I’ve been wanting to travel outside of the country since I was a kid. Before, traveling abroad seemed to be expensive and only for rich people (perception). But since we already have social media, blogs and articles to read – our eyes are now open to the idea of traveling on a budget. Like for airfare, we have promo fares and for accommodation, there are affordable inns/lodges or even coach surfing.
So, around November of 2013, I researched for a place to go. I started checking the flights in Asia. I found a Cebu Pacific seat sale from Clark to Macau for only 3,500 pesos round trip. And I was like, “Okay, I’ll go there! It’s near Hong Kong!”. I booked it before the Chinese New Year which was January 17-19, 2014. I started reading blogs on what to do in Hongkong and Macau. I’ve learned that there’s an MTR (Mass Transit Rail), that you can use to go around Hong Kong. I also tried to look for cheap rooms online. A week before my flight, I already exchanged my Philippine Peso to Hong Kong Dollars. Note: some of the money changers don’t have HKD on hand, that’s why you have to reserve ahead of time. You can use HKD in Macau as well. 1 HKD that time is equal to Php5.
My flight was at 7:00 PM at night, so after work, I traveled from Manila to Clark. One tip, there’s a airport shuttle from Trinoma to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. It’s about 1.5 hours travel time for Php250.
Upon arrival, being my first time to travel alone and abroad, I was naive with the airport process and immigration. So this immigration guy asked me questions; “Where do you work?”, “When are you coming back?” and “Why are you alone?”. I told him I am traveling alone for adventure and I showed him my tickets and hotel reservations. He looked like he was suspecting that I will not go back, so he asked for my number and told me to text him when I get back to the Philippines. Since I was already scared that he won’t let me fly, I gave my number and promised to text him. I posted that incident in Facebook, and well people commented that he’s just trying his moves on me. While waiting for boarding, he texted and asking me out when I get back. Like, seriously!? Number blocked.
I arrived in Macau after a 2 hour flight. It was freezing! 14 degrees at that time. Took a cab and went to my hotel. I checked in at Best Western Macau, pretty expensive for a single person. It was peak season that time since it was the week before Chinese New Year, so all the cheaper hotels/inns were fully booked. But then, I only stayed for a night, plus the room was pretty cool and spacious. Look at me enjoying my room. 🙂
On my second day, I planned to go to the tourist attractions in Macau. Macau is just small, so I thought, nothing bad can happen. I can just walk or take the bus. I planned to go to Macau Fisherman’s Wharf first, I took a bus and boom I got lost! Wrong bus plus the driver doesn’t understand English. I was asking the driver to let me down the bus stop but he won’t let me. Good thing, there was a student who speaks English. He told me to exit at the back. Okay, so entrance is in front and exit at the back – now I know. So the bus stopped at MGM Grand.
That time, getting lost was not funny since most of them doesn’t speak English. I can’t even see Filipinos there so I don’t know who to ask and how to go back. I walked around and looked for a WiFi spot and messaged my previous office mate/friend who works in Macau. Before going there, I already asked him where I can go. Since he works at night, I didn’t think he can accompany me, good thing he responded right away because he just got out of work. I waited for about 30 minutes and he came to the rescue. He was kind enough to tour me around Macau.
After the half day tour, we had an early dinner at The Venetian Macao.
After the ferry, I took an MTR going to my hotel. I chose a hotel that’s near the MTR for easy access to transportation.
I didn’t have a hard time looking for the hotel as here are a lot of Filipinos to ask for directions. Although, I got a bit scared with the black guys in the streets of Hong Kong. It seemed like they were selling something to the tourists who passes by. I just continued to walk and not look at them. My hotel was just 5 minutes from the MTR when walking.
Here’s my cute room in Hong Kong. And guess what’s the hotel name? Manila Hotel. I asked them if it was owned by a Filipino, the Indian guy who looks after it said no. It’s owned by an Indian who lives in the Philippines. 🙂
On my last day, I woke up around 5:00AM to explore Hong Kong! First stop, Avenue of the Stars. I just walked going there through the MTR station. It was freezing 10 degrees! I think I needed 2 jackets that time, but that didn’t stop me from walking, walking and taking selfies. 🙂
After Avenue of the Stars, I continued walking around.
Upon arrival, I told myself I need to conquer my fear of heights. You have to take a cable car going to the village, and it’s for 25 minutes up in the air! Since I was alone, there were 2 Malaysians who joined me in the cable car. They were really nice and became my photographers there. They mentioned that they’ve been to Boracay and wants to visit the Philippines again. 🙂
Continued walking until I reached the way to the Peak Tram. The Peak Tramway is a funicular railway in Hong Kong, which carries both tourists and residents to the upper levels of Hong Kong Island. The line was really long to get a ticket. There were a lot of tourists.
Late afternoon, I went back to my hotel to get my bags to go back to Macau. On the way, I saw a small stall just few steps from the hotel, so I went shopping for some pasalubong. I met a Filipina sales lady and gave me discounts. 🙂
My friend told me that he’s going to tour me again when I get back since the casinos in Macau are colorful at night. So before my flight, we walked around Macau.
I don’t know any casino games and I’m not into it as well, so I just really enjoyed the colorful lights in Macau.
Last stop before my 11:25 PM flight, Macau Tower. They offer bungy jumping if you are courageous. That’s a 764 feet jump for a price of HKD3,088 or about PHP15,400. I didn’t do it for two reasons: I’m not that courageous and no budget for it. 🙂
That was my 3 days 2 nights trip to Hong Kong-Macau.
I can say that it was my most memorable trip so far. Traveling alone made me think that I can conquer anything and everything. It gave me freedom. It was exciting! An amazing experience and I’m happy that I did it. 🙂
Here were my expenses: