Monday, February 1, 2010

Backpacking HK and China: The Lowdown

Without further ado, I hereby unveil the total cost of our Hong Kong and China backpacking trip... drumroll please... P32,665 (per head) for twelve bitter cold Winter days! Honestly, not as cheap as we wanted it to be. But hey, we're talking about the ever pricey Hong Kong, and China whose inexpensive days are long gone - especially in booming cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Our backpacking route around China.

Except for the visa (here's how to apply), the above mentioned cost included everything: 2 plane tickets (Manila-Hong Kong, Guanzhou-Manila), terminal fee (P750), Philippine travel tax (P1,620), 3 hard-sleeper trains (HK-Beijing 24hrs, Beijing-Xi'an 14hrs, Xi'an-Guanzhou 29hrs), accommodations, cab fares, MTR rides, countless bowls of instant Chinese noodles, cups and cups of instant Xiang Yue pearl drinks, a bottle of Harbin Beer (the only alcohol we bought!), souvenirs, and visits/admission fees (and a couple of booked tours) to the following:

Hong Kong
1. Victoria Harbour
2. Tian Tan Buddha
3. Ocean Park
4. Victoria Peak

Beijing
1. Tian'anmen
2. Forbidden City
3. Yonghe Temple (popularly the Lama Temple)
4. Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest)
5. Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)
6. Great Wall of China

Xi'an
1. Bell Tower and Drum Tower
2. Great Mosque of Xi'an
3. Muslim Quarter
4. Terracotta Army Museum

Guangzhou
1. Guangzhou Orchid Garden
2. The Nanyue King's Tomb Museum

Not bad, ei? We could have explored more places in China had it not been -1°C every darn day, and -7°C at night. We were always back at the hostel by 4PM. Such wussies, I know.

Winter is an off-peak season, so most of the accommodations offer a discount. Even admission fees to tourist spots are slashed. Try to sniff your way to shops and restaurants that locals patronize, so you can buy goods at a reasonable price. Even Beijing can be affordable if you're shrewd.

More cheap recommendations coming up as I post my China blogs in the coming days.

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8 comments:

Cathy said...
February 5, 2010 at 12:26 AM

looking forward to your post on China for some tips ;) thanks!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
February 5, 2010 at 5:13 AM

coming up cathy :) thanks for dropping by!

Armie said...
February 5, 2010 at 8:04 PM

oh wow! so cheap! to think i spent 15k+ in hong kong alone. hands down pinay travel junkie!

pinoy boy journals said...
February 16, 2010 at 9:44 PM

wow! i'm back, and will be reading the rest of your entries on china, i am brewing a trip this april or may.. crossing my fingers!

holly said...
May 5, 2010 at 8:14 PM

hello! how did you apply for a visa? what are the requirements and how much is the fee? Thanks!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
May 5, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Hey Holly, I've posted the link (visa requirements and fee) above. But here it is again: http://www.pinaytraveljunkie.com/2010/01/how-to-apply-for-chinese-tourist-visa.html

Good luck and have a safe trip!

Anonymous said...
November 21, 2010 at 8:10 PM

ei gay! y didn't u stop by in shanghai? It's a beautiful city too :) -teenie

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
November 22, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Hi Teenie, it is kind of out of the way. And I really would rather see old China. But we'll see, someday soon maybe we'll get to visit too. Recommend us some cool places :)

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