How to get from Hong Kong International Airport to the City
After a 14h flight from cold and windy San Francisco with Singapore Airlines we arrived tired yet excited in hot and humid Hong Kong. Immigration at 6:30 am in the morning went pretty smoothly (actually I think this even was the quickest immigration process EVER! No lines, no questions. Welcome to Hong Kong! :-)) Having not done much research about the city, transportation and things to see we were very happy to see the FREE Wi-Fi signs in the airport terminal so that we could quickly check our options on how to get to our hotel which was located in Mong Kok area – the more budget alternative to Hong Kong Island. You will have the following transport options available:
Hotel Shuttle Bus
A lot of hotels operate their own shuttle bus which seems like a good hassle free option as you can be sure to get to your hotel without any worries. The shuttle bus from our hotel would have cost us approx. 18 USD – therefore not the cheapest option but if you are travelling alone, are tired and just want to go to your hotel than this might work well for you. It might be worth to contact your hotel about this option, check rates and reserve a spot. For us it was not an option as the first bus from the airport to the hotel was scheduled for 11am and secondly seats are usually charged per person so this would have cost 36 USD for the both of us and therefore this had been the most expensive option of all.
Taxis in Hong Kong are all metered and generally a safe and relatively cheap option to get around compared to Europe or the US however they are definitely not the most modern cars you have ever seen. (Most Taxis in the city are red Toyota Comforts however they were all clean) A taxi from the airport to the city centre is probably the quickest way to get to your hotel. You need to budget around 220 – 320 HKD depending on location obviously. To get to the airport taxi stands just follow the signs for taxi which will take you to the left-hand ramp outside the arrivals hall. For a detailed list of approx. fares check here: http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/transport/to-from-airport/taxi.html
Train – Airport Express
There is also the option to take the Airport Express MTR train which takes you quickly to the city centre in less than half an hour. Trains run every 10-15 minutes from 6am to around midnight and will cost around 90 – 100 HKD per person. Stops include the Expo, Kowloon and of course Hong Kong Island. Also they offer a complimentary shuttle bus service from the Airport Express Stations to some hotels for Airport Express clients. (Check for all hotels where the complimentary shuttle services stops here: http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/services/complom_free_bus.html ) If your hotel is not on the list it might be worth to check with your hotel directly whether they have their own service – our hotel for example did run their own free shuttle service between the hotel and the nearest airport express station in Kowloon). Again, if not there is still the option to simply change to the MTR once you arrived at the Airport Express Station to get closer to your hotel as this service will be FREE for Airport Express clients meaning if you use the same Octopus card (similar to London’s Oyster card) you can use the MTR at no charge within one hour after arriving at the Airport Express Station.
Probably the least expensive option is the bus which takes you to most parts of Hong Kong however this can also be the most confusing option if you don’t know the city, the bus routes and the stops. However, with a bit of research of which bus stops are closest to your hotel and whether they run services either directly to the airport or cross another bus route where you can change I am sure you will manage! For us having NO IDEA where to go and whether there even was a bus stop close by to our hotel we – as you might have guessed – did not use the bus.
We opted for the Taxi and our ride took about 30 minutes to our hotel and cost us 260 HKD – which we were happy to pay.
Stay tuned for our upcoming posts on an itinerary suggestion for exploring Hong Kong on a budget (25$ is all it takes to have a fun filled day out in HK with food & sightseeing included) & about our excursion to Lantau Island to see the Big Buddha….which we ended up NOT seeing, despite our best efforts 🙂