Hong Kong 2017 5D/4N Trip Budget, Planning and Cost Breakdown

Photo by Tuomas_Lehtinen

This time the travel group will consist of C, K and CL who would be flying directly to Hong Kong from Malaysia. With a group of 4, there should be much to see and do, but more so for food!😋

Planning for holidays are just so fun and researching is something I enjoy, oddly enough. What more when you find that deal that helps you maximize your monies. You don’t have to stay in a hostel, scrimp on food or skip the shopping just so to save money. For example, when you save time (e.g. arrival at the destination faster) for slightly more you are actually also saving “money”. Time is, after all “money” and sometimes when you think you are saving some money by taking the bus or transferring from one transportation to another, and/or walking, you are also actually losing time.
“… getting the lowest price is not always the best value when it comes to travel…”

Cost Per Person (5 Days)
Flight: S$319.50
Accommodation: S$272.84 (HK$1,525) – thanks to an ongoing mobile promotion we saved about HK$1,975.50 (around S$350)! 😍
Transport (MTR): about S$12 (HK$70)
Shopping, Food etc...: S$600 (this amount is really subjective, still doable 😆)

Total = S$1204.34

Flight- Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines was having a promotion and we managed to get a reasonable of price of S$319.50 per person. Of course if you want to go cheaper, you can go with a budget airline (e.g. Tiger or Air Asia) and little or no luggage to make the price even lower. On average budget flights to Hong Kong would cost S$250+/-.

If we had chosen the default timing offered by Singapore Airlines, it would have cost us S$259.50, but the timing was not really ideal (late at night for the departure flight and early in the morning for the return flight) so we decided pay an additional S$60 each for our preferred timing. If you are on a budget and not too picky with the timing, then getting a flight from a full service airlines for around S$250 on a full serviced flight is definitely a steal.
Hong Kong 2017 Trip Budget and Cost Breakdown
The cheapest price stated, but it is only for the airlines default timings
Hong Kong 2017 Trip Budget and Cost Breakdown
Notice how everything looks the same? Even the Total Fare states that it is S$778.50 for 3 people
Hong Kong 2017 Trip Budget and Cost Breakdown
However, if you decide to choose another timing, the price actually increases in the Total Fare portion. There is no pop-up or indication that the price has increased by S$60 for each ticket! So always check the final price and don't assume that it is the same price. Though I understand the rationale of increasing the price with a more favorable timing, it is very sneaky not to inform the consume that the price has actually increased because of that decision!

Both departing and return flight were of a 3-4-3 configuration, and they were both were 90% filled by the time we booked our tickets. Lack of notification of the price increase aside, with more comfortable seats, 30kg of luggage allowance, food, entertainment, and timing that suited us perfectly, for S$319.50 per person, it is still well worth the price.😊

Accommodation - Dorsett Mongkok Hotel

Given M and my dismal experience in our AirBnB Tokyo apartment last year, we decided to spare ourselves the agony of the unknown and decided to stay comfortably in a hotel. There are so many hotels to choose from but as we had a budget this time of less than S$200/night for the room, we shortlisted (quite new or refurbished) hotels:
  1. In relatively accessible locations
  2. Offered complimentary shuttle services
  3. Free Wi-Fi and a mobile phone (per room) with a data plan

As for breakfast, whether it was included in the rate was not crucial as Hong Kong is surrounded by good food. After scouring Tripadvisor reviews and Hotellook prices, we finally shortlisted down to 3 hotels:
  1. Standford Hillview: a relatively recent refurbished hotel located in the prime location of Tsim Sha Tsui. For about S$190+/- per night for a twin room, the price is reasonable. However, the hotel is located atop a slope and there are stairs to climb - not something we really want to encounter for this trip. But I wouldn't mind trying out this hotel the next time I am in Hong Kong. [Tripadvisor Reviews]
  2. Hotel Sav: another relatively new hotel located in a residential area of Kowloon. There is a shuttle bus service but compared to the other hotels it seems to be a little more out of the way. The price point was tempting though, at around S$144 +/- per night for a twin room. [Tripadvisor Reviews
  3. Dorsett Mongkok Hotel: a somewhat new / refurbished hotel which is located in the more residential area of Mongkok, near the Olympic MTR. They have a shuttle bus service which seems to go to many places and the service ends at 11pm. [Shuttle Bus Schedule

    ** The winner simply because they were having a special promotion if you booked via their mobile website and there was a promotion for adjoining rooms. (up to 45%!), so the rate was about S$140+/- per night for a twin room. [Tripadvisor Reviews]

After a quick comparison with the hotel’s rates versus 3rd party sites from Hotellook, we came to the conclusion that we really saved up to up to 45%. Why? Read on...

Dorsett Mongkok Mobile Website
Definitely worth checking out the hotel's mobile site for more promotions and discounts

The total rate for 2 adjoining rooms would cost us HK$6,098 (that would be around S$525 per night for 1 room, and comes up to be approximately S$130-140 per night!) for 4 nights if we booked via the mobile site. Needless to say since Dorsett Mongkok Hotel was having a promotion and its rate is similar to The Sav Hotel, we decided to stay at Dorsett Mongkok Hotel.

Hong Kong hotel comparision
Booking.com: around S$605 per room for 4 nights, S$302 per person.
Agoda.com: around S$570 per room for 4 nights, S$285 per person.
Dorsett Mongokg's mobile website: with the promotion the total for 2 rooms for 4 nights was HK$6,098 (around S$1,050)
So, we would be paying approximately S$265-275 (depending on the exchange rate at the time the hotel will charge to my credit card when we check-in).

To do a comparison (and see how much we actually saved), I went to the (normal) Dorsett Mongkok Hotel website (via computer) and the rate for the same promotion for 2 adjoining rooms for 4 nights was HK$14,000!

Dorsett Mongkok website total rate vs the mobile site for the same room for 4 nights: HK$14,100 vs HK$6,098
Overall Savings: HK$14,100 - HK$6,098 = HK$8,002 (approximately S$1400 in savings!)
That would work out to be approximately S$350 in savings for each person. 😆👏👏👏

By booking directly via the hotel's mobile website, we actually managed to save HK$8,002 (around S$1,400); each person saving around $350 (more money for shopping and food)! Now that’s what I call savings put to good use.


There are a couple of ways to get to Dorsett Mongkok from the airport [Getting There Options]:
  1. Airport seat-in coach:
    For HK$140 (ard S$25) per person per trip, you can get to the hotel directly to the hotel from the airport.
  2. Airport Express Line Train and onwards for Hotel Shuttle Bus / taxi:
    Having to transfer between different modes of transport and paying a total of HK$80 (Airport Express Line Train and Taxi) to HK$45 (Airport Express Line Train and Hotel Shuttle)
  3. Taxi: 
    Taking a  taxi does not make sense when the drivers will charge extra for each piece of luggage.  [Transport Department - Taxi fare of Hong Kong

1. Airport seat-in coach vs Taxi

For just HK$60 (S$10) more, we get to save time and effort from transferring between different modes of transport, or paying for unnecessary fees (just to put your luggage in the boot because it takes more effort?). I mean Singapore taxi fares have been increasing and are no means cheap (nor that exorbitant...yet), but to charge something such as (per) luggage just dampens the word 'service'. Now if they said there were various surcharges and they could 'justify' it, than that would be another matter.

[HK Taxi Fare Increase 2017]

Hence, for the journey from the airport to the hotel, we decided on catching the Airport Coach by Vigor Airport Shuttle Services Limited since they would alight us directly in front of the hotel. There is the option to purchase the tickets online from the official (S$25 / HK140), but we discovered that websites such as Changi Recommends (S$22 / HK$125) and Klook (S$20 / HK$114) have some discounts.

We were really excited to book the tickets for the Airport seat-in coach via Klook, but since we did not know whether Cl's flight will be delayed we decided to try our luck and see if there were any available slots when we arrived. From the coach's official website, the last bus to Dorsett Mongkok ends at 16:55.

[Getting our Airport Airport seat-in coach tickets at the Hong Kong Airport]

2. Hong Kong Airport Express Train 
The alternative route would be taking the Hong Kong Airport Express Train and then catch either catch the hotel complimentary shuttle bus or the free Airport Express Shuttle (Route K5) to Dorsett Mongkok Hotel.

As our hotel is on the Kowloon side, a roundtrip ticket on Klook would cost HK$131 / S$23 per person, while for a single trip ticket purchased from the Airport Express Customer Service Centre would cost HK$62.50-75 / S$11-13 per person per trip. So a "roundtrip" ticket from the Airport Express Customer Service Centre would be HK$125-150 / S$22-26 per person.

Since there is not much of a difference in savings, we decided that in the event we were unable to get the coach, we would purchase the tickets when we arrived at the Airport Express Customer Service Centre.


Hotel Shuttle and MTR

As for getting around Hong Kong, we plan to mostly use the shuttle service provided by Dorsett Mongkok. For days that we will venture out late and happen to miss the hotel’s shuttle bus schedule or otherwise, we plan to take the MTR back to the hotel.

There are 2 options for the Octopus Card
  1. On-Loan Card:  this card has a standard design and a HK$50 deposit, with an initial value of HK$100. It costs HK$150. You can return and get back your refund once your trip ends, or keep it for your next trip. However, it is good to note that a refund handling fee will be charged if you return the On-loan Octopus less than 90 days from the date of issue.
  2. Tourist Octopus Card: a decorative card that does not have any deposit and costs HK$39. In order to use it, top up with the value you are comfortable with. And like the loaned card you can bring it home after your trip and keep it as a souvenir to remember your Hong Kong trip (and use it the next time). The only difference would be the design of the card and the deposit value.

Since I wanted to keep one as a souvenir, I decided to get the Tourist Octopus Card for myself. Although the price for the Tourist Octopus Card on both Changi Recommends and Klook were the same, S$17 (HK$98) with an initial value of HK$50, as a new Klook member there was a further discount of S$2. Needless to say, it goes without saying that I went with Klook. 😜

So here you go... a direct link to purchase the Tourist Octopus Card if you are interested, at no additional cost to you (I just get some pocket money if you do; which is greatly appreciated 😊).


Tip: So what are you waiting for? If you are not yet a member at Klook, you can sign up here. If you want to see what other promo codes there are for Klook, you can go to Super Saver Mama. However, do note that not all the codes work and it is really all about timing, and trying each code to see if it works. Good luck!

[Review of Klook: Getting the Octopus Card]

Hong Kong... Here we come! 😁

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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