With the early morning arrival of my Cathay Pacific overnight flight from Singapore, I had an actual full first day in Hong Kong and there wasn’t much of a rush to the city to start my day. Since there was no rush, I did not choose to get the Airport Express into the city, but decided to try a slightly slower but way cheaper alternative.
The information in this post was first seen on RailTravel Station under the post Hong Kong Airport to East Tsim Sha Tsui by Train: CHEAPEST 4 Day Pass for Unlimited MTR Travel including Airport Express for only HK$200 + HK$3.50!.
To get to the closest “normal” MTR station, or if you are using the Airport Express Travel Pass (1 Ride) and want to fully maximise the value of it, you need to start off your journey with the S1 bus to Tung Chung MTR Station. This can be paid for in cash, or you can top up the Airport Express Travel Pass with cash value (it also functions as an Octopus Card) and thereafter pay for your bus fare with it. Ask the staff at the MTR Customer Service Centre to add value to your Octopus card in multiples of HK$50 at the point of purchase.
The S1 bus costs HK$3.50 (~S$0.60) to get you from Hong Kong Airport to Tung Chung.
Head down the ramp towards the Airport (Ground Transportation Centre) Bus Terminus.
If in doubt, just follow the signs towards “Bus”.
You will see a cluster of bus bays with awaiting buses. This is NOT the boarding point for the S1 bus.
Instead, cross the zebra crossing just beside it. The S1 bus departs from a separate bus stop as it is only a passing-through service.
Queue up in front of the S1 bus stop pole.
And here it is – the Airport Express Travel Pass! This costs HK$250 upfront and allows you 72 hours (plus any additional hours up to the end of train service on the last day) of unlimited travel on the MTR, Light Rail and MTR Bus (Northwest New Territories), except additional travel on the Airport Express, East Rail Line First Class, and travel to or from Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau stations which are the border stations to Shenzhen, China.
While it’s promoted as a 3-Day Pass, in reality, it actually offers you 4 actual days of unlimited travel on normal MTR routes. Also, if you return the pass after utilizing its value, you will also get a refund of HK$50. Deducting it from the actual cost, you are only actually paying HK$200 for 4 days of MTR travel including an Airport Express journey. Read more about this travel hack here.
The S1 bus is a frequent shuttle between Hong Kong Airport to Tung Chung MTR Station, departing every 5 to 10 minutes.
Upon boarding, pay for your fare (HK$3.50) with your Octopus card or with cash in the exact amount. Change is not given by the driver, so remember not to drop your HK$100 note into the coin box unless you’re feeling really rich.
Inside the S1 bus. Most buses serving the airport come with luggage racks. Announcements are played in the bus during boarding to remind you to leave them there.
Wave goodbye to those taking the Airport Express to the city and remember to feel happy about yourself as you have just saved up to HK$100!
Tung Chung MTR Station is the last stop of the S1 bus service. If in doubt, there are on-board announcements and visual displays to remind you of it. If really lost, just follow the entire crowd in the bus when they disembark in the terminus.
The bus terminates at Tung Chung Bus Terminus.
The Tung Chung Bus Terminus is located adjacent to the Tung Chung MTR Station.
Enter the fare gates with your Airport Express Travel Pass to commence your 4 days of unlimited travel on the MTR. There is a wide gate in the middle of the concourse for passengers-in-wheelchairs or bulky luggage.
Board the next Tung Chung Line train departing from either platform. Trains depart every 4 to 12 minutes.
The Tung Chung Line shares the track alignment with the Airport Express. If you are getting to Tsing Yi, Kowloon or Hong Kong, this line serves you well as a local service at a fraction of the Airport Express fare.
While the seats are of the typical MTR standard instead of the big, plushy ones on board the Airport Express, the speed of the train is the same and you’ll probably just experience a minor slow down of a couple of minutes as the train makes additional stops at Sunny Bay, Lai King, Nam Cheong and Olympic.
If you are considering getting the Airport Express Travel Pass…
The “3 consecutive days” of the Airport Express Travel Pass as defined on MTR’s website mentions that “(t)he 3 days starts from the recorded entry time of the first MTR train journey and lasts for 72 hours plus any additional hours up to the end of train service on the last day“, which means it’s for 4 actual days of unlimited travel. You benefit the most if you have a long first and/or last day to maximise the pass.
If you return the pass after utilizing its value, you will also get a refund of HK$50. Deducting it from the actual cost, you are only actually paying HK$200 for 4 days of MTR travel including an Airport Express journey. This certainly beats buying 3 separate MTR Tourist Day Passes which would cost you HK$65 x 3 = HK$195 and does not get you an Airport Express ride to or from the city.
To save even more, you can pre-purchase your Airport Express Travel Pass from Klook and pick it up at the designated airport counter!
If it’s your first booking through Klook, get a FREE $4.30*/RM12.90* voucher for your first purchase when you sign up here!
*subject to exchange rate