Best Hong Kong Transit Tours

See Lantau Island with a transit tour
••• Lantau Island Landscape. © Marcel Ekkel

If you’re flying in and then flying out, there is still plenty you can fit in to a stopover in Hong Kong beyond the airport lounge. The airport is a major international hub and with so many connecting flights there are now a couple of dedicated transit tours set up to let you see the best of the city in as little time as possible.

Hong Kong Orientation Tour

This 4-5 hour tour is essentially Hong Kong in a nutshell.

You’ll be whisked into the heart of the packed streets of Tsim Sha Tsui to experience Hong Kong at its breakneck best, before ducking through the crowds and getting Kodak moment with the jaw dropping harbour front. Head for more stunning views with a trip to the top of Victoria Peak – the vista from here lets you see the forest of skyscrapers that cover Hong Kong Island and on a clear day straight there are views straight across to China.

But the trip also gives you glimpse of Hong Kong’s softer side. You’ll head for the southern coastline and Aberdeen to meet Hong Kong’s Tanka people who still live aboard boats tied together in the harbour. And try some Dim Sum amidst the bright lights and gaudy decorations of the famous Jumbo floating restaurant. The trip finishes up Stanley, Hong Kong’s upmarket seaside getaway. Explore the local market and get your name translated into Chinese, see the beautiful sands or enjoy a pint or two at the Smugglers Tavern pub.

Practicalities: The tour will pick you up at Hong Kong Airport but will drop you off at Kowloon Station. You will need to leave time to return to the airport aboard the Airport Express.

Lantau and monastery tour

If time is truly of the essence then try the Lantau and monastery tour, which, as the name suggests, never leaves Lantau Island.

Lantau is the biggest of Hong Kong’s islands, but once you’ve escaped the airport and the new town of Tung Chung the landscape is bucolic and broken up by just a handful of traditional villages.

You’ll get a bird’s eye view of Lantau’s endless greenery from the Ngong Ping Cable Car. The glass bottomed gondolas swing above the forested hillsides and afford views over the South China Sea before terminating at Lantau Park. Here you’ll find the Tian Tan Buddha. This huge bronze statue is one of the ten biggest Buddhas in the world and is an awe inspiring sight. You should also make time for the nearby but often overlooked monastery. The ornate grand hall from the 1920s is beautiful and the vegetarian food served up by the resident monks is delicious. 

The best is left to last with a visit to Tai O. This hidden fishing village on the south side of the island features dozens of houses built on stilts above mud flats. Huddled together and built ramshackle style from concrete and corrugated sheets of iron the village still trades off its dried seafood stalls and fresh fish served in local restaurants.

Practicalities: The tour can pick you up and drop you off at Hong Kong Airport. The listed time of five hours for the tour is timed for those coming from Hong Kong Island and is actually a little shorter if you are transferring to and from the airport.

Transiting in Hong Kong a little longer?

Take a look at out choice of the best Hong Kong Airport hotels or squeeze every hour you can out of a visit with out 24hrs in Hong Kong tour.