Travel

DIY Macau & Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the country that you can visit for 14 days with no visa required. A 2-hour flight from Manila. If you’re wishing to experience the best DIY Hong Kong tour that includes Macau, HK Disneyland and Ocean Park in just one trip, let me share my Hong Kong trip with my family.

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         AIRFARE          

Avail promos and book your flight early, mine was 9 months before the travel date. You can save up to 50% on the actual airfare on your travel date. If your planning to go to Macau while in Hong Kong, I have the best suggestion for you. Book a flight to Macau and then take a return flight from Hong Kong or vice versa. Go directly to Macau and tour for a day, then, take a ferry at night going to Hong Kong and do the rest of your itinerary. The best schedule flight for the trip is an early flight (around 7am) from Manila to Macau and late flight (around 7pm) from Hong Kong to Manila. For Macau to Hong Kong, just buy your ticket on the terminal, ticket outlet (The Venetian) or through online.

Difference of one way trip to Macau and return flight from HK, and MNL – HK roundtrip with Macau roundtrip.

airfare

  • Airfares are subject to change. Depends on the month of booking or promos.
  • Try a PISO fare or try to book at the end of summer for more cheaper airfares.
  • Choose an airlines that offers low airfare.

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HOTEL AND ACCOMMODATION

For Macau trip, of course, you don’t need a hotel for a 1 day tour. But since our flight schedule in Macau was rescheduled at 5:35pm which is supposed to be 8:40am, we had to book for a hotel and have an overnight stay in Macau. This kind of instances may happen in your trip, so be sure to have a plan B. But this is an option only.

macau hotel

hong kong hotel

tripadvisor.com
Forgot to take pictures of the inn but here’s the exact look.
expedia.com.ph
Photos grabbed from Trip Advisor and Expedia

Be wise enough on finding your hotel, you must consider your vicinity. Like what I did, I chose an inn/hotel that is nearby the mtr/bus stop, beside a convenience store and with a walking distance tourist spots. I highly recommend these two inn/hotel in Macau and Hong Kong. They’re also the cheapest inn/hotel I found in booking.com and Agoda. Always book your accommodation 1 month before your travel date to avail lower prices. There’s a lot of affordable inn that offers a comfortable accommodation that you can choose rather than a hotel, it will surely save you money.

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ITINERARY

Day 1: MACAU

(Macau Peninsula): Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul, Igreja da Se Catedral, The Grand Lisboa, Macau Tower; (Taipa): City of Dreams, The Venetian, Grand Canal, The Parisian

Start your day tour from the Historic Centre of Macau; Macau Peninsula (Northern part of Macau) which are the Senado Square, Holy House of Mercy, St. Dominic Church, Ruins of St. Paul, Igreja da Se Catedral, The Grand Lisboa, Macau Tower. Ride a bus from airport going to Senado Square. Those tourist spots are walking distance only. You can explore the historic places in Macau without spending too much on bus fares.

Since my dad and I stayed for overnight, we started our morning walk at 6am. While on our way to Senado square,w found a Filipino store beside our hotel. It’s good to know that some of OFW’s can still feel and taste some Filipino foods. Good thing on an early walk, we got the chance to take pictures without too much tourists.

After the tour in historic places, ride a bus going to Macau Tower for sightseeing from a 388 meters in height or 63 floors tower. There’s activities to try like bungee jumping, sky walk and others.

One of the highlight in my Macau Tour because I really wanted to go there because of bungee jumping. It’s too sad that I didn’t tried it because it’s too costly, but at least I still experienced to see bungee jumping and also the view from the top. 

After your half day tour on the northern part, you can ride a shuttle bus going to a casino for free. Most of the attractions in Taipa is casino. You can take your lunch there, play casino or just do a casino hopping and have some picture taking.

We already bought our ferry tickets from The Venetian outlet instead of buying in the terminal because I was thinking that there might be a long queue line. Remember to buy a late night schedule, you’ll also be able to see the mesmerizing lights of casinos at night. Too bad, I forgot to take some pictures of it. Then, just ride a free shuttle bus going to ferry terminal.

That’s how we did our 1 day tour in Macau and next is, Hong Kong trip!

We arrived in Hong Kong around 7pm, we walked from ferry terminal to our inn (Hao’s inn) because it’s also a walking distance. And since we were too tired from our day tour in Macau, we chose to buy our dinner at 7 Eleven which is nearby our inn.

Day 2: Hong Kong- AVENUE OF STARS and OCEAN PARK

Do a morning walk in Avenue of Stars. It’s just a walking distance from Hao’s Inn.

We took our breakfast and bought our Ocean Park admission ticket in 7 Eleven at 6am and had a morning walk going to The Avenue of Stars along Victoria Harbour. It’s good to start your day early because the morning breeze are so refreshing. We had some picture taking of the views and attractions, then, headed back to our inn which is near to Tsim Sha Tsui Station. 

IMG_2571

After Avenue of Stars, ride an MTR going to Ocean Park using an Octopus card, a re-loadable card use for transportation, convenience store and other restaurants. Spend and enjoy your whole day in Ocean Park, it’s open from 9am to 6pm.

DIRECTIONS:

 From Tsim Sha Tsui -> Admiralty (switch to another station: go to South Island Line) -> Ocean Park

ocean park

When we arrived in Ocean Park, I realized that I had a great decision on buying tickets ahead of time because they were celebrating their 40th Anniversary and a lot of people visited that day. We were able to prevent the long queue line on the ticket booth. Ocean Park is really a big amusement park and you can’t finish it in a day. I was challenged on how will I ride and see everything in just a day without missing any extreme rides and attractions. So what I did is, I only picked those I want to try. I ignored that are mostly for kids, then, I started from the other part of it (because it’s like divided into two part which you have to ride a train inside the Ocean Park going to other side) going back to the entrance. My favorite rides are the extreme sides which are The Hair Raiser, The Dragon and The Abyss; and for the attraction is the Panda Village. We finished it around 4 or 5pm, it was very tiring but all worth it.

 After Ocean Park, we headed to airport to fetch Tita Angie to join us in our Hong Kong tour. We took our Hong Kong style dinner with her friends for free. Hihi. Thanks to them.

 Day 3: Hong Kong- DISNEYLAND and MONG KOK

Prepare yourself for a whole day in Hong Kong Disneyland. Wake up early and eat your breakfast before going to Disneyland resort. Expect for a crowded theme park and be there as early as you can for your admission ticket.

DIRECTIONS:

From Tsim Sha Tsui -> Central (switch to another station: go to Tung Chung Line) -> Sunny bay -> Disneyland Resort

disneyland

NOTE: Be careful on switching to another station in Central because you might ride a different line which is going to Airport/AsiaWorld-Expo.

We arrived at 9am. Since it’s too early, we got the chance to take some photos in front of Disneyland and then afterwards, we bought our admission ticket.

HK Disneyland is also a two-day tour. Like what I did in Ocean Park, I only picked those rides and attractions that fits on my age and taste. And then, we started from the left side of Disneyland going to the right side until we the middle part or front of the castle for Light Parade at night. I chose to start at the left side, because most people start/goes at the right side of the park which is an advantage to whoever goes on the left side because it prevents long queue on the rides/attractions and less crowded. As the result, we finished it around 5pm, we took our snacks and waited for the Light Show parade and fireworks display. It was indeed an unforgettable day in my HK trip.

 After our Disneyland, we went to Mong Kok for night market and for souvenirs.

 DIRECTIONS:

 From Tsim Sha Tsui -> Mong Kok (3 stations from Tsim Sha Tsui)

Mong Kok

 Day 4: Free day! (MONG KOK)

Our last day in Hong Kong. I didn’t plan anything on that day because I have to meet a friend and also, our flight is at 7pm (need to be there 2 hours early).

 I met Ate Rose, a friend of mine. We had chitchats, took our lunch (her treat! hehe. Thank you!) and went to Mong Kok to buy some souvenirs again. Time is too short for our bonding but It was a fun meet up.

Alternative Itinerary: You can visit Victoria Peak / The Peak Tower, you’ll see at the top is the breathtaking view of Hong Kong. It’s also where the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong or the wax museum located, entrance fee is around HK$335 or Php 2,345 (Madame Tussauds + Peak Tram Return + Sky Terrace). Or visit Lantau Island/Ngong Ping 360, you can try their cable car (HK$185 or Php 1,2950) and visit the Big Buddha and Tai O. Or you can go anywhere else you want, just search on the net.

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EXPENSES (per day)

day 1 expensesday 2 expensesday 3 expensesday 4 expenses

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SUGGESTED ITINERARY & BUDGET

itinerary

Estimated expenses

  • If you have a lower budget, you can reduce your expenses by choosing between HK Disneyland and Ocean Park, then, just change it with City tour.
  • Expenses on your free day or for you souvenirs is always depends on you. Be thrifty on spending your money.

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TIPS

  1. Make an itinerary. List down the places that you really want to go and just add up some suggestion places that you want to visit if you still have time. Because you might end up, haven’t visited any place in Macau/Hong Kong.
  2. Light travel. Just bring the things you need. Back pack is enough especially in Macau Tour since you don’t have hotel or place to leave your things. And of course, you don’t want to do a walk trip with your luggage.
  3. Prepare your money/coins for exact bus fares (MACAU). Their buses don’t give change for large amount of bills. They have a box for exact fares or tap cards in front of the bus’ door. Another experience on the bus, when we arrived in Macau and we have to ride a bus going to our hotel, we didn’t know about exact fares. Luckily, there’s some Pinoy that I could ask for exchange of bills to coins but instead they gave us MOP 10 coins for the bus fare.
  4. Be aware of different bus type/number and bus stop (MACAU). You might get lost somewhere if your not aware of their bus numbers. Also, know your bus stop because they won’t tell you if you have to get off already. Make sure to search your directions and map on the net especially if it’s a DIY trip. ‘Cause you’ll really have a hard time on talking with the driver or other Chinese people since most of them are not good in English and they won’t really help you. (But I have nothing against them, just based on my experience. Hehe)
  5. Exchange your money depends on how much you need (MACAU). HKD is a high value than MOP, don’t waste your money on exchanging it again from MOP to HKD. And also, Hong Kong don’t use MOP unlike in Macau some of stores/buses accepts HKD.
  6. Buy a late schedule of ferry tickets (MACAU). We bought a 7pm schedule going to Hong Kong but since we finished our tour around 4pm, we decided to go to terminal early. Good thing, they allow to ride the ferry earlier than the scheduled time as long as there’s available seats. Be sure to arrive before or on time because they don’t accept late comers, you need to pay for another ticket.
  7. Buy an Octopus Card (HONG KONG). It’s a prepaid tap-and-go card that can use for payment in any transportation like MTR and buses. It can also use to pay in some vending machine, 7 Eleven and some stores/restaurants. I highly suggest to have this while you’re in HK because it’s very convenient. You can buy it for HK$150 (HK$100 initial stored value and HK$50 for refundable deposit when you return it.)
  8. Buy your theme park admission ticket ahead of time. It helps you to avoid long queue line in the ticket booth. For Ocean Park, you can buy your ticket in the main entrance, 7 Eleven or online. For Disneyland Resort, you can buy in the main entrance or through online.
  9. Be familiarize with MTR stations and exits (HONG KONG). You might get lost if you won’t be aware with their stations and different exits.
  10. Plan for your theme park adventure. Disneyland Resort and Ocean Park is a huge amusement park and I know you can’t finish all the rides and attractions within a day. I suggest to plan and choose what rides and attractions you want to try and see. Just pick what you want to try and what suits you. Also, it won’t waste your time on walking, thinking and waiting for long queue lines in some uninteresting rides.
  11. Eat or buy your food before lunch. I’m 100% sure that you won’t find any place for lunch if you chose to eat around 12nn to 1pm. Be sure to grab your lunch early because I know you don’t want to do your whole day trip to Ocean Park or Disneyland without taking lunch like what happened to us.
  12. Pick a travel date depends on the month/season. You must know when you’ll be planning to do your tour because promos varies depends on the month/season.

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It’s been 4 months since I traveled Macau and Hong Kong with my dad and his girlfriend for my birthday celebration. Our 4 days and 4 nights trip in Macau and Hong Kong was full of amazing and unforgettable experience. I can’t even imagine how I was able to plan all those things by myself. I chose a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trip because it’s a customized tour, you can’t find a tour that includes Macau, Ocean Park and HK Disneyland in one package or if there is, it’s too costly. And also, I want to handle my own time. Which I can start my tour anywhere and anytime unlike in a package tour, they do follow the itinerary and the scheduled time. But of course, choosing a DIY trip is a lot of responsibility. You have to make plans and prepare for the trip. It’s challenging but it’s fun because i really like doing such things.

It wasn’t a perfect trip but it was really a great experience. And the fact that it was my first time to travel with my dad. A big thanks to him for a wonderful birthday gift. Also, I really appreciate his effort for joining me with my adventure despite of a lot of walks.

I hope you enjoyed reading and learned something from my experience!

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THANK YOU FOR READING!

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More photos:

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January 24 – 28, 2017

M A C A U | H O N G K O N G

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