Asia, Day Trips, Experience, Itinerary, Travel, Travel Tips

Hongkong – Macau Travel Guide

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

On our way home to Sydney from Manila, Jonathan and I decided to unwind a bit in Hongkong with a day-long side trip to Macau. His parents, both retired, decided to tag along with us, together with an aunt who was visiting from Vancouver.

To our pleasant surprise, Hongkong had impressively discounted rates for senior citizens (people aged 65 and above). So if anyone is planning to take their parents out on a holiday, Hongkong would be a good idea!


HOW TO GET THERE


Manila – Departure

    • Before leaving for the airport, double-check your Terminal (Air Asia and Cebu Pacific depart from Terminal 3, whilst Philippine Airlines departs from Terminal 2)
    • Pay for Travel Tax prior to check-in – 1750 PHP for Philippine Residents (your boarding pass won’t be issued until you’ve paid for the travel tax)
    • Flight Duration – 1 hour and 45 minutes

Tip: To avoid long queues in the terminal, walk to the last gate/door (Door 6/senior citizen lane).

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust 10

Hongkong – Arrival

      • Pick up a Train/Tram map from the Tourist Assistance Counter at the airport (a wallet-sized foldable map is available for free)
      • Purchase an Octopus Card – Can be purchased at the Airport Express counter at the airport.
        • 150 HKD (adult); 70 HKD (elderly/child) – this is an all-in-one charge card that can be used in all (bus/train/tram/ferry) transport needs (except taxi) around Hongkong.
        • The card comes with a 100HKD pre-loaded credit plus a 50HKD deposit (50HKD credit + 20HKD deposit for elderly), which is refundable upon surrendering the card / leaving Hongkong.
        • A 9HKD handling fee is charged if the card is surrendered for refunds within 90 days from the date of issue.
        • The card can be topped up at any 7-11 store and MTR station.
        • Refer to www.mtr.com.hk for more information
      • Airport Express – Can be purchased at the Airport Express counter at the airport or online (mtr.com.hk)
        • Fare: 100HKD (adult); 50HKD (elderly) for single journey and same-day return
          • 180HKD individual return (not on same day)
          • 170HKD group of 2 single journey
          • 230HKD group of 3 single journey
          • 280HKD group of 4 single journey
        • Trip duration: 33 minutes
        • Discounted rates are available for groups. If not traveling alone, it is cheaper to purchase Group Airport Express tickets than use an Octopus Card
        • Refer to www.mtr.com.hk for more information
      • Local Currency – ATM withdrawal is more advisable than exchanging currency in the airport

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

Tip: In the off-chance that you’d need a taxi at any point in your trip, note that there are taxis that sits five. Taxis usually have a sticker on the bumper that says how many it can sit. This was a  happy surprise for our group of 5, especially since our elderly companions cannot walk for and for long. lol


WHERE TO STAY


Grand City Hotel (4 stars)

Address: Queen’s Hong Kong, 338 Queen’s Rd W, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2192 1222

To book a discounted stay, click here.

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

      • Grand City Hotelhighly recommended. New, decent-sized considering HK hotel standards, with excellent customer service  and with easy access to public transport.
        • Note : Do not avail of the free breakfast – very limited selection for 55HKD (discounted; full price is 107HKD)
        • Rates – 606HKD / night + 10% service charge (double/twin)
        • How to get there
          • Option 1 – via Airport Express (recommended)
            • Fare: 100HKD (adult)
            • Take the Airport Express to Hongkong Station, then go down to Level 2 (Basement) and find the Free Shuttle Bus terminal
            • Take the H1 Bus to Best Western Hotel Harbour View, then walk 2 blocks along the Queen’s Road West up to Grand City Hotel
            • Refer to mtr.com.hk for more information
          • Option 2 – via Public Bus (this can be time consuming as the hotel is far from the airport)
            • Fare: 48HKD (adult)
            • From the Airport Bus Terminal, take the A10 bus and get off at Chiu Kwong Street. Cross Queen’s Road West and find the corner to Western Street.
          • Option 3 – via Airport Shuttle Bus (recommended if you have lots of luggage)
            • Fare: 140HKD, door-to-door
            • Departs every 30 min daily, from 1100H to 1700H from counter B01 through Exit B (HK Airport)
            • No advanced reservations required
            • Can be charged to your hotel room account if no cash is immediately available

WHAT TO DO


      • Causeway Bay – best to be taken by tram so you can sight-see with gusto. I recommend doing this on your first day in Hongkong so you can get a feel of the city and have a not-so-tiring, leisurely activity (the rest of the trip will be manic, I swear!)
        • How to get there – Take the tram from Western Street to
          • Fare – 2.30HKD (adult); 1.10HKD (elderly) – Note that this is FLAT RATE. It doesn’t matter how far you go, you get charged the same. Causeway Bay, for instance, is on the other end of tram route from our hotel.
          • Get on from the rear of the tram and disembark at the front, where you swipe your Octopus Card.
        • Fashion Street is a mecca for high-end, tax-free shopping.
        • On your way back to the hotel, drop by Central Station and shop some more!

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

      • Victoria Peak – things are always better from the top. I recommend doing this at the start or end of your day, to get a bird’s eye view of the Hongkong skyline and metropolis.  I imagine the lights must be nice at night, but during our trip, we went there at the start of the day.
        • How to get there 
          • via Bus recommended, cheaper option. From MTR Hongkong Station, take Bus 15 near exit D or minibus 1 near exit E.
            • Fare: 9.80HKD (adult); 4.90HKD (elderly)
          • via Peak Tram – from Central, take exit J2 to take the Peak Tram from the Peak Tram Lower Terminus on Garden Road
            • Fare: 32HKD one-way/45HKD RT (adult); 12HKD one-way/20HKD RT (elderly)
            • Hours: 0700H-2400H every 10-15minutes
            • This option is too touristy and more expensive. Not recommended.
        • What to do there
          • The Peak Galleria has a free-entry observation deck, and whilst it may not offer the vantage points from Sky Terrace 428, this is a very good alternative.
          • Instead of paying a premium for Sky Terrace 428, have lunch in one of the restaurants at The Peak with views of the Victoria Harbour and the Hongkong Skyline. (note: not in Bubba Gump – too expensive for below par food experience)
          • Sky Terrace 428 – a 360-degree viewing platform at the top of The Peak Tower.
            • Cost: with a peak tram ticket, +43HKD (adults); +22HKD (elderly)
            • This option is too touristy and more expensive. Not recommended.
          • Send a postcard to the future – For every 100HKD spent at The Peak, you are entitled to 2 exclusive The Peak postcards which you can send to a date of your choice within the year. Post Stamps are available at the Post Office at the ground level at 3.90HKD for international mail.
        • Refer to www.thepeak.com.hk for more information

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

      • Other attractions (do these areas in one separate day)
        • Kowloon / Mongkok – street food and night markets (ladies market, temple street night market)
        • Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade (take the Star Ferry going here)
        • Refer to www.discoverhongkong.com

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

Disneyland

      • How to get there – take the Chai Wan line from Sai Ying Pun (nearest MTR station from our hotel) to Central. Transfer to a Tung Chung line train and disembark in Sunny Bay. Finally, from sunny Bay, take the Disneyland Resort train..
        • Fare: 25.7HKD (adult); 2HKD (elderly)
        • Trip Duration: 42 minutes
      • 1-day Park Entry: 589HKD (adult); 100HKD (elderly)
      • Park opens from 1030H-2000H; pick up a map on your way in so you can plan your day ahead
      • Each person can get a FASTPASS ticket to avoid long queues. Max this!

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

      • Not to miss:
        • Storybook Adventures and Lion King: the production is world-class!
        • Grand parades at 1500H at 1800H
        • Fireworks display at 1945H
      • Pick some Mickey ears! Disneyland is the only place in the world where an adult can freely wear it without being judged. lol.
      • The Mickey-shaped waffles are a good arvo snack whilst people-watching.
      • Refer to www.hongkongdisneyland.com for more information

Macau

      • How to get there – take TurboJet (www.turbojet.com.hk) from Hongkong Ferry Terminal to Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal
        • Fare: HKG-MAC (177HKD – adult, 166HKD – elderly); MAC-HKG (189HKD – adult, 174HKD – elderly)
        • Trip duration: 1 hour
        • Ideal trip time: 0900H-2200H (Runs 24/7 every 30 minutes. Taking a boat earlier than your booked time is allowed, provided that there is an available seat on the earlier trip.)
        • It is best to book a later return trip so you won’t be in a rush, but not too late as it gets pretty full on, especially on the weekends)
        • The last trip for the Free Shuttle to the Ferry Terminal is at 2130H nightly.

Tip: Do not pay for transport. There are plenty of free tourist shuttle buses that goes around Macau and Taipa.

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

        • Suggested Itinerary
          • From the Ferry Terminal, take the free shuttle bus to Wynn Macau (not to confuse with Wynn Palace in Coita Strip) or Grand Lisboa. From there, you can take a walk around the harbour for a view of the Macau Skyline and the Macau tower.

Tip: There are plenty of (Filipino) guides in the ferry terminal offering their services. Do not get tourist guide services. It is very easy to go around Macau.

        • Walk through the underpass and around three blocks down to the Historical Centre, a UNESCO Heritage Site comprising of architectural legacies of Chinese-Portuguese origins.
        • Places of interests are as follows:
          • Senado Square
          • Ruins of St Paul’s
          • St. Augustine’s Square
          • St. Dominic’s Square
          • Cathedral Square
          • Others:
            • Sample (free taste aplenty!) and buy the famous egg tarts and beef/pork jerky at Koi Kei Bakery
            • We bought the sliced chilli beef fillet at 155MOP/kilo, egg tarts at 10MOP/piece and Salted Almond Cookies at 45MOP/box of 12.
        • Have lunch at the row of restaurants in between St. Dominic’s and Cathedral Squares.
        • Take lots of photos! The whole historic centre is very instragrammable!
        • Walk back to Wynn Macau and take the free shuttle bus to Wynn Palace. Explore Wynn Palace and other hotels/casinos in the Cotai Strip area. At night time, it is nice to just take a joyride with the shuttle buses so you can go around Taipa/Coita and enjoy the lights of the casinos.

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust

        • Sky Cab – This is a free cable car ride around the performance lake. There are 2 stops, Performance Lake entrance and Wynn Palace entrance.
          • Cost: Performance Lake to Wynn Palace – FREE ; Return – 40 MOP
          • Duration: 10 Minutes
          • Other: each cab takes up to a maximum of 6 people
        • From most hotels/casinos, there are free shuttle buses around Cotai Strip, to Macau Island, to Old Taipa and to the ferry terminals (Macau Outer Harbour and Taipa Island)
        • If wanting cheap eats whilst in Cotai, the food court at The Venetian is the place to go.

Tip: 1 MOP = 1 HKD

Hongkong Macau Travel Guide | Words and Wanderlust
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Published by Rain Campanilla

Born under the star of Sagittarius, the centaur of adventure; and in the year of the Rat, the ever curious--- Travel is my birthright.

4 thoughts on “Hongkong – Macau Travel Guide”

  1. Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields says:

    Hubby and I lived in Hong Kong a very long time ago. Now we go back every few years. It is a fascinating place. It’s worth getting out to one of the outlying islands if you can. Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau and Peng Chau are all easy to get to by ferry.

  2. Ruth Johnston says:

    We are yet to get to Hong Kong. This inspires me it might have to be our next stopover back to Australia

  3. Rhonda Albom says:

    We have been talking about Hong Kong and Macau. I love this guide and will be saving it from later. Thanks for all the tips, especially about the ferry times and weekend crowds.

  4. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    Nice plan for visiting HK and Macau. Bot are lovely places that throb with energy and colour. We had stayed in HK and done a dray trip to Macau, when we were there last year. One day was of course reserved for Disneyland. You have covered all the major places to see and activities to do quite comprehensively.

  5. Rain Campanilla says:

    Great! It seemed we had a similar itinerary. I can’t believe I waited this long to explore HK and Macau! 🙂

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