Exploring Hong Kong: getting there and our first meal in HK

Aids and I arrived in Hong Kong at 7:30 am. There was a line for immigration but the wait was bearable. Our baggage was waiting to be claimed by the time we got the coveted stamp in our passports (I love HKIA!). First order of business was finding out where the airport buses were. After that, I got in line for the information counter (there was only one lady fielding questions) to find out where the China Travel Service (HK) booth was (it’s booth A10 in the arrivals hall), as they offer discounted admission tickets to some of Hong Kong’s attractions.

The tickets we bought:

  • Ocean Park – HK$240 instead of HK$280
  • Round-trip Peak Tram + Sky Terrace – HK$56 instead of HK$65
  • One-way Airport Express ticket (Kowloon) – HK$72 instead of HK$90
  • One-way Ngong Ping cable car ride – HK$80 (no discount. Boo!)

Edit: we found out later that Ngong Ping is one of several attractions (including Ocean Park and the Peak Tram) that participates in a promo wherein you can get 10% off the admission ticket if you present a recently used ticket from one of the other attractions. So if you’re going to Ngong Ping during the later part of your trip, you can save the Ocean Park or Peak Tram ticket (which you already got at a discount :D) and present it when you buy your cable car tickets onsite. Ten percent off for minimal effort sounds good to me! Promo runs until January 2012.

We took the Cityflyer airport bus going to Tsim Sha Tsui as it was much cheaper compared to the Airport Express train ($33 versus $72) and the room we got was only some steps away from the bus stop. You get a free sightseeing tour too! However, we decided to take the Airport Express going back as we had an early flight. The bus route starts at 5:30 am and takes about an hour, so we could have missed our flight back if we’d taken it. And besides, taking the AE was an added experience 🙂

Note: if you’re taking the Cityflyer bus from and to the airport, Citybus offer a round-trip bus ticket + Ocean Park ticket for only $295 😀

We arrived in TST by 9:30.Instead of a hotel or hostel room, we rented a private room via Airbnb. Why Airbnb? First, hotel rooms in Hong Kong are extremely expensive in October (think 3x the usual rate) because of the trade fairs that bring hundreds of business people into town. Case in point: we just missed the HK Electronics Fair and could have gone to the China Sourcing Fair (I forget for what products). Second, we didn’t want to get a hostel room because this was a special occasion and we wanted something nicer than the usual clean but tiny room. We ended up staying in Cory’s apartment. He and his girlfriend Carla were such great hosts – very friendly and accommodating. They left for a business+leisure trip two nights after we got there so we had the place to ourselves for the rest of our stay.

The guest before us was still in the apartment by the time we got there so we just dumped our bags and got some brunch. Carla recommended a barbeque place along Hankow Road and we did look out for it, but we missed it somehow and ended up in a hole-in-the-wall noodle shop. It was more than a little intimidating at first, as it was full of locals and the owner spoke limited English. Good thing the menu had photos and English labels so the tried-and-tested pointing method worked 😀 One bowl of shrimp wonton noodle soup was HK$33.

We went back to the apartment to rest a bit and unpack some stuff. The day’s itinerary: the museums along the harbor front, the Avenue of Stars, and the Mong Kok night markets!

17 Replies to “Exploring Hong Kong: getting there and our first meal in HK”

  1. Great info regarding getting cheapers tickets! I am going trow and this info is right for me as we are quite a big group so can save quite a lot… to spend more on shopping 🙂

    Did you get tickets that you could use immediately or was it vouchers that you had to exchange to tickets at ocean park, ngong ping etc (I read in a forum dated end 2010 that this was what the buyers got)

    This was in Terminal 2, right?

    Is the booth before or after claiming luggage? As we are in a big group with kids, I am thinking of splitting up to get the tickets while the rest wait for luggage.

    Many thanks in advance!

    1. Glad you think my info is useful! 🙂

      Tickets >> for Ocean Park, we got the actual tickets (you can use them any time until the indicated expiry date). For Ngong Ping, The Peak, and Airport Express, we got vouchers that you needed to exchange for actual tickets when you got to the site.

      The booth we went to was in Terminal 1, though the travel agency has several booths throughout the airport (check their site for the exact locations). The booth is after getting your luggage 🙂

    1. Based on this one experience, I definitely would 🙂 Our hosts (Cory and Carla) were very nice and accommodating. They’ve hosted lots of people before us so they (most probably) have a system already. They lent us clean towels and guidebooks, gave very clear and concise directions on how to get to his place, and we had full use of their kitchen. Cory also answered all of my questions beforehand – especially important since they’re vegetarian and I didn’t want to accidentally offend them during our stay.

      As for Airbnb as a service, I like their interface. It’s easy to sort through the different places and the hosts have detailed terms and conditions. There’s also a review system for both hosts and those hosted.

      I hope that helped!

  2. Hi macy!
    I was wondering where you found this attractive offer “if you’re taking the Cityflyer bus from and to the airport, Citybus offer a round-trip bus ticket + Ocean Park ticket for only $295 :D” . I went to to the Citybus website there isn’t any round trip bus ticket available. Is the offer still on but I am not finding from the right website?
    thank you so much!

    1. Oh no. I can’t find it either. That offer was on the Citybus website last October 2011. Maybe they don’t offer it anymore. So sorry about that 🙁

  3. Hi Macy,

    I wonder the Ocean Park entry ticket are purchase on the spot at the airport counter or you had already made payment earlier ?


      1. Thanks for your information Macy ! btw is there any suggestion that how to transfer me from Hong Kong International Airport to Mongkok ?

        Thank you >.<

        1. Easiest way would be the Cityflyer bus A21 as it goes through Mong Kok and you don’t have to transfer. Airport Express isn’t practical as the line doesn’t intersect with the Tsuen Wan line (which has Mong Kok). If you insist on taking the AE, get off at Kowloon station then take a taxi to Jordan station (less than 1 km away). Mong Kok is the 2nd stop after Jordan.

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