Monday, July 9, 2012

Part 1: Hong Kong - Macau Trip Day 1 - Getting to Hong Kong


Finally I was able to start my blog regarding my trip to Hong Kong and Macau! It was fun and memorable and yes it's my first time to go outside the country.




How to get to Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of two special administrative regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the other being Macau (as per wikipedia).  To get there you need to process and have your own passport first above everything else.  I have another post for applying Philippine passport that you can check here --> http://www.adventurousfeet.com/2011/08/how-to-apply-online-for-philippine.html

Hong Kong can be reached from the Philippines via air, so book your tickets with your preferred airline.  You can travel to Hong Kong and do not need to process a visa (for Filipino citizens). Philippine passport holders have 14 days visa free entry in Hong Kong.

The Airport & Immigration in the Philippines

Once you're in the airport, you need to pay the travel tax, check in to get a boarding pass, and pay the terminal fee.  I really don't understand the huge difference of terminal fee for domestic vs. international.  Passengers of these two both uses same walkway, same toilet, etc. but I guess that's a different post/argument, let's just focus more on getting to Hong Kong. :)

So next, the immigration.  I think this is the part where most of us were very careful about.  What do we need really to prepare?  This is crucial as this can either make or break your fulfilling dream to travel out of the country.

First, bring a ballpen.  Yeah it's a must!  Why? So you can sign up the immigration card/form before the immigration.  Fill up the necessary details and please let's be honest. 

What are other important things you need to present?
  • Passport
  • Return Trip Ticket Detail
  • Necessary documents when you're a DOST scholar.
Other Options
  • Printed copy of your hotel booking
  • Valid I.D. or company ID
  • Purchased tickets of theme parks if any.
Passport is always a must when travelling abroad.  Return trip ticket is a good thing to avoid a lot of questions.  I overheard the other immigration officer where she didn't allow a whole family to go to Hong Kong because they didn't have a return trip ticket.  Hotel booking is also a good option to present as some officers will ask where are you going to stay?  What's important is you have the confidence and justify with the officers that you'll be there for travel purposes only and enjoy what Hong Kong has to offer. :)

Upon falling in line with our immigration here, luckily I was not asked of any, we just had to tell that the 4 of us were going together for that trip.  Only that last in the line, one of our friend is a DOST scholar.   Although my friend already finished his bond due to his scholarship, the lady officer asked for a particular letter from Immigration saying my friend is free to travel outside unfortunately he didn't have it.  Thank God to her immediate superior still allowed our friend we just waited as the officer is photocopying our friend's documents.  Whew!  That was close!


Arrival in Hong Kong International Airport

While in the plane, the crew is going to hand you another immigration card for Hong Kong immigration.

TIP: Falling in line with the immigration can be long so if you want to be ahead fill up the details while inside the plane and proceed directly to the immigration.

So it's your first time to travel abroad and you're afraid you might get lost?  Just follow the people, and check the signs as well!


my HK-Macau travel buddies!

After almost an hour of falling in line with an immigration officer, (no questions asked) we proceed on getting our baggages.

Things to remember upon arrival in Hong Kong airport:
  • Get a map.  Walking after the baggage counter, you'll see where the maps are.  So grab a map, it's free!  This is very helpful especially for do-it-yourself trip to Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong dollars.  Check yourself, do you have enough HK dollars to buy food or transportation to your hotel?  You can try czarina and other money changers in the Philippines or you can exchange your money inside the airport. 
  • Octopus Card . Commuting in Hong Kong was made easy thanks to octopus card which you can be used in trains, buses and most stores in Hong Kong.  
TIP: Exchange some of your money here and exchange the rest in Hong Kong (which is cheaper), or if you don't like the hassle of looking for money changer in Hong Kong, go to your nearest money changer in the Philippines.

Public Transportation via Octopus Card

After getting a map, it's time to look where you can purchase your octopus card, your over-all ticket for commuting in Hong Kong.  There are different rates of ticket based on your needs.  For us, we bought an octopus card we'll be using for 4 days.   Octopus card is a smart card charging the public transportation of Hong Kong (bus and mtr) as well as most stores like 7-eleven, mcdo, starbucks, etc.  You need to deposit a specific price when first purchasing an octopus card.  If you return the octopus card, the HK$50 will be refunded to you, so don't forget to make refunds at the airport (before the immigration) before going back to your own country . :)

Prices of Octopus Card
 Adult: Deposit HK$50 + Stored value HK$100 = HKS150
 Child: Deposit HK$50 + Stored value HK$100 = HKS150

Where to Buy Octopus card / Where to Top-Up (Reload) Octopus Card?

You can top-up (that's their term) or say reload your octopus card once the balance gets zero.  Octopus card is available in Hong Kong International Airport, in mtr stations, and other customer service centers.

You can purchase your first octopus card in the airport and top-up at any mtr stations. 


Check this map below, the dark blue line coming from the airport is the Airport Express.  It is of different rate on top of the regular octopus card we bought.  If you want the ease of going to your hotel thru an airport express train, you can simply avail it on the ticket counter.  But since it's a budget trip for us, we took a bus from the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui where we planned to stay.

Hong Kong's mtr train route map

Transportation by Bus in Hong Kong

We followed the signs and just outside Hong Kong International Airport is the bus terminal.  Public buses here are so organize and the routes are readily available in the internet.  Bus charges on a flat fare here so you only need to scan your octopus card once, upon getting in the bus.  You can check out you tube videos if you like,  being clueless we just followed other people riding on the same bus how they scanned  their octopus card upon loading.

going outside the airport

different bus routes

double deck bus in Hong Kong

while in the bus! the HongKong experience! :)


Thank you for reading part 1 of my hk-macau trip.  I apologize as I wrote down details most needed by first timers.  Please watch out for my upcoming post and other details that hopefully will help you further on your trip. :)  Special thanks to girltalk, pex, and blogs that helped me with this trip.

Check out my Hong Kong - Macau blog series!

Part 1: HK-Macau Day 1 - Getting to Hong Kong
Part 2: HK-Macau Day 1 - Our Accomodation: Golden Crown Guesthouse
Part 3: HK-Macau Day 1 - Hong Kong Disneyland
Part 4: HK-Macau Day 1 - Exploring Mong Kok
Part 5: HK-Macau Day 2 - Hong Kong Ocean Park
Part 6: HK-Macau Day 2 - Peak Tram, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Sky Terrace at The Peak
Part 7: HK-Macau Day 3 - Macau Travel Guide | Getting to Macau
Part 8: HK-Macau Day 3 - venetian Hotel, Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul's
Part 9: HK-Macau Day 3 - Grand Lisboa, Wynn Hotel, Fisherman's Wharf
Part 10: HK-Macau Day 4 - Cable Car Ride at Ngong Ping 360
Hong Kong - Macau Travel Guide | 4 Days / 3 Nights Itinerary and Expenses


 

29 comments:

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KULAPITOT said...

very informative ung blog .. promise1

adventurousfeet said...

thank you po :)

lakwatserong tatay said...

wow, thanks dito...nakasave nato ngaun sa favorites ko..magagamit ko toh sa 7th birthday celebration ng oldest son ko...my ever 1st time out of the country trip din together with my kids, and my wife...

thanks ng marami dito...wait ko pa yun ibang entry...^_^

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Exciting, first time overseas! And yeah, what an informative post :) I'd like to go back to HK para madala si baby doll sa Disneyland!

Joven of Travex Travels said...

I'll keep this in mind as I'm planning to go out of the country sometime in 2014 or 2015. :):) Nice post, more power sa yo Adventurous Feet!!!

Pang said...

I really love your blog. First it helped me with my Northern Mindanao trip, now this one. Can't wait for the next posts. When I read your blog, I don't need to look somewhere else. It's like eating halo-halo, it's just one concoction but complete with all the necessary ingredients. Thanks!

killerfillers said...

Congrats on your first trip outside Phil! Dyan din ung una kong byahe.:) If ever punta ka ng Disneyland - kindly do an entry on Toy Story Land. Will be going there for the 3rd time for my bunso naman.

WANDER SHUGAH said...

Wow! Detailed and swabe! :) Excited sa part two. I miss hongkong where food is cheap and yummy!

Ian | Going Places said...

Congratulations on your first overseas trip! Your blog on Pangasinan (Alaminos and Bolinao) has been very helpful for my trip there. I believe this Hongkong/Macau blog of yours will be helpful as well in case I trip to have a trip there in the future. Cheers!

joan | the backpack chronicles said...

parehas palang Hong Kong and Macau ang first trip natin outside the country! APIR! Hahaha. Buti pinayagan pa rin yung friend mo na DOST scholar na makapagtravel. I heard nga na mahigpit daw sila kasi dapat ata magseserve muna yung mga scholars sa country for 2 years? Good thing hindi naman sya pinagbawalan.

Anonymous said...

Hi! As in? Pinayagan yung friend mong walang clearance? Buti pa sya. Ang hassle kasi mag-apply ng clearance at magpunta pa sa BI, not to mention yung gastos sa pagpapalift sa travel ban.... Should I risk it as well? We're planning to go to Korea on October. :(

adventurousfeet said...

don't take risk. paclearance ka. depende po kasi yan sa immigration so make sure your cleared. sayang naman ang korea pag di ka makaalis diba?

adventurousfeet said...

actually tapos na sya magservice. ang prob nalang iyong necessary doc para masabi clear ka talaga. meron sya galing sa dost, sabi nila wala daw siya letter from immig.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Just want to ask with regards to friend, a dost scholar. I'm a dost scholar too but still rendering my service. I have plans of going to hongkong for a vacation. Did your friend informed the immigration officer that he/she is a dost scholar?

adventurousfeet said...

The officer checked my friends status that time and then my friend explained he used to be dost scholar. Would you mind check it with dost because I learned from some of my friends the removal of restrictions of going out of the country to scholars (just that you need proper papers to process)

Anonymous said...

Thanks much! we're going to use your blog as our guide going there to hongkong. This is a big help and very informative. I am planning to just ask a travel clearance from dost instead, just to make sure that i can leave the country with no hassle. Thanks much! continue to inspire other people through your blog :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Its our first time to go to HK with my mom. Just want to know if its okay to bring peso and convert it to HKD in HK?

Thanks

adventurousfeet said...

it's okay but make sure you have small amount of hkd for your transpo expenses from airport to hotel

Anonymous said...

hi. ask ko lang from golden crown to hong kong international airport using a21bus.. Saan exact location stop ung bus? Ano lahat procedure sa departure area? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi good day po ask ko lang po,mag tour po kami ng mga friends ko 2 days Macau and 3 days Hong Kong.Ano po isasagot namin sa immigration officer if tinanong kami kung ilang days kami,FYI manila-macau and hong kong-manila ang ticket namin..Hope masagot niyo po ako.salamat

adventurousfeet said...

ah just be honest lang po, sabihin nyo 2days kayo sa macau, then 3 days kayo hongkong, sa hongkong na kayo uwi, pakita lang po kayo ng proof kung san kayo magstay (booked hostel,hotel etc) kasi baka itanong yan

liezl rebadajo said...

Wow this is very informative! Would like to ask how much cash do we need to bring? Pati pa un chinecheck sa immigration? And how much po ung pwde dalhin na HKD money? Thanks!

adventurousfeet said...

haven't experience immigration asking about how much money I have. It depends on how much po yung anticipated expenses nyo. You can bring hkd money if you don't want na the hassle na magpapalit pa.

liezl rebadajo said...

THANKS!! Godbless.. Your blog is so helpful.. ;)

ICKOPIKO Gensan said...

Hi! May i ask what month best time pumunta ng HK? and what month kayo pumunta before?

adventurousfeet said...

hi, we went there around august-sep. Best time I think around oct and early november kasi pa winter na probably malamig na ang weather.

Aldous Yohann said...

Hi just want to ask sa hotel accommodation po b un mga amount na naka post per night per person ba? If standard double po or family per night per person p din po ba un amount? Thank you po pls.answer 😃

Aldous Yohann said...

Hi just want to ask sa hotel accommodation po b un mga amount na naka post per night per person ba? If standard double po or family per night per person p din po ba un amount? Thank you po pls.answer 😃

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