Okay, keeping up with my previous post about arriving at the Hong Kong Airport (terminal 1), let’s keep the show on the road and deal with the next part of your journey, getting from arrivals to your comfy, wonderful hotel (or the hole in the wall you have chosen, depending on your desires). The good news as you can see is that the aiport is absolutely filled with clear and distinct signs, and they are all bilingual English and Chinese, so no problems here for most people (if you are reading my blog, you are probably okay). The pictograms are also nice and clear and easy to follow.
Hong Kong Airport is laid out in a pretty organized way, and the ground transportation is pretty much all in one area. As you come out of Gate A or B (see my previous Hong Kong Airport Arrival post for more in that part), the ground transportation options are generally right ahead of you. How you decide to do things will depend on your budget and size of group.
If you are coming in with an organized tour group, generally your tour leader should meet you right here in front of the gates, and you don’t have to go any further. Keep your eyes open for the person holding the right sign for your group, and you are on your way. The same thing with most pre-arranged travel by limo or shuttle bus. If their service includes meet and greet, they will do it right about here, and they will guide you from that point.
If you are like the rest of us and having to figure your way from the airport to the hotel yourself, then it’s time to examine your choices on how to get where you are going. It’s also time get yourself some Hong Kong supplies so that the rest of your trip goes well.
There are three general ways to get to your hotel: train, taxi, or bus. Hong Kong has amazing public and common transit systems, and each of these options has a plus and a minus. Let’s have a look at each one:
Welcome to Hong Kong Airport. Are you confused yet?
Welcome to Hong Kong. Are you confused yet? If the time zone changes and the long flight to get here haven’t completely scrambled your mind, the airport arrival will certainly get you going a little bit more. Thankfully, with a little explanation, I call let you know what you will see coming in the airport, and how to make your arrival smoother and more reasonable.
First off, Hong Kong airport has two terminals, but the vast majority of the flights come into Terminal 1. For the moment, I will concern myself with your arrival into this modern, spacious terminal. Get your hiking boots on, because almost without exception you are going to be doing some walking. Like most modern airports, the gates are fairly far away from the main terminal building. Depending on what gate you come in, you may have to take a “people mover” train to get to the main terminal building.
people mover terminal at the hong kong airport image from wikicommons
One thing that you will come to realize if you spend any time at all in Hong Kong is just how darn useful cell phones can be. If you are travelling with a group of people (or even a family that might go in different directions from time to time) having a functonal cell phone in Hong Kong can be one of those things that takes your vacation from good to great.
The good news is that companies such as 3 Hong Kong, 1010, China Mobile, and others have pay as you go cellular service offers for those of you who already have your own unlocked GSM band phones. Unlocked (or unblocked) phones mean that your phone is not locked to a single carrier. It is almost always possible to unlock a phone, contact your local carrier for more information. Basically, you just remove your home sim card, insert the Hong Kong sim card that you have purchased (the prices are very low) and you are off and running with your own Hong Kong phone and phone number. The last time I purchased this sort of thing at the Hong Kong airport 7-Eleven store it cost me $150 and lasted an entire trip. Remember, this is only for local calls, if you want to do long distance calls there are other options, including special long distance sim cards or calling cards.
For those of you who have smart phones or tablets with data needs, there are also short term data options available, which can give you access to the internet almost anywhere in Hong Kong. I say almost anywhere because phones work pretty much everywhere in Hong Kong, including in the subways, which takes a bit of getting use to. The only place phones never seem to work well is in the middle of your hotel room for some reason, not entirely sure how that happens!
Hey there. Glad you could make it to Hong Kong Tour Guides. This site is new, but it’s been a while in the making. This site is for people who are travelling to Hong Kong, are in Hong Kong, or what to know more about what to expect on their upcoming trip to Hong Kong. It’s sort of information source and personal blog, it’s clearly nowhere near complete and exhaustive, but I will certainly try to get you the sort of information and tips you need to have a good time while you are here in Hong Kong.