For our 10th wedding anniversary, hubby gifted me a romantic and gastronomic experience at L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon. But instead of just flying to Hong Kong for the dinner, I decided to book a 4 days/3nights trip with my son, the nanny, and my mom and dad. Our itinerary was rather simple:
- Dinner at L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon (just me and hubby)
- Strawberry picking at Kam Tin Country Club
- Toy Storyland at Disneyland Hong Kong
I will have separate posts for each. Here, I will just talk about the airport express and a discovery that I wanted to keep for myself but have decided to share with you because I want all of us to be happy and excited to travel. Think huge discounts!
Hong Kong Airport Express
I always stay in the touristy Tsim Sha Tsui whenever I visit Hong Kong because it’s like second home to me – I know where to go for some retail therapy, where to get my caffeine fix, where the nearest Michelin-starred resto is, etc. And to transfer to Tsim Sha Tsui from the airport, I would always take a taxi even if it’s not the most cost efficient and also not the fastest way to reach the city. I used to think that taking a cab is the easiest way because I would just sit back, catch some zzz’s, and not worry about hopping from station to station with my luggage in tow. If you want to learn more about the airport taxi service, read here.
For my recent trip, I decided to try out the airport express because of the discounted tickets I found over at a discount website that I’m gonna introduce below. I wish I tried this earlier because it was easy even if you travel with an energetic toddler like my son. The Airport Express is the fastest way to go to Kowloon where Tsim Sha Tsui is. What’s even better is that passengers get access to free porter service at the Airport and transfer stations, free return journey if traveling on the same day, free MTR connections for Octopus card holders, free shuttle bus service to major hotels in Kowloon, and free in-town check-in service!
So the drill is that you need to pass through immigration, pick up your luggage and head over to the arrival hall where you can purchase tickets or exchange the discount vouchers for the tickets.
You can buy your tickets from the machines as shown above. If you need help with anything, you will find the Hong Kong Tourism Board booth just before you step into the arrival hall. You can ask them for directions and the next steps after you purchase the tickets.
When you have your tickets, you can proceed to the train station as shown in the photo above. From the time you picked up your luggage up to the time you are to board the train, you can carry your pieces of luggage in a trolley. Just don’t forget to leave the trolley when you board the train. The reason I’m saying this is because there was a man who tried but was prevented by some airport staff to do so. 🙂
It’s an easy peasy ride from there. It’s going to be hugely convenient if you travel light but do not grow grey hairs over it if you travel like us with lots and lots of pieces of luggage. There’s free porter service and ample space in the express trains where you can put in your luggage during the ride. So just sit back, relax and wait for your stop which, in our case, was the Kowloon Station. If you’re going to Central, your stop will be at the Hong Kong Station.
To explain it a bit more, the first thing you need to be ready with is the hotel or guest house where you’ll be staying at. Then you need to check the list of hotels here to find out your transfer station. Once you know your station, you need to determine if your hotel is a designated airport express bus stop. If not, you need to find out the nearest bus stop to your hotel.
For example, you are staying at Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel which is in the Tsim Sha Tsui Area. If you look at the list of hotels, you’ll find out that you need to transfer at the Kowloon Station and look for Bus K2 which runs through Canton Road. On the other hand, if you are staying at, for example, Stanford Hillview Hotel which is not a designated bus stop, you will need to check with Google Maps its distance from a designated bus stop. If you look at its location, you’ll find out that Stanford Hillview Hotel is near Kimberley Road. Thus, in the list of hotels, you may take Bus K4 and alight at Empire Kowloon Hotel. It will help greatly if you use Google Maps to determine your hotel’s location vis-a-vis the nearest bus stop to you.
When you arrive at your transfer station, just follow the directions going to the Airport Express shuttle bus service. At the Kowloon Station, we didn’t have problems looking for an elevator. Note that we had a toddler in a stroller, a senior citizen, and tons of luggage with us. The lifts are easily accessible and can be found just by following the directions going to the shuttle bus service.
The buses arrive in 20-minute intervals so you might need to wait a while before you can board the shuttle. There’s a comfortable seating area where you can wait for the shuttle. When your shuttle ride has started, just wait for your bus stop and get off to reach your hotel/guest house. Depending on where it is located, there might be some walking needed.
And that’s it for the airport express. I’m happy to have tried this option in going to the city. Going back to the airport was a different story though. I tried UberVan and got a 7-seater to accommodate our family plus our bags. It was definitely more expensive but was very convenient for us. We were picked up from the hotel and dropped off straight at the departure area. If you want to know how much it costs to Uber, you can use the fare estimator at their website.
So there. Next time you’re in Hong Kong, will you be taking a taxi, the airport express, or Uber?
Now, this is the discount website I am dying to introduce to you. Klook is the name, my friends. Klook has been popular in Hong Kong for a few years now but I only got to use it in my recent trip. It offers a wide array of discounts on tours, activities, transport and communication services in most Asian countries like Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and even Boracay in the Philippines.
The first ones are the airport express vouchers which I got for HK$66 per single trip instead of HK$90. If you are traveling in big groups, you might want to check out the group discount first before buying your Klook vouchers. Airport Express tickets sell at up to 40% discount for group travelers. Check that one out first if you are traveling in big groups.
The next one is the pocket wifi voucher which I got for only HK$18 a day instead of HK$50. We found this to be very helpful because we’re connected to the Internet wherever we went. And the device can hold up to 5 gadgets so it’s pretty economical too. Most hotels have free wi-fi but we wanted to have something portable to bring with us as when we go out of the hotel. Note though that there are some hotels in Hong Kong that offer pocket wifi gadgets as part of their freebies so you will need to find that out first before you get a voucher from Klook.
And the last ones are the Disneyland Hong Kong tickets which I got for only HK$487 per day pass instead of HK$539. It may not be a lot if you look at just one ticket but if you are visiting as a group, you’ll realize that you have a huge discount altogether. Besides, any discount, big or small, always comes highly appreciated. The difference can actually buy you a snack or maybe a souvenir!
You can actually purchase a Disneyland meal voucher from Klook for only HK$88 but we did not get that anymore. There are limited choices and we wanted to have the freedom to choose our food and to play around with the portions. A meal may be good enough for just one person and in that case, we want to have a variety of choices. Or a meal may be good for sharing and we don’t want to be tied up to buying two of those just because we have a voucher.
But it’s not just the discount that made me very happy with my decision to buy vouchers from Klook. It’s actually the fact that I didn’t have to fall in line at the ticket counters! If you have Klook vouchers, you don’t need to fall in line nor print anything. You only need to open your email in your handheld device and scan the bar code at any of the Ticket Redemption Machines. You will find these machines at the AutoMagic Tickets area at the right side of the usual ticket counters. After scanning, the machine will print out your tickets and you’re ready to go!
I’m sure that Klook will be your new travel best friend and I’m pretty excited to hear about your experiences too. You’re most welcome 🙂
Before I end this post, I just wanted to say that we went to 1881 Heritage on our first day and as always, it has an extravagant and beautiful display. Perfect for capturing family photos.
Stay tuned for my next post about our L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon experience. Just thinking about it is already making my mouth water. ’til then!