Manila (MNL) * Singapore (SIN) * Hong Kong (HKG) * Macau (MFM) * Jakarta (CGK) * Denpasar (DPS) * Kuala Lumpur (KUL) * Subang (SZB) * Penang (PEN) * Johor Bahru (JHB) * Kota Kinabalu (BKI) * Kuching (KCH) * Miri (MYY) * Kuala Terengganu (TGG) * Kota Bharu (KBR) * Labuan (LBU) * Bintulu (BTU) * Bandar Seri Begawan (BWN) * Taipei (TPE) * Bangkok (BKK) * Don Mueang (DMK) * Phuket (HKT) * Surat Thani (URT) * Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST) * Laoag (LAO) * Tuguegarao (TUG) * Clark (CRK) * Naga (WNP) * Legazpi (LGP) * Busanga (USU) * Puerto Princesa (PPS) * Caticlan (MPH) * Kalibo (KLO) * Roxas (RXS) * Iloilo (ILO) * Bacolod (BCD) * Cebu (CEB) * Tagbilaran (TAG) * Dumaguete (DGT) * Tacloban (TAC) * Dipolog (DPL) * Pagadian (PAG) * Ozamiz (OZC) * Cagayan de Oro (CGY) * Camiguin (CGM) * Butuan (BXU) * Surigao (SUG) * Siargao (IAO) * Davao (DVO) * General Santos (GES)
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I am proud to say that this Hong Kong-Macau trip is entirely do-it-myself. The itinerary I made took some time to formulate, and thanks to the internet, I was able to build a robust itinerary that covered most of Hong Kong in only almost three and a half days.

Below, I have listed some first hand tips that might be of help to first timers in Hong Kong: 

Before take-off, remember the four main divisions of Hong Kong: Kowloon, where you'd probably stay and where the tourists mostly are; Hong Kong Island, where Central, the financial district is located; the New Territories, where you'd oddly find cramped apartment skyscrapers set upon greenery; and the distant Outlying Islands, which you could only explore through ferries. The map of Hong Kong is here.

The airport is located far from the city in Chek Lap Kok. You may take the fast but quite costly Airport Express, the 45-minute airport buses, expensive cabs, or a bus to Tung Chung then connecting to the MTR. The last one is said to be the option used by locals. More about airport transportation here. Read more...
thelostboylloyd
Ground Activity at Hong Kong International Airport

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We only spent so many hours in Macau. Nevertheless, I have listed some tips if you intend to spend a day in Macau:

Macau is small and can be toured in a day. Right outside the pier, you would see moonlighting Filipino tour guides charging a small fee per person. If you negotiate well, it's not too bad of a deal, considering that they would utilize your limited time efficiently and would take advantage of the free casino shuttles.

If you want to tour by yourselves like we did, tourism desks are armed with maps. It's pretty easy to do a do-it-yourself tour of Macau and its heritage sites. However, advanced planning is a must, as some attractions of interest may be not in the same vicinity. Download a map of Macau's attractions here. Read more...

Wynn Macau

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(Part four of a four-part series. All raw pictures were taken with a 2MP iPhone 3GS camera on March 6, 2011 and post processed with an iOS device app called Instagram.)

Included in this part: The Satellite Town of Sha Tin and Macau

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Previously: My uncle recommended that we take the CotaiJet to Taipa Island instead of the popular TurboJet to the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, and we did just that, saving us more than a hundred Hong Kong dollars a ticket. A one-way ferry ticket to Taipa Island costs HK$146 only, including pier fees. We got into immigration twenty minutes prior to sailing and boarded as we entered the pre-departure area. Sailing to Taipa Island took approximately an hour.
thelostboylloyd
Day 4.3. Macau: Vegas of the East
March 6, 2011

The Taipa Island Temporary Pier is approximately 10 minutes by foot to the airport. Macau immigration in the pier is brisk, and as my uncle described, buses to The Venetian were waiting outside the terminus. We took the bus and as we disembarked, a porter deposited our luggage for us, even though we were not staying for the night. After all, they treat all guests as prospective casino gamblers. Read more...

Our First Taste of Magnificent Macau Architecture

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Included in this day: The Satellite Town of Sha Tin and the Journey to Macau
thelostboylloyd
Day 4.1. The Satellite Town of Sha Tin
March 6, 2011
Two mornings ago, I went to the west of the New Territories. This morning, my feet brought me eastward to the satellite town of Sha Tin, also in the New Territories. I downloaded my tour material also by Dr. Patrick Hase, an Honorary Adviser to the Museum of History, from the MTR website. Read more...
thelostboylloyd
Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin

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(Part three of a four-part series. All raw pictures were taken with a 2MP iPhone 3GS camera on March 5, 2011 and post processed with an iOS device app called Instagram.)

Included in this part: The Peak, Ocean Park, and Tim Ho Wan

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Included in this day: The Peak Tram and the Peak Tower, Ocean Park, That Lucky Golden Ticket to Tim Ho Wan, and Central Nightlife Part 2

Day 3.1. The Peak Tram and the Peak Tower
March 5, 2011

Everyone got up late from our schedule that morning, myself included. We journeyed to Central MTR from which we would find our way to the Peak Tram lower terminus. Mom insisted that we visit a church first, since March 4th was their 21st anniversary. We went into St. John's Church in Central, and noticing the similarity in architectural form to an Anglican cathedral in Singapore, I advised them that it was not Catholic. My parents were insistent and eventually were part embarrassed as they walked out and knew I was right. Read more...

Taken While Walking at Central

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Related Post: Lost in Hong Kong (DAY 2)
thelostboylloyd
(Part two of a four-part series. All raw pictures were taken with a 2MP iPhone 3GS camera on March 4, 2011 and post processed with an iOS device app called Instagram.)
thelostboylloyd
Included in this part: Ping Shan Heritage Trail and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

thelostboylloyd

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Included in this day: The Ping Shan Heritage Trail in the New Territories, A Walk Through Nathan Road and Thoughts on Hong Kong Democracy, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, and Central Nightlife Part 1


Day 2.1. The Ping Shan Heritage Trail in the New Territories
March 4, 2011
Even with little sleep, I started my day early to respond to tweets and get prepared for my early morning journey alone. I got out around 6am and got to catch one of the first trains to Tin Shui Wai of the West Rail Line. That morning, I was about to do the Ping Shan Heritage Trail, the first one in Hong Kong. With an unlimited MTR Tourist Pass and a Vitasoy milk carton in hand, I was ready to explore west of the New Territories.

I knew about the Ping Shan Heritage Trail when I was browsing the MTR website. I downloaded these MTR-friendly tours by Dr. Patrick Hase, an Honorary Adviser to the Museum of History. These tour materials give directions with MTR stations as reference points and take two to four hours to complete. 

The Ping Shan Heritage Trail highlights structures built by the imperial Tang clan of China. The trail includes the Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda, Shrine of the Earthgod, Sheung Cheung Wai, Yeung Hau Temple, Tang Ancestral Hall, Yu Kiu Ancestral Hall, Kun Ting Study Hall, Ching Shu Hin, and Hung Shing Temple. Each of these was built at least a century ago and has been impressively preserved by living Tang clan members and the government. Should you really want to immerse yourself in Tang culture, be sure to visit after 9am as most of the structures open by then. Please note that these are private property after all, and as a matter of common courtesy, respect should be upheld at all times, most notably at places of worship. Read more...
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An Ancient Courtyard inside the Tang Ancestral Hall

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Related Post: Lost in Hong Kong (DAY 1)
thelostboylloyd
Dad didn’t let me bring my DSLR. Didn’t argue with him anymore, since I wanted to pack light for my travel anyway. The challenge was to take pictures of Hong Kong and Macau with only my 2MP iPhone 3GS camera.
thelostboylloyd
(Part one of a four-part series. All raw pictures were taken with a 2MP iPhone 3GS camera on March 3, 2011 and post processed with an iOS device app called Instagram.)
thelostboylloyd
Included in this part: Hong Kong International Airport, Mongkok, Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Central, Victoria Harbour, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Nathan Road.
thelostboylloyd

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As a preface to this long series of texts and photos, I'd like to ask for your understanding as I initially feature two international destinations. Sure, my blog will focus on Philippine destinations almost entirely in the future; however, as the common saying goes, "Strike whilst the iron is hot." I found myself excitedly writing in rich detail our family adventure in Hong Kong and Macau just this month. I hope you enjoy!
thelostboylloyd
Outbound flight: CEBU PACIFIC AIR FLIGHT 5J 150 CRK-HKG
Inbound flight: CEBU PACIFIC AIR FLIGHT 5J 363 MFM-MNL

Day 1. The Concrete Jungles of Hong Kong
March 3, 2011

Touchdown at Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG) was seamless. As soon we were done at the kilometric but efficient queue of immigration then baggage claim, our path led us to the ticket booth of the Airport Express. We bought our one ride Airport Express plus three-day unlimited MTR Octopus card for HK$220, with HK$50 as deposit. We then proceeded to the express train, the interior of which feels like a roomier version of an aircraft cabin, complete with luggage racks. I have to say our Airport Express journey, which took a mere 24 minutes to Hong Kong station in Central district, was the best train ride I've ever had. We finally boarded the Tsuen Wan Line to Yau Ma Tei station where we checked in at Casa Hotel. This line proved to be most important to us as it had an exit a minute from our hotel and it took us to Central in seven minutes train time. Read more...
Interior of the Airport Express

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I'm actually inspired by the plethora of Filipino travel bloggers I've been reading. No matter if it's a housewife who just loves to travel or an entrepreneur taking pictures during business trips, I've come to realize that Filipinos have a deep passion for travel.

It's a blessing that air travel in the Philippines is not a luxury anymore, with the budget carrier model proving most effective in this "developing" archipelago. Add to that, the Philippines is a very affordable tourist destination, even cheaper than tourist-infested Thailand.

Unfortunately, the government could only do so much to stimulate tourism in the country.

May this blog encourage everyone to explore the Philippines and encourage young travelers like myself to take travel as hobby. May this also be a call to the Department of Tourism to harness but not abuse the undiscovered natural gems in our country.