Visit Our Top 3 outlying Hong Kong Islands

Consider taking a private tour to one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands.  Each one has a unique personality and something to offer the day-tripper.  The islands reveal a different side of our buzzing metropolis.

Have you considered exploring Hong Kong’s islands?  They are just as rewarding as the busier parts of Hong Kong and the best way to explore them is on foot. You can take a stroll along the boardwalks of Tai O or the beaches of Cheung Chau.  Or, you can admire the fauna and flora of Lamma Island, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

We love guiding our visitors on day trips and have a huge soft spot for Cheung Chau.  Here visitors enjoy the unexpected contrast from the busy metropolis, chat with local residents, understand their history and experience the local traditions and foods which are harder to find in the urban areas.

Our private guides love handling unusual requests and giving an insider’s perspective – especially when helping our customers to explore the further reaches of Hong Kong’s outlying islands. This goes for visitors and local residents who want to get to know more about the city they live in. Here is a list of our favourite places to visit and why:

Yim Tin Tsai

Hong Kong Private Tour, Yim Tin Tsai
Visit Salt Pans, a Catholic Church and Eat Hakka Snacks in Yim Tin Tsai

This tiny dot of a place was once a hub of salt production for the small Hakka community.  However, it was largely abandoned in the 1980’s. Its heritage has since been revived with help from the local community.  On weekends you can visit the old salt pans, a Catholic church and try some of the homemade Hakka snacks.  One such snack is glutinous rice cakes filled with peanuts or red beans.

Yim Tin Tsai is reached via a 15 minute boat ride from Sai Kung Pier.  Many private tour operators will take you there and back from around HK $50 per person.






Cheung Chau

Hong Kong Private Tour, Cheung Chau Island
Visit Cheung Chau for a Family Walk, Cycle or Run.

Cheung Chau is a vibrant island with pirate caves, scenic beaches and family-friendly walking trails. It has become a hub for new-starter boutique businesses.  These include arts and crafts, cafes and gift stores.  They are all located in the traditional shop-house buildings.

We love to go and stay overnight with our family in one of the many Bed and Breakfast accommodations, or you can book yourself into the number one hotel on the Island.  Well, it’s the only hotel! It’s called The Warwick and it does a great dim sum menu.

To summarise, Cheung Chau is a great place to enjoy the scenery, food and water activities. Ferries leave every 30 minutes from Central Pier 5.  Alternatively you can catch the Inter-Island ferry from Mui Wo, Peng Chau or Chi Ma Wan.


Tai O, Lantau Island

Private Hong Kong Group Tours, Lantau
Visit Tai O village on Lantau with our Group Tours

Technically Tai O is part of the largest island in Hong Kong, Lantau.  However, this tiny enclave has a fishing history centuries long and is a world away from the rest of the island. It was in a key position to take advantage of the economic activity in the Pearl river delta prior to the signing of the lease for the New Territories in 1898, and was only reachable by road in the 1970’s.

There is a huge sense of community spirit and everyone is friendly and welcoming to visitors. We were lucky enough to make some great acquaintances there last summer when running our in depth group tours of the village.

The residents of this unique village have worked hard to retain its unique identity, despite many a plan from the government to redevelop the wooden stilted fishermen’s houses along the creek. It has a great street food scene too.

This place may not be around in thirty years, so it is definitely a must-see if you are visiting Lantau. Ferries leave from Tung Chung New Development Pier every 2 hours.  Alternatively, take bus 11 from Tung Chung Town Centre.

It is advisable to purchase your return ferry tickets upon arrival, especially at weekends.  This is because there is limited space and it is a very limited service. They will run extra services on Sundays. Allow around 2 hours of travel from Hong Kong Island.

Further Island Information

Find out more about Hong Kong’s islands in a recent article we were featured in for Hong Kong Business publication, part of the Hong Kong Development Council:  Settle Down into Island Time

How to get from Hong Kong International Airport to the City

Updated November 2019

Hong Kong International Airport is located just 25 miles from away from Hong Kong Island.  So what is the best way to get into town? There are plenty of options available, be it on the airport express train, local public bus or private options such as taxi, Uber or a private driver. We have complied them all here for you with their benefits and costs for each option.

Meet and Greet Airport Service

The protests have left many visitors feeling anxious about exploring Hong Kong. If you or your guests are flying into town, we’d love to help them feel at ease and show them around safely. Contact us to arrange a stress-free tour. Please also ask about Airport Meet and Greet rates. The airport has been subject to a court injunction since August 2019 meaning that only legitimate travellers can enter into the airport, but our licensed tour guides are permitted to go inside the airport terminal to meet your guests ensuring a smooth and worry-free welcome to Hong Kong. 
Call/Whatsapp +852 9015 5307 or email or message.


Hong Kong Private Tour Travel from Airport to City
How to travel from Hong Kong Airport to the City by Train

Airport Express Train to Hong Kong Station

The airport express train link was built alongside the development of the new Hong Kong International airport. It is a wonderfully reliable, clean and easy service to use.  From the airport it operates from 05:28 in the morning until the last train at 12;48 am. It stops at Tsing Yi, Kowloon Station.  From here the following shuttle services run to all major hotels in Kowloon: K1, K2, K3 and K4.  It then stops at Hong Kong Station.  Shuttle services H1, H2, H3 and H4 run to all major Hong Kong Island hotels.

Tickets and discounted fares

Round trip tickets for stays longer than 24 hours

Details for round trip tickets for single travellers can be found here.  The 30 day return ticket to Kowloon / Hong Kong Station can also be bought here at a discount.  The usual price is HK $205, the discounted price is HK $131).

The MTR often run promotions in the summer for free or discounted travel on the airport express train for children and seniors. This is certainly worth looking into if you are travelling as a family between July and September.

Tickets for groups

If you are in a group, it is better to ask for the GROUP one-way tickets.  For better group travel discounts, click here.

Once the Airport Express journey is complete, you may board one of the complimentary shuttle buses which are available from Hong Kong Station and Kowloon Station to most of the major hotels in those districts.  For more information, click here.

Best tickets for layovers (less than 24 hours in Hong Kong)

For layovers or transit tours an Octopus card is the cheapest way to get into and around the city on the same day.  These cost HK $150 per adult and HK $70 for children (HK $50 of which is a refundable deposit). A same day return to the airport using the Octopus card is HK $100 for adults and HK $50 for kids*.  If taking a layover tour with Hong Kong Greeters, you will need an extra HK $50 on each card to cover additional public transport costs. Octopus cards can only be purchased with cash in Hong Kong dollars.

You can buy same day return tickets for the same price, but this can only be used on the airport express train and not for getting around on the MTR trains, buses, ferries and trams that we use on a private tour.

What NOT to buy

I would advise you NOT to buy the Airport Express Travelpass or Tourist Day Pass as these work out more expensive. I have done many calculations on this!

Airport Express and in-town check-in

Hong Kong has the most wonderful service for travellers when you are leaving Hong Kong. Make use of the fantastically efficient and useful in-town check-in service at Hong Kong Station, Kowloon Station or Tsing Yi Station.

The train station is built like the arrivals hall of the airport, with check-in and luggage counters.  Here you can get your boarding passes and check your luggage in up to 24 hours* in advance of your flight. Then when you are ready, maybe after one final browse around town, you can take the train back to the airport up to 90 minutes ahead of your scheduled flight time, to go through immigration and security. There is no need to store or carry your luggage with you all day, and with all the efficiency Hong Kong has to offer, your luggage will meet you at your destination airport.

*not all airlines provide this service although most long-haul operators do. To check, please click the link here for the list of airlines.


Hong Kong Private Tour - Taxi from Airport to City
Hong Kong Airport to City by Taxi

Taking a taxi from the airport into Hong Kong

There are three type of taxis in Hong Kong. If travelling to Hong Kong or Kowloon, all you need is the red urban taxi. Follow the signs in the arrivals hall for the transport links.  Taxis are well sign posted and abundant. Airport staff will also write you a card with the taxi number and destination to assist you, all very helpful!

Green taxis are for the New Territories and Blue for Lantau Island only.

  • Urban taxi to Central Hong Kong: HK $300 plus tolls
  • Urban taxi to Kowloon: HK $220 plus tolls
  • Luggage is charged at HK $5 per piece



Hong Kong Private Tour - Bus to City
Hong Kong Airport to City by Bus

Riding the Bus from the airport into the city

The airport is one of the most well-served destinations by public bus, including night buses (though much less frequent in the early hours of the morning of course). Follow signs in the arrivals hall for the public buses.  There is also a very good map at the station to show you where each stop is located. There are two buses which are most useful and go directly through into the city:

  • Hong Kong Island – A11 or E11 to Hong Kong Island (stopping in Sheung Wan, Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Tin Hau, Fortress Hill and North Point.)
  • Kowloon – A21 to Hung Hom (stopping in Sham Shui Po, Tak Kok Shui, Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan and Tsim Sha Tsui.)



Hong Kong Private Tour - Uber to City
Hong Kong Airport to City by Uber

Grabbing an Uber from airport to Hong Kong

  • Like most places in the world, Hong Kong has Uber drivers available 24-7. Most drivers speak Cantonese and English, however as you can set the destination manually, language shouldn’t be an issue!
  • I would recommend meeting your driver at the link bridge to the Regal Airport hotel which is sign-posted in the Arrivals Hall of passenger Terminal 1, or Carpark 4. There is another good meeting point in Carpark 1.
  • Prices are subject to surcharges and vehicle chosen.


Hong Kong Private Tour - Hotel Shuttle to City
Hong Kong Airport to City by Hotel Shuttle

Hotel shuttle service

There are two providers… they can be booked at the service desks in the arrivals hall. Services are a little cheaper than the airport express train, however the journey can prove to be one of the longest as there are many hotels visited en route.





Book a Golden Week Hong Kong Private Tour

Private Tour Hong Kong to Ngong Ping on Lantau
Ngong Ping Cable Car on Lantau Island

Golden Week is a busy busy time in Hong Kong.  Because of this, some of our clients have asked whether or not this is a good time to join us for a private tour in Hong Kong.  The short answer is YES it is.

This week in Hong Kong 2 of our (very generous) 17 public holidays fell in one week. Firstly, China National Day is on October 1st.  We celebrated the 68th Anniversary of People’s Republic of China (PRC) with a 23-minute firework display costing around $13 million HKD ($1.6 million USD). Secondly, my favourite, the Mid Autumn Festival fell on 4th October.  This is where we celebrate the full moon with our families, by hanging lanterns, often eating outside under the moonlight. Oh and we eat a ton of delicious moon cakes!

Golden Week

Have you heard of the term “Golden Week”?  No? What on earth is Golden Week? Well if you are from China, you could have enjoyed an extended 8-day holiday period this year covering both these holidays (1st – 8th October). It was estimated around 710 million people from the PRC were on the move to domestic and overseas locations, including Hong Kong. Unfortunately, Hong Kong locals only get the two public holidays, not the full week!

Mid Autumn Festival

Private Tour Hong Kong including Mooncakes
Enjoy Mooncakes during Golden Week

Mid Autumn Festival is celebrated with lantern displays in many of the major parks.  The verdict is in for this years best Mooncakes. The best one was considered to be Maxim’s lava egg custard mooncake (whoop! Maxim’s Palace happens to be one of our favourite restaurants). I did get to try one and it was probably better than my choice from Kee Wah Bakery (pictured right), but they are still all gone and were enjoyed immensely.

Skip the Line on your Private Tour of Hong Kong

We hosted a number of private tours this week.  We guided visitors from Worcester and Croydon in the UK and California and Alaska in the USA. Even though it is busier than usual during Golden Week, as private guides we have a few tricks up our sleeve.  For example, Charlee and Cooper (pictured above) were incredibly thankful for our skip-the-line access for the Ngong Ping cable-car to the Big Buddha.  The queues were so busy during Golden Week they went all the way back to the train station!

Radio Star!

I was also invited onto the local radio station RTHK 3 with Peter Lewis.  We chatted about what to do over the holiday period and what other people were doing. Watch the Facebook Live video of my interview below.



Here are some links to some of the things I spoke about with Peter.  We highly recommend all of them.