HONGKONG: How to Explore Hong Kong in 12 hours

July 31, 2015


HONG KONG: How to Explore Hong Kong in 12 hours


A friend of mine had this wild idea of  joining her husband while he spent a 12 hour lay-over in Hong Kong on his way to India. They both left Manila together for Hong Kong, spent 12 hours together and took separate flights from Hong Kong, one back to Manila and the other on the way to India.

She asked me to make her an itinerary. Since it's around 30 years since she visited Hong Kong, I made her an itinerary suited for first-time visitors.

So if you want to do the same thing, go on a date in Hong Kong and just spend a day there, or if you have a 12 hour lay-over and wonder how you can make the most out of your waiting time, this is my recommendation.



In this itinerary, this is what you do and see:

1. Ride the airport express train.

2. Visit the Avenue of the Stars

3. Walk along the Tsimshatsui side of the Victoria Harbor and see the Hong Kong skyline.

4. See the exterior of the Hong Kong Cultural Center, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Tsimshatsui Clock Tower

5. Ride the Star Ferry

6. Ride the Peak Tram

8. Explore the Peak Tower and see the view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak.

9. Visit Statue Square

10. See the famous HSBC building by Sir Norman Foster.

11. Eat dimsum lunch at the famous Maxim's Restaurant at City Hall OR eat at Cafe de Coral, a popular Hong Kong Chinese fastfood restaurant.

12. Visit Harbour City, the largest mall in Hong Kong and see high-end shops like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Christian Loubotin, Chanel, etc.

13. Take home Laduree Macarons, Cha Cha Sweets Cream Puffs,   Pasteleria Ko Kei  peanut candy or Portuguese egg tarts.

13. Walk along Nathan Road, the famous golden mile.

14. Dinner at Cafe de Coral, a popular Hong Kong Chinese fast food restaurant. 


The estimated cost of this itinerary is 460 Hong Kong Dollars per person, broken down as follows:

Airport Express train roundtrip ticket: 160HKD
Star Ferry: 2.50 HKD per person 
Taxi from central pier to peak terminus: 27 HKD per person
Peak tram: 40 HKD per person roundtrip
Estimated cost of lunch at Maxim's: 200 HKD per person
Star Ferry: 2.50 HKD per person
MTR from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui: 10 HKD 
Estimated cost of dinner at Cafe de Coral: 40 HKD per person
Food to take home: 
Laduree Macarons: 3 HKD per macaron
Cha Cha Cream Puffs: 18 to 25 HKD per piece
Pasteleria Ko Kei Black Sesame Peanut Candy: 63 HKD per large pack 
Portuguese egg tarts: 1 box of 6 pieces: 54 HKD 


ONE DAY HONG KONG ITINERARY


7:00 AM:

Arrive at Hong Kong airport.




8:00 AM:

Buy airport express ROUNDTRIP train tickets to Kowloon Station. Airport express train tickets counters are located beside the HKTB Information Counter at the airport.

Price of 1 roundtrip ticket: 160HKD


Airport express train ticket booth before the arrival exit

Airport express train ticket booth beside the corridor going to the train

See the the airport express train ticket booth on the left
The path leading to the train is in the middle.

This is the path leading to the train


8:30 AM - 9:30 AM:

Ride the airport express train and get off at Kowloon Station



Inside the airport express train

You watch the blue light above to see the train route.

Upon arrival at Kowloon station, you get off the train
and pass through this turnstile.


Find the free airport express shuttle bus service when you arrive at Kowloon Station


Check out the sign on the post that says
"Airport express shuttle bus".
Follow the arrow.

Ride this elevator leading to the shuttle bus

Get off the G floor

Board the K2 bus and get off at Stop 4: The Kowloon Hotel/The Peninsula Hong kong


The route of the K2 bus is shown below:






K2
(To Tsim Sha Tsui around Canton Road)

Service hours 06:12 - 23:12
(every 12 minutes)
clip_image001Stop 1: Prince
clip_image001[1]Stop 2: Gateway
clip_image001[2]Stop 3: Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel
clip_image001[3]Stop 4: The Kowloon Hotel / The Peninsula Hong Kong
clip_image001[4]Stop 5: The Royal Pacific Hotel & Towers / China Ferry Terminal

Wait at the K2 bus exit

It says that the K2 bus will arrive in 10 minutes.

Riding the K2 bus
(I took this photo at night that's why it's dark outside)

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM:

Walk from Peninsula Hotel to Avenue of the Stars. See map below.




Explore Avenue of the Stars. Walk along the bay from Avenue of the Stars to Star Ferry pier and see the the Hong Kong skyline, passing by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Space Museum, and the Tsim sha tsui Clock tower. Go to the Star Ferry Pier



By walking along the Avenue of the Stars, you see:
The Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Skyline
The series of buildings along the Harbour like the
Hong Kong Cultural Center
The Space Museum
The Hong Kong Museum of Art

Jackie Chan at the Avenue of the Stars


Handprint and Signature of Jackie Chan


The Hong Kong Skyline

Hong Kong Museum of Art
Hong Kong Cultural Center
Space Museum

Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM:

Ride the Star Ferry and cross the Victoria Harbour to Central

Price of Star Ferry: 2.50 HKD per person


The Star Ferry



Inside the Star Ferry

The view from the Star Ferry


Upon arrival at Central Star Ferry Pier 7, take a taxi to the lower peak tram terminus to save time.




Price of taxi to terminus: 27 HKD per taxi

When you arrive at tram terminal, buy peak tram tickets. Ride the peak tram to Victoria Peak.

Price of Peak tram: 40 HKD per person roundtrip



11:00 AM - 11:30 AM:

Explore the peak tower


The view from Victoria Peak

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM:

Ride the peak tram to go down Victoria Peak.



12:30 PM - 1:00 PM:

Walk from the peak tram terminus to Statue Square.



1:00 PM - 1:30 PM:

Go to Statue Square, see the famous HSBC building by Sir Norman Foster


The HSBC building





FROM HERE, YOU CAN OPT TO :

EAT DIMSUM AT MAXIM'S CITY HALL

or

EAT AT CAFE DE CORAL 

If you opt to eat at  Maxim's, below is the itinerary

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM:

Walk from Statue Square to Maxim's City Hall



1:00 PM- 3:00 PM:

Eat dimsum at Maxim’s Restaurant

Check out my post: My Guide to Dining at Maxim's Palace City Hall

Estimated cost of meal: 175-200 HKD per person


You choose your dimsum from a cart going around the restaurant



Walk from Maxim's Palace Chinese Restaurant to Central Station Exit K.
Ride the MTR Central Station to Tsim Sha Tsui Station. 



Get off at East Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit L6. 



Price of MTR from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui: 10 HKD per person
NOTE: Star Ferry is cheaper but it's double the distance to walk to Central Ferry Pier 7.


If you opt to eat at  Cafe de Coral, below is the itinerary:

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM:

Walk from Statue Square to Central Station Exit K.
Ride the MTR Central Station to Tsim Sha Tsui Station. 



Get off at East Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit L6. 




Price of MTR from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui: 10 HKD per person
NOTE: Star Ferry is cheaper but it's double the distance to walk to Central Ferry Pier 7.

Walk from Exit L6 to Cafe de Coral at Star House






2:00 PM - 3:00 PM:

Lunch at Café de Coral, popular Hong Kong Chinese fast food place. They have a branch at Star House.





4:00 PM - 7:00 PM:

Go to Harbour City

Visit Harbour City, the largest mall in Hong Kong and see high-end shops like Prada, Louis Vuitton, Christian Loubotin, Chanel,etc. Take home Laduree Macarons, Cha Cha Sweets Cream Puffs.



Harbour City entrance near Star House

Harbour City entrance along Canton Road


OUTSIDE HARBOUR CITY ALONG CANTON ROAD





INSIDE HARBOUR CITY






Go to Hankow Road for Pasteleria Ko Kei  peanut candy and Lock Road for Portuguese egg tarts at Macau Restaurant


Check out my post: My List of the Best Souvenirs or Pasalubong from Hong Kong



Walk along Nathan road on the way to Kowloon hotel where you board the K2 bus you boarded in the morning






7:00 PM - 8:00 PM:

Walk to K2 bus stop where you got off in the morning and ride the bus to Airport Express Station Kowloon Station

You can check-in already at the Airport Express Kowloon station, unless you already did web check-in

Ride the airport express train and arrive at the airport



8:00 PM - 9:30 PM:

Go to immigration

Dinner at Café de Coral, popular Hong Kong Chinese fast food place. They have a branch at the airport at Terminal 1, Departure East Hall, Level 7.

Estimated cost of meal: 40 HKD per person



9:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Boarding


NOTE: If you can get a 12 midnight flight back, you will have time to watch the Symphony of Lights.

Below are some photos and a video to help you decide whether it's worth viewing: 



Elevated viewing area for the Symphony of Lights



2 comments:

Lydia Esteban said...

Hi,I've your tour of Hong Kong and I'm really interested in trying the experience.Can you recommend a nice and safe place to stay there but at the same time affordable also?. We are a family of five, and we would like to visit Disneyland and Ocean Park, aside from the places you've mentioned. Would you recommend we just get a package tour? Exploring on your own sounds more fun, like what you did on your one day tour of Hong Kong.This will be our first time to go there. Thank you

Meanne said...

For first-timers, I usually recommend the Salisbury-YMCA of Hong Kong because of it's location. The above itinerary will be easy to follow if you're staying at Salisbury-YMCA. I don't know the configuration of your family, meaning how many are adults and how many are children. The family suite, the biggest room at Salisbury can hold a maximum of 4 adults. Children 0-11 years of age are not counted if you use the existing bedding. Children 12 years old and above are counted as adults and will be counted in the room's maximum capacity. There's an extra charge per night if you need an extra bed. The room has a very big king bed and a sofa bed. When I stayed there last year, the bed can hold 3 medium sized adults. You can book the room and decide when you arrive if you need an extra bed