Hong Kong and Macau Itinerary 3 Days: Theme Park Hopper

Hong Kong and Macau Itinerary 3 Days: Theme Park Hopper

Planning to visit Hong Kong and Macau? Here’s a handy 3-day “theme park hopper” DIY guide.

I came up with this 3 day itinerary after doing a Hong Kong and Macau DIY trip with my siblings. Taking packaged tours is also a good choice if you want the utmost convenience and comfort. We decided to make this trip on our own so we could control our own itinerary.

Since it was the first time for all four in our group to go on a trip abroad, we were particularly excited to visit themed attractions like Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Sky Terrace at Victoria Peak and Ngong Ping 360, The Venetian Macau, and Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.

This is an improved itinerary compared to what we did. I included some tips that I learned from our trip and future trips that I’ve done.

Important things to bring

  • Passport with at least 6 months validity.
    • No need to apply for a Hong Kong or Macau tourist visa for Philippine passport holders. Free Visa on arrival is available in both Hong Kong and Macau.
    • Note (March 2014): Do confirm if free tourist visa is still available for Philippine passport holders. The HK government has started to suspend visa-free travel for Filipinos with selected passports. You can find more information posted at the Hong Kong Immigration Department – Visa Entry website.
  • Pocket money in PHP for expenses at Manila airport and US$ for expenses in Hong Kong and Macau.
    • Bring US$ (or any major currency) and exchange to HK$ in Hong Kong City Center for convenience and better rates . Check currency conversion online.
    • If you must, change PHP to HK$ in the Philippines (not when you’re already in Hong Kong since shops generally charge lower rates when exchanging non-major currencies).
  • Copy of confirmed flight tickets: “Manila to Hong Kong” and “Macau to Manila”
  • Copy of confirmed hotel reservation (recommended for first time travelers; not necessary for those with extensive travel history).
  • Copy of transport or tour itinerary/tickets that can be bought online:
    • Hong Kong to Macau Turbojet Ferry ticket (pre-booking advised)

Day 1

Manila to Hong Kong Flight

  • 0300: Arrival at at Ninoy Aquino International Airport “NAIA” Terminal 3
  • 0340: Check-in for Manila to Hong Kong flight via Cebu Pacific flight# 5J108
    • Request a window seat for morning aerial views of Hong Kong
    • NAIA terminal fee for international passengers – P750 per person (included in flight ticket starting August 1, 2012)
    • Travel tax for outbound Filipino travelers – P1,620 per person
    • Breakfast at 2nd level of NAIA T3 departure hall (cheaper food selections than the pre-departure area).
  • 0540: Departure from Manila
  • 0540 to 0740: Manila to Hong Kong flight via Cebu Pacific flight# 5J108 (2 hours)

Arrival in Hong Kong

  • 0740: Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport
  • 0740 to 0810: Arrival procedures at Hong Kong International Airport
    • Show (white) Hong Kong arrival card to immigration officer. Walk briskly to the immigration hall to get ahead of other passengers and save time lining up at an otherwise longer the queue.
    • Pick up checked-in luggage (if any)
    • Exchange currency to Hong Kong Dollars. Have just enough HK$ to get by the transportation to the city center. Exchange more money at currency exchange shops at Hong Kong City Center where the exchange rates are better than at the airport.
    • Get a free maps and brochures at the Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Information Services (Buffer Halls A and B, Arrivals Level, Terminal 1).

Hong Kong International Airport to Hong Kong City Center

  • 0810 to 0930: Transport to hotel in Hong Kong City Center. Choose from the following options:
    • Quickest and fare saver option – HK$65 to HK$70+: Airport Express and MTR (45 minutes to a little over one hour)
      • Buy one-way “Airport Express Single Journey Ticket – Tsing Yi Station online – HK$57 (online price only, check latest rates at official MTR website)
      • Buy an “octopus card” at Airport Express station – HK$150 (includes $50 redeemable deposit plus $100 stored value ). The octopus card is usable in MTR, Light Rail, Trams, Peak Trams, Star Ferry, Buses, some minibuses, convenience stores such as 7-11, Circle K, supermarkets, fast food outlets, or public telephone booths. It also offers discounts.
      • Ride Airport Express train to Tsing Yi MTR station (24 minutes)
      • Alight at Tsing Yi MTR station then changing to MTR yellow line.
      • Reach your destination by riding appropriate MTR lines/stations. View Hong Kong MTR map.
    • Cheapskate option – HK$33 to HK$40+. Airport shuttle bus and MTR (depends on your destination but expect travel time to be more than one hour). Cheapest but only advisable if you have extra time and small/light luggage.
      • Buy an “octopus card” at Airport Express station (not sure if available at Airport bus station)
      • Walk to Airport bus station at Hall B on the Arrivals Level (Level 5)
      • Ride A21 bus to Tsim Sha Tsui – HK$33. View list of public buses, operating hours, and fare servicing HKIA.
      • Alight at the 13th stop (82-84 Nathan Road) near Tsim Sha Tsui Station (Exit B1).
      • Reach your destination by riding appropriate MTR lines/stations.
    • Quick and convenient but expensive option – HK285. Airport Express Travel Pass (includes one one-way journey on Airport Express train plus 3 days unlimited rides on MTR, Light Rail and MTR Bus)

Hong Kong Hotel check-in

  • 0930: Check-in and leave bags at hotel room – prepare to spend at least HK$180 per person depending on where you’re staying at.

Hotel recommendations: Places to stay that are within walking distance from an MTR station (like Tsim Sha Tsui or Yau Ma Tei) are your best bets. View hotels in Hong Kong and check room rates.

We stayed at Wing Sing Hotel near Yau Ma Tei during our trip to Hong Kong. Nearby Bridal Tea House is also a good alternative.

Cosmic Guest House offers excellent location, next to Tsim Sha Tsui station exits, and decent rooms at backpacker friendly rates, for Hong Kong’s expensive accommodation standards, that is.

You can choose and book hotels at Agoda.com for convenient instant confirmation on your booking, low rates, and secure payment through credit card or even paypal. See hotels in Hong Kong.

  • 0930 to 1000: Rest

Ngong Ping 360 Hong Kong, Village, and Giant Buddha

  • 1000 to 1040: Transport to Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Terminal, Lantau Island
    • Ride MTR to Central Station
    • Walk to Hong Kong Station and switch to Tung Chung “Orange” MTR Line
    • Ride the MTR to Tung Chung Station (last station)
  • Transport to Ngong Ping
    • Quickest but more expensive option (HK$135): Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride (30 minutes each way)
      • Walk to Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Terminal from Tung Chung Station –  HK$135 round trip rate for the standard cabin
    • Different routes option (HK$112): Public bus on the way to Ngong Ping and cable car on the way down. Bus passes through scenic rural areas of Lanau Island. Take return trip on cable car for shorter queues, quick transfers, and still be able to experience amazing overlooking views of Lantau Island.
      • Ride New Lantau Bus NLB#23 to Nong Ping (45 minutes to 1 hour) – HK$18 bus fare
      • Ride Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car to Tung Chung – HK$94 one way ride on standard cabin
    • Cheapskate option (HK$36): Round trip on public bus to/from Nong Ping Village
  • 1040 to 1340: Lantau Island Tour and transport back to Tung Chung
    • Ngong Ping Village – free admission
    • Tian Tan (Giant Sitting) Buddha – free admission
    • Vegetarian lunch at Po Lin Monastery – HK$60

Disneyland Hong Kong

  • 1340 to 1440: Transport to Disneyland Hong Kong
    • Ride Tung Chung “orange” MTR line to Sunny Bay MTR Station and switch to Disneyland Resort “pink” line.
    • Ride MTR to Disneyland Resort Station
  • 1440 to 2130: Hong Kong Disneyland Tour – HK$399 one day general admission ticket. Visit HK Disneyland website for the latest prices.
    • 1500: Main street parade
    • 2100: Fireworks display at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Hong Kong Night Market

  • 2130: Transport to Temple Street Night Market
    • Ride MTR to Yau Ma Tei station.
  • 2130 to 2230: Temple Street Night Market Shopping
  • Transport back to hotel

Day 2: Hong Kong

Oceanpark Hong Kong

  • 0830 to 0930: Transport to Ocean Park Hong Kong
    • Ride MTR to Admiralty station. Take Exit B
    • Walk to Terminal of Bus 629 at the corner of Drake and Tamar Sts.
    • Take Bus #629 to Ocean Park – HK$10.6
  • 0930 to 1530: Ocean Park Hong Kong Tour – HK$280 (one day admission fee). Check latest Ocean Park Hong Kong prices.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong

  • 1530 to 1630: Transport to Victoria Peak
    • From Hong Kong Ocean Park, ride bus #629 to Admiralty station – HK$10.6
    • Best option: The Peak  Tram ride to Victoria Peak then public bus on the way down
      • Walk to The Peak Tram lower terminus (15 to 25 minutes). From Lippo Centre Tower (near Admiralty station Exit B), walk over pedestrian crossing to other side of Queensway Street (towards Hong Kong High Court).
      • Walk along Queensway street to the direction on your left (towards Bank of China Tower)
      • Follow Cotton Tree Drive, taking the gentle turn right
      • Across the street from Hong Kong Squash Center. on your left, is the The Peak  Tram lower terminus
      • Ride the Peak Tram to Victoria Peak – HK$53 (one-way) with Sky Terrace 428 admission. View latest rates on The Peak Tram website.
    • Cheapskate option: Public bus
      • Walk to Queensway Street and wait at bus stop directly in front of Admiralty Garden and near the Lippo Center.
      • Ride CityBus bus #15 to Victoria Peak – HK$10.6
  • 1630 to 1800: Victoria Peak tour
    • Sky Terrace 428 viewpoint – US$30 (if not taking the Peak Tram package). View latest rates on The Peak Tram website.
    • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – HK$166.5 online price (save 10% if bought online)
      • Package rate with The Peak tram return ticket, Sky Terrace 428, and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – HK$235 online price.

Starferry Ride to Central Hong Kong

  • 1800 to 1900: Transport to Star Ferry Pier Terminal in Central Hong Kong
    • From Victoria Peak, ride CityBus bus#15 to Star Ferry pier in Central Hong Kong – HK$10.6
  • 1900 to 0920: Star Ferry ride from Central Hong Kong pier to Tsim Sha Tsui – HK$2.5 (upper deck). View latest prices on Starferry website.

Symphony of Light and Avenue of Stars

  • 1920 to 2000: Walk along Avenue of Stars and Tsim Sha Tsui promenade
  • 2000: Symphony of lights show
  • Transport back to hotel

Day 3

Hong Kong to Macau

  • 0645 to 0745: Transport to HK’s Macau Ferry Terminal
    • Clear Hong Kong immigrations
  • 0745: Departure from Hong Kong
  • 0745 to 0830: Hong to Macau Ferry via TurboJet – HK$151 (day service; economy class). View latest prices at Turbojet website.
  • 0830: Arrival in Macau
  • 0830 to 0900: Arrival procedures at Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal (Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal)
    • Macau immigrations
    • Get free maps and brochures at Macau Tourist Information
    • No need to exchange currency to Macau Pataca since Hong Kong Dollar is accepted almost everywhere in Macau.

The Venetian Macau

  • 0900 to 0930: Transport to Venetial Macau
    • Take underpass in front of Macau Ferry Terminal to across road
    • Ride free shuttle to Venetian Macau Casino and Hotel in Taipa Island
    • Leave luggage at the concierge of the Venetian Macau (complimentary service for casino and hotel guests)
  • 0930 to 1130: Venetian Macau Casino and Hotel tour (no admission fees)
    • The Shoppes Canal /Venetian canals
    • Visit the casino

Saint Paul Cathedral ruins and Senado Square

  • 1130 to 1200: Transport to Senado Square
    • Ride Venetial Macau free shuttle to Macau Ferry Terminal
    • Ride Bus 10A to (Rua do) Almeida Ribeiro
  • 1200 to 1600: Macau Heritage Tour
    • Senado Square
    • Eat free samples of beef/pork jerky at food shops on the way to the Ruins of Saint Paul Cathedral
    • Ruins of Saint Paul Cathedral
    • Follow uphill road at the right  side of the St. Paul Cathedral ruins
    • Climb Fortress Hill
    • Visit Na Tcha Temple and Old City Walls at the left side of St. Paul Cathedral

Fisherman’s Wharf

  • 1600 to 1630: Transport to Pharaoh’s Palace Casino/Landmark Hotel
    • Walk back to Senado Square
    • Ride Bus 10A to Macau Ferry Terminal
    • Ride free shuttle to Pharaoh’s Palace Casino/Landmark Hotel
  • 1630 to 1800: Fisherman’s Wharf tour (free admission)

Wynn Hotel and Casino Macau

  • 1800 to 1815: Transport to Wynn Macau
    • Ride free shuttle back to Macau Ferry Terminal
    • Ride free shuttle to Wynn Macau
  • 1815 to 1900: Wynn Macau tour (no admission fees)
    • Fountain show (performance lake in front of the hotel)
    • Dragon of fortune show
    • Tree of prosperity show
    • Moon jellyfish aquarium (reception of the Encore lobby)

Macau to Manila Flight

  • 1900 to 2000: Transport to Macau International Airport
    • Ride Wynn Macau free shuttle from Macau Ferry Terminal
    • Ride free shuttle to Venetian Macau
    • Claim baggage at concierge of Venetian Macau
    • Ride Venetian Macau free shuttle to Macau International Airport
  • 2000: Check-in for Macau to Manila flight via Cebu Pacific flight# 5J363
    • No additional airport taxes or terminal fees for outbound flights from Macau International Airport. All fees are already included in the flight ticket price.
  • 2215: Departure Macau
  • 2215 to 0015: Macau to Manila flight
  • 0015: Arrival at Manila / Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3

Travel longer, better

If you have the luxury of time, we advise to spread this trip over 4 to 5 days instead of this heavily crammed 3-day itinerary. You will be traveling more comfortably instead of always rushing to go from point A to point B.

We only spent a couple of hours (4 hours on average) for each theme park. It was not enough time to visit everything these theme parks offered. Admission fees are expensive. You will get more bang for your buck if you stay longer on your trip.

Hong Kong and Macau Budget

Approximate expenses within Hong Kong and Macau using 3 days “Theme Park Hopper” itinerary: HK$2300 per person or PHP12,181 (computed at 1 HK$ = PHP5.3). This estimate does not include flight tickets to/from Hong Kong or Macau.

A considerable portion of our budget (more than half of it) went to theme park admissions and cable car/tram transport.

  • Major admission and transport fees:
    • Transport to Hong Kong City Center – HK$70+ (airport express train + MTR option)
    • Hong Kong MTR Octopus Card – HK$100 (HK$150 original price with HK$50 redeemable deposit)
    • Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride – HK$135 (round trip option)
    • Hong Kong Disneyland – HK$399 (one day admission)
    • Victoria Peak – HK$235 (packaged admission fees to The Peak tram return ticket, Sky Terrace 428, and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum)
    • Ocean Park Hong Kong – HK$280 (one day admission)
    • Hong Kong to Macau ferry – HK$151 (day service)
  • Possible additional expenses:
    • Manila to Hong Kong and Macau to Manila airfare. View promos and subscribe to promo alerts.
    • Manila International Airport terminal fee for international passengers – PHP750
    • Philippine Travel Tax for Philippine-resident outbound travelers – PHP1,620
  • Average food cost in Hong Kong and Macau – HK$30 to HK$50 per meal per person
  • Budget hotel and backpacker hostel prices in Hong Kong and Macau. Search for Hong Kong hotels or Macau hotels.
    • Dormitory – HK$60 to HK$200 per person per night.
    • Single room – HK$150 to HK$300 per room per night.
    • Double room – HK$300 to HK$400 per room per night.

It’s possible to spend less on a 3 day trip to Hong Kong and Macau. If you can do away with theme parks or use the public bus when going to places like Victoria Peak or Ngong Ping, you can even spend as little as HK$1,000 for your entire trip.