Hong Kong

Flying is the most common way to arrive in this exhilarating city. Touted as one of the world's best airports, Chek Lap Kok is home to Cathay Pacific airways and subsidiary Dragon Air. This busy airport is a shopping destination and a global hub, offering numerous stores and eateries. From the airport, the most pleasant surprise is the efficiency of travel options into town. A weary traveler can spend a few hundred Hong Kong dollars on a taxi, or hop aboard the Airport Express—where a cool HK$90 takes you to Kowloon Station, or HK$100 takes you into the Hong Kong Station in Central in just 24 minutes. You can also conveniently check-in and drop off your luggage at these stations for your next flight. A harbor city, Hong Kong and its surrounding islands are all accessible by high-speed ferries. Hong Kong Island connects with Kowloon, the port to the north, via the famed Star Ferry. The ride takes just minutes and is a great way to view Victoria Harbour. The ferry goes between Tsim Sha Tsui port in Kowloon to Wanchai or Central piers on the island side.

Hong Kong boasts one of the world's most convenient and self-explanatory transit systems, the MTR (Mass Transit Rail), which is clean, efficient, and comprehensive. Transportation around the city is easy and cheap, whether via MTR, taxi, bus, minibus, ferry, tram, or walking. When traveling by taxi, have the destination name written in Chinese, as well as the cross streets, for the cabbie. It’s also helpful to carry cash, including small bills, for cab fare. If you are going from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon (or vice versa), look for specific "cross harbour" taxis with a "Not in Service" sign flipped on their dashboard to signify that they go across the harbor. Signal them with a horizontal wave. An Octopus card provides instant electronic access to Hong Kong's public transit system for the MTR, buses, minibuses, trams, and Airport Express trains. A smart debit card, it can be tapped onto a reader to deduct fare. Bonus: You can also use your Octopus card to pay for your purchases at most major convenience stores and grocery shops.