Hong Kong is one of the most favorite nearby Asian countries that Filipinos love to visit for their first - time to travel abroad. There are a lot of factors but the two most I can totally relate is that it's only 2 hours away and it's a family - friendly destination. Well, hello Hong Kong Disneyland! Filipinos are entitled to a 14 - day tourist visa free access so as long as your pocket can afford the high standard of living i.e. dining and decent place to stay in Hong Kong, you'll be fine in the world's most densely populated country.
I traveled solo in Hong Kong for 4 days and 3 nights last March. I bought a Hong Kong - Macau tour package from DLC Backpackers because I had no time to prepare for my trip that includes accommodation. My flight was courtesy of Cathay Pacific Instagram contest where I won but I still paid Php 3,500+ for additional fees when I redeemed it. It was actually a total of Php 7,500+ cash I gave because it was 2 roundtrip ticket for me and Mom who wasn't able to join me.
If you're looking for a cheap hotel to stay in Hong Kong, check my review HERE of Apple Inn at Nathan Road, Mongkok.
For me, Hong Kong is a slice of Japan, Taiwan China and South Korea. It also reminds me of Singapore which is another favorite destination of Filipinos for leisure and work. It's an ultra modern metropolis that gives you that working vibe all the time. The towering skyscrapers, countless dai pa dong's (street side restaurant) and double - decker busses in Hong Kong make this country a must - see any time in a year.
Here is a list of tourist spots in Hong Kong. I will post a separate travel guide to Macau soon. Ideally you need 3 days minimum to absorb that Hong Kong spirit in you and 1 day in Macau.
1. FREE things to do in Hong Kong
Watch Symphony of Lights every 8pm from the Avenue of the Stars, visit public museums every Wednesdays such as Hong Kong Heritage Museumand watch locals practice Tai Chi early morning at Victoria Park
2. Go clubbing at Sky100 Bar
Sky100 is the world's tallest skyscraper with 100 floors. You got two options to do here. You can go by daytime at the 100th floor observation deck for the view with entrance fee of HKD 168. By night, the Sky100 Bar opens with no entrance fee but you'll be out of place if you don't order any. I heard that the guard may ask anyone to leave if you have no drinks in hand. The food, alcohol and beverage at Sky100 is freakin expensive.
3. Crossing the harbor via Star Ferry
I did not see anything spectacular while crossing the Victoria Harbour via ferry for a 15 minute ride. However, it seems that this is always included in many guides about traveling to Hong Kong so that's why it is in my list. I see this as a necessity if you really have to cross from Point A to Point B of Victoria Harbour. It's only HKD 2.50 for a one - way ride so why not.
4. Dining at Tim Ho Wan Restaurant
You'll find the cheapest Michelin star in Hong Kong, the Tim Ho Wan. Must - eat of Hong Kong dishes are dim sum (breakfast staple), har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork & shrimp dumplings), char siu bao (barbecue pork bun) and cheung fun (rice rolls).
5. Eat with the locals at a cha chaan teng (Hong Kong style diner)
Hong Kong for me is a food paradise. I can stay here and just eat, eat and eat! A simple congee, beef brisket and siu mei (roast meat with rice or noodles are heaven to me already! I am forever spell - inflicted of their ramen slash noodles and their freshly brewed iced teas. The egg tarts I bought at the Victoria Harbour terminal really taste so nice!
6. Shop at night markets
What's traveling without bringing a piece of it back home? While I'm not the type who buys a lot of pasalubong because I hate bringing a heavy bag, Hong Kong has one of the most eye - candy night markets in the world. You have to keep an eye of your spending because there's too much to buy in Hong Kong. Mongkok is the best spot for night markets. Ladies' Market is very popular from selling, the cheapest signature keychain to some nice jewelry. Head to Temple Street for quirky food, sex toys and posh bags.
7. Climbing the Peak
The highest peak in Hong Kong is called The Peak. You can reach it by riding on a the Peak Tram, a century - old funicular. It costs quite expensive to ride in the Peak Tram compared to ordinary trams There is no aircon, the pace is slow but you're on a historical relic that offers a priceless view of Hong Kong. If you wanna walk leisurely, you can drop by at the Peak Circle Walk.
8. See a bit of nature
Hong Kong is often portrayed by its tall buildings. I even thought HK is made entirely of these! Hong Kong actually is made of many islands and islets after all. There are numerous guided treks you can join at the Dragon's Back and Lantau Peak from short treks to remote excursions. Repulse Bay is a popular beach shore to people - watch. Shek O and Big Wave Bay are for surfers. If you are looking for rocky coasts check Cheung Chau's. For white sands, Lantau island is the place to be.
9. Learn Hong Kong's Heritage
Hong Kong has one of the best preserved historical representations of their origin. There are free heritage tours that Hong Kong offers, just get in touch with the official tourism body. Across the city itself, you can trace HK's East-West history. More heritage trails can be seen in the New Territories and Tai Fu Tai mansion. The best time to go there is midday, it's when the Noon Day Gun is fired. Check out the remnants of the British architecture, the Old Supreme Court and the historic Clock tower. If you still have time, find these walled villages that are still inhabited built centuries ago.
Although I mentioned about HK's Disneyland at the start, I actually did not went there. I think it would be too lonely to go to the happiest place in the world when, you're solo. Plus I am more of a heritage buff and now a foodie than someone who spends time at theme parks.
I find Hong Kong an expensive country. Getting, an Octopus card saved me quite a bit and time from getting around via public transportation. You can buy it for HKD 150 with a deposit of HKD 50 if you didn't consumed it all. I got my crispy Hong Kong 50 dollar back and happily used it for my last meal in the airport while waiting for my flight back to Manila.
Note that I did not put a time table to my DIY itinerary to Hong Kong because time consumed in each of these places vary. I mean I can spend roughly an hour here but to others it can be longer or shorter. I also would like to credit the official handbook, Discover Hong Kong : A Traveller's Guide for a few tips I included in the list. This is given to travelers and tourists who drop by at the Tourism office of Hong Kong inside the airport. You can visit here the official Facebook Fan Page of Hong Kong Tourism Board. They offer a lot of big discounts you can use when you are there and contests with an all - expense paid trip to Hong Kong.