From Hong Kong

12 Asian Destinations for First-time Solo Backpackers

In 2012, I traveled solo for the first time in my life.

I still remember how scared I was before the trip. With only a small backpack, a Neil Gaiman book, a thousand dollars, and a will to get out of my comfort zone, I boarded the plane to Bangkok. As I was checking in, there were no butterflies in my belly, only a great fear that I might find myself unfit for the travel lifestyle and come running back home earlier than planned.

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7 FREE Things to Do in HONG KONG

Theme parks like Disneyland and Ocean Park may probably be the biggest crowd-drawers in Hong Kong, but this futuristic city has a few freebies in store for those traveling on a very tight budget. If you ever find your funds dwindling way before your trip’s expiration date, here are seven suggestions that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

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Hong Kong: How to Get to Avenue of Stars from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station on Foot

A trip to Hong Kong is never complete without a stop at the Avenue of Stars. That’s why it is no wonder this spot is packed with tourists day and night. Lying along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, it provides incredible views of the Hong Kong Island skyline and Victoria Harbor. More about the Avenue of Stars here.

The most impressive transportation system in Hong Kong is its expansive and interconnected MTR lines. Getting to any part of the city is much easier via the MTR. The same can be said about the Avenue of Stars, even though it still requires a little bit of a leisurely walk.

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Hong Kong: How to Get to Victoria Peak from Tsim Sha Tsui by MTR

The Victoria Peak is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong. It allows breathtaking panoramic views of Victoria Harbor. More about Victoria Peak here.

The best way to get there? By the iconic and historic Peak Tram, of course. From the Lower Terminus located along Garden Road, getting to the Peak is easy. But getting to the terminal, that’s the confusing part.

Most budget hotels and guesthouses in Hong Kong are in Tsim Sha Tsui, an urban district in Kowloon. If your hotel is located here and you wish to get to the Victoria Peak, here’s a quick guide using the city’s expansive MTR system and the iconic Peak Tram.

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The Avenue of Stars: In the Mood for Love in Hong Kong

Most of my time stargazing that night was spent looking down.

They say that the best place to watch Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights is the Avenue of Stars, running along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade along Victoria Harbour. This synchronized exterior lights and laser display features 44 of the city’s imposing buildings in both the Kowloon and Hong Kong sides of the harbor. Accompanied by music, this spectacular multimedia show happens every night for 10 minutes starting at 8pm.

Unfortunately, staying true to my name, I was a little too late. It was over by the time I got there. Poor me.

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Victoria Peak: Surreal Perspectives from Hong Kong’s Highest

The ride in itself was quite an experience, but it wasn’t until I had a good look of Victoria Harbor that I knew I had done what I came to Hong Kong for.

My first trip to Hong Kong was almost perfect. I was able to cross out all the items on my must-visit list except one thing — Victoria Peak. So when an opportunity to return came knocking on my door, I knew exactly the first thing I would do.

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HONG KONG and MACAU: Budget Travel Guide 2016

Hong Kong and Macau are great places to have a first out-of-the-country trip. This realization dawned on me as soon as I started touring these “modern and futuristic” cites. The culture is not too different to alienate Pinoy first-time tourists and not too similar to bore them. The region is also connected by an impressively expansive systems of transportation — from its world-class airport terminals to its vast train network (Hong Kong) to its reliable bus system. They have all their major tourist attractions easily accessible. They also make the cities very friendly to kids and elderly, an important criterion for ideal family vacations.

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Where to Stay in Hong Kong: Cheap Hostels and Guesthouses

Maybe it’s just me but one thing I have noticed in my three years of being a travel blogger is that the closer you get to big cities, the pricier accommodations get. Of course there are exceptions; most big cities harbor some “best kept secrets”. Not only are they few, they also get sold out fast especially during peak seasons. Fortunately, there are aggregator sites that make hotel hunting much less of a chore. Websites like Expedia, Agoda, HostelWorld, and Booking.com compile lists of hotels, hostels, inns, and guesthouses that you can choose from. But based on personal experience, it’s always a struggle to find affordable rooms in major metropolitan areas like Singapore, Macau, and, of course, Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong Family Trip: Summary, Itinerary and Budget

“Tito, what time are we going to board the plane?” My niece and nephew were getting more and more impatient as we were waiting for our boarding call at the NAIA Terminal 3.

I couldn’t blame them. I was extremely excited myself. Although it wasn’t my first time to travel abroad, it was my first time to travel out of Luzon with my family. When they announced that the plane was ready, I had to literally cover their mouths because the kids won’t stop shouting.

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