It’s hard pleasing everybody on holiday – the shoppers, sightseers, culture buffs, parents trying to please the kids, and party goers. But it can be even harder negotiating your way around a different city to get to those out of the way attractions. Whatever type of traveller you are, you will find Hong Kong is one of the easiest places to get around.
When you arrive at Chek Lap Kok airport hop on the MTR Airport Express train which runs to both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The free Airport Express shuttle bus service runs from the rail stations to a range of hotels. It only takes around 25 minutes and costs approx HKD90-100 each way, depending on your destination. In true Hong Kong style, the trains are quick and efficient, clean and quiet, with overhead TVs promoting local shopping malls and restaurants.
Hong Kong is divided into four main areas – Hong Kong Island, New Territories, Kowloon Peninsula and the outer islands. Each of these areas has its own neighbourhoods, attractions and style. The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is the easiest and cheapest way to get around.
On Hong Kong Island are the Central (financial hub) and Western disctricts, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. The area is home to Hong Kong Park, Victoria Peak, Stanley Market, Ocean Park, and the Zoo. Lan Kwai Fong and Soho are filled with international eateries and bars. Causeway Bay is paradise for shoppers as is Northpoint – a bit further out but there are hardly any tourists.
Stay at the Cosmopolitan Hotel – they offer a complimentary shuttle bus services to travel around Causeway Bay, Time Square Shopping Mall, Wan Chai, Admiralty, IFC Mall and Quarry Bay.
On Kowloon Peninsula is Tsim Sha Tsui and it numerous hotels, restaurants, museums, and shops. Also here are the Jordan/Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok districts. Yaumatei, home to Tin Hau Temple and Jade Market, is rich with tradition, and Mongkok (Chinatown) is the place for shopping for both tourists and locals.
Stay at the Prudential Hotel with direct access to the Jordan MTR station and a 6-storey stylish shopping mall with over 100 boutiques conveniently situated below the hotel.
The New Territories are home to the Shatin Racecourse, the Tsang Tai Uk walled village and Man Fat Monastery. Lantau is the biggest of the 260 outlying islands and features the airport, Giant Buddha at Po Lin Monastery and some great beaches. Other popular islands and attractions include Lamma Island for its fantastic seafood restaurants and quaint villages and Cheung Chau which is easy to explore as there are no cars. Most of the islands can be accessed by a short 30 minute ferry ride from the mainland.
The best value sightseeing and transport combination on Hong Kong is a trip on the Star Ferry between Central and Tsim Tsa Tsui. Pay the extra to sit upstairs – the fare is only about HKD2.20 – and enjoy the view. Services run every few minutes. Take a trip at night and be amazed by the stunning views of the buildings illuminated in the Symphony of Lights. This spectacuclar display is a sound and light show of coloured lights, laser beams and searchlights synchronised to music and narration. The show celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong.
Dont rely on expensive cab fares – get out and try the local transport. Plus its a great way to meet the locals and see the ‘real’ Hong Kong.