Travel Hong Kong
Welcome to the SS23 2020 Travel Guide
Here we provide you with information about how to travel to and get around Hong Kong, as well as an interactive map and useful links to help you plan your trip.
Arriving in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is located approximately 30-45 minutes from the University of Hong Kong. Two main public transportation options will bring you to HKU or your hotel:
After collecting your baggage, follow the signs in arrivals for the city taxis. Take a red urban taxi for Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, informing the attendant of your destination. They will print a receipt for you and inform the taxi driver of the destination, ensuring a fixed price of between $300-350 HKD (€33-40). Travel time is approximately 30 minutes.
2) Airport Express and MTR
Follow the signs in Arrivals for the Airport Express. The train will bring you to Hong Kong station in 25 minutes for $110 HKD (€12.50). From there, you may take a taxi (~$70 HKD / €8 to HKU) or transfer to the MTR, Hong Kong’s subway. For the MTR, follow the signs from Hong Kong station to Central Station, where you will take the Island Line (blue) heading west toward Kennedy Town. From Central, it is three stops to HKU, takes approximately ten minutes and costs $5.50 HKD (€0.62) for a single-journey ticket.
If you would like to purchase a local SIM card for your stay in Hong Kong, there are several options past baggage claim in the arrivals area of Hong Kong airport. There is a 1010 outlet, a major Hong Kong mobile company, while SIMs from other carriers like China Mobile can be purchased at 7-Eleven. All offer packages for a short stay that provide 4G data. If you plan on sightseeing during your stay, navigating Hong Kong is admittedly much easier with CityMapper, Google Maps and other online resources!
Octopus Cards are a staple in Hong Kong. A prepaid card that can be loaded with cash at any convenient store or at kiosks in the subway, you can use an Octopus to pay for all forms of public transportation (excepting taxis), goods from any convenient store or supermarket, and often coffee shops and other stores. If you plan on sightseeing in Hong Kong, it is worth considering purchasing a less expensive tourist Octopus Card from 7-Eleven.
Hong Kong Map
This map directs you to all of the conference hot spots. To aid in planning your trip, the University of Hong Kong and possible hotel locations (listed on our Hotels page) are shown.
Consider choosing a hotel that is close to HKU, so you can easily get to the conference, or in Kowloon so that you don't miss experiencing any of Hong Kong’s city life. We will continue to add locations as events are planned, so that you can find your way from the hotel to events, dinner and back.
By signing in to Google, you can save this map to a wireless device or share it with others.
You may also use the Discover Hong Kong Searchable Map. This allows you to search within the districts of Hong Kong for points of interest in your vicinity.
Getting Around Hong Kong
There are four main ways of getting around Hong Kong: the MTR, public buses, ferries and taxis. Hong Kong’s public transportation is world-class, and to best take advantage of it we recommend using the CityMapper app, freely available for Android and iPhone. This app accounts for the MTR, buses, ferries and walking to show you different transportation options, ranked by travel time.
The MTR is the local subway system. Clean, inexpensive and dependable, you’ll rarely wait more than four minutes for a train. HKU has its own subway station, with a lift that brings you directly to campus. You can use the MTR Journey Planner to help plan your trip from place to place, or download their Mobile App to keep updated on the go. For more information about using the MTR, including tourist day pass rates, click here.
Two kinds of bus travel are available in Hong Kong. The large double-decker buses are regular and vary in price depending on your destination, while the small green minibuses are fixed price and move quickly. Buses can be just as fast and more comfortable than the MTR, so if you plan on visiting other parts of the city than just Hong Kong Island it is well worth looking up bus routes. Find out more about routes and rates here.
Ferries take people from Hong Kong island to Kowloon and the outlying islands, including Lantau Island, Cheung Chau and Lamma Island, all of which are quite different in character and can offer a fun outing. Check out this page for more information on ferries.
Taxis are the most flexible way to get around Hong Kong. While they are more expensive than the MTR or the bus system, they are almost everywhere and can get you directly where you want to go. There are three colours of taxis in Hong Kong, with the red urban taxis covering the most populous parts of the city. While it is possible to hail a taxi from the side of the road, when there is a lot of traffic it may be easier to find an appointed taxi rank. These are often located next to bus stops. For rates, coverage areas, and tips for a hassle-free taxi ride, see the Discover Hong Kong Taxi Page.
Uber is also available in Hong Kong, offering comparable rates to local taxis.
Seeing Hong Kong
Hong Kong is exciting and naturally beautiful – we hope you’ll have a chance to spend some time around the city and its country parks! Every urban district has a very different character, with unique eateries, cultural landmarks and shops. And while Hong Kong is indeed one of the most densely populated cities in the world, less than half of the territory is urbanized – the other half is forest, mountain and beach. Here we’ll suggest just a few of our favourite Hong Kong activities.
The Star Ferry: One of the most iconic (and cheapest) activities in Hong Kong is taking the ferry across the harbour to Kowloon. We recommend going in the evening or at night, so you can enjoy the Hong Kong skyline from the Tsim Tsa Shui promenade, right where the ferry lets out. From Hong Kong island, head to the Central Ferry Piers and follow the signs for the Star Ferry Pier (it’s the first one). The ride costs $2.70 HKD (€0.30) and takes approximately 20 minutes.
The Peak: The highest point on Hong Kong island, with stunning views of the city and its forest of skyscrapers, is another must-see. At the top is a viewing deck, a mall and a lovely and protected circular walk that takes you along the edge of the Peak for optimal views of the city, Kowloon and the outlying islands. You can get to The Peak by taking the historic Peak Tram, which leaves from Central and costs $99 HKD (€11.15) for a return ticket. Queues may be prohibitively long, however, so you’ll find a less crowded and much cheaper ride on a bus – either the regular 15 or the minibus 1, which will cost around $10-15 HKD (€1.13-1.69).
Central: The busy downtown district is an interesting glimpse into one of the oldest and yet most modern parts of Hong Kong. You can take the mid-level escalator uphill, stopping off on various streets for food and (upscale) shopping. Hollywood Road, with fine antiques and art goods, might be a good place to start.
Temple Street Night Market: A street lined with market stalls, sidewalk seafood restaurants and snacks, Temple Street is a good bet if you’re looking for small gifts and some fast-paced energy. Open from 5pm-11pm, it’s a short walk from the Jordan MTR stop on the red line.
Hong Kong Park: Lushly planted and surrounded by financial district skyscrapers, this park is a great spot to get acquainted with the city.
Chi Lin Nunnery: Although a recent construction, the Chi Lin Nunnery and adjacent Nan Lian gardens are a built to imitate a ninth century, largely wooden Tang Dynasty architectural style. With free entrance to the public, the nunnery is a wonderful respite from Hong Kong’s at times frenetic pace.
The Nunnery is just across from the Diamond Hill MTR stop on the green line.
The Tian Tian ‘Big’ Buddha: One of Hong Kong’s most famous tourist attractions, the Big Buddha on Lantau Island is Asia’s largest Buddha statue. Walking up the many steps to the Buddha affords a stunning view of Lantau Peak and the surrounding forest, while the adjacent Po Lin Monastery – founded in 1906 – is truly one of the most extraordinary heritage buildings in Hong Kong. You can reach the Big Buddha via the Ngong Ping 360 cable car from Tung Chung ($160 HKD single journey) or take a forty-five minute bus from Mui Wo (~$25 HKD).
Eating and Drinking
Tim Ho Wan: Serving Hong Kong’s famed traditional Cantonese dim sum, Tim Ho Wan is renowned as one of the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. There are multiple locations throughout Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Potato Head: With its first location in Bali and offering Indonesian and other fare, this restaurant is well-loved and within walking distance from HKU. Located at 100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun.
Soho District: Just off the escalators in Central, Soho is filled with more upscale restaurants serving a wide variety of international and local fare. Check out Elgin Street to start.
Cheung Chau: Once the base for several of the Pearl River Delta’s most notorious pirates, this long-inhabited and vehicle-free island is now a popular local getaway with hosts of seafood restaurants, snacks and interesting walks, while the Tin Hau temple is particularly elegant. Ferries leave from Central Ferry Pier 5.
Lamma Island: More ‘grassroots’ than most parts of Hong Kong, Lamma not only forbids motorized vehicles but also chain restaurants and shops. There are plenty of great spots to eat, unique shopping, two beaches and several pleasant walks. The recommended ferry is to Yung Shue Wan from Central Ferry Pier 4.
Mui Wo, Lantau Island: A laid-back town on Lantau’s eastern shore, Mui Wo is the gateway to Pui O Beach, the Big Buddha and numerous hikes around Hong Kong’s biggest island. Ferries leave from Central Ferry Pier 6.
Sai Kung: While not an outlying island, Sai Kung feels just as remote from Hong Kong’s city life. Formerly a fishing village and now an eminently walkable town along the water, Sai Kung hosts myriad locally-owned eateries and shops. The Sai Kung ferry pier offers rides to several small, outlying islands with swimming beaches, as well as a speed boat to the outstanding Ham Tin beach. To get to Sai Kung, take the MTR to Hang Hau station on the purple line, from where you can either take the 1 minibus or a fifteen-minute taxi.
The Peak: You can hike the Peak, too! There are numerous trails up, including the Old Peak Road just above Central and the Pinewood Battery, which is located just behind HKU. Hiking time for each route ranges from forty-five to ninety minutes.
Lion Rock: The stately Lion Rock looms at the top of the mountains above Kowloon, affording incredible views of the city and the New Territories. Hiking time ranges from one to two hours. To get to the trailhead, take the MTR to Won Tai Sin on the green line, and from there you can either take a steep walk or a quick taxi to Lion Rock Country Park.
Ham Tin Beach in Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung Country Park: Undeniably one of the most beautiful places in Hong Kong. You’ll have to work for it, though! Access is only by hiking and speed boat from Sai Kung. To start the hike, take a taxi (or bus, but they’re infrequent) to Sai Wan Pavilion. From there, the two-hour hike wanders through Sai Wan village and then along the coastline, ascending a hill before dropping into Ham Tin beach. There are two restaurants at Ham Tin serving drinks and Cantonese food. Speed boats also run back to Sai Kung from Ham Tin, $150 HKD (€17) single journey, and afford stunning views on the way, but they are only available when the ocean is not too rough. If you intend on taking a boat from Ham Tin back to Sai Kung, purchase a ticket early from one of the restaurants – the last boat runs at 6pm, and they fill up fast on busy days.
For additional information, the Discover Hong Kong website has a fantastic guide for planning your trip. You can use the "My Hong Kong Guide" to build a travel guide that you can access from your computer or phone. They also have great guides to discovering the culinary delights of Hong Kong, travel packages for great vacation deals, more information on accommodations, and information for travellers with disabilities.
We look forward to hosting you at the University of Hong Kong, and wish you an enjoyable visit to our city!