Transportation in Hong Kong is really not an issue here. As Hong Kong has excellent transportation system, from express trains, buses, to plenty of taxis. They all are reliable and efficient. The issue here is to choose cheaper or cheapest option if you want to take.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is one of busiest airport in Asia and in the world. It has 2 terminals (Terminal 1 and 2), hundreds of scheduled flights daily, all serves International passengers (no brainer, there is no domestic flight). The airport is big but efficient.
When you arrive in HKIA, you have some choices to get to your hotel or
to city center. Here I try to list all of available options. Note that
all below rate \$ is in HKD.
This may be an expensive option, but you should calculate if you come in a group of 3-4 persons, compared with taking bus or train. But keep in mind that baggages may be charged by pieces by driver.
Taxi fare to HK Island, it will take toll road and west tunnel, nearest like Western District is approx. \$270 (30-40 minutes), Central and Causeway Bay \$280 (\~1 hour), and farthest is Stanley at cost approx. \$360. If you stay in Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, etc), then the taxi fare is around \$220-250. It is convenient, dropping you in front of your hotel/hostel buildings, saving you time and energy to carry your heavy luggages.
2. Airport Express Train
This is the recommended transportation if you read from anywhere else, included travel guide book. Indeed, It is the quickest way to reach Central, only in 24 minutes to Central, with train interval every 12 minutes. The ticket fare to Central is \$100 (\$180 return) or \$90 (\$160 return) to Kowloon Station.
When you arrive in the airport, find a big sign : Train to City, and follow the sign until you find train platform. Then go to ticket counter and buy Octopus card (this is stored-value card for your convenient use), the initial purchase would be \$150 with \$100 value. This route is managed by MTR. The Airport Express fare will include any transfer you make to other train line (for example you need to transfer for Jordan station or Causeway bay station, then the transfer is free, as long as you use same Octopus card).
Javamilk Tips: Come to the ticket office for information, as if you come as a group of 2-4 persons, more discount is available. For example \$80
By choosing this, you will have opportunity to have city-check-in when you are departing, you can drop your luggage and check-in in Central (Hong Kong Station) then you still can wander around for last minute shopping. Also another benefit is you can hop in free shuttle to take you to your hotel (read: major big hotels in Kowloon and HK Island).
3. Public Bus
Buses are plenty from/to Hong Kong International Airport. What you need to research is your hotel/hostel location and bus route to it. When you arrive at HKIA, follow bus icon/sign, it is 10 minutes walk until you find bus terminal and ticket office. If you don't have Octopus card, then you need to buy bus ticket from one of the ticket offices, depending on the bus company.
Airport bus is prefix as A (example A10), operated by Citibus, is more expensive (\~\$40-48), express (less stops) and convenient with enough luggage storage area inside the bus. (Also free wifi available in the bus to post your status!). Then we have External buses, coded with E prefix (example E11), cheaper (airport staff favorite) but do more stops than A-prefix buses.
Javamilk Note: Hong Kong bus fare is not calculated by the length of your journey, but depending on the stop you get in. This is a bit unfair for travelers, but this makes us more intelligent by choosing correct bus number from same bus stop.
Kowloon Destination :
- \$33, Sham Sui Po - along Nathan Road to Mong Kok - Yau Ma Tei - Jordan - Tsim Sha Tsui - to Hung Hom
- \$39 Tsim Sha Tsui - Hung Hom - Kowloon City - Kwun Tong - to Lam Tin
- \$14, Sham Sui Po - Mong Kok - to Tai Kok Sui
Hong Kong Island Destination :
- \$48, to Kennedy Town - Ap Lei Chau
- \$40, Sheung Wan - Central - Wan Chai - Causeway Bay - to North Point
- \$45 Central - North Point - Chai Wan - Siu Sai Wan
- \$21, follow similar route as A11, to Tin Hau
You need to read each route details to see the exact bus stop (photo also included), also please note that route to and from airport may be slightly different