Guides for China
/ Hong Kong (November 2010)
| What is the
best way to get from Hong Kong to China Mainland?
Hong Kong does not have a fully integrated transportation
system and unless you know all your options in advance,
this can make a simple transfer a frustrating misery.
As a rough guide, Hong Kong (Like China) operates major
public mass transit between the hours of 6am and 6pm.
Outside of these times your options are either far fewer
and more involved, or there simply aren't any!
1. Your Final Destination?
Your choice of transport varies with the time of day,
and where in China you are headed for. Below we will
look at some of the common regional options from the
point of view of a family with much baggage, or international
businessmen who require stress-free and time-managed
links into Guangdong Province.
There are many ways to get to Macao, but the best
will be directly from Hong Kong international
airport via Sea Cat ferry. The journey costs around
$HK150 and takes less than 1-hour. There is a
dedicated metro to the ferry terminal. See image
right for details.
Outside of these hours there are several 24-hour
services that operate out of the main ferry terminals
of 'Central/Admiralty' and Kowloon China Ferry.
The latter will require a transfer to the relevant
terminal, and the Airport Express metro is about
the easiest option. Coaches and private hire vehicles
also offer good services, whilst those on a budget
may prefer the local bus (Takes ages but very
Details for China Ferry, Canton Road, Kowloon
A. To get to Macao you can either go
by coach or ferry, and ferry is the far better way to
travel. These are run by First Ferry, and are large
modern 'sea-cats' that are painted white with a bright
orange strip down the side. I travelled from the old
ferry terminal on Hong Kong Island, which has now been
knocked down. The new ferry terminal for Macao is a
short distance away on the front near Central and Admiralty.
To get there either use the MTR on Nathan Road, or use
the ferry at the end of Canton Road.
I am given to understand First Ferry now operate their
Macao service out of the China Ferry terminal on Canton
Road, and that Turbojet operate from Central. Here are
some useful links:
B. When I travelled in 2006 the cost was around $HK
120 - and I don't think this has changed much since.
These are designed for commuters, and some companies
charge extra for suitcases. Advice also recommends you
buy a return ticket during busy periods, although I
doubt this should be necessary?
C. A regular service runs every day at about 15 minute
intervals, with a reduced service after midnight. There
is a timetable on the second link above.
D. When you arrive in Macao and pass through Customs
checks, the first thing you will need to do is get some
local currency. Some people will accept RMB or $HK,
but you will get a very bad deal. There are ATM machines
in the arrivals hall, or perhaps get some money in Hong
There are a plethora of ways to
get to Shenzhen, but you may be more concerned
about where exactly in the city you want to arrive?
From the airport the easiest way to get to Baoan
district (Shenzhen Airport) is by ferry - see
timetable right. This is however a long way out
from Shenzhen City proper, and is badly connected
to other places within China. The timetable is
also limited, and the cost expensive (Y270 RMB).
The crossing takes 50 minutes and Customs is easy,
but no refreshments are available on board.
There is a better schedule from Kowloon China
Ferry with two destinations within Shenzhen City
available. However it will take you just as long
to get to China ferry in Kowloon as it will to
get to Shenzhen on the airport ferry - plus the
extra hassle is seriously not worth it!
Coaches operate at very regular intervals at all
times of the day and night - although you may
need assistance to find all of them. The same
is true of Private Driver Services. You can also
use the MTR/KTR network of light railways (Metro),
or take a common bus.
Most regular transportation will go to either Shenzhen
Huanggang Border crossing (Probably the most ridiculous
border in the world), or Lo Wu (Arguably the best border
crossing in the world). Expect everything available
at HK airport to go to Huanggang!
So what do you do?
|I go to Airport foyer level 3
and look around the dozen or so private companies
offering private driver services. They will speak
Cantonese by default, have excellent English and
some Mandarin + other world languages. They do
not offer services to Lo Wu, and favour Huanggang
and a couple of other destinations - one of which
happens to be The Shangri-La Hotel, which is directly
opposite Lo Wu transport hub. Here is China!
We used the services (Pictured right), in November
2010 and found them to be totally professional
and excellent. The fee was $HK 150 each, which
included transfer through Huanggang Hong Kong
Customs within the vehicle as a group of passengers;
and we were dropped off directly outside the Foreigners
entrance to the Chinese Customs some two miles
distant (I did warn you it was a stupid system
Once processed and outside on the immediate pavement
(Sidewalk) on China Shenzhen side, turn immediately
to your right and find the Company office located near
the end of the block. You check-in and wait - and soon
another vehicle will arrive to transfer you to your
destination. Vehicles used were large and spacious Toyota
SUV's = excellent for the purpose. You can read all
about our transfer here
- somewhere near the bottom of the page.
The Capital City of Guangdong Province, and China's
Third City responsible for over one-third of total Chinese
exports; Guangzhou is a major destination for all foreign
visitors. Both city and province are sometimes referred
to as 'Canton'.
Transfers to Guangzhou are very easy, with options for
Private Driver, luxury Coach, and Ferry being easily
available from within the airport during normal and
extended hours. Ferry timings can be limited, and will
still leave you with a (Free) local charabanc connection
to Guangzhou central. Our advice is to use the coach
or private driver company. The coach has air-con and
toilet + movie and costs HK$/RMB 277 one way, each.
You can do this for a lot less money if you are on a
budget, but you will have a lot of hassle and it is
not easy at all = better take the coach.
The best route is actually via mainline railway, but
this departs from Hong Kong Hung Hom station, and is
a lot of hassle to find and get to the right bit.
If money is not a problem, then simply fly direct into
Guangzhou and save an awful lot of time and hassle.
4. Major Cities in Guangdong.
Hong Kong Airport services most of the important neighbouring
* Jiang Men
* Zhong Shan
* Tai Shan
* Kai Ping
* Canton Fair (Pazhou)
* and somewhere in neighbouring Guangxi Provence
Nb. Special services are also available
for events such as the Asia Games 2010, and during National
Transfer times may be restricted to within a normal
working day, and come in all forms (Ferry, Coach, Private
Driver, Railway, Light Rail, etc.
5. Transportation in General
The transportation network is not fully integrated,
although planned extensions to the Underground railway
system (Metro, Subway, Tube, MTR, KCR, Bus, Tram, Ferry)
will ease this greatly. Excepting the main Star Ferry,
Ferry terminals are scattered haphazardly around Victoria
Bay. Some have been moved, closed, whilst others have
appeared. Each has specific schedules and destinations
served, of which many are restricted services to outlying
islands. Some are even duplicated. Check for latest
information via Hong
Kong Tourist Board
Direct links between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon to
the Airport are not overly complicated, but can become
a nightmare if you are in the wrong place with a lot
of heavy luggage - making this a very long and arduous
trip. Your options are:
a. Airport Express train from Hong
Kong Station (Central on Hong Kong Island) or from West
Kowloon = miles from China ferry and all other public
transportation, so needs a taxi to get there
b. Taxi's themselves are horrendously
expensive! They will often take you the longest way
to your destination (Various reasons given), but are
extremely friendly and chatty. That said, others report
that although expensive, they offer excellent service
and do not take detours. Try for yourselves and see...
c. Ferry - if you can find the right
one to catch and where to get it from?
d. Coach services are frequent , which
usually offer a free transfer - if you are staying at
one of their supported hotels (5*). If not pay for the
ride. These are also usually called 'Airport
Express' - don't get confused here...
e. MTR. May require changing trains
at connecting stations.
f. Whichever way you choose is not
particularly user friendly.
Quick Guide Ten
Tips for HK HK - China Transfers
information is as supplied by China Expats, as dated
21st November 2010, and/or other reliable sources. Please
check this information yourself as it may alter without
notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct,
please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this
is intended as a simple guide only
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