Getting There and Around
For me, my visit to Hong Kong was a particularly special trip. I lived in Hong Kong as a young child, and have really fond memories of the city, in fact my earliest memories are of Hong Kong. The humidity, the smell of the markets and ‘showering’ in the monsoon. After living there for a couple of years, I was acclimatised to the heat and my blonde hair was bleached almost white by the sun, I had no memory of cold weather. So on arrival back to the UK into Heathrow (in December) my brother and I were amazed to discover that when we exhaled ‘smoke’ billowed out of our mouths like we were dragons.
My parents would also both reminisce about what it was like living in Hong Kong in the early 90’s so I was very excited to go back to see what the city had to offer.
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Getting from the Airport.
There’s the Airport Express train (AE) which takes you from the airport straight into Kowloon and Hong Kong. The AE is definitely the quickest and most direct route into the city, but it’s not the cheapest. As there are only three stops on the AE route, another thing to consider is onward travel to your accommodation, it might work out better to get the bus if you’re staying somewhere further away from the stations.
Travel Time: 24mins
Cost: $100 HKD around £10
Frequency: Every 10 minutes from 05:50 to 01:15 daily.
If you’re on a tighter budget taking an airport bus is a wallet-friendly ways to get into Hong Kong. It usually takes 30 mins in to Kowloon and 45 mins into Central HK. Make sure you have the right amount in cash if you can as the busses don’t give change.
Travel Time: 30 min Kowloon
Cost: No more than £4
Frequency: Every 10 minutes daytime every 30 mins during the night.
Hong Kong has a fantastic public transport system. The MTR is the underground subway which is cheap, clean and efficient and quite frankly puts other cities to shame. Definitely make sure you get an on-loan Octopus card (like a London Oyster card or Snapper in Wellington …p.s. Anybody know why they’re all named after seafood!?) and return it later for a refund of the deposit.
Get the MTR map here
Where to stay: Hong Kong Island VS Kowloon
Both are fantastic areas to stay . The difference being, Hong Kong island is the swankier side of town and and home to the financial district, posh bars and luxury shopping malls with modern sky scrapers that dominate that iconic Hong Kong skyline.
Personally though, I preferred staying in Kowloon as it felt more authentic and had a real charm to it. It’s also much cheaper and home to some of the best street food in the world. Speaking of food … go check out my other blogs about where to snack, dine and drink in Hong Kong
We stayed at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Kowloon for the first couple of nights as a treat, and it was fantastic. The second half of our stay we stayed at a cheaper place in North Point HK Island, which was comfy and really close to the MTR station. Hong Kong isn’t cheap, especially compared to the rest of Asia. You can find places for £15 – £20 for a bed in a hostel or £45 for an Air BB double room.
Next read: Top 5 experiences in Hong Kong