Why Pinoys Love Visiting Hong Kong Again and Again
It can’t be denied that it has become easier and easier to travel nowadays. Filipinos, in particular, have grown enamored by travel. With social media triggering wanderlust and budget airline companies leveling the playing field, more and more Pinoys are packing their bags and hopping on buses, planes, and trains to visit new cities and countries.
One favorite destination of Pinoys, whether they’re new or old hats in traveling, is Hong Kong. This small but beautiful special administrative region of China is filled with sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that make people want to come back again and again. Check out this list, and see if you agree!
Let’s face it: we Filipinos are notorious bargain seekers. We want to maximize our hard-earned money, and that’s why we’re always on the lookout for the best deals. Well, Hong Kong is one of those places where you can stretch your budget. In fact, you can find one-way tickets from Manila to Hong Kong for about Php1,500 or lower, even without a promo or seat sale. What’s more, there are plenty of travel companies that offer a comprehensive Hong Kong tour package. These often include discounted per-night rates on hotels, cheap tickets to popular attractions, and even roundtrip transfers and transport cards. Another big plus is that Filipinos don't need a visa to visit Hong Kong. There’s no need to pay processing fees and the like, and you also don’t have to worry about “show money.”
Getting around in Hong Kong is also cheap, not to mention efficient. The MTR, the country’s rail system, has a Tourist Day Pass that covers unlimited rides (with a few exceptions) for only HKD65 or about Php450. Meanwhile, a four-day pass to the stylish and historic Hong Kong Tramways costs about HKD34 or about Php230. There’s also the Octopus card, a reloadable contactless stored value card (think of the beep card in the Philippines), which you can use in the MTR, Tramways, buses, and the Star Ferry, among many other establishments.
There are a lot of family-friendly destinations in Hong Kong. Chief of them is Hong Kong Disneyland, an all-time favorite for tourists. Hong Kong Disneyland is located in Lantau Island and features seven themed areas with rides, attractions, souvenir shops, and restaurants. There are also three themed hotels, where you can stay overnight; this is perfect if you want to fully explore the park’s sprawling 27.5-acre property. There are two new planned themed areas in Hong Kong Disneyland: Arendelle: World of Frozen and Stark Expo Hong Kong. The former is slated to open in 2021 and the latter in 2023.
There’s also Ocean Park Hong Kong, where you can meet sea creatures and other animals, enjoy thrilling rides, and catch some beautiful views. There’s also a replica of Old Hong Kong inside the park if you want a quick trip through history. Other destinations you might want to consider are Madame Tussauds (perfect for those selfies with artistas), Victoria Peak, the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Park, and the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.
Hong Kong is also family-friendly in terms of travel time, taking only about 2 hours if you’re coming from Manila. If you’re taking your kids with you, they won’t get bored out of their minds sitting through a long flight. In fact, you may even have more difficulties with antsy toddlers while waiting in the terminal than when you’re already in the air.
It’s Great for Shopping
Apart from a love for food, Pinoys also have a love for shopping. And in Hong Kong, you can definitely shop till you drop. Some of the most popular shopping destinations include Kowloon, where you can find the Ladies Market, Temple Street Night Market, and the Jade Market. It’s highly encouraged to haggle when shopping here, especially since the prices start a bit high. However, if you’re used to “making tawad” in tiangges in the Philippines, then you’ll be right at home in Kowloon.
Other shopping destinations you must visit are Harbour City (also in Kowloon), Landmark Hong Kong, Pacific Place, Stanley Market, and IFC Mall. The latter four are all found in Hong Kong Island, where you can also find Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong Park, and Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens.
Another great thing about visiting Hong Kong? The sheer number of Filipinos you’ll encounter in almost every corner. You’ll definitely feel a warmer, more welcoming atmosphere because of all the kababayans in Hong Kong.
So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Hong Kong today! Whether it’s your first time or your nth visit, you’re sure to enjoy every second.