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Hong Kong Travel Requirements + My Travel Essentials

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Traveled last March 31 to April 4, 2023


Seems like revenge travel is not just a one time thing! It's as if I've been going back to all the places I've been to pre-pandemic, but minus the pacing. 😂


But I'm glad I was able to have this quick trip to Hong Kong with my sis. It's our own "revenge travel"--sisters edition! We've travelled a lot in the past, including Japan (Hokkaido), Korea (Jeju Island), and our epic India trip!


For this, we used the Cathay Pacific roundtrip tickets that I won from the Airport Authority of Hong Kong's event a few months ago. We scheduled our trip just before the Holy Week, morning flight. And since sis has full time office work, we agreed on just traveling for 5D4N.


There's also a different kind of fun in a Sisters Trip!


Traveled with the fam to Hong Kong in the 90s, also with Cathay Pacific


Hong Kong Travel Requirements Coming From Philippines + Flying with Cathay Pacific


Since our travel dates fall few days before the Holy Week break, we made sure to allot enough time for airport procedures in case there's a surge of travellers that day. Here are some our our travel notes that you might find useful if you're traveling to HK soon:


 Save yourself from stress by allotting more than enough time at the airport. 3-𝟒-𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 might sound too much, but lines were so bad last March 31.⁣ After check-in, airport tax*, immigration, and final scanning, we only had 30 minutes left to relax before boarding. Thank God talaga we went to the airport early!


Counters were not open yet when we arrived, but we were a bit earlier in line which saved us time


*Best to pay for your airport tax online to save yourself more time, since you have to lineup padin when you pay at the airport. But since we just got our plane tickets from the event, I wasn't sure then how to pay for the travel taxes online. You can check out TIEZA's website for more info!


 No need for antigen, rt-pcr testings, or pre-travel online sign-ups .. in short, there are no more travel requirements for Philippine Passport holders traveling to Hong Kong!


 Questions that the immigration officer asked me for this trip were the usual: “What is your work?” and “Till when kayo don?”. Just be prepared, and answer confidently.


♡ Our flight with Cathay Pacific was very comfortable. Ample luggage allowance (we each got two 23 kilos each, aside from the usual 7-kilo hand carry), easy online request for vegetarian food (they accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions), inflight entertainment, and the most important of all, flight was on time. 


During our last family trip in 2019, right before the pandemic, we also took a Cathay Pacific flight to HK


What Cathay Served for Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Meal: Breakfast Cheese Omelette


For regular meal, Cea had this noodle dish


 Love the Hong Kong International Airport, too. Everything’s hassle free from immigration, bag claiming, and looking for your travel essentials such as sim card, transportation card, etc.


We were also able to conveniently travel to our accommodation riding the Airport Bus which is only HKD 33 (PHP 233). Check out the Hong Kong Airport Bus Routes here.


Train connecting the Hong Kong International Airport


Hello Hong Kong! Photo op by their fountain LED screens


The reddish color made it seem as if it was sunset time already


Happy to be back!


Hong Kong Travel Essentials


After passing through the airport immigration and claiming our luggages, here are some of our airport errands: 


 Claim Local Hong Kong Sim Card - Got the 7-day of unlimited local data service via Klook for only Php 470 at that time. *(Unlimited speed for the first 7GB, followed by up to 384Kbps) + 1GB Mainland China and Macau data + 200 minutes local voice call


I chose this option since we were also heading to MACAU for a day-trip, and some of the sim cards will only cover Hong Kong and I can't risk it. Looking for the sim pick-up booth was very easy, sim card installation was also a breeze. 


The only problem that I encountered was since I've always been a heavy internet user (IG Stories and Reels pa more, lol), I think I've consumed my 7GB allotment right away. 😅 I had to make do with the really slow Kbps on our last days (or connect to free WiFi in the malls). 


Full instructions on where and how to claim are all in Klook


♡ Octopus Card - Since we used the train a lot for this trip, I highly recommend their Octopus Card. We were able to get one in the same store where we claimed our local sim. Used it to pay for our airport bus, too. Reloading can be done at the train station and in convenience stores. We were able to finish up our card on our last day at the airport stores and restos that accept this payment scheme.


♡ Withdraw Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) - As always, I just withdrew local money in the airport ATM. They have a lot of ATM machines at the Hong Kong airport, and the charge is less than Php 200.


♡ Other HK travel notes:

  • The majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug.
  • There is no time difference between Philippines and Hong Kong
  • Currently 1 HKD is to PHP 7.07
  • Weather in Hong Kong during early April is cloudy and rainy, with temperatures ranging from 25° to 20°. Did not bring a jacket with me, which I regretted since it still gets cool at night or in some higher areas


Freshening up at the airport


Spotted the Easter Bunny! It was almost Holy Week when we were there


There's also an Airport Express train option heading to the city, if you prefer that


After that, we grabbed lunch in McDonald's which was out-of-budget pricey but as expected. Their menu though was very unique, they have pizza and also corn-flavored fries, so fun nadin to try. 


I also had a taste of coffee (decaf) after the longest time since I quitted, and it was so, so good! After filling our bellies, we had the energy to walk to the bus stops, just following the signs heading out to the nearby terminal. Again, everything's super easy and convenients. We looked for our stop, and hopped inside the bus. 


First meal in Hong Kong: Mcdo at the airport!


McDonalds Pizza, and Corn Soup Flavored Seasoning for the fries


Unlike other airport buses though where they have storage for all big luggages underneath, una-unahan yung slots dito and you have to carry your own luggage inside the bus. Naubusan kami ni Cea, pati ng seats, so we were standing the whole time while balancing our luggages. Tired, I was just thinking about how much we saved by using the bus, and in about 40 minutes it was already our stop. 


We looked for the A21 bus heading to Mongkok, location of our accommodation


Already tired and still standing the whole time huhu, but "now we know"


Our small room in Mongkok. I can't recommend this, it wasn't a very comfortable stay. 


Please check my past Hong Kong blog for other recommendation.


And one last thing, before heading home or around 72 hours before your flight back to Manila, make sure to fill out your One Heath Pass for a QR (instant) in their new website: https://etravel.gov.ph. It's easy so I usually do this at the airport na while waiting for check-in, you'll receive the QR instantly (make sure to screenshot QR and show this in NAIA when you've landed home).


Happy Planning!

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