Aug 19

How I Survived a 4D-3N-Stay In HongKong With Php9,000

I didn’t intend my Hongkong trip be one of my eat-pray-love escapades but certain circumstances had led my friends to cancel their flights. So, I had to face one of Asia’s tiger cities alone. Did I complain? Honestly, no. I had wished them to be with me on that trip, though. I had even thought of giving it a miss because my budget that time was just enough to sustain me until the next payday. But a part of me really wanted to go. So, I stuffed my bag with packs of Skyflakes and sachets of instant coffee. I headed to the airport with only HKD700(roughly around Php4,000 or USD90) in my wallet, a big thump in my heart, and tightly crossed fingers.

How did I survive in an expensive city with less than Php9,000? Hold your calculator as I break it down.

Plane Tickets

I booked the flight several months ahead. Cebu Pacific had a Piso-fare six months prior my flight date so I got my round trip tickets for only Php2,500 (around USD50). The fare though didn’t include the terminal fee of PHP550 and Philippine Travel Tax of PHP1,620 which I paid at the airport a few hours before the scheduled departure time.


While I fancy soaking myself into a bubbling Olympic-sized jacuzzi in the comfort of my own luxury hotel room, I couldn’t afford it. I just told myself, “I don’t need it. I would be exploring outside most of the time, anyway. Plus, it would be more fun if I shared a room with newfound friends, right?” So, I went to HK Downtown Backpackers for a dorm-type room that sleeps 10 gentlemen. Yes, gentlemen. Don’t get me wrong. It was the only room available that was within my budget. Luckily, my roommates had become my angels. In fact, some of them became my travel buddy.

I paid HKD430 for a three-night stay, 10% percent service charge and HKD100 refundable deposit. I could have saved HKD100 if just booked for two nights (I slept at the airport on the third night to catch an early flight).


Skyflakes is good but if you’re eating it for your breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks for two consecutive days, trust me, you would rather starve. So it was really a blessing that I found friends to exchange food with.

hk downtown

This is what I got in exchange of the crackers – an Indian food.


hk downtown backpackers

and this

and this

and this

Since meals with rice are expensive, I went on street food and noodle diet. What’s strange was I didn’t lose weight at all. My budget for food was HKD150, not per day but for the entire trip.


Taxis and Airport lane would cost you a fortune, so take the bus from the airport instead. I paid HKD33 for the bus fare from the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui. But I wished I had known beforehand that it would be cheaper if I took a bus to Tung Chung MTR lane (HKD3.50) and then from there to the Tsim Sha Tsui station (HKD19). Taking the tram instead of the MTR had also helped me cut the expense from HKD19/way to HKD2.50. And the best part was, I was able to tour aound the city for HKD2.50 on a tram. Total transportation expense – HKD100. If you’re looking for anything cheaper than that, buy a new footwear.


From Louis Vuitton to Giordano to bazaars and discount stores, shopping malls are everywhere in Hong Kong. My favorite was the night market in Mong Kok. But since my pocket was only half-full, I hoarded noodles, candies and chocolates. And then I tapped myself with comforting words, “I should go back here.” Total shopping expense – HKD120.

i square



What I love about this city is that I didn’t have to spend much to be in a picturesque place. I watched the Symphony of Lights at night, strolled at the Avenue of the Stars at dusk, and learned a little Kung Fu (or something like that) in the morning at Kowloon Park for free. And thanks to a new friend for getting me a ticket to Victoria Peak. A trip to Disneyland and Ngong Ping 360 would have been fun, but yeah, I should go back there.

Kowloon Park

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak


It was a super tight budget trip but it was so far the best. The experience was priceless and the people I met there hold a special place in my heart. A year had passed but the thrill of the greatest adventure in my life still lingers.


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  1. Melisa Centino Sanchez

    Wow at least nagkasya ang budget mo sis for that solo travel. It’s a self-adventure for you Sometimes talaga you don’t have a choice and we can’t blame the reality pero nag enjoy ka naman kahit mag isa ka lang. Bawi nalang ang friends for the next trip 🙂

  2. Mitch

    Unbelievable! Definitely don’t have the heart to do this. But I believe it is something exciting and fun for the adventurous at heart.

  3. Chubskulit Rose

    Awww it would have been better to have friiends with you but it looks though you have enjoyed it alone.

  4. JessicaACassidy (@wifetoalineman)

    Looks like you had a blast in a tight budget. Nothing is enjoyable when vacationing when you know how to budget your money and time.

  5. Juliana

    I say wow! You did pull it off so well. You’re so adventurous! I see you had fun and that is all that matters.

  6. nova

    Very nice…that’s amazing deal and way for you to enjoy the place without spending too much, totally one pro traveller…

  7. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    WOW! That’s is amazing! If you really stick to your budget, you can really make it work.

  8. Zwitsy

    I can’t imagine myself taking that challenge. If I were on your shoes during those days, I might stay in the airport and would take an earlier trip to go back home. lol but you are a one brave gal, huh?!

  9. Berlin

    You are such a brave soul to stay in a foreign place with gentlemen. But even braver to travel alone and let your feet take you. And bravest for accepting that you only have a budget to stick with and were able to survive. Galing!

    1. Profile photo of eve winters
      eve winters

      Haha. Thanks, Berlin. I was lucky that the people I met were really kind.

  10. Teresa Martinez

    It takes real courage and a true sense of adventure to pull this off and you did. I’m sure you will always cherish the memory.

    1. Profile photo of eve winters
      eve winters

      Thank you, Teresa. Indeed. I still smile whenever I think about it. 🙂

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