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The PEX Guide to HONG KONG [PLEASE READ PAGE 1 BEFORE ASKING]

commonercommoner Honorary Member ✭✭✭
Before anything else, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the countless Hong Kong-related threads by either asking or providing information and trip reports. I learned a lot from them.

A warm You're Welcome to everyone who have been helped by this thread and thanked me for it.

This will probably the last time I will be opening a Hong Kong thread here in PEX mainly due to the following reasons:
1. Declining numbers of members here in this forum.
2. A lot of Pinoys have already went to HK and are now looking elsewhere to travel. The thread has seen a steep decline in viewership and replies.
3. Capability of this final thread to stand on its own feet now more than ever.

For the first time travelers abroad, Hong Kong is still the best place to choose, specially during their winter season.

To make life easier for me, I will no longer include old information found in the previous thread. I will just post new ones and expound (even more) on items which seem to be still not clear enough.


:alarm: __________ :alarm:

BEFORE PROCEEDING, PLEASE READ THE PREVIOUS GUIDE HERE:

http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712719

THE GUIDE BELOW IS JUST AN UPDATE/BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE ORIGINAL COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE IN THE LINK ABOVE.

PLEASE READ THE ORIGINAL GUIDE BEFORE THE UPDATES FOUND BELOW.

:alarm: __________ :alarm:


  1. BEFORE READING THE THINGS BELOW, PLEASE READ THE PREVIOUS GUIDE HERE: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712719

  2. WEATHER

    Most Accurate Source: www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/currwx/fnd.htm

    Above 25 Degrees: Summer Clothes
    Above 20 Degrees: Longsleeves or Light Jackets
    Above 15 Degrees: Light Jackets or Jackets

  3. CURRENCY EXCHANGE

    The PHP10,000 limit per person for Filipinos traveling abroad has been increased to PHP50,000 each so you can now easily change your money in Hong Kong for favorable rates. For those who have USD, you can also bring USD since maganda din ang rate ng USD doon.

    Because you will need HKD for your Octopus Cards, food, SIM or tickets assuming you will buy from the CTS in the airport, it's best to bring at least a few hundred HKD with you. Madami namang reputable money changers like Sanry's and Czarina or pwede din sa BDO. Then change the rest of your money in Mirador Mansion or Chungking Mansion in Tsim Sha Tsui. Just canvass which one has the best rate. I always use Best Money Exchange inside Mirador.

  4. TOURS

    Packaged tours to Hong Kong should be like dinosaurs, they need to be extinct. They are cheap because they waste half of your Disneyland day with a compulsory "city tour" and they let you stay in either really cheap hotels or hotels which are located in the middle of nowhere like Rambler Garden and Rambler Oasis.

  5. ACCOMMODATION

    Besides the list of recommended hostels and hotels found in the previous thread, you can easily choose among new ones not found in the list. All you have to do is check the rating and reviews from booking websites like Booking.com, Agoda.com, Expedia.com and Tripadvisor.com. If it fits your budget and the reviews are OK, then go ahead, book it! As much as possible stay away from Chungking Mansion since there are now tons of choices for Tsim Sha Tsui.

    Para sa mga tight budget pero maselan sa accommodation, consider Just Inn and Just As Inn.

    For those booking with Airbnb.com, please keep in mind you probably need to find lockers on your first and/or last day because unlike hotels and hostels, they don't have an area for you to leave your stuff while you roam the city before or after your check-in or check-out time. I recommend big groups to book with Airbnb to save on accommodation costs.

  6. TRANSPORTATION AND OCTOPUS CARD

    Hindi sulit yung Airport Express Travel Pass so just get the Octopus Card. For a 3-4 day stay, an initial cash out of 150-200HKD (100-150 usable load) should be enough. Kung nagkulang just use the reloading machine inside MTR stations or reload through convenience stores.

    Besides the airport, Stanley and Ocean Park, your best option will the the subway -- The MTR. You can use Google Maps Directions, the MTR website's journey planner or various mobile apps to learn how to use the subway system. Sobrang dali lang ng subway ng Hong Kong because signs are everywhere.

  7. DISCOUNTED TICKETS

    For those who have credit cards, you can book almost everything at Klook.com, prepaid SIM cards and Pocket WiFi included. Their best product is the express lane for the Peak Tram where you get to skip the line at designated times.

    Golden Crown Guesthouse naman ang primary option for those paying in cash. You don't have to be their guest to buy from them pero kung marami kayong bibilhin it will be better to contact them through e-mail first. Pwede din ang CTS branch sa airport for cash buyers but they are not as cheap as Golden Crown.

  8. TOURIST SPOTS CLOSED

    The Avenue of Stars and Space Museum are both under renovation and are still closed. The AOS might open around 2018 while the Space Museum might open around 2017. You can watch the (lousy) Symphony of Lights show from the Clock Tower area beside the TST Star Ferry Pier.

    The GARDEN OF STARS which is a temporary alternative to the AOS is located at Tsim Sha Tsui East Waterfront Podium Garden, off Salisbury Road which is accessible from Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade by footbridge across Salisbury Road. The Garden of Stars is also accessible from East Tsim Sha Tsui Station exit P1 by lift or escalators and from the adjacent Tsim Sha Tsui East (Mody Road) Bus Terminus.

    The Ngong Ping 360 cable car regularly undergoes maintenance so check their website for closure dates. For me it's no longer worth going to Ngong Ping Village without the cable car ride.

    Museum of History is closed every Tuesday while Science Museum is closed every Thursday.

  9. ITINERARY

    Disneyland, Ocean Park and Macau NEED ONE WHOLE DAY EACH.

    For those going to Disneyland on weekdays and are willing to risk not being able to see all the shows/rides, yes you can go to Ngong Ping first in the morning from 10AM to 12NN. DO NOT miss the Disneyland fireworks display at night. For the evenings, you can walk around Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui or Causeway Bay.

    For those arriving early on Day 1 and have Ngong Ping on their itinerary, you can go here directly from the airport via the S1 bus. Ngong Ping can also be on your last day before heading to the airport.

    The standard Day 1 itinerary I recommend is this:
    12NN Leave luggage with accommodation and eat Lunch; Exchange Money
    2PM Take the MTR to Causeway Bay; Take the Ding Ding Tram to Central
    4PM Make your way to the Peak, either on your own, or with the Klook.com Fast Pass
    6PM Dinner at the Peak; Make your way to the Central Star Ferry Pier; Star Ferry to TST
    8PM Walk around TST
    **If this is your Day 2 itinerary just add Nanlian Garden or Stanley in the morning**

    Please refer to previous guide for a detailed section on itineraries.

  10. FOOD

    I personally only have 3 local "Must Eats" when in Hong Kong. Beef Wanton Noodles, BBQ Rice Toppings and of course, DIMSUM. I will not consider a trip to Hong Kong complete without dimsum so I hope you get to try it before your trip ends. For dimsum breakfast or lunch, you can go to Majesty Restaurant in Prudential Centre, Jordan Station. Order from their bilingual paper menu, don't order from the purely English laminated menu with photos. For lunch, merienda or dinner, there are now a lot of all-day-dimsum restaurants like Dimdimsum, One Dim Sum, Kung Fu Dim Sum and Prince Dragon. Just use the Openrice website or app to find them.

    As for the Rice Toppings, these are the ones you see hanging asado, chicken or goose from the windows. Lots of them around Hong Kong like Yuen Kee around Tsim Sha Tsui. Easiest place to eat the Beef Wanton noodles is in Mak's Noodles at the Peak Galleria during your visit to the Peak.

    Rest of the meals, you can eat at local hole-in-the-wall restaurants and just ask for an English menu or in fastfood chains like MX, Fairwood, Cafe de Coral and Tsui Wah.

    Japanese Food in Hong Kong is very close to what you can find in Japan, specially if you go to the better restaurants like Sushi Hiro or Sushi Kenjo. Same thing with authentic shawarma. New Istanbul Kebab on Hart Avenue or Lock Road in TST. For western food, there's Spaghetti House (different from ours).

  11. SIM CARDS

    Either buy from Klook.com, the 1010 shop in the airport beside 7-11 or inside Mirador/Chungking Mansion. I won't rely on free WiFi because they are not that easy to find. Save time and effort, get a local SIM or a pocket WiFi.

    1010 Store Products: https://www.hkcsl.com/en/Prepaid-Discover-HK-Tourist-SIM-Card/

  12. SHOPPING

    July to early September is the major sale season in Hong Kong. This is the time when branded clothes/bags become a lot cheaper than Manila. Rubber shoes and sneakers not so much.

    Outside the sale season, most of the branded stuff are either almost the same price as here or slightly cheaper unless you go to the outlet stores. There's a number of outlets located in TST so you don't have to go all the way to Citygate.

    For electronics, you can check www.price.com.hk but most of these are not actual stores but indiviual importers. The HK version of Kimstore and Widget City. If you have limited time, just go to Golden Computer Arcade in Sham Shui Po, this is a one-stop-shop for everything electronics. Pwede din Sim City + Sin Tat Plaza in Mongkok.

  13. PASALUBONG

    For the cheap pasalubongs, buy it in Ladies Market in Mongkok. Haggle until magalit na yung tindera. Kung wala kayong oras para pumunta ng Mongkok, buy it in Mirador Mansion, no haggling here. For high-quality version, buy in The Peak.

    For food pasalubong, see the post below.

    During August and September, you can buy mooncakes from Kee Wah or Maxim's Bakery.

  14. MACAU

    Updated One Day Itinerary for Macau:

    7AM Ferry to Macau
    830AM Walk to Fisherman's Wharf
    930AM Taxi to Senado Square; Lunch
    1PM Walk to Hotel Sintra then shuttle to City of Dreams; Walk across to Venetian
    3PM Walk to Parisian
    5PM Shuttle to Ferry Terminal
    6PM Ferry back to Tsim Sha Tsui

    If you won't go to Fisherman's Wharf then you can add Galaxy after Parisian.

  15. MY PERSONAL TRIP REPORTS

    2013: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607496&page=144
    2014: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607496&page=211
    2014: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712719&page=39
    2015: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712719&page=153
    2016: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712719&page=281

  16. REMARKS

    Hong Kong is one of the easiest places to visit and travel in. Just read the people's trip reports and you'll know how easy it is. All you need to do is READ. Read the guide I made in the previous thread. Learn how to read the MTR map and learn how to use Google Maps to your advantage.

    Again, for the last time, please read the original guide here:
    http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712719
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