How to Reach Hong Kong
The most commonly used and convenient way to reach Hong Kong is by air. Chek Lap Kok Airport is a huge international airport that has been in use since 1998. As one of the world’s busiest airports, it sees millions of passengers go through its portals every year. Located north of Lantau Island, the airport has numerous direct flights from almost every continent and several major countries of the world. Some of the airlines that serve this airport are Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Aeroflot, Air Asia, Air India, American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, IndiGo, Qantas and Thai Airways to name just a few. The extensive list notwithstanding, there are direct flights from several Indian cities such as New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.
Chep Lap Kok is an extremely efficient airport although there can be a few delays because of typhoons or inclement weather. Travelling from the airport to the city is possible using the Airport Express train, and there’s a discount if you’re travelling with a group of people. Cheaper ways to reach the city from the airport or vice versa are by buses which will take you through quite a scenic route into the city. Airport taxis are also available but quite expensive and will cost you $250-350 along with toll fees as well.
There are several intercity passenger trains that allow you to travel to Hong Kong from Guanzhou, Dongguan, Foshan and Zhaoqing in China. If you are coming from Shanghai or Beijing, be prepared to spend at least 20 hours on the train. Tickets can be bought at the railway station but if you are travelling at peak times, then it’s best to book ahead to ensure you get a seat. The new high-speed rail has direct trains to various destinations to and from China.
Travelling to Hong Kong by water can be an exciting experience. Star Cruises from the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the major operators. There are other cruise companies as well that connect you to other South East Asian cities such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Mainland China, Taiwan and Macau.
If you are travelling to Hong Kong from China, then it’s quite easy and comfortable if you take a bus. Shenzhen is the border city and there are several bus services that allow you to come into Hong Kong. There are also bus services that connect Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau through the new bridge.
Hong Kong has an extensive bus network that will take you all over the city. Buses are often used by visitors to explore New Territories, Lantau Island and the southern side of Hong Kong Island. Buses begin service from 5.30 am and run till midnight. If you are in Kowloon, then the Star Ferry bus terminal can take you up to Hung Hom train station. In Hong Kong Island, the bus station is the terminal in Central and the one in Admiralty. These buses can take you to Aberdeen, Stanley and Repulse Bay. If you’re confused about the routes to take, the Kowloon Motor Bus has an app for smartphones to make life easy for travellers.
Minibuses are vans that have only 19 seats and they are either red or green. The green buses have fixed fares and they make designated stops and they allow Octopus cards here too. The red minibuses pick and drop passengers wherever they are hailed or asked to stop.
Hong Kong’s MTR (Mass Transit Railway) has underground, overland and Light Rail services. It’s efficient, fast, clean and more than four million people use it daily to travel through Hong Kong. It’s a little more expensive than bus travel but is the fastest way to reach places in Hong Kong. Trains run every 2 to 14 minutes and begin services at 6am. The MTR stations are often easy to navigate and it’s no wonder why it’s the most popular way to travel around the city. However, peak hours during weekdays can be quite hectic, so avoid travelling during that time if possible.
Taxis can be flagged down easily in Hong Kong. The drivers charge fares based on the meter. Taxis are colour coded – red taxis with silver roofs are urban taxis and will go anywhere in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, except Lantau. Green taxis with white roofs are taxis that operate in the New Territories. Blue taxis are for Lantau. Taxi drivers follow rules and will not stop at bus stops or anywhere there is a yellow line, painted next to the kerb.
Hong Kong has an old tram system with tall, double-decker vehicles that are slow but cheap. To get a great view, try and get a seat in the front window on the upper deck. The fare is quite cheap, and you can use your Octopus card here as well. If you are really into it, there’s an hour-long TramOramic Tour that you can take to enjoy the city on an open-top tram.
A great experience and one that certainly should not be missed is going on the Star Ferry. There are two routes here, between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui and between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. Upper deck fares are higher but also very scenic. Don’t miss out on this excellent experience when you are in Hong Kong.
There are also amazing Hong kong Tour Packages to choose from, here at Thomas Cook.