Travel Expenses: Hong Kong

I’m back from my trip to Hong Kong over the weekend. Since I always keep track of my expenses for every trip, the budget is always the first entry to be finished.

This Hong Kong trip was certainly one of the cheapest trip I’ve had lately, specially since it was an international trip (coming close to Batanes and Boracay in terms of value). I’m quite proud that I was able to stay below my budget. I even have extra money! I guess the perk about being so exhausted is that I’m not in the mood to buy anything.

I was so used to seeing prices in US, Australian and Singapore dollars that when I see the prices in Hong Kong, it all seemed expensive to me. The average rate for US$1 is Php 48, AU$1 is Php 30.84, and SG$1 is Php 31.42, while HK$1 is only Php 6.3.

Another thing about this trip was that we avoided the usual tourist hotspots. We did go to the Temple Street night market, but that’s about it. Our major activity was watching the local festival, and hiking on the Wilson Trail in eastern Hong Kong.

Hong Kong
February 2009
Assumption: HK$ 1 = Php 7 HK$ 1 = Php 6.32
Cost In Philippine Actual In Philippine
(Estimate) Peso


Air Transfers
Philippine Airlines PHP 5,896.00 PHP 5,896.00 PHP 5,896.00 PHP 5,896.00 1
Manila International Terminal Fee PHP 750.00 PHP 750.00 PHP 750.00 PHP 750.00

Airport/Ferry Port Transfers
Manila (Two way) PHP 600.00 PHP 600.00 PHP 420.00 PHP 420.00 2
Hong Kong (Two way) HKD 200.00 PHP 1,400.00 HKD 110.00 PHP 695.20 3

Octopus Card HKD 150.00 PHP 1,050.00 HKD 52.80 PHP 333.70 4

Couch Surfing with Vincent PHP 0.00 PHP 0.00 PHP 0.00 PHP 0.00 5

Food Expenses
HKD 70 per meal (6 meals) HKD 420.00 PHP 2,940.00 HKD 310.90 PHP 1,964.89 6

Travel Insurance PHP 400.00 PHP 400.00 PHP 400.00 PHP 400.00
Token/gift for host PHP 400.00 PHP 400.00 PHP 304.50 PHP 304.50 7
Souvenir magnet HKD 30.00 PHP 210.00 HKD 12.00 PHP 75.84
Pasalubong HKD 150.00 PHP 1,050.00 HKD 110.00 PHP 695.20

Total Php 14,696.00
Php 11,535.32

1 Mabuhay Miles had a Great Miles Giveaway promo, where miles needed for redemption are cut by 50%. I was able to redeem a round trip ticket to Hong Kong for only 7,500 miles! I had to pay taxes, which includes the Philippine Travel Tax already.
2 My taxi cost is lower than usual because I came from Megamall in Ortigas, and from the airport, I just took a regular metered cab from the departure level.
3 The HK Airport Express train has three stops: Tsung Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong. I was supposed to go to Olympic station, which is just one station away from Kowloon. Both Vincent (my CS host) and the guy at the Octopus card booth advised me to buy the ticket up to Tsung Yi and transfer to the MTR line to save on cost.
4 I was supposed to buy an Octopus Card for HK$ 150, but Kaoko lent me hers, saving me HK$ 50. I just loaded it up with HK$ 100 at the airport. I used this for the MTR, buses, mini buses, and paying for food at the convenience store and McDonald’s.
5 Accommodation in Hong Kong can be quite expensive, even the hostels. I decided it was high time for me to try Couch Surfing.
6 I had considerably less meals than I anticipated. What kept this high though was a Japanese all you can eat buffet lunch.
7 One of Vincent’s requests for couch surfing with him is to bring a token from your home country. I gave him an Ifugao idol and a pack of dried mangoes.
RELATED:   Travel Expenses: Bangkok, Thailand

Hong Kong 2009.xls (66k)

I’m not quite sure I’d have the same numbers when I go back to HK though… I’m itching to shop!

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 42 Comments
  1. Cla says:

    My HK trip in March last year cost me around that much (if you don’t count all the toys I bought, haha). Our accommodations package in HK was Php3000 for 3d/2n in a small hotel, with transfer to and from the airport, and free breakfast coupons. Not bad I think.

    Couch surfing sounds fun! I’d love to try that someday.

    • irene says:

      im planning to visit HK with my mom this april 2011, can u pls recommend me cheap hotels..thanks

      • nina says:

        Hi Irene, to be frank, I don’t have any recommendations at the moment because the first time I visited Hong Kong, I Couchsurfed, the second time, it was for a sponsored trip. I’m headed back to Hong Kong this Sunday and will be staying at the Golden Crown, a budget accommodation in Tsim Sha Tsu. Will give you feedback when I get back :)

    • shamy says:

      hey, can you advise which hotel is that? im planning a trip to HK this june. thanks.

      • nina says:

        Hi, as I have noted in my post, I Couchsurfed during this trip, hence the free accommodation. I went back to Hong Kong last January and I stayed at Golden Crown, which is right along Nathan road, near the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR. Our room cost HK$700 per night.

  2. hahahaHAHAHAHA my HK trip was open budget because i had no idea how much everythign was going to be — i’m so used to super expensive TOKYO prices XD

    i think i spent somewhere in the neighborhood of PhP 35K, because: 1) i booked my airline tickets only two weeks before my scheduled departure; 2) i went to see L’ARC EN CIAL live; and 3) i spent an entire day at DISNEYLAND.

    i’ll be flying back (hopefully very soon), but i doubt i’ll let myself spend that much again XD

  3. nina says:

    Cla: Uy, mukhang okay yung package na nakuha niyo ah! Haha, talagang di kasama ang ginastos sa toys pagdating sa budget XD

    Rotch: I want to go to Disneyland! Tuloy kayo ng September?

  4. lol i’ll let you know once we’ve booked tickets :D

  5. Badet says:

    That seems to be a reasonable amount to spend in Hongkong. But the cost is only for food and transportation. Visiting tourist attractions eats up a lot on the budget, and SHOPPING.

    Will be going back in HK this May, I’m excited to read about the Wilson trail hike. My husband wants to do some activities in HK and we’re not going to visit Ocean Park this time kaya more free time for us…. paki-una yung Wilson trail please. :)

  6. nina says:

    Hey Badet, there was no shopping budget allocated for this trip talaga, because it’s a trip to see Hong Kong’s other side. Frankly, I’m not interested in most of the tourist attractions, that’s why I didn’t bother with them. As for the Wilson Trail Hike, you’d have to wait pa kasi I still have to research about it.The first entries that would probably be written about Hong Kong in this blog would be the ones that I can easily write from memory.

  7. kaoko says:

    I envy your self-control! No Mongkok? Maaaan, it has already found a place in my heart, what with CTMA center being there. And that was how I spent 1k HKD in a day. In a couple of hours actually. *facepalm*

  8. nina says:

    Kaoko, it’s so easy to excise control when you only have HK$500 in your pocket :D But I swear!! Next time I’m going shopping na talaga! Oh, and it also helped that I didn’t do any research about the shops XD

  9. Joyceee says:

    nins! wow, that’s super tipid! maybe i’ll try that couch surfing thing, I still have to find out how it works tho… hehe
    my kasama kasi was a shopping freak and he doesn’t want to explore on food! huhuhuhu wanna go back just for a food trip pero i’m the poorest of them all! sadness! hehehe


  10. nina says:

    Joycee: I’m going to write about my couchsurfing experience in another post :D Hay, ako rin medyo frustrated sa failed food trip. Kaya kailangang bumalik ng Hong Kong!

  11. Badet says:

    Sige, antay ko yung WIlson Trail Hike Nina. Sana makahabol before April 30, that’s when we’re leaving naman. We wanted to explore HK differently din, foodtrip and some hiking but the Lantau trail that I’ve read takes days. For the Wilson trail, how many hours yung hike? Sorry kulit, will wait for your post na lang. =)

  12. arpee lazaro says:

    wow with this budget, maybe we can go to hongkong after all!

  13. dyanie says:

    Hi Nina! So how’s the feeling of Couch Surfing? Was your host gwapo? ahahaha:P joke!

  14. dong ho says:

    wow! galing nina. now you’re teaching us how to really do it the cheap way.

    that’s nina on a shoestring.

  15. gingay says:

    hi! learned couch surfing thru your was it? :>

  16. nina says:

    Arpee & Dong: Any trip can be done in a shoestring budget, as long as you know what to spend on ;) Besides, with the numerous destinations in my travel list, I need to spend money wisely!

    Dyanie and Gingay: I’ll be writing about my Couch Surfing experience, watch out for it :)

  17. Ivan Man Dy says:


    That’s a super cheap way to go to HK but if you had to pay for your accommodation, im sure P15 K wouldnt be enough, the cheapest place Ive stayed in HK was about HK$300 a night in Causeway Bay, its one of those apartments turned mini hotels where the rooms are so small that you probably have a hard time sitting on the floor. At least it was clean, air-conditioned and has a private toilet. And its right a the heart of the shopping district.

    Another tip, next time join those Walking Tours by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, theyre free and take you around to the most fascinating nooks and crannies of the city (every wanted to climb up the Bank of China or the HSBC building?)

  18. nina says:

    Ivan: that’s exactly why I decided to couch surf in HK, to further save on costs :D I’ve plans to go back this September. Will definitely look into the walking tours. Thanks for the tip!

  19. yam says:

    Huge savings! Did you stay in Kowloon ?
    Btw, I think it’s Tsing Yi, not Tsung Yi. I alighted at that station once from the airport also.

    I’d love to try Couchsurfing too. I know someone who’s quite active in CS Manila. She’s saved a lot on accommodation on her trips.

  20. anna says:

    Looking forward to your couch surfing post!

    Question: Does your Octopus card ever glitches and not allow you entry? Mine does that every so often. -___-;;

  21. nina says:

    Yam: Yup! Tsing Yi nga, not Tsung Yi! (Fail ako!)

    Anna: My couchsurfing experience was okay naman. Will have to write about it next time lol The only time my octopus card denied me entry is when I fell below the fare I needed ^_^;

  22. wow.. mas makaka tipid pala ako sa HK. Nung pumunta me ng Bohol, umabot 60k overall gastos ko. wah!

  23. nina says:

    Grabe naman yung 60K for Bohol, Jehz! Baka naman madami kayo. Itong trip to HK na to sobrang tipid talaga kasi no choice eh XD But it’s easy to spend 60K din in Hong Kong (and even more!) There’s Disneyland, Ocean Park and all the shopping… *sigh*

  24. meryll says:

    Hi im going to Hongkong between July 11-25 2009 ( haba ano hehehe) can i get the name of the hotel where you stayed na Php 3,000.00 per night? ang budget lang kasi namin for the hotel is about $80-100.. looking forward to hearing your response

  25. mhiemhie says:

    Hi meryll, we’ll be going to hongkong this may 11- 15 for my son’s treat on his 3rd birthday. I had booked our place to stay in kowloon and it only cost us US $14 only per person and were 4 in this trip so it is US$ 56 (that is around Php 2,632 per night only). And this hostel is located in kowloon, which is near to the places you want to go in hongkong. I’m confident that this hostel is safe and clean as my officemate says because this is where she stays also whenever she’s in hongkong (owned by Jackie Chan). I hope we’ll both enjoy our stay in hongkong…

    • AnneR says:

      Hi Mhiemhie! My hubby and i are going to hk on march 15th-19th for our 2nd anniv.. hehe… and we haven’t booked any hostels/hotels pa! eeek! we’re looking kc for some cheap/budget hostels na safe and clean… and we’re considering bridal tea house in yau ma tei pero kng meron pang mas cheap — and safe, mas ok! hehe! we’re not that picky naman kc when it comes to hotels…. basta impt safe xa not only for us pati na rin sa mga things namin… and syempre clean ung t/b… so what’s the name of the hostel ur referring to?! ano name nya and pano magpa-book?! super thanks in advance! :)

      • nina says:

        Hi Anne, I recently went to Hong Kong and stayed at the Golden Crown Guesthouse. It’s right along Nathan Road in the TST area. It’s a very good location — near the Tsim Sha Tsu MTR station, very close to the Airport bus stop. Our room cost HKD 350 per night, and it’s already good for 2 pax, with ensuite toilet and bath.

  26. Brian says:

    Hello I just want to know where do you get your travel insurance? Thank you.

  27. Brian says:

    Hello Nina, can you share Vincent’s link on CS so I can ask if he’s available if next year when I visit HK. Thanks.

  28. Leng says:

    Hi Cla and mhiemhie,
    What’s the name of the hotel you stayed in? Thanks!

  29. rona says:

    hi! nice site… just want to know if kasya na sakin ung 50k budget for hongkong? thanks.

  30. mackeyme says:

    hi mhiemhie, I read your post about the $14 hotel cost, may I know what’s the name of the place? punta kami don april16-20. Appreciate your help. Thanks!

  31. kristel says:

    rona are you kidding?50k is all right!and may i say is that a budget?

  32. kristel says:

    rona mayabang ka ata!!!!!

  33. kristel says:

    hi by the way im kristel im half canadian half filipino!!!
    but i stay here for a long long time because philippines is a beautiful country!!

  34. kristel says:

    im more on english!!

  35. ann alingcastre says:

    hello, we are planning to go to hong kong this coming May. I don’t have any idea how much our budget cost. We are 8 and we are staying there for 3 days and 2 nights only. Our hotel and transportation was paid as well as our breakfast. I just need to budget ouu meals for Lunch, snacks and dinner for 3 days and a little bit of shopping. please I really do need your suggestions. thanks in advance

  36. Pa Ul says:

    Wow! I wish I could have done that. Because it is my first time to visit Hong Kong, so I visited most of the tourist spots. When I visit again, I’ll try to stick on that kind of budget too.

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