A week before our scheduled flight to Hongkong, the temperature dropped to -3 degrees, which according to my friend’s relative there was unexpected. Even they were not prepared for it. I was naturally expecting it to be freezing cold but upon our arrival, the temperature was already up to 12 degrees Celsius. It was okay, I thought to myself. It’s still not bad compared with the humid weather in Manila. January is one the best months to visit Hongkong because it’s winter time, so be sure that your body is ready for the cold weather.
Weeks before our flight, I started planning our itinerary. HK is an expensive place to travel so I set my budget at 15,000php all in for our 4 days and 3 nights stay. I only have one goal on this trip and that’s to see Disneyland. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get to visit any other places, as long as I’m able to step foot on the happiest place on earth.
I booked our roundtrip flight, Manila to Hongkong in August 2015 for only 2,000php. That’s right, for only 2,000php you can fly outside the country, thanks to the promo fare of Cebupacific. So always watch out for those seatsale because it will definitely give you a big cut on your budget.
Where to Stay in Hongkong?
Finding a decent place to stay was the most challenging part of planning this vacation because the rates of the hotels within Tsim Tsa Tsui and Central Hongkong are quite expensive compared with other places. I was aiming to stay in this area because this is like Hongkong’s Makati city; this is where you can find the tall buildings, shopping malls, popular hotels, and other establishments as well as the Victoria Harbor. The cheapest accommodation that I found in January was in a hotel rate goes around 5,000php per night and I saw this rate in Traveloka. Imagine if I stayed there for 4D3N it means I have to pay 15,000php, I am definitely not willing to pay that much.
So I expanded my research and discovered this budget accommodation inside Mirador Mansion. Well, if you had been to Hongkong, you probably already know the stories about this place. I read and heard some horror stories about this building, including being harassed by the people who would come at you to offer an accommodation, long elevator queue, and dirty floors. Some of these stories are true, but I can testify that generally, Mirador Mansion is still an acceptable and a safe place to stay.
Mirador Mansion is a mixed commercial and residential building that houses several hotels, about 16-story high. Because of this, don’t be surprised if you see some clothes hanging by the window—I believe there are permanent residents inside the complex. There are shops on the ground floor selling a different kind of items
Well, you shouldn’t be surprised because HK ranks number 2 on the world’s 10 most expensive city to buy a property. Just to give you an idea, your 1 million USD can give you a home, which is just 20.6sqm. Therefore, expect a small room when you stay inside this building.
The rate of hotels ranges from 160HKD to about 500HKD per night. I booked a room at Kowloon New Hostel for only 180HKD () per night good for two, without breakfast.Kowloon New Hostel for only 180HKD per night good for two, without breakfast.
Our air-conditioned room has free and strong Wi-Fi, a double-size bed, television, small cabinet, and hot and cold shower. The size of the room is more or less, 15sqm without a view of the city. Cleanliness is not an issue in this room, it is on the 6th floor, which was clean compared with the rest of the floors. I cannot vouch for the other floors in fact some of them are dirty and stinky.
There are four small elevators that are operating inside this building, which can only fit less than 10 people and runs via the odd and even system. I find it somehow inconvenient because our room is on the 6th floor and the hotel reception is on 13th floor. It means whenever I had a concern I had to go either up or down, using a stair to catch an odd elevator.
The best thing about Mirador Mansion is its location. It is somewhere along Nathan Road, which is about 3.6km in length. This road is lined with local and international stores, hotels, bars, and restaurants. Also, Mirador Mansion is a few steps away from Victoria Harbour, the avenue of stars, Hongkong top museums, and MTR TST station.
How to get to TST from the Airport vice versa?
The cheapest way to get out of the airport is via Bus. Hongkong international Airport is huge but believe me, it’s organized. At the arrival area, simply follow the sign that leads to the Bus bay. Because we were so excited, we forgot to rent an Octopus card, which is a sort of beep card that can be used in almost all transportation (e.g., bus, train) and establishments, such as restaurants, convenience shops, etc. I learned that you can live and go around Hongkong even without this card.
From the bus bay, there are two ticketing booths for the bus ticket. Remember, there is no bus conductor in Hongkong and if you pay in cash, you need to drop your money inside the box beside the driver. You need to pay the exact amount because they will not give you change.
If you book a hotel along Sham Mong Road, Nathan Road, Salisbury Road, and Chatham Road South that covers the following areas: Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Hung Hom, take the A21 Bus. The bus fare is 33HKD and travel time takes less than 1 hour from the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui. You also need to take the same bus going back to the airport.
Where to shop and how to haggle in Hongkong?
On getting around Hongkong, another thing that you need to remember is where to exit from their MTR. Exiting at the wrong gate will bring you to a different street or place.
We first visited Temple street night market. This market is popularly named after Tin Hau temple and it is located in the center of the main drag, a place so steep in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop for many memorable movies.
Temple Street is located at Yau Mai Tei Kowloon, to get there take MTR red line. If you’re coming from Tsim Sha Tsui take off at Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C, then turn to Temple Street at Man Ming Lane.
Another option is to take off at Jordan Station, Exit A, turn right to Jordan Road, then take another right to Temple Street. You can also walk from TST up to Jordan, like we did. MTR fare for both stations is just 4.5HKD.
The street is lined with shops selling different cheap items, such as shoes, shirts, pants, bags, jewelry, electronics, home decorations, sex toys (you read that right), and everything under the sun. You can also find good street food here.
A longer version of Temple Street can be found in Mong Kok with over 100 stalls of bargain products. You will surely enjoy shopping at the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street, which provides a one-kilometer stretch of shopping. This will definitely challenge your haggling skills. I could say that whatever you see on the Temple Night Market is exactly the same here. It’s just that Ladies Market has more stalls, which means more opportunities to haggle.
Haggling is very easy in Hongkong. I recommend that you take a stroll first, visit different stalls so you can compare the prices. Now here come some haggling tips. When you ask for the price of a specific item, they will enter the price on the calculator and show it to you; don’t grab it yet. Take the calculator and enter your desired price, at least, 60% lower than the given price. Start to negotiate, if you think you can get it for a lower price from other stalls just politely decline their offer, smile, and walk away. When you do this, they are likely to call you back and sell you the item at your desired price.
You can expect that the stalls in the front area are more expensive so just keep on walking, ask for the price, haggle, and be polite.
To give you an idea, I got 7 pieces of I love Hongkong shirt (different sizes and design) for 100HKD, ref magnet for 10HKD, ref magnet (plastic) 5-piece set, 30HKD, nail cutter, and keychains 5-piece set for 30HKD. Believe it or not, the initial price offered to me was beyond double so to save money, use your charm and haggle.
Where to get cheap HK Disneyland or Ocean Park Ticket?
We arrived in Hongkong without a ticket to Disneyland because I don’t want to trust those websites that are offering cheap Disneyland tickets. Hence, I decided to buy when we got there. Fortunately, our friend Krizia reserved her Disneyland ticket and Ocean Park ticket at Golden Crown Guest House. Golden Crown can be found at 5/F Golden Crown Court, 66-70 Nathan Road. From TST MTR take A2 exit then turn to Nathan Road. Their building is in the middle of the Standard Chartered Bank and City bank. I got my HK Disneyland’s 1-day pass ticket for only 465HKD, that’s a 74HKD difference from the 539HKD ticket that you can buy online.
How to get to HK Disneyland?
Getting to Disneyland is convenient; well actually getting around Hongkong, in general, is easy because of their efficient transportation system.
Take the red MTR line, take off at Lai-king Station. Interchange to Orange line and take off at Sunny Bay then interchange to Disneyland Resort line. Travel time is less than 45 minutes from TST. Single-ride ticket fare is 22.5HKD.
To save money I bought my food from McDonalds at TST. Don’t forget to bring your tumbler too. There are water refilling stations near the restrooms. Bottled water here costs 28HKD and the price of one set of meal starts at 100HKD.
A full review of my Hongkong Disneyland article will be published in a separate article.
How to get to Macau from HK and where to get a cheap ticket?
Take MTR Redline then take off at Central Station. Interchange to blue line then take off at Sheung Wan Station and take exit D., simply follow the signage that will lead you to Ferry station. Fare from TST to Sheung Wan station is 10HKD; travel time was less than 15 minutes.
There are few ticketing booths that are selling tickets near Turbojet booth. We got our ticket for only 165HKD compared with Turbojet booth, which is 177HKD. You’d hear people shouting “Macau ticket” so you can easily spot those who are selling discounted tickets.
Check this article to read my Macau Travel Guide!
When it comes to food, we mostly ate at fast food stores like McDonalds and KFC. Sometimes, we try their street food. A set meal will cost you about 25HKD.
Below are my expenses for this trip
Hongkong may not be a haven for budget travelers but if you do your research well, you can definitely survive even with a meager budget. You also need to be streetwise and learn to stick to your budget. I recommend walking around the city to appreciate its beauty and don’t forget to go to Victoria Harbour before 8:00 p.m. to watch the symphony of lights. Overall, I had a fun stay in this Chinese territory called the “Fragrant Harbour,” and I’m looking forward to spending another winter there.
[…]  Where can 15,000php take you to Hongkong and Macau? […]
Do they allow you to take photos outside Disneyland without ticket? 🙂
I think yes! But you don’t see a lot outside Disneyland.
sir, how can we book for this hostel in mirador mansion? thanks in advance!
You can book using this link https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?cid=1719948&pcs=1&hl=en&hid=186303 Direct na po yan sa kowloon hostel na pinag stayan ko. Alternatively,you can search other hotels using that link po 🙂
Got ticket for 3100 instead of 6100 although i still envy your 2k ticket Haha.Btw,how did manage your food budget?Checked on prices and it seems ill allot 150hkd per day.Thsnks for the tips in advance 🙂
When have you booked yoir flight and through which airline?I’m trying to book through cebu pac and its P6100 and thats already 50 percent off 🙁
Cebu Pacific during piso sale I guess. It happens once or twice a year 🙂
Tinago niyo po yung food upon entering Disneyland?
Hi po! Pwede ba bumili sa golden crown guesthouse ng disney tix kahit na di dun magsestay?
Yes pwede po 🙂
[…] Related Article [Where can 15,000 take you to Hongkong] […]
2000 ONLY for your roundtrip ticket? would that be the base fare only? when did you book your ticket?
That’s including tax (not the travel tax from the Philippine government) I booked it last August via Cebupac and flew January 2016. You may follow Cebupac they always have same to Hongkong.
Hello! Can outsiders buy discounted disneyland tickets from the golden crown guest house?
Yup 🙂 I’m an outsider too!
We had been to HK last December around Christmas and had a great time. The place is really vibrant and so happening. I was surprised to learn that the temperature had dropped to -3 in January. It was quite comfortable when we were there.
Because my family plans to visit Hong Kong near year, i need to read this. I Would want to get all the tips and necessary details before booking a flight. I will be travelling with kids so my choices should also suit their comfort and needs. Your post is helpful. Thank you.
I was in Hong Kong years ago and I feel your pain about finding cheap accommodation! We were completely unprepared for how expensive the city was and had some less than great experiences… still, we loved the city and both HK and Macau stayed as one of our most interesting trips. I hope I can go back one day and in that case, I’ll be better prepared 🙂
I had a sense of Dejavu as I read your post and looked at the pictures, we were in HK and Macau 6 months ago. Loved the place, we too took the MTR to Disneyland and the Ferry to Macau. A great experience.
Great tips throughout the article! I have never been to HongKong but when I do I will refer back to this article. It is good that you were able to find a budget priced accommodation that is in a good location and is clean with wifi!
Thanks Christina 🙂
Thank you for sharing, it is good to know as I have never been to that part of the world!
Wow I never knew how expensive Hong Kong was or that they had a Disneyland!!! But looking at the USD section of your expenses you managed to get a unforgettable trip for such a good price. This post is really helpful as you’ve covered pretty much everything from accomodation to a little retail therapy, the haggling tips are good to know as well, we aren’t so good in the UK with haggling, basically it doesn’t exist here! ?
I’d imagine coming from the UK the flights would probably cost the same as your entire trip! Haha! Can’t wait to read your Disneyland post!
Thanks Georgia.. I was surprised that you don’t do haggling in U.K ahahaha my skill will be test there ahhaha 😉
Such an informative post for those who haven’t been to HK and also for those who had been to HK but exceeded their budget. Youve covered almost everything from transpo to accommodations and even places to visit.
Thanks Berlin.. Appreciate it 🙂
One of my dreams is to actually go to Hongkong because of Disneyland! Yeah, super childlike! Thanks to this post, I have the idea of how much will I need to save to be able to go there. Plus I need to consider too bringing my kids and my partner.
You will love HK 🙂
I have never traveled to Hong Kong so thank you for sharing your experience. I think I would spend lots of time to the Temple street night market. So many things to see and buy!
Yeah.. Super love shopping in that place 🙂
I am impressed that you were able to go to Hong Kong on a budget! I have never been, but I am dying to go. The bright lights and the shopping look like so much fun. And of course I would love Disneyland too! Even though we have two Disney parks in the States, I’m sure the one in Hong Kong is different.
Thanks Stella 🙂
Nice… next time sama mo ko.. 🙂
Go lang ng go!
Bump into this post just in time since my sisters and I are planning to visit HK for the first time by May. Keeping my eyes on promos so that I can achieve your budget as well. hee hee Bookmarking this for reference. 🙂
Yehey! Glad I help 🙂 dont forget to book via my agoda link to get discount on your hotel, if you dont have yet 😉
Their palengke it looks like divisoria but the structures of the building the environment it’s different. You looks like having funtastic venture in this place 🙂
Wow what a comprehensive post, this will definitely come in handy once we decide to go to Hongkong. I would really love to take my kids to HK Disneyland hopefully we can very soon!
[…] if the trip is not well-prepared for. Carlo Dominguez of Travelosyo has a pretty awesome account of his 4 day-3 night stay in HK (and a side trip to Macau) that cost him a total of Php 15,607 […]
This is so useful specially because we are planning for a trip to HK next year!
Never been to Hongkong, but you gave me an idea that I can visit Disneyland soon!?
Yehey! Hope you enjoy it!
Thanks to your post I feel nostalgia. I can’t believe it has already been ten years since I’ve been there. We were able to get a piso fare going to HK since it was really easy before and we stayed at Miramar Mansion too. It’s great to know that it’s still open and they have already renovated. By the way, for the night market, we really find it overpriced even if you can haggle. From what I recall, shopping in Shenzhen is cheaper which is also accessible from Hong Kong. Maybe you can visit it next time on your return along with Victoria Peak. 🙂
Awww I believe you miss Hongkong now 🙂 Looking forward to go back to check Victoria’s peak 🙂
This is s very informative post. Just in time because I am planning for an HK trip soon. Thank you Cai!
Ohh wow! Goodluck! Enjoy 🙂
Ang galing m0 mag-budget! It’s easier to stay within the budget if you’re single– it’s harder when you’re a family of four with two kids!! huhuhu..
This post is truly helpful guide for first timer at Hongkong. I love your photos, your adventures. Wishing to visit HongKong one day.
Thanks Melgie 🙂
That’s cool for 15k you were able to enjoy HK
Yup! Everything is possible 🙂
This post made me miss HK and Macau. Going there is really affordable if you do your research. I always stay in TST, a stone throw away from Mirador 🙂
I agree Maria 🙂
Wow, you’re a story teller! I liked your narration w/ matching photos, you also have the actual breakdown of expenses, haha! This post is bookmarked for future reference.
Thanks, Sonnie. I appreciate it the comment coming from you. WOw!
It’s been so long since I went to HK. There was no Disneyland then. I hope to go back again, this time with my kids to Disneyland.
Wow that was really long time ago 🙂
Wow, that’s a lot of savings right there! It’s really awesome to be able to go on a trip on a budget and still have the best time! Thanks for all the tips!
Welcome Elizabeth 🙂
15,000 is not bad, not bad at all! To be honest though, I don’t think 15,000 is enough for me. I’d probably go at least 20k or more if I go to Hongkong haha…
HAHAHA i know right. You need to learn how to stick to your budget na 🙂
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am planning to visit HK someday with my family. Maybe we can also have a trip in Macau if we have to go to HK.
My husband and I are praying we could go to HK & Macau with our son when he goes home from Riyadh, KSA. I hope it’ll be realized. 🙂
lets pray that it will happen soon 🙂
The point of bringing in bottled water and food in Disneyland is something I didn’t consider before, I didn’t know that it was allowed hahaha! Hopefully the next time that my family comes to HK or Macau I”ll be sure to look back on your post, thanks for the Travel Hacks that you shared! 🙂
welcome Nicole. I just place it inside my bag and they didn’t confiscate it. hehehe 🙂
I remember our Macau-HK-Macau trip in 2006 (that was 10 years ago!) We also spent almost the same rate. And we also stayed at the Mirador Mansion! Brings back fun memories of that trip, thanks to your post. 🙂
wow! that was 10 years ago. Cool 🙂
Weve been to hongkong and were planning to visit again this year for my daughter’s bday.. but i failed to book an airticket! i usually book months ahead for the lowest fares.. its true that hk is a cheaper place to travel.. bookmarking promos is a key! Glad u enjoyed your trip.. that was an awesome deal!
Thanks Elizabeth 😉
OMYYYYY! 15k only! That’s so cheap, I am definitely gonna look out on promo fares to Hong Kong 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Johna 🙂
What a great walkthrough for anyone hoping to go to Hong Kong without going broke! I adore this looks like a fabulous trip
Thanks Caroline 🙂
15k can take you quite far. I might spend more on food then cut off from souvenirs and tours. Hehe
Its hard not to buy something for your family who are expecting something hahaha >.<
Budgeting lang talaga is the key! Haha. Really informative (y) I actually prefer this kind of traveling because you get to enjoy more on walking around talaga. Haha
Thank Mimi 🙂
Hong Kong! Hubby and I wasn’t able to flay to HK even with our tickets were all set. Sad but it was for the better because I got pregnant to our first child before our scheduled trip. Kaya next time na lang ulit, will plan again with the kids. Oh about the haggling, naku I learned how to haggle in China, got an item at 80% off at most. hehehe
Disneyland is really my first reason why we went to HK, we got 2 day ticket para sulit. 🙂
It brings back the child on me 🙂
This is a great post for people traveling on a budget like me.Like you , I’m more attracted to sights rather than shopping.Thank you for this detailed post about your trip.I’m taking note of the info it has.
I’ve never been to Hongkong but like you, nothing would really matter unless I’d get to Disneyland. Haha! I really thank you for sharing your itinerary. I now have the sudden urge to book myself the next plane to HK. Also, it’s really affordable for almost a week. 🙂
Thanks melissa 🙂