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Hong Kong 15 Hour Layover - Early AM to Late PM

Hong Kong 15 Hour Layover - Early AM to Late PM

Old Aug 17, 17, 9:52 am
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Hong Kong 15 Hour Layover - Early AM to Late PM

I'm flying into HKG on CX, arriving 2 Sept @ 5:45AM. My onward flight (also on CX) departs at 9:00PM the same day. Since it's a pretty long layover, I'm going to take the opportunity to see the city a bit.

It's my first visit to HK, so I don't know a ton yet. However, I'm coming back in November for a few days with the wife, so I'd like to save the big sights for the later trip.

My goals are: get a small gift for her (from a local vendor, not H&M at the mall), have some good food (dim sum, Sichuan, Japanese Udon, whatever is good) and get back to the airport to relax at The Pier for several hours.

So far, my plan is to do the following:

1. Proceed through immigration and grab a shower at the PP arrival lounge.
2. Stash my bag at "left luggage" storage.
3. Grab the Airport Express to Central (arrive around 8-9AM?).
4. Food? Shopping?
5. Grab the Airport Express back to HKIA around 1-2PM.
6. Check-in. Go to The Pier for another shower, rest, eat, charge, shop in the airport, etc.

Suggestions where I should go around that time of day and what will be open? I'm not gonna bother with an Octopus card, so I'd prefer places that take Visa (though I can get cash from an ATM if necessary).
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Old Aug 17, 17, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by swingaling View Post
I'm flying into HKG on CX, arriving 2 Sept @ 5:45AM. My onward flight (also on CX) departs at 9:00PM the same day. Since it's a pretty long layover, I'm going to take the opportunity to see the city a bit.

It's my first visit to HK, so I don't know a ton yet. However, I'm coming back in November for a few days with the wife, so I'd like to save the big sights for the later trip.

My goals are: get a small gift for her (from a local vendor, not H&M at the mall), have some good food (dim sum, Sichuan, Japanese Udon, whatever is good) and get back to the airport to relax at The Pier for several hours.

So far, my plan is to do the following:

1. Proceed through immigration and grab a shower at the PP arrival lounge.
2. Stash my bag at "left luggage" storage.
3. Grab the Airport Express to Central (arrive around 8-9AM?).
4. Food? Shopping?
5. Grab the Airport Express back to HKIA around 1-2PM.
6. Check-in. Go to The Pier for another shower, rest, eat, charge, shop in the airport, etc.

Suggestions where I should go around that time of day and what will be open? I'm not gonna bother with an Octopus card, so I'd prefer places that take Visa (though I can get cash from an ATM if necessary).
One strong argument for getting an Octapus card is the same day free return trip on the Airport Express(AEx).

Food: morning dim sum at Tim Ho Wan after getting off AEx at central. They are one floor up from the train platform, Opens at 9. Must try is BBQ pork buns.

Peak tram to the peaks after dim sum breakfast if the weather is good, after a visit to the peaks take Star ferry across the Harbour.
Shopping on Nathan Rd, Harbour City or Elements. AEx back to HKIA from Kowloon Station (elements).

Dining recommendations use www.openrice.com where feedback and recommendations are given by locals and not tourist who have no idea what they are eating.

Kowloon to Airport is 22 minutes train ride. You can safely leave around 6pm and still enjoy refreshing at CX lounges.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 9:11 pm
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Sounds like you're gonna get to HK Station by 8am at latest, unless your flight's late or you take a very long time at PPL. If that's the case, then no use sticking around IFC/Central until Tim Ho Wan opens (and IFC mall doesn't open till even later). Otherwise, I like tentseller's recs.

Alternative:
When you get to Central, just take a cab and head straight to the Peak Galleria. There, walk the loop around the Peak (Lugard/Harlech Rd). By then it should be ~9.30am. If Mak's Noodle at Peak Galleria is open by then, consider stopping in for wonton noodle. Otherwise, take the Peak Tram down. Then walk through HK Garden over to Admiralty, catch MTR there to cross over to Tsim Sha Tsui. Once in TST, shopping at Harbour City and visit Peninsula (look for gift for your wife at the Peninsula Boutique maybe). Some excellent dim sum in TST, including Spring Moon, Tsui Hang Village, Fook Lam Moon, even Loong Yuen. Then take the Star Ferry back to Central and catch Airport Express back to HKIA. Actually, maybe skip Harbour City and just settle for Peninsula and dim sum in TST, if you want to start heading back towards the airport by 2pm. Highlight will be the Peak, Star Ferry, dim sum and HK Park.

Tim Ho Wan's bbq pork bun is quite good and the outside 'bun' has semi-crispy texture, but Fook Lam Moon's is somewhat similar and even more delicious imo.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 9:34 pm
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Anothony Bourdain's The Layover had an episode on Hong Kong which will give you an idea of where to eat.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xo2kal
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Old Aug 17, 17, 9:42 pm
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Mak's noodles at the peak? really?

If you want real Mak's wanton noodles, go to the original location on Wellington in Central.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 9:59 pm
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Definitely get an octopus card if you'll be back in a couple months.

For shopping, there's a Shanghai Tang close to the star ferry terminal on the Kowloon side.

The lines for the tram to the peak were nuts when we were there earlier this month. Uber was the way to go - they're cheap and plentiful.

Also be prepared for your ATM card to not work. Citibank ATMs saved the day for us.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 10:01 pm
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
One strong argument for getting an Octapus card is the same day free return trip on the Airport Express(AEx).
You can buy the same day return ticket using a credit card at the airport.

If you go to The Peak Tram before about 10am (it starts at 7am) there won't be significant lines. Most of the shops at The Peak don't open until 10ish, but the view will be there. If it's a nice day, then walk around hill on Lugard/Harlech Roads (3km or so)
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Old Aug 17, 17, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
Mak's noodles at the peak? really?

If you want real Mak's wanton noodles, go to the original location on Wellington in Central.
well, that wasn't really a strong recommendation anyways, I figured perhaps OP might be hungry by the time he finishes walking around the Peak, Mak's is as good as any place up there to pop in for a small bite, and it's a convenient place for OP to try HK's wonton noodle on a quick run through the city within a tight timeframe.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by princeville View Post
Also be prepared for your ATM card to not work. Citibank ATMs saved the day for us.
Is this new?

I've been using my CU ATM card at HSBC ATMs without problems for a few years now, though my last trip was last October. I've one coming up in a few weeks, I wonder if something changed.

Last edited by fliesdelta; Aug 18, 17 at 9:16 am Reason: typo correction
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Old Aug 18, 17, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
One strong argument for getting an Octapus card is the same day free return trip on the Airport Express(AEx).
I thought the regular one-way AEx ticket included a same day return to HKIA by default. Is that not true?

http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/se...om_return.html

The main complication with getting an Octopus card is acquiring HK$ cost effectively. ATM is cheapest, but who knows if my card will work (Cap One 360). Travelex is out, but I can always order HK$ from my local bank (though they charge a $15 fee). :/
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Old Aug 18, 17, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by princeville View Post
Also be prepared for your ATM card to not work. Citibank ATMs saved the day for us.
Ugh. Really? I hope that's not the case. I have a Cap One 360 ATM card that I plan to use there.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by swingaling View Post
I thought the regular one-way AEx ticket included a same day return to HKIA by default. Is that not true?
I believe not. I think you need to specifically purchase a same-day return ticket (which costs the same as a one-way). You can do this by credit card.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 8:44 am
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Someone please confirm the foreign-issued (eg, USA) ATM thing.

We've been going to HKG just about every year for the past >10yrs. I've never had issues using my ATM card.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by christep View Post
I believe not. I think you need to specifically purchase a same-day return ticket (which costs the same as a one-way). You can do this by credit card.
Right. That's the one I was referring to (poorly). Thanks for the confirmation. The MTR website trip planner is inaccurate.
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Old Aug 18, 17, 2:04 pm
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My AMEX didn't work to get cash, had to use Wells Fargo debit, as a data point.

AirEx, dim sum @ Tim Ho Wan, carry out to roof of IFC mall across the street for harbor view while eating, then 1 hr Star Ferry harbor tour, walk over to mid-central escalators, ride up to Hollywood St, walk over to Man Mo Temple, catch Uber up to Peak, Uber or tram (if no line, ha!) back down. Ride one of the classic narrow trolley buses.
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