Our DIY Hong Kong Family Tour
We have long been saving up for a family trip to Hong Kong. When we finally had enough money, we went last year and did a DIY Hong Kong Family Tour in order to keep the expenses down. This was our eldest daughter’s advance birthday trip.
We booked a promo flight via Cebu Pacific. It was a direct flight from Iloilo to Hong Kong. Our additional connecting trip would be the Bacolod to Iloilo ferry boat ride. Our ticket was planned for five nights.
For our accommodations, we would be staying at my friend Sam’s pad, so we did not have to pay for a Hong Kong hotel.
About two months prior to our family vacation, Cebu Pacific informed us that they cancelled our return flight and we need to reschedule. Upon talking to an agent on the phone, we learned that we could not move the departure–only the return. Since Cebu Pacific only flies every other day, our only choice was to reduce our vacation time to 3 nights or increase it to 7 nights.
Thanks to our free accommodation, there was no doubt that we would add more night because 3 whole days in Hong Kong is just too short. Anyway, we are homeschooling in Bacolod so we don’t have to deal with absences in school. This family can just go anytime and anywhere as long as our pockets allow it.
Planning a 7-day DIY Hong Kong Family Tour
So here is our itinerary for our DIY Hong Kong Family Tour, considering that this is a budget trip. And it’s good for four people. Our little girl is already 4 years old, so in a lot of instances, her fare and as well as other things are already paid for.
Day 1 | Monday – Yuen Long
My friend’s place is in the Yuen Long Territory. We arrived there around 3am, taking the cab from the airport to his house. We rested and went out after lunch of Day 1. Even if we wanted to, we could not go earlier because we have kids.
So for Day 1, we went around the Yuen Long. First we hit the Ping Shan Heritage Trail in order to immerse ourselves in the local culture. We saw a lot of old temples and houses depicting ancient Chinese architecture and art. Our family trip is a combination of the search for the old and new.
It was a long and tiring walk but the kids survived. After that, they had some downtime at Yuen Long Park. They played in the playground and chased after birds. Too bad the Yuen Long Aviary Pagoda was already closed when we got there.
Day 2 | Tuesday – Hong Kong Disneyland (1st day)
We bought a two-day pass for Hong Kong Disneyland. We felt that one day is not enough for the kids to enjoy the park. Plus, the second day was pretty cheap.
- HK Disneyland 2-Day Pass for 4 – PhP 14,622 c/o Klook (2 adults, 2 kids)
The kids thoroughly enjoyed meeting whoever Disney character was available during our visits. They interacted well with the princesses, sharing stories and all. Check our my article on Hong Kong Disneyland Magic Comes to Life,
Day 3 | Wednesday- Museum Day
Our 2-day Disneyland pass didn’t have to be availed consecutively. So we skipped the park today because every Wednesday in Hong Kong, the museums offer free entrance. On regular days, entrance fees range from HK$10 to HK$20. That’s pretty big when you total everything.
We first to the Tsim Tsa Tsui area for the Avenue of the Stars. But it was closed at that time because of the major renovations in the area. But we did get to enjoy whatever was left there, which they called the Garden of the Stars.
Also, we stopped by the lovely playground on the hill. We have kids, remember? So a playground stopover is a must. They just had to have some play time. We would not have been able to do it if we got a guided tour.
Then we proceeded to the Hong Kong Science Museum. My kids are such Science geeks that 2.5 hours was not enough for them there. We had to take them away because we will had another place to go to and we barely had enough time before the museums close.
Our next stop was the Hong Kong Museum of History. It was around 3pm already so we had our snacks at their cafeteria. Food there is good and quite affordable. We had about 2 hours left to tour the entire place before it closes for the day. In the end, there were a couple of exhibits that we were not able to see. Dindin would really linger at each exhibit, reading the literature of the displays.
Day 4 | Thursday – Hong Kong Disneyland (2nd day)
It was back to HK Disneyland for our second day of our DIY Hong Kong Family Tour. We made sure that we covered all the attractions and the rides that we wanted to get on. We also had photo opps with all the characters present that day.
The princesses were not all present because our visits were during the weekdays. They are complete during weekends.
That was our trade off for not wanting to go there on a weekend. I wanted to avoid the crowd of weekend guests. And we were fine with everything. Our nice pictures without other people photobombing our scenes was worth the sacrifice.
Day 5 | Friday – Lantau Island Tour
We spent a day to appreciate Lantau Island because of its rich heritage. We bought our Ngong Ping 360 Lantau Sky-Land-Sea Day pass round trip tickets also from Klook.
- Ngong Ping 360 Lantau Sky-Land-Sea / Tai O for 4 – PhP 4,926 c/o Klook (2 adults, 2 kids)
The Ngong Ping 360 is the cable car that brought us to Lantau Island. We took the standard cabin because the one with the glass bottom is more expensive.
It was such a thrill for all of us to be high up in the air to see the mountains. The ride has a distance of 5.7 km and it takes about 25 minutes one way. But the problem was the queue. Took us about 4 hours of waiting to get on that cable car because of the waiting. The queue was also quite crazy at the first part.
Coming back, it also took about an hour of queuing. Thankfully the kids were not unruly. The waiting was too much. I guess that’s because it was a Friday. And my other guess, it’s gonna be worse on weekends.
When we got to Ngong Ping Village, we explored the place for a bit. We also went to the Po Lin Monastery. Papa and Dindin went up to the Tian Tan Buddha for a better view while the Siobe and I stayed below and enjoyed some refreshments.
Part of the package was a tour of the old Tai O Fishing Village and boating in the open sea. We saw the stilt houses and lots of dried seafood. If it was easy, I would have loved to bring back home some dried seafood. They were premium dried seafood, not like the ones we are used to here in the Philippines.
We saw a glimpse of the life of the people living in this seaside village.
The boat ride was a bit scary because of the fast and noisy speed boat. Plus I realized that we already reached the open sea. With two young kids, I felt so scared. hahaha Siobe was also clinging to me, but I think she was more scared of the sound of the motor boat than the deep sea.
If we paid extra and went out further, we would have reached the area where there are sightings of the pink dolphin. But we skipped that part. It was beyond our travel budget already.
Day 6 | Saturday – Macau Day Tour
We wanted to check in at Disneyland Hotel but found it too expensive. And we won’t be able to maximize our stay in this nice hotel because we would be at the park all day anyway. So instead, we allocated the budget for a trip to Macau. This is a low-budget DIY Hong Kong Family Tour after all.
- Venetian Macau Gondola Rides for 4 – PhP 1,103 c/o Klook (2 adults, 2 kids)
- TurboJet Ferry Tickets (Hk-Macau RT) – PhP 8,852 c/o Klook (2 adults, 2 kids)
Macau is another territory of China that is near Hong Kong but is separated by the sea. It takes a one-hour ferry ride to reach there. We got good ferry deals also on Klook. We bought our tickets about 3 days before our schedule. It was much cheaper. Ferry is big, clean, and very fast.
One of my intentions in Macau is to ride the gondola at the Venetia Macau. And we did. The gondola ride here is much cheaper that the one at McKinley Hill in Manila, which is P550 per person. In Macau, we got it for a little over PhP1,000 only, plus the boatman is an Italian who sang operatic songs to us. Closest to the original as possible. Lovet! 😀
Filipino Tour Guide
We wanted to DIY our Macau tour as well. But we were so tired and it was already lunchtime so we thought of hiring a guide. We found a Filipina guide who charge us with HK$500. It was good enough. The fee included the bus rides and she was pretty nice. At least we didn’t get lost and we enjoyed our short stay in Macau.
We went to the usual Macau attractions that our time afforded us. We had to take our lunch there, as it was around noon when we got there:
- Ruins of St. Paul
- Senado Square
- Venetian Macau
- Parisian Macau
- St. Dominic Church
- Macau Fisherman’s Wharf
The Parisian Macao is so nice that Shane asked us if we could stay there. Someday, Siobe, someday. It’s realllyyyy nice!!! It’s all French sophistication. We love it there!
Day 7 | Sunday – Ocean Park Hong Kong
We went to Hong Kong in November, which was the month that registered the least rain fall in their weather report. Throughout the week, we had great weather. But when Sunday came, it rained torrents. And it was our time to go to Ocean Park Hong Kong.
My friend Sam treated us there, including our fare. So I was not able to take note of our expenses. The rain really spoiled our time there because it was hard to get around when the rain was pouring. And Sam had to buy ponchos for all of us, just so we would not be drenched.
But a lot of the rides were to messy to take. The only thing that the kids enjoyed were the animals. Thankfully, they were in covered exhibits.
Well, that’s just how it is in every travel. You win some and you lose some. But at least, the majority of our DIY Hong Kong Family Tour experienced great weather!
Our DIY Hong Kong Family Tour was made easy because of Klook. I paid for everything we needed on the site. And everything was pretty easy.
Our special gratitude goes to our friend Sam who took us in when we were in Hong Kong. We saved so much with our DIY Hong Kong Family Tour because we no longer had to pay for a Hong Kong hotel. We had a super grand time!
Hong Kong Travel Tips
- Prepare cash: small bills and loose change. That way you just drop the money in the bus if necessary.
- Buy the Octopus card. It will save you a lot of money if you commute. The price of the card is refundable.
- At Disneyland, let the kids wear costumes. The experience would be epic.
- Eat local. Try the Chinese cuisine. We bought some meals from the hawkers and the food is really good. It was just hard to understand each other though.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Touring Hong Kong entails a lot of walking. And the effort would be doubled if you have to run after or carry your kids.
- Bring appropriate clothes. We went there on a November. It wasn’t very cold yet but light jackets were already needed. Bring caps for the kids, too. The last thing you need are kids getting sick while travelling.
- Protect your kids’ health. Bring their usual vitamin supplements and give them nutritious food. The tours and the long hours on the road can be taxing for your kids. They bodies need to recuperate from the travel stress. I brought their standard multivitamin supplement as well as Ceelin, a separate Vitamin C chewable tablet.
- If you can, bring a tripod. You cannot trust other people to take good photos. Plus it can be a nuisance asking people for help all the time. In this DIY Hong Kong Family Tour, our tripod helped us compose beautiful shots. Plus it warded off other people from joining our family portraits.
Other family travel stories:
- Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Luxurious Family Stay
- Richmonde Hotel Iloilo Family Vacation
- Baguio City Birthday Adventure
- GoHotels Family Stay
- Nature’s Village Resort