The Transit Tours Of Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong has been attracting transiting tourist for quite a while now. The most crucial question a transiting tourist at Hong Kong will ask is what to visit and what to skip? Well, it really depends upon the amount of time you have in hand for your connecting flight. In case you have a very small layover approximately 2-4 hours, I would never suggest you to go out of the airport. In such a scenario, you can always visit several shops at the airport itself. I would strongly suggest that you can plan to visit places outside the airport only if you have more than 4-5 hours of layover time. In my case, I had a long layover of around 11 hours which was quite enough for me to visit quite a few places in the town. In case you land at the Hong Kong airport in the early morning, you stand a good chance to avoid the crazy rush of city. In my opinion, with such a good layover time, one must not think of skipping the Hong Kong Downtown and the Peak. Trust me, even if you skip any other places at Hong Kong, you won’t regret it much.

The Majestic View of Hong Kong Sky from The Peak
Frankly, as far as my recent travel experiences goes, the Peak is what I would recommend to visit for all transiting tourists. Another close option I could suggest is the Big Buddha on the Lantau Island which is however, an almost half day tour from the Tung Chung Cable car station. I had a glimpse of the Big Buddha which is situated on a mountain peak on the Lantau Island from the aircraft during my landing at the Hong Kong airport. But, to observe the large Buddha Statue, you really need to focus on the mountains. There is a stream of cable cars continually moving towards the Big Buddha statue which is also prominently visible from the airport.

Exploring the Hong Kong City

I reached Hong Kong early morning at 5:30 AM and soon after the immigration check, I bought a round trip Airport Express ticket costing HKD 180. The Airport Express is the quickest mode of transport towards the Hong Kong Central Station and the journey hardly takes 25 minutes. The frequency of the Airport Express Trains is also quite good which assures a nominal waiting time. The journey in the train is very luxurious and speedy. I enjoyed the comfort of a speedy transport through the mountains, the flyovers and the bridges built over the sea. It also provided glimpses of the huge skyscrapers built on either side of the railways.

After reaching the Hong Kong Central station, we boarded a taxi from the train station towards the hotel which costed me additional HKD 35. The taxi driver may charge you HKD 5 additionally for each luggage bag. I would recommend to get this thing sorted with him prior to boarding the taxi. In case, you do not have any luggage with you, I would recommend you to walk towards the Peak Tram station which is merely 20 min by walk from the Hong Kong Central Station. Taxis in Hong Kong are too expensive and are avoidable if you are prepared to walk on the streets to gather an extra fun and adventure.

Hotels in Hong Kong are very expensive too. Overall, I observed that the entire city has been facing a land crunch. Numerous multistoried buildings are just a result of severe fight for land for settlement. You could end up paying almost USD 100 for a hotel room sized that of a bathroom in the city center. In case, you have a really long layover or if your flight is on the next day, I would suggest booking a hotel in advance but be ready to spend more for less.

The Historic Peak Tram
The Peak tram is the best way to reach the Peak Tower. It will cost you HKD 40 just for the tram ride. An additional HKD 40 on the same ticket, will give you access to the Peak terrace which will offer you a magnificent 360 degree view of the Hong Kong City. I would strongly suggest you to go for the HDK 80 ticket as missing the Peak terrace is something not worth it. The journey through the Peak tram is historic one. The tram has a glorious history starting back from the year 1888. Over the years, there have been few changes in its way of operations; however, there have been absolutely no change in the thrill and the fun riding it. The tram could scare you with a tilt of as good as 27 degrees with the horizontal as you experience the skyscrapers almost leaning towards you. Although the Peak Tram journey could last for about 10-15 minutes towards the Peak Tower and back, I can assure you that it will remain evergreen in your mind for the rest of your life after you leave the place.

The Peak Tower
Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck

The Effiel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building in New York, the Skytree in Tokyo – every world city has an iconic observation deck. In Hong Kong, it is “sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck”, located in the city’s tallest building, ICC. From this harbor-front vantage point some 393 meters above sea level, you can enjoy incredible day and night Victoria Harbor views, and a stunning 360-degree panorama of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Terrirories. “sky100” offers you an unparalleled viewing experience, from the hustle and bustle of this international city to its visionary urban planning.

View from the sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
The Peak tower is an architectural wonder and it has experienced several changes in its structure for the past few years. It is a place for entertainment, shops and eateries. Food is expensive at the Peak. A single bottle of water will cost HKD 12. 

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong

There is a wax museum located in the tower at an additional cost. You may plan to visit it if time permits and if it is a matter of your interest to take pictures with wax models of several renowned personalities. But above all, the terrace view of the Peak tower is unparalled and something which you will cherish lifelong. As the one and only celebrity-inspired attraction in Hong Kong, you can meet over 100 A-Listers from around the World in one place at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. Not only can fans get up close with their idols and snap pictures, they can also interact with these celebrities and iconic personalities as they step into each of the specially designed exhibition sets. The new expansion “Fantasy Kingdom” brings more excitement to the star-studded journey with the Super Heroes, Children’s Favorites and Chinese Legendary figures.

Madame Tussauds @ The Peak
Located on The Peak, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is only eight minutes away from the city centre when visiting by the Peak Tram.

Many people think Hong Kong is only cosmopolitan city with its high-rise apartment blocks and busy roads. However, this is not the case. The New Territories, which lie between the Kowloon hills and the boundary which Mainland China, is an enormously diverse suburban area full of contrasts, a blend of traditional customs and modern ideas, of natural beauty and man-made achievements.

More than a century ago, this area was entirely rural. Small villages and farming fields dotted the landscape, home to people who farmed rice, tea and other crops. Today, the area still abounds in rural beauty. Yet modern developments have made its mark. Sophisticated new towns exist alongside peaceful woodland. “The Land Between” is the land bridging the motherland in China and the city centre of Hong Kong. It stands both as a gentle reminder of Hong Kong’s past as well as hopes for closer relationship with the motherland in the years to come.

A Spectacular View from the Airport Express on the way towards Hong Kong Central MTR
The land between tour visits the Yuen Yuen Institute where you can see the significance of Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist contributions to society. Then it’s out into the countryside, going up the Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest mountain. The bus drives past banana plantation, village hamlets and the surroundings of the Tai Mo Shan Country Park. A photo stop is made at the Tai Mo Shan lookout point where you can enjoy panoramic view of the harbor and the industrial / residential town of Tsuen Wan to the south. If the weather is unfavourable, the tour stops at the mountain’s lower lookout point for a view of Shek Kong Valley. The tour continues down the mountain and onto the wooded valley of Lam Tsuen and Fanling. You will visit Fanling Walled Village and walk past the old village wall with gun holes in it and a family ancestral hall where ancestor worship continues to be practised. The village belongs to the Pang family, one of the five great clans of the New Territories.

Then it’s time to head to the boundary with Mainland China by driving on Luk Keng Road. A photo stop will be made at Luk Keng Road lookout point to see natural surroundings of Starling Inlet, and the boundary town of Sha Tau Kok on Mainland, just across the Inlet. Next is a trip through the Plover Cove Country Park. The view is dominated by the water of Plover Cove Reservoir on one side and the massive ranges of Pat Sin Lang Range Country Park on the other. A photo stop is made at Bride’s Pool Falls, which has a constantly flowing waterfall year round. It is a popular place for outdoor BBQ parties in the cooler months.

Hong Kong Heritage Tour

Hidden away among high-rise apartment towers and busy highways, the past lives on in the New Territories – a living museum shaped by the rise and development of the so called five great clans of Hong Kong (the Tang, Hau, Pang, Liu and Man). Taking in historic sites around the New Territories, the Heritage Tour brings to life the customs and cultures of these clans and provides a fascinating glimpse of Hong Kong’s rich heritage.

1.       Tai Fu Mandarin’s Mansion / Fan Tin Village

Located in San Tin, Tai Fu Tai is an opulent stately residence built in 1865 by a senior Man clan member who was bestowed the title of Tai Fu (mandarin) by the Qing emperor. The extravagantly designed interior boasts three courtyards and is a striking example of how high-ranking officials once lived. The visit also includes a short walk into Fan Tin Village, the village where Man clan members live. Many of the village houses still retain their historic architecture, bearing testimony to the historical and social developments of the area.

2.       Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall / Lo Wai Walled Village

Lung Yeuk Tau in Fanling is home to the Tangs, one of the five indigenous clans of Hong Kong. Visit the 16th century Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall, which honors the Tang lineage, including a Sung dynasty princess and her husband. The exquisitely decorated three-hall building is still used for annual rituals and festival celebrations. The structure was declared a protected monument in 1997. A photo stop will be made at the nearby Lo Wai Walled Village, the first walled village built by the Tang clan. The site was also declared a monument in 1997. However, the Walled Village is a private property and visits can be organized only by invitation.

3.       Man Mo Temple / Tai Po Market

Dedicated to the deities Man (literature) and Mo (Martial Arts), the Man Mo temple in Tai Po was built in the style of a central walled compound to emphasize seclusion. Its construction in 1892 marked the founding of Tai Po New Market. Within the temple walls more than a century ago, defiant villagers chase to oppose Britain’s 99-year lease of the New Territories, sparking a five-day “war” that failed to avert the area falling under British control.

4.       Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees

In the Lam Tseun Valley, the two famous banyan trees are a favourite with local villagers who come to burn joss sticks and incense papers hoping their wishes will come true. During Chinese New Year, many Hong Kong people make a pilgrimage to this spot to make a pilgrimage to this spot to make their Chinese New Year wishes. Participate in this tradition and your wish may come true.

The Lantau Island Experience

Whether you are interested in aerial, land or water activities, Lantau has just the right thing to offer – the idyllic fishing village, the renowned Big Buddha, the rare Chinese White Dolphins, local culture and heritage, thrilling water sports. Ngong Ping 360 is where you start your Sky-Land-Sea Lantau adventure.

The Big Buddha at the Lantau Island
Ngong Ping Cable Car

Kick start your Sky-Land-Sea Lantau adventure with a 25-minute, 5.7 km cable car ride. Enjoy the stunning landscapes of Lantau Island, and the warm welcomes from the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping Village. Riding on Asia’s longest bi-cable ropeway, you will enjoy the blues and greens of Tung Chung, North Lantau and the South China Sea. If you opt for a Crystal Cabin, you will experience an uncluttered bird’s eye view through the cabin’s novel glass bottom. Private cabin services are also available to have a privacy for couples and families.

2    Ngong Ping Village

Disembarking from your cable cars, you will arrive at Ngong Ping Village – a 1.5 hectare culturally themed marketplace. In addition to offering visitors with unique shopping and dining experience. You can also enjoy the three main attractions of Ngong Ping Village – the multisensory “Stage 360” and “Motion 360”, as well as the enlightening “Walking with Buddha”.

3.       Completing the Lantau Experience

Venture out to the other parts of Lantau Island by taking a bus at Ngong Ping’s Public Transport Interchange located conveniently right next to Ngong Ping Village. Discover culture, heritage, nature, native wildlife, fresh seafood, local delicacy and more hidden gems of the island.

Big Bus Tours in Hong Kong

The Big Bus Tours offers you the best possible sightseeing experience to visitors and tourists. Their speciality includes a 24 or 48 hour ticket, hop-on and hop-off facility, 4 routes with more than 20 breakpoints, fun and entertaining commentary, complimentary rewards booklet and free earphone and tickets to major attraction. You can explore Hong Kong’s famous landmarks; from the high rise skyline of Central, buzzing Nathan Road to world famous Stanley Market.

A Busy Street at the Hong Kong Downtown
If you are for more than a day in Hong Kong, Big Bus is the best way to discover all that Hong Kong has to offer at affordable price.

Hong Kong Wetland Park

Opened in 2006, Hong Kong Wetland Park consists of a 60-hectare wetland reserve area which embraces freshwater marsh, streams, mangroves, farmlands, fishponds, reedbeds, butterfly garden, floating boardwalk and three bird hides. Visitors will explore various wetland animals and plants, and understand the importance of balanced ecosystem.

By demonstrating the best practices in energy saving and sustainability, the Visitor Centre has won many international architectural awards. Three themed galleries showcase the biodiversity of the wetland ecosystem, cultural development and wetland conservation. Visitors will learn from different perspectives through the exhibits, movies and interactive games too. The wetland park tickets can also be booked online and is operational between 10:00 am to 5:00 pm except on Tuesdays.

Spring and summer times are the best seasons for watching butterflies, dragonflies and flowers in Hong Kong Wetland Park. Apart from the beautiful butterflies, spectacular plants such as Common Melastoma, Fortune’s Cape Jasmine, Lidded Cleistocalyx, Water-lily and Indian Lotus are also major attractions. During autumn and winter time, thousands of migratory birds including endangered species like Black-faced Spoonbills take shelter in the park. The three bird hides and Viewing Gallery are equipped with telescopes for visitors to watch birds. The prime time for bird watching is from November to March.

The Park regularly organizes special campaigns to introduce wildlife, such as the annual “Bird Watching Festival” every winter. Guided activities of various themes are held every day in the park. Yuen Long where this Park is located has numerous famous natural or cultural attractions, such as Tsim Bei Tsui, Kam Tin Tree House, Ping Shan Heritage Trail etc. You can also take a 10-minute taxi ride to Lau Fau Shan, a renowned seafood centre, for delicious seafood and souvenirs. Yuen Long town centre is also a great place for Chinese and International cuisine.

How are the locals of Hong Kong City?

While in Hong Kong Central, I interacted with several local people in the City. I found that language is a major barrier in communication among-st the local population. Keeping the language issue aside, I also found them to be indifferent to questions asked by tourists. In face, I found many of them simply nodding a 'No' even before I asked them for directions. Is this an attitude problem? I am not really sure but several local people of Hong Kong are not friendly at all. Most of them are too much engrossed within themselves so much so that they often behave indifferently or sometimes with a whim of anger.

I Love You The Peak
On the contrary, when I was asking my way back to the Hong Kong Airport Express Station to a local person, an old Filipino lady interrupted us and offered a help with guiding me with directions. Another non-local couple spent almost 10 minutes speaking to me advising me with places and markets I could visit around the area. They also suggested me of some Do's and Don'ts while visiting the local markets. Undoubtedly, you can expect a good helping hand from the fellow tourists while in Hong Kong rather than the locals. While interacting with fellow friendly tourists, you would never know if they would be instantly ready to capture a lovely picture with you too ;-)


  1. Not sure what happened to my previous comment.
    Great post Neeraj. I am loving your travelogue posts. I had no idea there was so much to explore in Hong Kong. By the way, were you able to cover all these places in just 11 hours of transit? Are all these places situated close to the airport or something?

  2. @Avada, Thanks for dropping by! Places that are near the airport are the Big Buddha and the Peak. If you have limited time, I would recommend to plan a sightseeing tour of your choice. This way you would save time and cover maximum possible places. During my layover, I was able to cover the Peak and some local markets in the Downtown. One of my friend who traveled with me stayed overnight and covered some other places.

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