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Hong Kong Tours

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We will be in Hong Kong in February, 2018. We have no experience in Asia so I would like some guidance for good tour guides or companies for Hong Kong. We will be there overnight. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

 

Thanks

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Hong Kong is very doable without a tour guide. Just have a good street map and good sense of direction. Majority of the signs in the tourist areas are bi-lingual (British English) and Chinese. Most of the younger locals know English. Restaurants will probably give you the menu with pictures, just point. And yes a Big Mac tastes the same as in the USofA.

 

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/hong-kong/suggested-itineraries/in-one-day

 

http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/index.jsp

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We will be in Hong Kong in February, 2018. We have no experience in Asia so I would like some guidance for good tour guides or companies for Hong Kong. We will be there overnight. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

 

Thanks

 

I recognize that you are asking for tour guide recommendations but I want to concur that Hong Kong is easily enjoyed without a guide. I was there in late April with my son and we had a marvelous time. Get a travel book with a map and purchase an Octopus card at the airport. Many people speak English and if we were standing, looking confused (turn left or right?) someone invariably stopped and offered to help. My worries were unfounded and our time in Hong Kong was truly memorable.

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For our first visit (overnight port stop On RCI Mariner) we opted to just do the HOHO...gave us a nice overview.

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We will be in Hong Kong in February, 2018. We have no experience in Asia so I would like some guidance for good tour guides or companies for Hong Kong. We will be there overnight. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

 

Thanks

 

We just returned from Hong Kong, and we had a fantastic guide:

 

http://www.hkgreeters.com/

 

We were there when it was hot and *humid*, so it we were especially pleased to have found her (Amy) because she uses an air-conditioned van IF someone wants/needs that.

 

She was incredibly flexible regarding what to show us, and made suggestions, given our interests.

 

We didn't stay in the car all the time, although I'm sure one could ask to do that.

 

She was also extremely nice, eager to help, had lots of background information, and being with her just made it all even more fun.

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We used Hong Kong Getaway with Mandy. We used the company for two days - one day on Kowloon and one day on the Hong Kong island side. She was great. We walked, used a taxi, used the subway, buses and ferry. We learned a great deal and had so much fun with her.

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HK is ideal for the DIY visitors, whether it's for a 12 hours layover or overnight/36 hours visit - popular tourist attractions have bilingual signage; and, mass/public transit friendly.

 

Feb. is winter in HK and it can get chilly, cold for locals - dress in layers, gloves & wool scarves are optional.

 

MTR is the vast underground subway train networks that connect the urban towns & places on both sides of the harbour, the airport and a quick shuttle bus or PMB (public mini bus) ride to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal - using the famous Octopus (fare) Card - that you hover/swipe above the terminal to deduct fare payment & transfers to buses & ferries ... and many merchants like 7-11 and chain grocery & pharmacy stores, along with McDonalds & Maxim's Cake (bakery) etc. cheerful accept as debit card payment for purchases.

 

The city of 7 million people is digitally connected and plenty of free WiFi and hotspots, along with several cellular providers offering 4G and near 5G coverage all over. Visitors worried about roaming charges can buy a highly recommended prepaid 3-in-1 Tourist sim card for $88 HKD (about $12 USD) good for 5 days of unlimited use with 1.5 GB of 4G data, and access to additional free WiFi.

http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/plan-your-trip/traveller-info/communications/tourist-sim-card.jsp

 

Discover HK is the official government tourism website - see links here to download several free apps ahead of visiting, whether it's arrival on a cruise ship or pre- and post- crusie by air, to navigate & get around, especially first time visiting.

 

My Hong Kong Guide and Insider's Guide are as good as Fodor's paperback & more current, your digital roadmaps to get around. HKeTransport and MTR Mobile and csl WiFi are 3 Apps to help you map, navigate and find resources online ... going from point A to B to C and back, via D, if desired.

http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/plan-your-trip/travel-kit/mobile-apps.jsp

 

The newest attraction is HK Food Truck - mobile food vendor licensed at key tourists & visitors location, and there's an APP for that. The entire website is loaded with info with links to other sites. These Apps are highly recommended even if using the services of a local tour guide and/or on escorted ship excursion.

 

With these guides installed on iPhone/iPad and/or Android, anyone can plan ahead for a virtual visit - review transit schedule, routes & stops. Of course, Google Maps work great & it is bilingual with Local Guide info integrated - have fun in using it. Pack a good pair of walking shoes, bottles of water for hydration and thick facial tissues - some of the best & memorable sights and landmarks are on the Victoria Harbourfront and even if traveling by taxi or private minivan or motorcoach, one has to walk & cross the streets from the nearest dropoff location ... USA visitors, look left first as being formerly a British colony, they keep left & drive on the left side. Jaywalking is against the law on crowded city streets, wait for the signal for pedestrian crossing as police will stop you & issue summons with a fine.

 

香港啟德郵輪碼頭 -

or, Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (in Kowloon)

 

P.S. Pack & take along an external/portable USB power source (5000 amp or higher) for extra "juice" to the iPhone, iPad and smartphone as you will likely be out there all day long, into the evening.

Edited by mking8288

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HK is ideal for the DIY visitors, whether it's for a 12 hours layover or overnight/36 hours visit - popular tourist attractions have bilingual signage; and, mass/public transit friendly.

 

Feb. is winter in HK and it can get chilly, cold for locals - dress in layers, gloves & wool scarves are optional.

 

MTR is the vast underground subway train networks that connect the urban towns & places on both sides of the harbour, the airport and a quick shuttle bus or PMB (public mini bus) ride to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal - using the famous Octopus (fare) Card - that you hover/swipe above the terminal to deduct fare payment & transfers to buses & ferries ... and many merchants like 7-11 and chain grocery & pharmacy stores, along with McDonalds & Maxim's Cake (bakery) etc. cheerful accept as debit card payment for purchases.

 

The city of 7 million people is digitally connected and plenty of free WiFi and hotspots, along with several cellular providers offering 4G and near 5G coverage all over. Visitors worried about roaming charges can buy a highly recommended prepaid 3-in-1 Tourist sim card for $88 HKD (about $12 USD) good for 5 days of unlimited use with 1.5 GB of 4G data, and access to additional free WiFi.

http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/plan-your-trip/traveller-info/communications/tourist-sim-card.jsp

 

Discover HK is the official government tourism website - see links here to download several free apps ahead of visiting, whether it's arrival on a cruise ship or pre- and post- crusie by air, to navigate & get around, especially first time visiting.

 

My Hong Kong Guide and Insider's Guide are as good as Fodor's paperback & more current, your digital roadmaps to get around. HKeTransport and MTR Mobile and csl WiFi are 3 Apps to help you map, navigate and find resources online ... going from point A to B to C and back, via D, if desired.

http://www.discoverhongkong.com/us/plan-your-trip/travel-kit/mobile-apps.jsp

 

The newest attraction is HK Food Truck - mobile food vendor licensed at key tourists & visitors location, and there's an APP for that. The entire website is loaded with info with links to other sites. These Apps are highly recommended even if using the services of a local tour guide and/or on escorted ship excursion.

 

With these guides installed on iPhone/iPad and/or Android, anyone can plan ahead for a virtual visit - review transit schedule, routes & stops. Of course, Google Maps work great & it is bilingual with Local Guide info integrated - have fun in using it. Pack a good pair of walking shoes, bottles of water for hydration and thick facial tissues - some of the best & memorable sights and landmarks are on the Victoria Harbourfront and even if traveling by taxi or private minivan or motorcoach, one has to walk & cross the streets from the nearest dropoff location ... USA visitors, look left first as being formerly a British colony, they keep left & drive on the left side. Jaywalking is against the law on crowded city streets, wait for the signal for pedestrian crossing as police will stop you & issue summons with a fine.

 

香港啟德郵輪碼頭 -

or, Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (in Kowloon)

 

P.S. Pack & take along an external/portable USB power source (5000 amp or higher) for extra "juice" to the iPhone, iPad and smartphone as you will likely be out there all day long, into the evening.

 

 

Excellent, helpful post...thank you - but folks must look RIGHT first when crossing streets! You're right about the traffic going same direction as in the U.K. or Aussie/NZ. Takes a bit of adjusting when crossing but just go slow & don't be the first to leave the curb when crossing!

 

Be safe & enjoy HK - it was fun, fascinating & unforgettable!

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I want to thank all of you for sharing your recommendations. We are looking forward to Hong Kong.

 

 

Mary

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We are looking for a recommendation for a day including Lantau and Tai O fishing village. the excursion from the ship is $249 and I would rather do a private tour if we can for the same dollars.

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Here is our review of Hong Kong (Day One) from January 2017 - we chose the HOHO (hop on hop off) Bus and purchased the tickets through the Celebrity Excursions Desk (Celebrity Millennium).

 

It was an "excellent" day and we covered a lot of ground! Highly recommend this very efficient service.

 

Hong Kong via HOHO Bus - Blog Review

 

Heather

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We were on the Millennium in October 2015 and did not purchase the HOHO bus ticket from Celebrity, we took a taxi to the Star Ferry and then purchased a two day pass. Then we found out as Heather has noted in her trip report that they sent a HOHO bus to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to take you to the Star Ferry terminal (there is also a bus to take you back to the ship at the end of the day, boarding is at the Star Ferry.) The price of the HOHO from Celebrity was a little more expensive than direct from the HOHO bus company, but you save on getting to the Star Ferry Terminal.

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Excellent, helpful post...thank you - but folks must look RIGHT first when crossing streets! You're right about the traffic going same direction as in the U.K. or Aussie/NZ. Takes a bit of adjusting when crossing but just go slow & don't be the first to leave the curb when crossing!

 

Be safe & enjoy HK - it was fun, fascinating & unforgettable!

I often travel on my own and I am of short stature. My tip for anywhere in the world, wait for the old people and cross with them, there is a reason they got to be old. In Beijing I found two very tall Swedish backpackers and attached myself to them at street crossings. They thought they had a stalker.

Remember as our guide in India told us the white lines on the road, pedestrian crossings, are for decoration only. So too in many countries, traffic lights. Always be alert

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We are looking for a recommendation for a day including Lantau and Tai O fishing village. the excursion from the ship is $249 and I would rather do a private tour if ...
Hmmm. Is that $249 USD per person ? Equivalent of about $1,900 HKD or $3,800 for 2 person - probably by chartered motorcoach or mini-bus and not even in a smaller van.

 

Lantau is the largest island & home to HKIA (HKG) Int'l Airport on the northwest shore - 30 minutes from Central or TST via Airport Express or taxi, traffic permitting - otherwise, about 1 hour to 90 minutes via MTR. (Tung Chung is one of nearest MTR Station, about 10 minutes apart by car/taxi/bus, etc. - where folks head up for the Giant Budda on Ning Ping 360's cable car) The multi-story outlet mall next to the MTR at Tung Chung is popular for mainland duty-free tourists (actually, here's a secret - everything sold in HK is tax-free, no VAT, GST or sales tax, etc.) ... Coach, Adidas & Footlocker prices here in US are better, trust me !

 

A driving tour around the island in sort of a loop, as it really doesn't go all the way around will take about 2 hours or more, including a drive-by via NP's other end, base "camp" or Village for the Giant Budda.

 

Tai O as a popular tourist attraction & fishing village is on the southwest tip of the big island - it can be reached by fast ferry services from Central (HK Island) as an easily DIY tour. Haven't been there since 1973 but not much has changed, unlike the rest of HK.

 

What is on your short list of places to see, visit & things to do and how much time do you have - is the cruise doing an overnight stop ? Thinking outside the box, hire an island taxi - for the day (Green color only) once you get to Lantau - driver can take you around, making stops - with the meter running. It will be much cheaper than ship tour ... aside from the language factor. There are air-conditioned buses and PMB (mini-bus) routes that will get you around the island as well ... and if you plan & time it well, end your day visit at Tai O & possibly ride the ferry back toward the "city" - reconnecting with the MTR, back to the ship.

 

I haven't look at the ferry routes/connection & timetable lately to see whether the timing might work ... just some brainstorming ideas. Unlike TST and Central, rapid & easy transportation at much of Lantau is NOT, however.

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Thanks you give great advice and It is certainly possible to do it ourselves and we are 1.5 days in Hong Kong but really hoped for a guide/driver as we always take away so much more from local guides who shares stories and usually great fondness for the city they are sharing. We were in Hong Kong last fall so did Aberdeen, Victoria Peak, some local medicine and other shops, the LONG escalator, a couple of markets including "goldfish", temples. But did not get to Lantau other than the airport.

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... It is certainly possible to do it ourselves and we are 1.5 days in Hong Kong but really hoped for a guide/driver as we always take away so much more from local guides who shares stories and usually great fondness for the city they are sharing. We were in Hong Kong last fall ... did not get to Lantau other than the airport.
Very good, you know how the Octopus Card and MTR, bus & ferry systems worked in general.

 

A day trip is going to involve about 3 hours of round-trip transfer time ... and I assume that you need to be back onboard for sailing away from HK (Kai Tak C.T. ??) by 3 or 4 PM on day #2 - even if you are on an escorted, private tour.

 

It's rise-n-shine and off the ship early, hopefully it's a weekday morning (commuters will packing the MTR stations & key transfer points, unfortunately - jammed full of locals) but weekends are worst b/c locals trying to get out to the "countryside" to escape the urban concrete jungle, best not to do this on Sundays or public holidays.

 

Here's one of the guide on getting to Tai O - ferry from Central Pier or MTR to Tung Chung, then - transfer to local bus.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-to-get-to-tai-o-1535851

 

Green taxi would be a little faster, maybe10 to 15 minutes at most - it's mostly all two lanes, country road, one going in the opposite direction of the other, very few traffic lights (if any, except when near Tung Chung ... haven't been to Mui Wo's pier since 1969 or 1970) - stop & yield signs every now and then at key intersections. I would opt for taking the bus route, sitting higher up - keep your eyes open for herds of (abandoned) cows roaming the fields & greens (as ex-farmers released them, gotten rich from selling lands to the HK government) - we saw them on our way down from NP 360 taking the bus (in 2010.) It was fun to rediscover & reconnect with rural HK - very scenic.

 

HK Transport Dept's link to ferry services for the outlying islands here (Central to Mui Wo & Tuen Mun-Tung Chung to Tai O)

http://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/service_details/#o07

 

There are expats living on Lantau and I've read an article about them hosting visitors, but it's more along the AirBnB nature. Transportation logistics and the vast size of the island itself in getting around just make private tours not very practical ... and hence, pricey as well unless one go DIY in backpack or daypack mode.

 

Airfares for us from USA gateways (JFK) direct to HKG has dropped in recent years since we last visited (check out Asian carriers - newer equipments, better services ... 2 years ago, we took an escorted land tour to Taiwan & Soeul, SK ... amazing package) - I can easily see doing an overnight and even 2 to 3 nights staying on Lantau and exploring the remote corners. Plus, a side trip to Macau (did that last time) and not for the casinos.

 

Let me see if I can find those expat links and references in my "database" - and, I will post them.

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We used Hong Kong Getaway with Mandy. We used the company for two days - one day on Kowloon and one day on the Hong Kong island side. She was great. We walked, used a taxi, used the subway, buses and ferry. We learned a great deal and had so much fun with her.

 

I am happy to hear you had a good experience with Mandy, We have her booked in April for a 6 hour day tour and a 4 hour night tour. Looking forward to the trip. :D

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You can do Hong Kong by your own. there is a free shuttle bus from the port to the mall, and from there you can board the MTR. We did it the first time we came with a cruise to Hong-Kong.

In that cruise we took the Ngong Ping 360 to go to Lantau. It was great and we enjoined it very much. you can see detail about it in their web site: https://www.np360.com.hk/en/

you take the MTR to Tung Chung Station and there it starts.

Last January we started a cruise from hong kong. we walked around central, went to Macau to central, Avenue of stars, the Flower Market and the Bird garden. you can see at our blog the detail of what we did there and how to go by your self in the MTR.

Walking Destinations

https://walkingdestination.wixsite.com/walking-destinations/single-post/2017/06/19/12-Night-China-Philippines-Cruise

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The challenge & drawback to going to Tao O Fishing Village, on the southwest corner of Lantau, the largest islands in HK is timing ... direct routing or via (worst) NP360 - especially not on a full day schedule ?? Always check that the cable cars are working & running on the day of planned visit first, open hours are seasonal & longer on weekends (crowded & packed with tourists ... even the crystal cars with clear bottom) - it opens at 10 AM (would need to leave the ship berthed at Kai Tak by 8:15 AM at the morning rush hour ... to get started on the free shuttle (not sure if they start that early or taxi/PMB over to nearest MTR with 3 platform/train transfers) Nice view up & down the hills overlooking HKIA, but at midday - the bus that leave from NP Village downhill to Tai O is every 15 to 30 minutes, or more.

 

Depending on how much time they wish to spend at the NP Village and/or Giant Budda, another 15 minutes walking to and then again 15 back to the transportation center - it could well be 11:30 or 12 noon, stepping off the bus @ Tai O at 12:30 or 12:45 PM - lunch or sightsee or whatever.

 

It takes about 70 or 75 minutes, allowing for rural traffic/road construction - to get back to Tung Chung's MTR station/bus terminal, and another 60 to 75+ minutes to make their way back to board their ship, without missing "all abroad" @ 3:30 or 4 PM ?? That means, getting on the return bus from Tai O at 1 PM & no later than 1:30 PM to be safe.

 

I looked are the midday ferry schedule and it won't help at all for connecting Tai O to Tung Chung, then to MTR - unlike rush hour services, no fast ferries and only regular ferry services (slower).

 

If they really wanted to see Tai O during a 2 day port stop, it's really very tight timing - a (red) city taxi direct to Lantau would be most efficient, about $50+ USD - good to share between 3 to 4 adults ... no need to worry about luggage) at least in getting out there to Tung Chung - no later than 8 AM, with the usual rush hour traffic although it will travel on mostly (elevated) roadways & highways, not on city streets.

 

Catching a scene bus ride around 9:15 AM out to Tai O in about 1.25 hour or less, skipping NP Village or the Giant Budda (personally biased, I admit, consider that heavily advertised place, one of the worst HK tourist trap ... sorry - the faithful, go to worship & pray in Wong Tai Sin Temple, not far from the cruise terminal) - and seeing Tai O by 10:30. With time for pictures, walking, a seafood lunch perhaps (beware of prices) and then, get back on the bus by 1 PM for the ferry ride to Central, then, MTR or taxi ride to the ship (a different drive-by and ferry routing) to get back to the ship by 3 to 3:30 PM.

 

HK has a very efficient and reliable public transport system that inter-connect and very inexpensive ... but things happened ... still, I much rather recommend leaving at least a 30 minutes "window" for delays & re-routing. And, have the ship and port agent's local phone number handy & available, in case you are delayed & must call them.

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