Hong Kong has a number of districts that are ideal for tourists to stay. Two of them are Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei. But how do you get there from the airport? In this article, we’ll show you your options and their pros and cons!
Mong Kok, often shortened to MK, and nearby Yau Ma Tei are vibrant shopping destinations. Together with Tsim Sha Tsui, they form one administrative district called Yau Tsim Mong. Tourists flock to this area because it’s close to key attractions, especially night markets. If you love shopping, MK is very OK.
Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei look modern, with towering buildings. At night, it is illuminated by glitzy neon signs. But it is also very traditional in parts. It’s here that you’ll find the vibrant, busy and crowded scenes that first come to mind when we imagine Hong Kong.
But most importantly, these two areas have a wide, wide selection of hotels and inns. Most are pretty small, but affordable, at least by Hong Kong standards.
Let’s zoom in a bit on the map of Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei. You’ll see that it’s cut in half by the this thoroughfare – Nathan Road – which is dotted with numerous bus stops. Nathan Road also runs along a huge part of the MTR Tsuen Wan Line, which is a commonly used train or subway line for tourists and locals alike. Many of the city’s main attractions are accessible from this line.
The Hong Kong International Airport, on the other hand, is on reclaimed land on Chek Lap Kok Island, next to Lantau Island, almost an hour away from the city center.
So, how do you get here from the airport? You have two main options: by bus and by train.
Let’s start with the bus.
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
AIRPORT TO MONG KOK BY BUS
Not only is the bus the cheapest, it is also the easiest and most convenient option.
Unlike the other options, this is a direct way and does not entail switching or transferring along the way, at least if your hotel is located near Nathan Road.
Depending on the time of the day, there are two buses that you can take: BUS A21 and N21.
- A21 – Regular Bus
Fare: HK$ 34.60
Operating Hours: 05:30 – 24:00
- N21 – Late Night Bus
Fare: HK$ 23.80
Operating hours: 00:20 – 04:40
If you’re interested in taking the bus, you might want to consider getting an Octopus Card, which can make your journey much easier and cheaper. An Octopus card is a pre-paid reloadable card that you can use for MTR and bus rides and even purchases at select stores. It will allow you to skip buying tickets each time you’re taking the MTR or scramble for coins when taking the bus. All you need to do is tap the card above the reader and you’re through.
The fare is also cheaper when you use an Octopus Card than when paying on site. And if you’re taking public transportation multiple times, these discounts rack up and you’ll end up saving a lot!
You can get an Octopus Card from Klook. It costs HKD 97 (PHP 695, USD 12.41), but it already comes with HK$ 50 load that you can use right away. You can pick it up at the airport’s Arrival Hall. In our case, we claimed our Octopus Card at this counter.
You can also book a Data SIM on Klook and pick it up at the airport. A data SIM will make navigating much easier so you’re sure you’re getting off at the right stop.
Then, on the day of your trip, follow these steps.
1. Find the Airport Bus Terminus.
When you emerge from the Arrival Hall, follow the BUS signs, which will lead you to the Bus Terminus. You’ll know you’re at the right spot because there is a giant signage with a detailed schedule of all the buses operating in the area.
2. Proceed to the A21 or N21 Bus Stop.
At the entrance to the bus terminus, you’ll find a vicinity map, which will tell you where you can catch the right bus per route. Look for BUS A21 or N21. These will take Nathan Road and pass through both Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei areas, all the way to Tsim Sha Tsui.
Airport buses are double-deckers. They also display the route or bus number in front, so make sure you’re boarding the right bus.
3. Pay as you board.
When it’s time to board, prepare your Octopus Card and tap it or hover it above the card reader, installed just by the entrance door of the bus.
If you decide to not get an Octopus card, you can pay by cash. But WARNING: NO CHANGE POLICY! Ensure that you have the exact amount because they don’t give change. This is why it’s better to just have an Octopus Card.
The fare is HK$ 34.60 for Bus A21 or HK$ 23.80 for Bus N21, regardless of whether you’re alighting in Mong Kok or Yau Ma Tei.
Upon boarding, you’ll immediately see this baggage section where you could leave your suitcase. There’s also a few seats here, but if none is available, just climb to the top deck. Don’t worry, there are cameras here pointed at the baggage area, so you could still keep an eye on your bag.
Travel time is 50 to 90 minutes, depending on where you are alighting and the traffic situation at the time.
4. Alight at the stop closest to your hotel.
Just research first which stop is closest to your hotel.You’ll probably have to get off at any of the following stops:
MONG KOK BUS STOPS
- Metropark Hotel Mongkok; Lai Chi Kok Road — A21 only
- Mong Kok Police Station; Nathan Road — N21 only
- Argyle Centre; Nathan Road
- Bank Centre; Nathan Road
- Sino Centre; Nathan Road
YAU MA TEI BUS STOPS
- Pitt Street; Nathan Road – N21 only
- Wing Sing Lane; Nathan Road – N21 only
- Man Ming Lane; Nathan Road – A21 only
- Nathan Hotel; Nathan Road
- Prudential Centre; Nathan Road
That’s it! You may simply walk to your hotel or inn if it’s located close to Nathan Road.
AIRPORT TO MONG KOK BY TRAIN (AIRPORT EXPRESS + MTR)
If the bus is the easiest option, the Airport Express is the fastest. But there’s a catch. It involves two transfers.
The Airport Express Line has only three stops, but your stop is Tsing Yi Station. From here, you’ll have to transfer to the MTR.
You can purchase Airport Express tickets on site, but it’s much cheaper to book online, especially on Klook.
- PRICE AT THE STATION
One way: $70
Round trip: $120
- KLOOK PRICE
One way: $59
Round trip: $108
As you can see, you’ll end up saving a lot if you book a round trip ticket instead of two one-way tickets. And you’ll also save more if you purchase from Klook.
And if you want to score even more discounts, use our exclusive promo code THEPOORTRAVELER as you check out.
Now that you know where to get Airport Express tickets, here’s how to reach Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei once you land in Hong Kong.
1. Board the Airport Express Train.
First, look for the Airport Express Station, which is directly in front of the terminal. You won’t miss it! There are plenty of signs.
If you booked online, you just need to use the QR code for Airport Express. And when you get on, you’ll immediately spot the baggage area, where you can stow your suitcases. The Airport Express is often NOT crowded because there are plenty of rides within the day (unless it’s peak hours of peak season).
But the ride should be very comfortable and quick. You should reach Tsing Yi in only 17 minutes.
Alight at Tsing Yi Station.
2. Transfer to MTR Tung Chung Line.
At Tsing Yi Station, switch to Tung Chung Line (Orange Line).
Note that the QR code you purchased online can only be used on Airport Express. To transfer to the next rides, you’ll need to purchase a ticket or use an Octopus Card.
If you don’t have one yet, you can purchase an Octopus card here! ✅
Get off at Lai King Station.
3. Switch to MTR Tsuen Wan Line.
At Lai King Station, transfer to MTR Tsuen Wan Line (Red Line).
This line will lead you to Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei Stations.
Because this is an interchange, this station can get a bit crowded, depending on the time of day. But don’t worry, this is the last ride!
4. Alight at Mong Kok Station or Yau Ma Tei Station.
Before your trip, find out which station is closest to your hotel or final destination. Chances are it’s either Mong Kok Station or Yau Ma Tei Station.
That said, Prince Edward Station, Jordan Station, and even Tsim Sha Tsui Station are along the same line. Yes, you can ride the same train all the way to Tsim Sha Tsui Station, in case you also want to see the Avenue of Stars and other attractions in the area.
Anyway, whatever your station is, if your hotel is close to Nathan Road, you may simply travel on foot.
MONG KOK TO AIRPORT BY BUS
Going back to the airport is easy, too! Whether you took the bus or the train, all you have to do is trace your steps back.
If you prefer the bus, check on Google Maps which stop is closest to you.
But remember: Wait for the bus on the other side of the road, NOT on the same side where you alighted.
The fare is the same: HK$ 34.60 for A21 bus, or HK$ 23.80 for N21 bus.
MONG KOK TO AIRPORT BY TRAIN (MTR + AIRPORT EXPRESS)
If you’d rather take the train, here are the steps:
- Take the MTR Tsuen Wan Line to Lai King Station.
- Transfer to Tung Chung Line.
- Alight at Tsing Yi Station.
- Board Airport Express.
- Alight at Hong Kong Airport.
You’ll need to take the escalator or elevator to get to the Departure Area.
WHICH IS THE BEST ROUTE?
When getting from Hong Kong Airport to Mong Kok or Yau Ma Tei, we recommend just taking the bus! It’s cheaper and more convenient no matter how you look at it.
But it’s a different story the other way around. But when going back to the airport, consider taking the MTR + Airport Express combo instead.
From the airport to Mong Kok or any part of Kowloon, you’re boarding at the first stop, which means the bus is mostly empty. But on the return route, Mong Kok is in the middle of the line, which means there are fewer seats available onboard. We’ve experienced long queues at the bus stop!
The traffic should also be a consideration, especially if you have a plane to catch! The train is much more predictable and reliable when returning to the airport.
Top Affordable Hotels in Mong Kok & Yau Ma Tei
Prices of Hong Kong accommodations have increased dramatically in Hong Kong over the years. Thankfully, you’ll still find a lot of budget options in Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei.
If you’re still looking for a place to stay and you want to score big discounts, book your hotel with Klook. Use our promo code THEPOORTRAVELER! That will give you 5% OFF, capped at PHP 350.
Below are some hotels and inns in Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei areas that got great scores from Klook customers.
- MK stay. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Yesinn @YMT. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- iclub Mong Kok Hotel. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Metropark Hotel Mongkok. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Dorsett Mongkok, Hong Kong. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Stanford Hotel. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
Top Premium Hotels in Mong Kok & Yau Ma Tei
If you have a bigger budget, here are some options on Agoda and Hotels.com with the best reviews from actual guests, not considering the rates.
- The Olympian Hong Kong. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Royal Plaza Hotel. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Cordis, Hong Kong. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Hilton Garden Inn Hong Kong Mongkok. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Le Prabelle Hotel. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Lodgewood by Nina Hospitality Mong Kok. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Hotel 1936. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
Search for more Mong Kok Hotels!
First up: 2024•02•02