Into Hong Kong & the Airport Express

My son Jayant’s MBA graduation ceremony at the Chinese University of Hong Kong  gave us with an opportunity to visit Hong Kong again. While viewing the airline prices  to Hong Kong I figured that I could add one more destination at no extra cost. And so Japan got added to the trip! Our plan now was extended to include Tokyo- Osaka- Kyoto and Hiroshima.

And so the veteran travelers, Malati and I set out on yet another journey to the Far East – The journey  to Hong Kong and Japan  began with  a midnight Cathay Pacific  flight from Hyderabad.The Hyderabad  Interim Departure Terminal(IDT) now looks much better organised and the passenger management has greatly improved since we took our last overseas trip a few months ago. Mercifully they have now done away with pre -check in baggage screening. Still nowhere near international standards but as long as it has the interim tag I guess we have to bear with it.

After a five hour flight  we landed in Hong Kong International Airport -our second visit in six months.  Immigration was a breeze and this time I was more confident of the Pre -arrival registration (PAR) document.

HK arrival
Train at Hong Kong Airport

Indian passport holders are allowed an easy entry  with prior registration – a rather simple process on the Hong Kong  immigration department web site- except for the warnings that the data needs to be exactly the same as that in the passport – and oddly enough the airline also has a responsibility of checking the same. On my last visit the PAR stated my birth place as Chennai while it was  Chennai, India on my passport. This “mismatch” was spotted by the alert airline and needed managerial approval to board the flight.

After a longish walk from the arrival gate a short train ride got  us to the passport control. We got through immigration  in a breeze notwithstanding my apprehensions of some unknown error in my PAR.  This time we chose to  stay on the Island in Sheung Wan close to Jayant’s digs  and  headed to the city by the Airport Express.  This is a very convenient and quick  way of getting  into downtown Hong Kong and Kowloon. I had my tickets pre-booked   from Klook.com at a considerable discount from the regular fares. The Airport Express station is a short walk from the baggage carousel. One can also buy spot tickets from the counter at the airport. As there are no ticket gates at the airport we walked directly  walk directly onto the train.Trains are frequent and run every twenty minutes.

Airport express ticket counter
Tickets for the Airport Express

In less than 30 mins we were at the  Hong Kong station where you need to scan your QR code to exit . A complimentary bus  shuttle was also readily available to take  us to our hotel in Sheung Wan. And on the return journey we used the same QR code to enter into the city check – in area and reversed the process to the airport for our onward journey to Japan. The QR code however did not work very smoothly and the turnstile gate needed a nudge to open.

View from Airport express
A view from the Airport Express

Do remember that the Airport Express station is known as Hong Kong station or simply Airport express station and not to  be confused with Central station which is colocated. The city check-in at both Hong Kong and Kowloon stations is a  great facility for travelers and when used in conjunction with the Airport express and a bus shuttle makes for a very convenient and cost effective option. The airport shuttle dropped us right outside the hotel on Jervois street in Sheung Wan. A quick check in at the hotel and we headed next door Moon thaito the Moon Thai which is the Michelin recommended  Thai restaurant at the Holiday Inn Express. We were lucky to walk in to this restaurant without reservations for a sumptuous meal of Thai rice and curry. The restaurant lived up to its recommendation by Michelin and the vegetarian version for Malati made the meal all the more memorable (do check out my review of Moon Thai at Tripadvisor ).

 

 

 

Continued in my next post – More on Hong Kong

2 comments

  1. Hi Ram sir – Very interesting! Just got to know your new passion – blogging, while I know your passion for travel since 1998!!

    I am sure both go hand in hand!

    Just read this blog and very excited with reading a blog from someone known so closley!

    Hong Kong, first city, country I visited way back in 1991 when I was in Hyderabad Allwyn Limited, always has special memories for me.

    Will catch up with you shortly. In the meanwhile I will catch up with some more of your blogs..

    My greetings to your wife and son:-)

    Like

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