HKD 15 to HKD 50 depending on the dish. In cafes and restaurants, it can cost up to HKD 50 to HKD 100 per dish.
Cheap Michelin Star Food can be found here. I absolutely love the Pan-fried Buns from this place.
- Hong Kong Disneyland: Php 4200 for adults and can be Php 5,000 or higher during peak days
- Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car: Php 1200/pax
- Ocean Park: Php 3500 for adults or higher during peak days
- Victoria Peak: HKD 108 for a roundtrip ticket on the Victoria Peak Tram.