In this Hong Kong Pass review, we’ll explain how it works, what it costs, and how to use the pass to slash your sightseeing costs. Ultimately, we’ll help you decide if it’s a good buy for you.
Hong Kong is one of my favorite places in Asia. It’s a vibrant metropolitan city with a unique feel. It’s modern and bustling with an efficient, refined air.
And yet, there’s more to it.
Past the skyscrapers, you’ll find lush green spaces, outdoor markets, fishing villages, and ancient temples.
First and foremost, it’s a Chinese city. Still, there’s a faint undercurrent of English culture that keeps full-fledged culture shock at bay. Cantonese is the dominant language, but service staff may speak some English. Plus, you can rely on English signs.
In other words, this isn’t like a trip to London! You’re gonna get outside your comfort zone a little. And that’s a good thing!
If it sounds like an adventure, you’re absolutely right. You won’t spend one minute of your trip to Hong Kong bored – there’s tons to do and see. Some of it is free, but many of the big must-see sites are pretty expensive.That said, the last thing you want to do is skimp on sightseeing.
Luckily, I know how you can save up to 50% on admission to Hong Kong’s most sought-after sights. It’s called the Hong Kong Pass, and if you know what you’re doing, it can save you some serious cash.
Want to know more? Let’s dive in and see what this pass has to offer!
Hong Kong Pass Review: How it Works
I’ll cut to the chase: the Hong Kong Pass offers excellent value. If used strategically, it can save you a whopping 50% on sightseeing costs.
Here’s how it works:
The Hong Kong Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing pass that includes access to 14 of Hong Kong’s top attractions for one low price. You also get discounts at local restaurants and retailers and a comprehensive guidebook.
The Hong Kong Pass is available for two, three, or four days. However, this particular pass offers a nice little surprise. Unlike with most sightseeing passes, including the London Pass and the Paris Pass, a day actually means 24 hours – not a calendar day.
This is great news, especially since the pass includes an airport express return ticket. So, when you land at the Hong Kong Airport, you can activate your pass and catch a free 24-minute train ride into the city. No matter what time of day you activate it, you’ll still have the remaining 23+ hours to use Day 1 of your pass!
As you might expect, after activating your pass, it remains valid for the number of days purchased. You can use it to access any of the included attractions one time each, in any order. Just show your pass at the gate, no questions asked.
The Hong Kong Pass simplifies sightseeing, saves you mad cash, and in some cases, grants you fast track entry to the busiest attractions. All things considered, we definitely think it’s worth checking out.
Top Attractions Included on the Hong Kong Pass
OK, at this point, you’re probably wondering what’s actually on the pass. Here are the 14 attractions included on the Hong Kong Pass, complete with their regular adult admission prices in US dollars:
- Airport Express Return Ticket – $26
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – $55
- Ocean Park – $61
- Aqua Luna Stanley Cruise – $51
- Ngong Ping Cable Car and Guided Tour (Big Buddha) – $55
- Peak Tram Sky Pass – $13
- Sky100 HK Observation Deck – $24
- Hong Kong Walking Tour – $38
- Cotai Jet: Hong Kong Macau Ferry – $52
- Star Ferry Harbour Tour – $13
- Macau Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – $19
- Macau Tower – $18
- Aberdeen Sampan Ride – $10
- Hong Kong Maritime Museum – $4
*Prices in USD, rounded, and current as of February 2019
Although Hong Kong used to be considered one of the most affordable vacation ideas, prices have gone up in recent years. With a few exceptions, sightseeing in Hong Kong is on the expensive side. The total value of the included attractions is $439 USD – pretty steep. Luckily, the Hong Kong Pass can save you up to 50% off the cost of admission!
Hong Kong Pass Pricing
Now that you know what’s included, it’s time to talk about price. Like I mentioned, the Hong Kong Pass is available for two, three, or four days. While the table below shows the regular prices, it’s important to note that the pass goes on sale from time to time.
Also note that prices on the Hong Kong Pass website are listed in HK, not USD. We’ve done the conversions for you and rounded to the nearest dollar.
|Hong Kong Passes||Adult Price (ages 11+)||Child Price (ages 3-10)|
|*Current as of February 19, 2019|
Now, before we consider these prices and the savings implications, we need to talk about purse value.
Purse value is the maximum total attraction cost you can cover using the pass. Unfortunately, it limits how much value you can get from the Hong Kong Pass. Their website only lists purse values in HKD, so these USD conversions are based on the pass’s price and currency exchange rate as of February 19, 2019:
|Hong Kong Passes||Adult Pass Purse Value||Child Pass Purse Value|
This means that you can use the 3-day pass to access $356 worth of attractions. Once you exceed that, the pass expires. And that’s a shame because a determined sightseer might be able to do more than that, if they hustled.
So, if you subtract the price of the pass from the purse value, it’s easy to work out your maximum savings. Here, I’ve done it for you:
- 2-day pass: $280 – $140 = $140 in savings (50%)
- 3-day pass: $356 – $216 = $140 in savings (39%)
- 4-day pass: $433 – $255 = $178 in savings (41%)
Even though I wish there wasn’t a limit, these savings are still pretty impressive. If you use the pass to visit the expensive attractions, you can save some serious coin. Because many of the included sites are on the pricey side, this isn’t hard to do.
If you’re lucky enough to snag the Hong Kong Pass when it’s on sale, you can supercharge your savings even more.
Top Reasons to Get the Hong Kong Pass
Like I demonstrated above, you can save up to 39-50% on admission costs by using the Hong Kong Pass. In the world of sightseeing passes, 50% is pretty much as good as it gets. If you buy the pass on sale, you can save even more than that!
Fast Track Entry
The Peak is one of Hong Kong’s must-see attractions. That means it’s also one of the busiest. There are usually long lines that can quickly eat up hours of your precious vacation time and reduce your ability to get the most out of your pass.
Luckily, the Hong Kong Pass provides fast track entry to the tram that transports you to Victoria Peak, as well as to the Peak Sky Terrace observation deck. Just look for the ticket line for Hong Kong Pass holders.
Pass holders also get to skip the line for the Macau Tower and the Culture & Heritage Tour included after the Ngong Ping Cable Car ride – another essential you won’t want to miss.
Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour
I always recommend Hop-on Hop-off bus tours – especially when visiting a city for the first time. They’re an awesome way to get familiar with a new area while getting to see and learn about the most popular historical and cultural sites.
The Hong Kong Pass includes unlimited access to three routes over 24 hours. Choose from the Hong Kong Island Tour, the Kowloon Tour, or the Stanley Tour – or do all three.
If you decide to take a day trip to Macau, there’s a HOHO bus tour for that region, as well.
Ngong Ping Cable Car and Guided Tour
If you search the top things to do in Hong Kong, you’ll keep seeing the term “Big Buddha.” Situated among a lush green forest on Lantau Island, the 112-foot bronze statue of the Buddha is a sight to behold. Getting to it, however, is a sightseeing mission all in itself.
The best way to get to the site is via cable car. It’s a relaxing 25-minute ride complete with stunning views. The Hong Kong Pass includes the cable car ride there and back, as well as a guided Culture and Heritage Tour of Ngong Ping, the Big Buddha, and Tai O Fishing Village. Don’t skip it.
Other Benefits of the Hong Kong Pass
24-hour Periods – Most sightseeing passes are valid for a set number of calendar days. The Hong Kong Pass is good for 24-hour periods. This is better because you can activate your pass any time of day without losing out on sightseeing time. Honestly, this is one of my favorite features of this pass.
Airport Express – Transportation always adds up when you’re traveling. I love that the Hong Kong Pass includes free return transportation from the airport to one of the three main Hong Kong stations. The airport train is a super-efficient way to get into the city center – it only takes 24 minutes. The cost is normally $26, so the Hong Kong Pass saves you money as soon as you arrive.
Mobile Pass – Unlike some sightseeing passes, the Hong Kong Pass is available electronically. Skip the paper and present your digital pass on your smartphone.
Guidebook – The Hong Kong Pass comes with a free guidebook that will help you navigate the city and get the most out of your pass. It includes key info for each attraction – address, phone number, hours, and amenities. You’ll also find an MRT (subway) and HOHO bus tour map.
Restaurant Discounts – Hong Kong has a vibrant and diverse restaurant scene. Enjoy discounted dining at more than 20 restaurants when you buy the Hong Kong Pass.
Where the Hong Kong Pass Falls Short
The Hong Kong Pass offers excellent value, but it isn’t perfect. Here are a few drawbacks worth considering.
Even though the purse values are pretty generous, I’m not a fan that the Hong Kong Pass isn’t truly unlimited. If there were no purse value restrictions, there’s a decent chance that some power sightseers could exceed the purse value.
No Public Transit Besides the Airport Express
Hong Kong has a clean and efficient transit system called the MRT. I’d compare it to NYC’s subway, only much nicer. It’s absolutely the easiest way to get around Hong Kong. Although I’m thrilled to see the Airport Express included on the Hong Kong Pass, I’d love to see a transit pass option as well.
The Hong Kong Pass includes access to Ocean Park, which is an excellent family-friendly theme park. However, some travelers will be disappointed that it doesn’t include access to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Who Should Buy the Hong Kong Pass?
First Time Visitors – If it’s your first time in Hong Kong, do not skimp on sightseeing. After all, it’s not the kind of destination most of us visit every year, so who knows when you’ll be back? The Hong Kong Pass includes some huge savings on many of the must-see sites.
Families and Groups – The cost of sightseeing can really add up when you’re traveling as a group. The Hong Kong Pass can cut those costs in half. Ocean Park is the most expensive attraction included on the pass and is an awesome choice for families with kids.
Power Sightseers – If you love fitting as much as possible into your days, you’ll appreciate the all-inclusive nature of the Hong Kong Pass. You get the most value when you visit multiple attractions each day. If that sounds fun to you, charge ahead.
Solo Travelers and Tour Lovers – The Hong Kong Pass includes six tours, which is great for people who are maybe a little intimidated to go off sightseeing on their own – solo travelers come to mind. Solo or not, though, tours are a great way to meet other travelers and get a feel for a new city.
Travelers Planning a Day Trip to Macau – The Hong Kong Pass includes three attractions that will round out a day trip to Macau. Planning to visit the famous Cotai strip? Catch the Cotai Jet and enjoy an hour-long ferry ride to Macau. If you go early, you’ll have time to do the HOHO bus tour and visit the Macau Tower before immersing yourself in the “Gambling Capital of the World.”
Who Should Skip the Hong Kong Pass?
Disney Fans – Did you know that Hong Kong has a Disneyland? It’s a smaller park, but still tons of fun. Unfortunately, you won’t find access to Disneyland on this pass.
Museum Lovers – Hong Kong has some great museums, but the pass only includes one of them. If your interest in sightseeing is mostly limited to museums, the Hong Kong Pass isn’t for you.
Travelers Who Like a Relaxed Pace – If you prefer to spend all day at one attraction, you probably won’t save money with the Hong Kong Pass. It’s best for people who’ll visit 2-3 sites a day.
Visitors on a Tight Budget – The Hong Kong Pass can net you a lot of savings, but even so, it’s not cheap. You can see tons of interesting things in Hong Kong for free. So, if you’re on a super-tight budget, skip the sightseeing pass. Instead, hit the outdoor markets, eat at food stalls, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Tips for Using the Hong Kong Pass
- Use the Airport Express – The Hong Kong Pass includes a return ticket for express transit between the airport and three of Hong Kong’s stations. That means you don’t have to worry about getting (and paying) for a taxi when you get there. Plus, you save $26 on the Airport Express right out of the gate.
- Buy it on Sale – The Hong Kong Pass sometimes goes on sale for up to 20% off – keep your eyes open for an opportunity to ramp up your savings.
- Visit Multiple Attractions Per Day – To make sure you’re saving money with the Hong Kong Pass, you’ll need to visit two or more attractions every day. The more, the better.
- Visit the Most Expensive Attractions – To maximize the value you get from the Hong Kong Pass, make sure you use it for the more expensive attractions. The HOHO bus tour, Ocean Park, Ngong Ping Cable Car and Guided Tour, Aqua Luna Stanley Cruise, and Cotai Jet all cost more than $50 without the pass. Use your pass for them instead of cheaper options like the Maritime Museum and the Aberdeen Sampan Ride.
Where to Buy the Hong Kong Pass
It’s important to note that you can’t buy the pass in Hong Kong, so make sure you get it online to avoid being disappointed.
If you think the Hong Kong Pass sounds like a good fit for you, use this affiliate link to buy it online now.
Once you make your purchase, you’ll immediately get an email with your pass. If you prefer a paper copy, go ahead and print it off; or, you can simply store it on your smartphone. Either way, it has a unique QR code that staff at the attractions will scan when you’re ready to head in.
The Bottom Line: Is the Hong Kong Pass a Good Buy?
The Hong Kong Pass is a smart buy for travelers who want to visit multiple attractions each day. If used strategically, it can save you up to 50% on sightseeing admission costs. That’s hard to beat!
Honestly, if you’re interested in a few of the pricier attractions, it’s hard not to get your money’s worth. This is especially true because one of the “attractions” is your transportation to and from the airport. If you plan ahead, you can probably score the pass on sale, making the deal even sweeter.
Until next time, thanks for reading and happy traveling!
Have you been to Hong Kong? Share your travel experiences in the comments below!