This post is almost 3 months delayed, whoah!!! Nevertheless, I’m happy I’m finally able to share our first family international trip to Hong Kong last January 28 – February 3, 2018! Yay!
First of all, shout out to my friend, Patrick for restoring all the photos of our Hong Kong DIY Family Trip from my corrupt microSD card. Oh, he’s such a savior and I can’t thank him enough for doing this! I was so broken hearted, when I was sure that the photos are restored, I couldn’t contain my happiness. Thanks so much, Pat! 🙂 If not for you, we’d only have less than a hundred photos from this trip.
Making use of our time together
Since Dane’s vacation was only for 40+ days, we wanted to bond and make up for the time that we’re not together. We made it to Kalanggaman Island when we visited his hometown and then this. It was the dawn of January 28 when we prepped for Nate and I’s first and Dane’s second international flight.
I honestly couldn’t believe it until we arrived at Hong Kong International Airport (talk about first times, lol!). Now, if you want to visit Hong Kong during the cold season, be sure to visit around December to February because temps can drop below 10 degrees Celsius. Maraming beses na parang ang sarap nalang matulog at wag ng lumabas sa sobrang lamig ng panahon. Nakakatamad, haha.
1. Hong Kong DIY: Where we stayed
We stayed in Mongkok and booked our stay via Airbnb. And since MTR is the easiest mode of transportation in Hong Kong, we’re thankful the room we got was only a few minutes away from an MTR station. MTR can be a bit confusing at first but soon enough, you’ll be able to familiarize it. I wish we have that here in the Philippines. It does not just bring convenience and fewer traffic problems, it also promotes a healthy lifestyle because you’ll get used to lots of walking. 🙂
We got a small room with 2 beds. Nothing fancy but it has the basic things we needed: fridge, stove, pots, heater, kitchen utensils and an internet connection. After all, yun lang talaga ang hanap namin dahil tulugan lang naman sya. The AirBnb host is helpful and is just one message away.
|Bonus: The tenant in our room was a kind and accommodating Filipina. 🙂|
2. Hong Kong DIY: Attractions we visited
All attractions were booked via Klook and since we have Nate traveling with us and I work for 4-hrs at night, we didn’t want to have a jam-packed itinerary. We only visited one attraction per day so we wouldn’t have to wake Nate up too early and also so I could still have time to sleep and rest for work.
We only visited 4 main attractions: Ocean Park Adventure, Ngong Ping 360, HK Disneyland and Victoria Peak Tram.
3. Our simple Hong Kong DIY itinerary
A. January 28 – Arrival at HK International Airport, trip to our Airbnb room for the next 6 days.
B. January 29 – Ocean Park Adventure visit (whole day)
C. January 30 – Ngong Ping 360 trip
D. January 31 – Hong Kong Disneyland adventure
E. February 1 – Victoria Peak Tram (half day)
F. February 2 – Rest and City tour
G. February 3 – Homeward Bound
As you can see, this trip was lax. We were not in a hurry except for our Ocean Park tour. And it was just what we wanted. Since we have a 3-year-old with us and because I work 4hrs at night, we need more time for rest. In fact, after every tour, Nate’s energy’s drained even before we arrive in our rented room! Lol! Talagang bulagta sya sa kada biyahe pauwi! haha.
On most visits, we’d leave our rented place around 9 or 10 AM and we’d usually be back around 6 or 7 PM.
4. Hong Kong DIY: Airfare/Attraction Expenses
Here’s a list of the average amount we spent on the attractions, our rented place, and airfare. If you are patient enough to check the website for a cheaper seat sale, you’ll be able to save more on your airline ticket. Ako kasi, walang pasensya at oras kaya konti lang ang nakuha kong discount, lol!
Note that even though Nate is just 3 years-old, he doesn’t get a discount on the airfare anymore. So parang tatlong tao na rin halos ang bilang at gastos namin.
All prices are in Philippine peso and all attractions were booked online via Klook. Prices may vary depending on Philippine Peso VS Hong Kong dollar currency conversion, airline sale, and Klook promos. The above-mentioned rates are good for 3 pax (2 adults, 1 child) and the airfare price is a roundtrip ticket. Aside from the expenses above, we also paid the travel tax in NAIA 3 during check-in. I’m just unsure how much we paid anymore. #momnesia. Our allowance for the trip was about Php 30,000-Php 35,000 for our food, fare, and a few pasalubong.
Related: 3 Sabaw Moments in Hong Kong
5. Few Travel Trips for a Hong Kong DIY Family Trip
If you are going to visit Hong Kong during the winter seasons like us, there are some attractions that you won’t be able to fully enjoy the view. #1 is the beauty of the Giant Buddha in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. I bet we’d have an astonishing view if not for the thick fog. I’m not complaining because it was still an awesome experience.
|Giant Buddha Stock Photo VS our Photo. See the difference? Ehehe.|
Additionally, bring thick, winter clothing. We brought sweaters and jackets pero hindi kinaya, ang lamig parin talaga! Pinakamalamig sa Disneyland kasi sobrang lakas ng hangin tapos maulan-ulan pa. Pangalawa sa Ngong Ping 360, at kahit sabihin ni Dane na tiisin dahil andun na kami at minsan lang to kaya itodo na, hindi kaya ng kalamnan kong maging manhid sa lamig ng panahon. HAHA! Or baka ako lang yun kasi lamigin ako.
|We’re all wearing 2 jackets here and it was still super cold.|
Buy groceries and cook
If you are planning to have a budget trip, make sure to buy groceries and cook – saves you a lot. I cook for our breakfast and dinner kaya lunch lang kami kumakain sa labas.
Traveling with a toddler
If you are traveling with a toddler, make sure to bring a stroller. I bought an affordable stroller online before this trip because I found out that stroller rentals are too expensive in HK Disneyland. Your stroller will be your friend especially in your Disneyland and Ocean Park Adventure tours. You won’t need it much in Victoria Peak Tram.
|This affordable and lightweight stroller saved Nate from a lot of walking and saved us from a lot a heavy carrying. LOL.|
Get an Octopus card. It’s the #1 advice from all the blogs I read. It’ll certainly help you! You can use it when you ride the MTR and buses. You can also use it in almost all establishments in Hong Kong, including fast foods, restaurants and more.
It’s OK to get lost
When you DIY, be prepared to get lost and take it as one of the fun parts of the trip. LOL. Dane and I got lost a few times. We were frustrated at first but now, it’s one of the funny memories we have from the trip.
|Looks like a lovely family photo but about 2 hours before this, we had a petty argument because we got lost. HAHAHA!|
Above all, no matter how organized you are (I’m not btw), remember that not everything will go as planned. Enjoy every visit – that’s all that matters. Additionally, treasure the time that you have with your loved ones. It will not last, and what you’ll have left after the trip will be memories.
Hong Kong DIY Family Trip
So yeah, there you have it. I hope you learned a few tidbits from our first international family trip. Ours wasn’t a perfect trip but it was certainly worth-reminiscing.
Happy planning! Enjoy your vacation! ♥