This post serves as a guide to 1st timer in HK. It will gives us the basics on what are the things to accomplish after you are done with the immigration. These are the common questions for 1st timer which will be answered on the latter part. I have illustrated some images taken from my recent trip to HK last October.
From the time you were cleared by the immigration officers-DONT go directly yet to the arrival area as you have buy the Octopus Card. If you’re stay in HK is more than 1 day then it is advisable that you purchase the Octopus Card. Octopus Card, like the MetroCard in New York City and the EZ CARD in Singapore, is a multi usage smart card charging for the public transportation in Hong Kong.
1) OCTOPUS CARD
once you exit out of immigration area go turn left and you will see the train ticket station
You can pick up an Octopus card at all MTR stations, including at the Airport Express station at Hong Kong Airport. When first purchasing the Octopus Card, HK$50 is included as refundable deposit, and the remaining value will be stored in the card for normal payments. Your first ride in the train or bus will require you to use your train card.
Price of Octopus Card (HK$):
- Adult: Deposit $50 + Stored Value $100 = Price HK$150
- Child: Deposit $50 + Stored Value $20 = Price HK$70
- Senior: Deposit $50 + Stored Value $20 = Price HK$70
In addition, there are two types of Airport Express Tourist Octopus:
- Airport Express One Free Single Journey + 3 days unlimited travel on MTR + $50 deposit + Stored value $20 = Price HK$220
- Airport Express Two Free Single Journeys # + 3 days unlimited travel on MTR + $50 deposit + Stored value $20 = Price HK$300
- # Valid for 180 days after purchase
- Usable in MTR, Light Rail, Trams, Peak Trams, Star Ferry, Buses, some minibuses, convenience stores such as 7-11, Circle K, supermarkets, fast food outlets, or public telephone booths
- Just wave you Octopus Card over the Octopus Reader (even if it’s in your wallet or handbag), payments will be deducted instantly (Provided that you have enough funds in the Card). The reader will also tell you the new balance of the Octopus Card.
- Remember to top-up your card when the balance drops to zero or negative, otherwise you cannot use your card to make payments
- You can top-up the card at any public transportation company’s Customer Service Centres, MTR stations’ Octopus Add-Value machines or convenience stores such as 7-11 or Circle K.
To return the card:
- Simply return it to any public transportation company’s Customer Service Centres, then you can obtain the remaining balance and deposit.
- As the octopus Card is still valid for three years after the last top-up date, you may retain the card as souvenir or for your next visit to Hong Kong
2) Hong Kong Brochures and Map.
few steps from the train ticket booth is the HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD
a closer look at the maps/brochures you will need
Don’t hesitate to get all necessary brochure and most importantly is the HK CITY MAP. If you have not downloaded a map on your Ipad or 3g phones then you will be relying to these maps during your stay in HK. You can also ask the attendant at the HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD with regard to any questions on how to get from point A-B or ask her about recommended food houses and attractions not to missed during your visit.
3) Buy your tickets at the CTS BOOTH.
located at the far left side of the HKIA arrival hall
purchase tickets you need here/price seen on the image is taken October 2013
Buy only the ticket you need from here like the one I purchased are Disneyland 1 day Pass, HK Ocean Par, Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car and The Peak Tram ticket. Prices here are guaranteed cheaper than buying it over the counter. They also provide VISA service, plane and ferry tickets and travel arrangement to other parts of China like Beijing and Shenzen.
There are other hotel and travel agencies beside the CTS booth offering same services. And if you still have time you can explore the airport and take some photos.
And when in doubt-don’t hesitate to go to the Customer Service counter to ask HOW TO questions.
4) Getting in and out of the airport by taking the A21 bus.
follow the terminal 2 sign then turn right to get to the bus station
Passengers have plenty of choices to get to and from the airport. The Airport Express links Hong Kong International Airport directly to Hong Kong’s central business district and buses connect the airport with most of the city. While taxis and coaches provide additional choices for passengers, there are also limousines to take passengers to their destinations directly.
Hong Kong International Airport is well served by public bus routes, taking passengers to and from most parts of Hong Kong. Comfortable and relatively inexpensive, they offer a convenient transport option
The Airport Express takes passengers to Central in just 24 minutes. Quick and comfortable, trains depart at about 10-minute intervals from 05:54 to 23:28 and approximately 12-minute intervals from 23:28 to 00:48 daily.Passengers wishing to visit the Disneyland Resort can change to the Tung Chung Line at Tsing Yi Station, and alight at Sunny Bay Station for the Disneyland Resort Line.
Arriving passengers can pick up a taxi at the Taxi Station, which can be reached by the left-hand ramp outside the Arrivals Hall.
Taxis in Hong Kong are colour-coded according to their operating areas. Separate rows are designated for different types of taxi:
- Urban taxis (Red) serve all destinations throughout Hong Kong including the airport except Tung Chung Road and roads in south Lantau.
- New Territories (N.T.) taxis (Green) serve only the New Territories and specific roads in Lantau.
- Lantau taxis (Blue) serve all destinations in Lantau and the airport.
Hotel coaches are available to take passengers to and from major hotels in Hong Kong. If you want to use this service, approach the following service counter inside the Coach Station of Terminal 2.
This is what you will see once you turn right after exit out of the main entrance gate/ just walk further until you see the bus information board.
bus information board
a closer look for you to find the right bus number to get to your destination.
If you have booked your accommodation prior to your arrival then most likely they will send you an instruction on how to get the hostel from the airport. If you are staying around TST area then you will need to take the A21 BUS.
You may have to wait for couple of minutes especially if there are several tourist heading to the same destination. Use your Octopus Card here for your 1st journey. Take the seat at the 2nd floor of the double decker bus for you have a great view of HK island.
view from the bus
Be mindful of the number of stops-I will need to embark on the 13th stop to which my hostel is located. But almost got lost cause I got excited and I took lots of photos while the bus is on the move that I missed out how many stops already. Good thing the bus driver is kind enough to answer me when I asked him to drop me at the 13th stop.