partial day in Hong Kong

Mar 19th, 2004, 07:57 PM
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partial day in Hong Kong

I am flying from Los Angeles to Beijing via Hong Kong (on Cathay Pacific). I arrive in Hong Kong at 7:40 am and will not be leaving until 5:50 pm. I wondered--would I have enough time to get out to Kowloon and take Starr Ferry across..then back to the airport? Is this even worth it (should I just sit in Cathay Pacific's lounge all day?) --or do I even have such option seeing as I'm a transit passenger?
harman is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 08:06 PM
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DO NOT sit in CX lounge all day, I beg you.
I'm sure others on this board will have suggestions/directions for you.
yk is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 08:27 PM
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Go out to town absolutely. Get a same-day return ticket for the Airport Express. HK$90 to Kowloon or HK$100 to Central, same price as a one-way ticket.

In fact, you should have enough time to
- take Airport Express to Kowloon station (HK90, free return)
- take free shuttle bus K2 to Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, which is steps from the Star Ferry
- take Star Ferry to cross harbor (HK$1.7 lower level)
- hike up to the Peak Tram terminal (about 15 minute walk)
- take Peak Tram to The Peak (HK$30 round trip)
- have early lunch at Cafe Deco restaurant inside the Peak Galleria (great view & decent fusion food; not the cheapest, but the view is worth it.)
- same route back to HKG

That would have covered the best of Hong Kong in about 5 hours.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 07:30 AM
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This is great! Thank you.
harman is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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its easy to get into town if you don't mind a little will have plenty of time to do all of this and more....just allow enough time on the return to the airport so as not to be should have from about 9:30am to maybe 2PM to look around....airport is about a 1/2 hour ride...
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 11:18 AM
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Or if you've been to Hong Kong before, and haven't seen the huge bronze buddha at Po Lin Monastery, you can take a bus there from Tung Chung (the town nearest to the airport). If you need detail about how to get there, post again and I'll reply.

It'd be a totally different trip than going to the city.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 02:28 AM
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Excellent advice from rkkwan, but just in case it's not a clear day I suggest dropping the Peak tram and instead walking from the Star ferry to the world's longest escalator. It will also be round 10 minute walk. You take the combination of open escalators and mooving walkways up and you walk down. Along the way you get to see the side streets with some small street markets. You get a peak at how the natives live, but the best part is that you will see many different restaurants/pubs on the way up, so when walking down you could pick one for a nice lunch. You could also check-out some nice little shops and gallaries. Very nice way to spend couple of hours in the afternoon.
When buying your train ticket ask for a city map. the escalators are easily found.

If you decide on the peak tram, I would suggest doing it one way and taking the bus down. It's a double decker and it's a hair raising experience in itself. It will bring you back to Central, which is only couple of minutes walk back to the Star Ferry. BTW, I would do the upper(first class) deck on the Star as it's only like .50 cents more and you get a nicer view.
If you are allowed into the first class CX lounges at the airport, you will LOVE it. Not the the business lounges are anything to sneeze at, but in the first class Wing you have the Cabanas, a private oasis with deep tub and seperate rainforest shower plus a nice little room with a lounge chair with a nice little oriental stone brook running through the room. In the Pier first class lounge you could get a day room, again a private oasis with a nice chair . There is a flat screen TV with Bose sound system. You could buzz for a drink. Both lounges have great restaurants and the business lounges have great noodle restaurants. And it goes without saying a superb Long(they are very looong) bars with top shelf liquors. All free!!!
Many, many internet stations as well as wireless capability, and again it's all free. You could spend a day there very comfortably. But I would go out for few hours regardless.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 02:50 AM
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So here is what I would do, I came in on the same flight from LAX last month.

Have your luggage checked all the way through.
Once off the plane, go through transfer security ONLY. Do not go though customs/immigration. This will allow you to stay airside.
Walk/take a train to the Wing Lounge, located by gates 2-3.
Taka a nice refreshing bath/shower.
Have a table served free breakfast at the restauant.
Leave your carry ons with the reception desk. Make sure you have your passport and boarding pass with you.
Go through immigration.
Take the train to the city. It should be around 9:30am by now.

Do whatever you decided on doing.

At around 2:30pm get back on the train.
Go through passport control.
Pick up your carry ons at the Wing.
Take the airport train to the Pier Lounge. Gates 63-65.
If you didn't have any lunch in town, have a fabulous free one here. Maybe a nice drink or two. Take a shower. Get the day room for about an hour. Relax, watch some TV or listen to some music.
Around 5:15 start walking to your gate.

It's the civilized way to travel. You will feel like a person, not a rubber ball after the long flight.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 05:06 AM
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Good suggestion by AAFF. The only thing I HAVE TO argue with him is the Star Ferry.

Ahem... I'm not trying to save the visitor 50 HK cents (or 6.5 US pennies) for suggesting the lower deck. But I actually think the lower deck has more to offer a tourist:

1. The walkways are around the seats on the lower deck, with no windows. So, you can freely roam around to get the best views (and photo shots) on both sides. On the upper deck, the seats extend to the windows, and you're not supposed to walk around the upper deck to start with.

2. You're closer to the water on lower deck, so pictures shot emphasize that more, and I believe is more dramatic.

3. You can stand right next to the crew when he throws the rope to his counterpart on the pier, and see how he "pulls" the ferry towards the pier and secures it.

4. You can take a glimpse of the engine room of the ferry and see the diesel engines.

5. I don't know how many of the ferries they use between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui are the older, slightly smaller versions. But on the lower deck on those, you could hear the communications between the bridge and the engine room via a series of bells.

6. You save the walk up and down some steep steps for the upper deck.

7. And you save 6.5 pennies.

Hehehe... [BTW, I took the Star Ferry to go to school for about 2 years in the 70's. Student fare was 20 HK cents at that time (~4 US pennies at the rate back then.)]
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 05:19 AM
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The Wing and Pier Lounges are only available to First Class and Business Class. If you can afford it, great. But you are paying a huge premium above Economy for this service.
guarantor is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 05:26 AM
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They are also available to OW status holders, regardless of class of travel
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 21st, 2004, 04:03 PM
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That is not entirely correct.

You need Emerald or Sapphire Oneworld Status to get in. (check Oneworld and Cathay's website)

If you don't have the top tiers, I wouldn't count on getting in. Most travellers would not have the top tiers and would be flying economy - I don't think it is useful to raise false expectations, with misleading and incoplete info.
guarantor is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2004, 05:04 AM
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I believe that the OP did say he had that choice. He did ask if he would be better off if he just stayed in the lounge. Just responding to his question.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2004, 07:06 AM
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Actually, the poster finished his question with :

"do I have such an option seeing as I'm a transit passenger?"

I don't want to see this guy inconvenienced by following your suggestions.

If he is travelling Economy and doesn't have Emerald or Saphirre, he probably doesn't have the option. And he should be planning another option.

guarantor is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2004, 09:40 AM
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I'm not sure why you are having such a hard time understanding his first post, but to me it's pretty clear. He makes it clear that he does have the option of using the lounges and the only question about access is whether he will be able to do so if he's a transit passenger? BTW, YES he will if he follows my earlier advice.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:45 PM
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Here I am...the poster. Was gone to Santa Fe for a few days.

I am flying Business Class on Cathay Pacific. I have been to Hong Kong before...but my daughter, who is accompanying me on this trip, has not. So I need to think of various options.

Thank you all for fabulous suggestions.

harman is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 03:38 AM
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just reporting back.

I followed both rkkwan and AAFrequentFlyer's advice and had a great 8 hours in Hong Kong.
Took shower at the Wing, had breakfast, cashed $40 US... took Airport Express, Shuttle K2, Star Ferry, ..THEN C15 bus to the Peak (didn't feel like walking--was quite humid) for $3.20 HKD, up to the Peak, lunch at Cafe Deco...then reverse all the way back. Picked up luggage at the Wing, went over to the Pier (could have taken another shower, but didn't).

The only problem I encoutnered was getting out of the Departure area (where the Wing is located) to the Arrival area so I can get out of the airport. Had to contact the airline and had them escrot me.

Thank you all.
harman is offline  
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