Ports of entry

Getting to and from Hong Kong

 Ports of entry

As Asia’s world city, Hong Kong serves as a transport hub for much of the continent. It is amazingly well connected not only to its neighbouring countries but the rest of the world.

Due to the extensive global network of Hong Kong International Airport, forms of transport other than airplane are used much less frequently, with the exception of journeys between Hong Kong and mainland China.


Hong Kong International Airport  (HKIA) is one of the world’s busiest airports for both passenger and cargo planes. In 2013, HKIA saw nearly 60 million passengers pass through it, travelling to and from 180 destinations across the globe. There are now even budget airlines that travel to and from Hong Kong.

Located on Lantau island, it is directly connected to Hong Kong island by the MTR Airport Express train, which terminates downtown at Central station. HKIA is also connected to mainland China by ferry or coach.

Travelling to and from Hong Kong overland

The only way to travel to or from Hong Kong by land is over its border with China.

Hong Kong’s MTR also runs trains to mainland China, known as ‘through trains’. From Kowloon to Beijing and Shanghai, or to Guangdong. Taking the train to Beijing takes around 24 hours and tickets can be bought up to five days in advance. The train to Shanghai takes around 20 hours and various types of ticket can be bought online or in Hong Kong and Shanghai stations.

Most destinations in neighbouring Guangdong province can also be reached by bus. The bus services are run by multiple companies so run frequently and from different locations within the Hong Kong territory.


As a collection of islands, Hong Kong can also be reached from the Chinese mainland by water. There are regular ferries from terminals in Macau and Kowloon that connect Hong Kong to the Pearl River Delta of mainland China. The China ferry terminal on Kowloon Island, also has services to Guangdong province, Nansha and Zhuhai.

Whatever mode of transport you use there will probably be a departure tax that must be paid when leaving Hong Kong, although this is usually included in the cost of your ticket.

Getting to and departing from Hong Kong is fairly straight forward, it is however important to be aware of the visas you will need, especially when crossing into mainland China.

Further reading

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