December 2013 Adventures: HK Day 1

For all newly-wed couples, reaching that 1st year anniversary is an exciting and important milestone. So despite not having made any plans in advance, my husband and I decided to book last minute flights. Our requirement was somewhere cool, no visa since we don’t have time to process anything, and hopefully we haven’t been to — it was 2 out of 3 and we went with Hong Kong.

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Lance and me on Dec 18 2012

Since it’s last minute and the fact that it’s December, roundtrip HK airfares were crazy expensive. The departure wasn’t so bad at Php 1699 each but return trip was a whopping Php 13-16K. Now if you’re going to HK, it’s always a good idea to have a day trip to nearby Macau and I was planning on doing that anyway so I looked at changing the itinerary to arriving in HK and departing from Macau Airport — that proved to be a better decision and the return trip airfare was cut to Php 6499. This comes as  a bit of sacrifice though as I was looking forward to spending that tedious airport wait time shopping in the amazing duty-free HKG airport. Oh well, 10k is well-worth a little more boring airport. Total cost of booking through Cebupac including web admin fee and 15kg of baggage for 1 person is approx Php 22k. **Note that you’ll have to buy a ferry ticket from Turbojet to get to Macau around $182 plus $10 web handling fee or approx. Php 1100

Departing MNL

First tip, don’t leave phone charger at the office. I actually had to make a very early morning run to grab my charger from under my desk. Lucky that work is close to home but it was still the opposite direction going to the airport.

Second, leave early for the airport (ok, maybe if you’re not waiting at T1). I prefer early morning flights cause there’s no bloodcurling traffic and significantly less people at check-in — but lo and behold, there was traffic at 6am along c5 caused by 3 brokendown trucks.

Third tip, eat breakfast and then sleep in the plane…. or you can also take your selfies once the seatbelt sign is off.

Ah yes, selfies…

Touchdown HKG! We arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule and yes, we were flying cebupacific (early morning flight FTW!).

Touchdown HKG!
Touchdown HKG!
Christmas everywhere!
Christmas everywhere!

Fourth and best tip i’m going to give you, Unlidata Prepaid Sim! Hopefully, you have a phone that’s not network locked (it’s the reason why I invested in one). Find the 1010 store in HKG airport which is on the 2nd floor near the check-in area. If you just arrived at HKG airport, go through customs, collect your bags, and then take the escalators that you see near the carousels. Cost of the sim is $98 and comes with a 7-day HSDPA unlidata plan at 7.2 mbps. The very friendly lady even setup my phone — all this in less than 15 minutes. No social media withdrawal symptoms for me! Yey!

Fifth tip, if you only brought pesos, you should change your money in Manila. It was 6.70 in MNL T3 airport and only 6.17 in HKG.

From the airport, I recommend taking the Airport Express train. Our hotel is in Central so a one-way ticket is $100. If you’re flying out flying out of the same airport, grab the ticket with return at a discounted price of $180. You’ll be in the city in just 24 minutes.

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Inside the train, all bundled up and ready to reach 9 degree Central

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