Easy Hong Kong Travel Guide

 

It’s that season again when Airlines are trying to fill up their seats with Seat Sales for the lean seasons or sometimes even better immediate travel. Here’s a Quick and Easy Hong Kong Travel Guide so you can do a quick escape to Asia’s World City!

Cheap Air Tickets

Airasia is running a promotion right now so we did a mock booking and here’s the cheapest that we could find.

Screenshot_2016-10-04-17-07-08

 

But there are more airlines out there, so download fare comparison apps on your phone like Skyscanner (my personal favorite) so you see who has the best prices for that dates that you are eyeing.

 

Where To Stay In Hong Kong

It actually depends in your budget, if you got some money to burn you can opt to stay in Central, the posh side of Hong Kong. But if you are all up for a Backpacking style adventure then stay at the Kowloon side of the city.

Best place that we recommend staying is at Dragon Hostel. We found them after searching every travel guide and reviews about accommodations in Hong Kong. Reviews are important part of searching since they are feedback coming from customers, people who are paying to stay there so it’s a good reference to gauge whether an accommodation is good or bad.

>>> Check our review of Dragon Hostel Here<<<

You can also find other great Hotels here!

Here’s a sample seach… you can click on the photo!

room

What to do in Hong Kong

Check with your hotel mostly likely than not, they can provide you with discounted tickets to amusement parks here’s what we got from ours at Dragon Hostel

hostel prices

 Where To Eat 

Din Tai Fung and Tim Ho Wan is out of the question, they are a must have. But one must roam around Hong Kong to actually see what there is to experience. We projected our budget for food at $100 per day (except for HK Disneyland where food was ridiculously expensive at $100 per meal) per head. Honestly we just ate at any restaurant we are near at when we were hungry.

 

 

Getting Around Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s MTR, their train system is actually one if not the best in the world that even Singapore envies its efficiency. The MTR will take you for the most part of Hong Kong where attractions are, then you’d have to walk. Taxis and private cars can be expensive and throw your backpacker’s budget off the gutter, so brace your selves for a whole lot of walking anyways this how locals roll in their city – they walk.

Remember to download the MTR app as well so you can plan ahead of time what routes you are taking and how much you’ll be paying and don’t forget to buy your Octopus Card in the airport for hassle free travel throughout the city.

MTR App

Sample Expense Sheet

To give you an idea of how much you should be preparing here’s a rough estimate that we’ve made. The total cost may rise or go down depending on the attractions that you want to see, for example, you can just choose between The Peak or Madame Tussauds instead of seeing them both or go to Ocean Park instead of Disneyland which is way more expensive. So choose wisely of where you want to spend your day, remember there are a lot of attractions in Hong Kong that does not require you of paying!

sample expensesSo say that you don’t hell care about Dinseyland and/or Madame Tussauds, and you just want to experience the authentic Hong Kong life by going to their night Markets, parks and plazas. That could easily translate just a little over Php 11,000! Just know what you want to do and see efficiently.

Here’s our itinerary on our trip.

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Note: This post is based on the author’s trip last 2014 on a Php 21000 budget for two.

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Still got questions? Put them on the comment section and we’ll answer them the best that we can 😉

Easy Sagada Travel Guide

Sagada, a scenic town nestled up in the mountains of the Cordilleras are dreamed of a lot of people with the only thing holding them back are reasons such as it’s to far, too expensive, they don’t know how to get there, can’t join group tours because of time or simply because they don’t want to be stuck up moving with a bunch of people.

That is why we’ve came up with this Easy Sagada Travel Guide so you can plan your trip fitting your budget and time.

How To Get To Sagada

Step 1: Call Coda Bus Lines (0925-559-2197/ 0929-521-3229)

Coda buses will take you from Quezon City and unload you in Sagada, yes it’s that easy Sagada is just one ride away from Manila.

Call their Quezon City office and reserve your seats, no need to pay just tell them how many you need then reserve it under a name. Just be at the terminal at least an hour to make sure that they won’t give your seats away to chance passengers.

Oh, and on your way home, the bus will most likely to make a stop at the Banaue Rice Terreces view point where you can take photos!

Uhmmm…. yes there is no step 2 😉

Where to Stay in Sagada

If you are a bit adventurous, you can just walk around Sagada and find your room. If you are traveling on a weekday and off peak season you wouldn’t have to worry about not getting a room, you can even find rooms for as low as 250 pesos that are decent. The advantage here is that most of these dirt cheap rooms aren’t mostly found online.

On the other hand, if you are going there during peak season or you just want to be assured that you got a room to stay when you get there,  you might want to reserve your room ahead of time. You can also book here for the best prices

Sagada Hotel

Where to Eat in Sagada

Not many know that aside from being a scenic town, Sagada is aslo considred as a gastronomic destination. Translation? Food Trip baby! Notable establishments are Youghurt House, Lemon House and Sagada Brew. Plan your meals around a 300 peso figure and you’d be comfortable, but if food is not your priority then you’ll save some more! (Note: food in the public market/carinderia is about 60 pesos per serving of one viand w/o rice)

Sagada Food Trip

What to Do In Sagada

The best thing about tourism in Sagada is that it is well organized.

You will get off from the bus within the grounds near St. Mary’s church and from there find your way straight to the tourism office. You’ll need to register and pay the fees for your visit, remember to keep the receipt with you all the time as this will be asked to be presented from time to time whenever you go to spots.

Sagada Tourist Information Center

After settling in your room, find your way to the Sagada Genuine Guides Association (SaGGAss) office where you can book your adventures with a well trained guide.

For tours around Saggada, you can just hire a van for about 500 pesos that can take you around those spots that does not need guides (Lake Danum sunset, Sagada Pottery, Sagada Weaving etc) just make sure to map out your route first. Kiltepan peak can be done by foot (and you’ll find a lot just actually walk from the town center to Kiltepan peak ) or you can just take a jeep near the municipal hall.

Sagada Cave Connection

 

sagada tour

 

Safe Budget

For a solo traveler a rough estimate of about 5,000 pesos would suffice.

Ex.
RT Fare                                     1400
Cave Connection                      600
Hanging Coffins                      200
2 Nights Accomodation         600
Kiltepan Peak                           Free
Sagada Tour                              500
Food                                          1800
Total                                         5100

For A group of 4
RT Fare                                   1400
Cave Connection                    150
Hanging Coffins                      50
2 Nights Accomodation      300
Kiltepan Peak                       Free
Sagada Tour                          125
Food                                    1800
Total                                   3825

 

You may want to note that the price for food did not change (Php 300 x 6 meals). This is because Sagada like I mentioned earlier offers really good food that even foreigners rave about, and you wouldn’t not want to miss how awesome the food is in Sagada!

Again this is just a rough estimate, price may increase or drop depending on the activities that you are wanting to do. For solo seasoned solo travelers, surely you’ll find a way to keep those activity prices down by being friendly right?

There you go, I’m pretty sure that with this guide you’ll find your way soon to Sagada, a place where nature co-exists with man in harmony.

P.S. Will update this post soon with an itinerary

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Got questions? Put them on the comment section, I’ll try my best answer them.

 

 

 

Where To Stay In Pagudpud

One of the main things us backpackers are concerned about is where to stay in places that are too touristy, translation: Too expensive. In our search for a cheap room near Saud beach we were lucky enough to get a good deal not in a fancy hotel but in nice and decent home stay. So while in the area I decided to take photos of the homestay signages that you can contact. I know we are backpackers but just a word of advise, please be considerate when haggling for prices, they are families that are willing to let you in to their homes’ extra room for their livelihood and not some big business just trying to get your money. These homestays are found along the Pagudpud road and are just right across the property near the beach, these are not beach front properties. where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud

where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud   where to stay in pagudpud

 

where to stay in pagudpud

 

where to stay in pagudpud

How To Go To Pagudpud

I’m writing this guide just right after dinner upon our arrival here in Pagudpud. I wanted to write this right away because I wanted to share the information as fresh as it can be from our experience

To get to Pagudpud you must bring your self first to Ilocos Norte, The northern most province of the Luzon Island.

  • From Cubao take a bus bound to Loag, Ilocos Norte. Fare is around 700 pesos
  • Upon arriving in Loag navigate going to Lazaro street where most of the Buses and Vans going to Pagudpud are. Lazaro street is in near Jollibee and PLDT.
  • Take a bus to Pagudpud, get off at the crossing and take a tricycle to your resort, cost is around 60 pesos.

Remember to take the buses that has Pagudpud in their signages. If you need to take buses that are Cagayan bound or those who does not have Pagudpud signage make sure to tell the conductor that you are going to Pagudpud and to drop you off at the crossing. From there you can take a tricycle going to your home stay, fare is about 100.

 

How to get to the city from the airport in Hong Kong

Every backpacker’s question upon arriving in an airport remains the same, “How the hell are we gonna get out of here”. Hong Kong actually offers an array of transportation option of getting to the city so it shouldn’t be a problem. But being the backpackers that we are, we always look for the fastest yet the cheapest option that there is and yes most of the time the answer is via the Train.

Luckily the Hong Kong airport has a train station WITHIN the airport, yep you read that right! So all you have to do is just buy your ticket/octopus card (we recommend buying the later) follow the signs then hop on the express train! That easy! BUT! It actually costs around $100 HKD.

how to get to the city from hong kong airport

But don’t despair, there is a way to massively cut down your transportation expense going to the city. Here’s how!

Go to the counter and buy an Octopus Card and load it with the estimated amount that you’d be using throughout your trip. Don’t worry about over loading your card since you can still refund the remaining amount and the cost of your Octopus Card in the airport as you leave.

Hop on the express train and get off at Tsing Yi station. Then from Tsing Yi station take the regular Commuter Train and get off at the station nearest to your destination or hotel.

how to get to the city from hong kong airport

Yep, that simple and you’ll be saving $40 HKD on your transportation cost! Taking the bus will give you some more savings ($40 HKD for A11 bsus service from HK Airport) but it will take you longer than the train of course. So weigh your options if you have enough time and not really in a rush or has a lot of luggage the bus maybe a good option, but if you are traveling backpacker style I say the train is the best way!

Do you have other suggestions on how to get out of the Hong Kong Airport going to the city? Let us know through the comments section.

Top Tips For Hong Kong

If you are planning for a trip to Hong Kong you might be in a situation that you don’t know how to decide on because you would only know the answer when you are already there. Well I’ve been in that situation, here are some useful travel tips that I learned on my recent trip to Hong Kong that I feel will be really helpful on making your decisions with your upcoming trip.

 

1. Buy An Octopus Card

The Octopus Card will not only let you travel conveniently but also saves you a lot as discounts specially for transfers are given when you switch lines. You don’t have to buy another single journey ticket at each station!

If you don’t have any $50 or $100 HKD bill go to the customer service counter and add value on your card there.

2. Airport To The City

If you want to save on money don’t buy an Express Train ticket, remember that you are there for vacation so no need to rush. An Airport Express ticket costs about $100 HKD from the airport to either Kowloon or Hong Kong stations. Using your Octopus card, hop on the express train and get off at the Tsing Yi station then transfer to the regular commuter train on to your destination. This will cost you $60 HKD from the airport to the Tsing Yi station but your travel from Tsing Yi to you final stop is going to be free! You just saved $40 HKD!!!

3. The Peak

According to my research and friend recommendations, it is best to go to The Peak between 4:00 PM – 6 PM. However, when I was there the line was really long that it crossed the street already. I think it was just a fluke and my luck just ran out that day. To avoid from suffering the same on your trip, buy a The Peak Tram-Madame Tussaud’s-Sky Terrace combo package ticket so you can skip the regular cue and go straight to the waiting area for the tram right away.

4. Buy Tickets At Your Hotel

Not necessarily your hotel, but buy your tickets in advance from a travel agency around Hong Kong or from another Hotel. I actually found that the rates of the tickets that my hotel was selling is cheaper than the travel agency’s price which are lower than buying from the attraction’s travel booth on location.

5. Wear Comfy Shoes

I say wear good rubber shoes! You will walk and walk and walk around Hong Kong, and I highly suggest that you do. Walking lets you experience the city more and feel the vibe than getting on a cab, I actually never rode a cab while I was there the MTR and buses were enough for me to get to my next location.

6. Bring Enough Money

And I mean enough, not too much or too little (of course). Bring enough money that you are willing to spend for your stay, sight seeing, food, attractions, other petty expenses and yes shopping. Make sure that you make a budget for your shopping, I am pretty sure that you’d want to buy cheap (I am referring to price not the quality) branded stuff while you go around the shops there. Create a separate budget for this because over spending is not easy to evade, it’s like being in a casino it would just tempt you over and over to spend more and more because of the great deals that you’d find.

7. The MTR App

If you have a smart phone download the app that will be your best friend while in Hong Kong, The MTR Mobile App. This app will help you navigate the MTR by telling you what station to get off to transfer lines (if needed), how much time travel you’ll spend and tell you how much you fare is!

Do you have a good tip for Travelers to Hong Kong or got a question that didn’t get answered? Share them on the comments section, we might just include it on our list!

 

Travel Guide: Taiwan

It is one of the places that really does not exist and as Anthony Bourdain said it, It could have been how China (PRC) is today who has turned its back from its culture and tradition.

Taiwan actually can be considered as a country or a province of China depending on your nationality as some countries do recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan) over The People’s Republic of China (mainland) and some the other way around. For me that is actually one of the interesting things that I learned about Taiwan how difficult it could be and how wonderful it is to be living in Formosa, the beautiful island of Taiwan.

Visa Requirements

Taiwan has visa waiver programs for some countries depending on your countries diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. For Filipinos there are two ways on how you can be granted entry to Taiwan.

You can either get a Entry Permit through online or you may also apply for a visa through the Economic and Cultural Office of Taiwan.

You may visit these blogs for more information:

For other nationalities please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs site to check how you can obtain yours or if you even need one.

Points of Interest

 Taipei

Transportation

Getting around Taiwan is relatively easy as the whole island can be accessed through its well planned High-Speed Rail (HSR), Light/Metro Rail and bus systems.

The island has two metro systems one in Taipei and the other in Kaoshung. Both cities are connected through their HSR so it’s actually like being in one big city.

You may buy a reloadable Easy Card  that you can use for trains and buses or buy a token each time you ride the train. You can also use your easy card in purchasing items from department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores. Check their website for other transport options that you can avail.

You can find the whole scope of usage for your Easy Card HERE

Accomodation

Though Taiwan is not a popular destination for backpacking, Taiwan especially Taipei hosts a lot of backpacking accomodation. There are popular booking sites where you can place reservations where some do not even ask for any reservations fee to secure a room!

Here are some accommodations that your favorite travel bloggers recommend.

Food

Food can easily be found just about anywhere you look at. Taipei has a lot of foreign chains that has established good presence so there’s always some sort of safety net that you can turn to. But if you are going to look for Taiwanese food there’s always the night market and you can find food just about anywhere. Food prices ranges at about NT 60-100  and up for a good meal

Itineraries

Travel Guide: South Korea

The Land of the Morning Calm as we know it, surely you will find the calmness of the Koreans even if the city is bustling. Everybody walks with a certainty in their aura that kinda tells you that they know that everything is going to be alright. It may be the most connected city in the world in terms of technological advances but it is also one of the most traditional and I am sure that as you experience South Korea you’ll never see how people live with technology and tradition the same way ever again.

Visa Requirements

The Republic of South Korea is an OECD member state and provides special considerations for visitors who are either citizens of member countries or have valid OECD member state visas.

Here are the countries with visa agreements with South Korea: CLICK HERE

For Philippine Residents South Korean visas are provided free of charge for short visits and a minimal fee is charged for work and long/business visas.

You may read more about visas for Philippine residents on the links below.

For visa requirements for other nationalities you may refer to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs for more details

Points of Interest

Seoul

  • Coffee Prince Cafe [Links: Brownmantrips]
  • Nami Island [Links: AdventureAccounting]
  • The 5 Palaces of Seoul [Link: The Chosun Ilbo]
    • The Gyeongbok [Links: ]
    • The Changdeok Palace [Links: ]
    • The Changgyeong Palace [Links: Brownmantrips]
    • The Gyeonghui Palace [Links: ]
    • The Deoksu Palace [Links: ]
  • Jongmyo Shrine [Links: ]
  • N Seoul Tower [Links: Brownmantrips]
  • Bukchon Hanok Village [Links: ]
  • Korean War Memorial [Links: ]
  • Seoul Fortress [Links: ]
  • The Gates of Seoul
    • Namdaemun / Sungryemun (South Gate) [Links: ]
    • Dongdaemun / Heunginjimun (East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Seodaemun / Doneuimun (West Gate) [Links: ]
    • Bukdaemun /  Sukjeongmun (North Gate) [Links: ]
    • Dongsomun  / Hyehwamun (North East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Namsomun /  Gwanghimun (South East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Seosomun /  Souimun (South West Gate) [Links: ]
    • Buksomun /  Changuimun (North West Gate) [Links: ]
  • Cheonggyecheon Stream [Links: ]
  • Ehwa University [Links: rinicesillia ]
  • Myeong Dong [Links: ]
  • Han River [Links: ]
  • DMZ [Links: Kurtzky.com l AdventureAccounting ]
  • Mt. Bukhansan (Baegundae Peak)l [Links: weekendsidetrip.com]
  • Everland Amusement Park [Links: chyngreyes.com]

Busan

The Voice From Within: South Korea Trip 2013: Day 1 in Busan

Guiltless Getaways:  Busan City Tour

Ava Was Here: Touring around Busan in 28 hours

Jeju Island

Chyngreyes.com: Love, Sex, Magic at Jeju, S.Korea

Must Try Activities

Transportation

Going around South Korea is relatively easy as the government had made a good transport system not just going around cities but all throughout the country.

Upon arriving at the Incheon International Airport it is advisable to get as much information as you can at the tourist information counter at the left end of the arrival area. Before leaving the airport (if you can-lol) buy your selves a T-Card which will enable you to access the Subway and buses of Seoul and other major cities around South Korea. The T-Card is re-loadable and  if you are leaving South Korea already you can also refund the remaining credits of your card from the convenience stores in the airport.

A note though on Taxis, I was told that even though there are a lot of taxis around Seoul and that it is presumably convenient you would have to think twice first because they say that in Korea they really don’t find places with addresses but more of landmarks so make sure that you ask for landmarks before you hop on a taxi to your destination.

Accomodations

Here are accommodations that travel bloggers recommend

Food

You can’t say that you’ve been to Korea if you never tasted Korean food! It’s part of who they are and their culture so it is a must try. Food can be tough to order in Korea as really not all of them speak English, but I must say that they somewhat understand the language. Good thing about Seoul is that most of the places/restaurants have menus that have pictures so you can just point the food that you like and order!

Don’t forget to try their street food! They are awesome!!!!

Itineraries

If you blog and you have a post based from your experience that you would like us to link up here please do leave a comment below. 

Guiltless Getaways:  A Guide to Seoul Korea, a Life-Changing Trip

Neil Is A Wandering Soul:  The Best Tourist Spots in Seoul

ChyngReyes.com:  It’s Like Korea, But South!

Ava Was Here: 5 Things To Do In Seoul

 Adventure Accounting: Korea Winter Edition – Budget, Itinerary, Winter Preparation l Budget