Getting around Hong Kong

Old Nov 13th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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Getting around Hong Kong

First time trip to Hong Kong from the US. We land at 8 pm on Thur 11/20. Leave on Mon 11/24 at 10:30 am. We are staying at Metropark Causeway Bay hotel. Some questions:
1) What is the best way to get to this hotel from the airport? Subway or bus?
2) I read about the octopus card for HK 300 for 2 airport trips and 3 days of unlimited MTR. Is this good for ferries, buses, trams and other modes of travel? Should we buy this? If so, where do we buy it?
3) We want to visit Macau for a day trip. Would Sat or Sun be better? How do we get there and buy tickets? What to do once we are there?
Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 13th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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1) Airport Express Subway will take you into the city. From the Subway terminal, you can take their (free) bus to your hotel. Ask the ticket counter which stop to use. (Hong Kong or Kowloon)

2) Octopus card works on everything but the tram to Big Buddah and I think the Star Ferry (cost for the Ferry is small change). Cash is needed for Taxis too.

I use the OCTOPUS card to get around the city by subway or bus and it works well. Don't have to stop each time and buy a ticket. You scan it coming ang going and, in my case, it deducts the fare from the card. In your case, you will just pass through.

You purchase the card in the Airport arrival area. Airport Express has a counter there and they will sell it to you.

3) Sunday tends to be more crowded. That is the day off for most working people in HK. Most of the attractions will be more crowded that day. You go to Macau by high speed ferry from the China Ferry Terminal from either Hong Kong island or Kowloon.

Your Hotel can sell you the tickets but they will add a surcharge. The ferrys leave on a regular schedule all day so getting a ticket isn't a problem, if you miss one, there is another in a half hour.

What to do? Think Las Vegas. During the day, sight see the World Heritage sites and at night, go to the Casinos. Take your pick. Venetian Macau is a sight to see, even if you don't gamble.

Casino Buses will pick you up and take you back to the Ferry terminal for free. You can arrange a tour of the cty at the Terminal from the tourism desk.

I have been to Macau 4 times in the past couple years and it is quite interesting.

Hope this helps.
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Old Nov 13th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Macau is interesting, but it doesn't have nearly as much to see and do as Hong Kong does. If you only have three days for this trip, I'd recommend you spend all three days in Hong Kong.
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Old Nov 13th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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1) As you don’t know where you are going and it will be dark, the Airport Express is probably the easiest rather than the bus. You take the train to the last station, Hong Kong (about 30 minutes), and from there you can get the free hotel shuttle, which will do a circuit of a number of hotels. Note that the shuttle does not actually go to your hotel; the closest hotel it stops at would be Rosedale on the Park, from there you will need to walk. It’s a few blocks, hard to judge in distance as they are not straight city blocks, my guess is that it would be about 10-15 minutes. You could take a taxi from the Rosedale to the Metropark, you may find the driver to be quite pissed off about the short distance, but they probably would do it, would cost HK$20-40 (some of the streets are one-way and you may have to go a round-about way) plus luggage charge. (I would tip him for that short a distance, although no tipping is the general rule here.) My other suggestion, as it will be dark and you don’t know the neighborhood, is to just take a taxi from the Hong Kong Express Station; it would be about HK$40-50 (US$5-6) plus baggage charge and take about 10 minutes at that time of day. Alternatively, you could take a taxi all the way from the airport to the hotel, this would be about HK$400 or under (US$51) and take about 35 minutes.

2) The Octopus card for tourists is called the Airport Express Travel Pass, and will include round trip transfers on the Airport Express train and unlimited MTR rides for 3 days. It does not include buses or any other form of public transport such as the Star Ferry. However, you can “top it up” with cash at any MTR station, the airport, any 7-11 or Circle K convenience store, and then you can use it on buses, the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram and in places like 7-11’s and McDonalds to make purchases. You can add up to HK$1,000 to the card at one time. You can pick up the Airport Express Travel Pass at the airport when you arrive, see http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/airport_ex...ass_index.html
for information. It costs HK$220 or HK$300 depending on how many Airport Express journeys you want. There are also ATMs at the airport if you want to get HK Dollars and “top up” the card right away. (If you are planning on taking a taxi from the airport rather than the train, then the card may not be such a bargain, see the website. You may just want to get a regular Octopus “stored value” card, which will allow you to use all forms of public transport in Hong Kong.)

3) I have to say that I am not a fan of Macau generally. I don’t gamble, if you do perhaps there is some interest there for you. Macau does have a few remaining charming colonial areas, but these are just simply being overwhelmed, IMO, by the enormous casino construction which has occurred and is still occurring. It’s Las Vegas on steroids but in a much smaller land area. In additional, with only 3 days in Hong Kong, IMO it is not the best use of your time to spend a day in Macau. I know from your other post that you are interested in having a suit made, and taking a day out to go to Macau would cause you to miss a fitting most likely; another reason to consider not going. If you do this, I would strongly advise against going on a Sunday, as that is the most crowded day, and even more so now in the cool weather when even MORE people will be out. If you do this on Sunday or even on a Saturday, get reserved tickets for your outward and more importantly your return journeys or you may be waiting for a while at the ferry station. As you are staying in a hotel on the Hong Kong Island side, you want the Turbo Jet ferry, go to http://www.turbojet.com.hk/ for information on advance bookings.

But really, there is SO much to do and see in Hong Kong in the short time you will be here, that I don’t see the point. I would even say to go to the Po Lin Monastery to see the big Buddha (a place I don’t recommend too often) over trying to go to Macau, at least in Po Lin you can get out and see the lovely countryside (air pollution notwithstanding but so far this Fall has been really lovely)…. Please search this board for my very long list of reccos called “Cicerone’s Reccos for What the Locals Do for Fun in Hong Kong (Hint: We DON’T Go to those Awful Night Markets....)” this should give you some ideas for what to do. For suggestions on walks and hikes on Hong Kong Island, see my postings called “Cicerone’s Favourite Hong Kong Walks: Severn Road, the Peak”., “Cicerone’s Favourite Hong Kong Walks II: Paradise Found! From Happy Valley to Stanley in High Heels! (Almost) The Tsz Lo Lan Shan Path” and Cicerone's Favourite Hong Kong Walks III: The Dragon's Back ". Finally, check the Hong Kong Tourism Board website at discoverhongkong.com. For restaurants, see “Cicerone’s (Updated) Favourite Hong Kong Restaurants (Part I)”.

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Old Nov 13th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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personally i would take a taxi the first nite....you will be very tired and in a strange place so best to take a taxi....plus it probably will be 10PM...
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Old Nov 13th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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1. There is no free shuttle from any Airport Express station to the Metropark in Causeway Bay. The closest stop for the free shuttle is the Rosedale Hotel, which is about a 8-10 minutes walk to the Metropark. That shuttle is only every 24 minutes, so you may have to wait for a little bit. If you decide to take the Airport Express, you should just take a taxi from the Hong Kong AE station to the hotel. I think taxi fare should be about HK$40-50 depending on traffic.

The Cityflyer A11 bus may not be the fastest, but it's cheaper (HK$40) and it is single ride. Stop #15 outside Victoria Park is about 5 minute walk from hotel. You can see the picture of the stop here, and Metropark is that building with a lot of glass on upper right:

http://www.nwstbus.com.hk/routes/bus...tandid=001213D

Personally, I'd take the bus.

2. Cicerone has explained to you what that HK$300 AE Travel Pass is. And let me clarify one thing. The unlimited ride only covers the subway trains - i.e. Tsuen Wan, Kung Tong, Island, Tung Chung, Tseung Kwan O and Disney lines. It does not cover East Rail, West Rail, Ma Rail, Light Rail or the NP360 cable car, even though all of those are technically "MTR" now after the recent merger.

3. I agree with Cicerone. I am a huge fan of Macau, but with that little time you have, skip it on this trip.
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Old Nov 14th, 2008, 03:13 AM
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We stayed at the Metropark last month and they had a bus from the airport right to the hotel.We used the octopus card during our stay and it was fantastic. I agree with the above, with so few days I recommend you stay in Hong Kong and forget about Macau.
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Old Nov 14th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for info. I looked into the hotel's shuttle bus and it is HKD 160 pp.
We will pass on Macau. I do not want to miss anything in HK.
May just go with regular Octopus card.
For our return airport trip, I guess we should be at the airport 2 hours ahead. Is there commuter traffic at 8:00 am on Monday morning? Should we plan for the subway? Actually, how much is the subway from HK stop to Airport stop?
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Old Nov 14th, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Peteralan - How was your experience with MetroPark Causeway Bay? I remember you stating you'd stay there, when I wrote my HK trip report earlier this year.
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Old Nov 14th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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The train to the airport is not the subway. It is a dedicated Airport Express train. From Hong Kong station, it's HK$100 one-way. There are group discount tickets - two can ride for HK$160, for example.

If you use the Airport Express, you can check in and deposit your luggage at the Hong Kong AE station, unless your airline is on the exception list:

http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/airport_ex...m_checkin.html

So, you don't need to get to the airport 2 hours early.

There is definitely commuter traffic at 8am as most people start work at 9am. You do need to give yourself extra time for your taxi ride to the AE station, or your bus ride to the airport. Keep in mind that the traffic you'll encounter is between Causeway Bay to Central, so you'll get it whether you're on a bus to airport or taxi to the AE station. The route that the bus takes from Central to the airport has no traffic.
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Old Nov 14th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Good to know the restrictions on the Airport Express Travel Pass. I regularily use the Octopus card for trains, busses and small purchases at McD's and 7-11. But it is the typical one, not the travel pass.

It reduces the about of loose change I end up with while in Hong Kong.

I take a cab from the Airport Express station to my hotel because it is the last stop on my bus loop. That works well. If you use the taxi, make sure to have small bills when you pay the fare. They don't like the HK$500 you get out of the ATM for a $50 fare.


Make sure to schedule a trip over to Kowloon about sunset to watch the light show.
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Old Nov 14th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Oh, there is another alternative. The Metropark is just steps from MTR's Tin Hau subway stop. If you worry about traffic on the morning of departure, you can take the MTR to Central, then take that 8-10 minute walk underground (with people movers) to the Hong Kong Airprot Express station, check-in there, and then take the AE to the airport.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 02:51 AM
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Hi YK. We were very happy with the Metropark. The room was good as was the service and the added bonus was a great view over Vicotria Park and the harbour. As mentioned above, Tin Hau station is just across the road and we zoomed everywhere in no time. Buses and trams just outside also. I just realised I probably gave the wrong info re our bus to the hotel. We did not arrange antything in advance as I thought the hotel's bus price was too much. I really think we had the airport express as it was much cheaper and we arranged it at the airport but it did take us right to and from the hotel ( and I don't mean near the hotel) whilst stopping at others on the way.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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Peteralan - So I take that noise wasn't an issue even though you had a harbor-view room?
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 09:58 PM
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It certainly was not for us but I had read that it can be on the lower floors. So I asked for a higher room and they gave us the 18th floor.
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