How to get to Guangzhou from Hong Kong International Airport: By Bus, By Train or By Ferry?
Screengrab from Google Maps
Hong Kong is a gateway to many cities around the Canton region. The city is adjacent to Macau, Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou (which is a popular spot for the annual Canton Fair). One of the many questions that have been asked is how to get to Guangzhou from Hong Kong International Airport. Having done some research, I decided to try out the different ways to reach Guangzhou from Hong Kong International Airport. In this post, I will highlight the cheapest way from Hong Kong International Airport to Guangzhou and also the fastest and also the most comfortable way from Hong Kong International Airport to Guangzhou. I arrived at Hong Kong International Airport at 1:30pm using Royal Brunei Airlines from Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei.
Cheapest and easiest route by bus
Having done a lot of research reading forums - this is the cheapest as well as the easiest method to reach Guangzhou from Hong Kong International Airport. One of the big reasons is that you only pay one price of 200HKD, and you are set to reach Guangzhou (be sure to check which hotel you are staying and in what area). Taking this route, you basically buy your ticket at the Mainland Coach Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, then you will board the bus on the same terminal. The bus will take you from the airport to Shenzhen immigration - which you will bring along your luggage and get your passports/visa chopped at the HK-Shenzhen border. You will then swap to a new bus when you passed immigration - note: don't worry about getting lost - you will be given a sticker to stick on your shirt and there will be staff to guide you to your bus. The bus will then stop at different popular landmarks in Guangzhou region, so just find out where is the nearest popular landmark to your hotel. I stayed at Yexiu district so the nearest landmark was China Hotel so that was my stop.
Here's a link for you to check the schedules for the buses and what locations do they stop at.
The signs are very useful at Hong Kong International Airport - you won't miss it. Look for Mainland Transport Centre.
Just find the next available bus to the area/district near your hotel and buy your tickets
HKD200 per person. It's cheap when you consider that for other methods, you might need to take trains, buses or taxis to arrive at the stations. Typically we should arrive within 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on traffic.
The bus from Hong Kong International Airport to Lo Wu/Shenzhen Immigration is pretty comfortable and spacious - that was the more enjoyable part of the journey. About 30 to 45 minutes depending on traffic.
You will need to carry your luggages and drag them pass the immigration as the bus drops you off at the immigration at Lo Wu
Our queue wasn't that long as it was around 2:45 pm when we arrived - not peak hours I guess. After passing immigrations, you will go to your new bus to Guangzhou. You can also purchase your China Simcard at the immigration, it's on the left side just right before the immigration exit to the bus station. I was in a hurry to get to the bus as I didn't want to miss the bus - or risk waiting for the next available bus. My tip is - go to your bus to get your seat number first - then see if the bus is full - if there's still plenty of space - you will have some time to buy your simcard. We waited almost 20 minutes in the bus for the bus to fill up.
The bus from Shenzhen to Guangzhou was the uncomfortable part of our trip - it was more cramped and the curtains weren't offering much protection from the sun. Airconditioning was working but not really well. The bus will be filled with very chatty and loud passengers so it will be difficult for you to sleep. The whole journey from Shenzhen to Guangzhou - around 2 and half hours. Despite the convenience and ease of transport, I would suggest taking an alternative more comfortable way in the next part.
By Train from Hung Hom
Having travelled back from Guangzhou East Railway to Hong Kong via train - we realized that it is way more comfortable and spacious to travel via train. It might be more expensive as you have to consider the transit between Hong Kong International Airport to Hung Hom Station and it can be quite troublesome as there's no direct route to Hung Hom Station. The most expensive method is to take a taxi from Hong Kong International Airport to Hung Hom but to save money - you could take the Express Airport Train to Kowloon Station - then take a taxi to Hung Hom Station. The cheaper option is to take the bus then transit through MTR - more time consuming but you will save $$. This method might seem more troublesome and expensive but we felt the hassle was worth the comfortable 2 hour train ride. You will see why in the pictures of our train experience. Note: Our ticket from Guangzhou East Railway to Hung Hom Station was RMB178 per person.
First things first - you won't have worries about your big luggages as you can place them at the back. We brought back four big luggages worth of shopping.
The seats are spacious - and ultra comfortable for you to sleep! Besides that - they have a restaurant within the train - so you can actually sit down and order food here - this will ensure time passes faster and give you a comfortable ride!
Don't worry - they have an English menu too!
We really enjoyed our train ride from Guangzhou to Hong Kong Hong Hum Station which was an entirely different experience to the bus ride from Shenzhen to Guangzhou. I would rather pay more and have more transits from Hong Kong International Airport for a much more comfortable ride.
By Train from Lo Wu Station/ Shenzhen
You can take a bus from airport to Sheung Shui Station, take an MTR to Lo Wu station, then walk to Shenzhen station to take a bullet train to Guangzhou East Railway Station. I have not tried this method yet but this should be cheaper than going through Hung Hom station and might be more convenient as there's less transits to take.
Screengrab from Google Maps
This is the most popular route using google maps. It is slightly cheaper than Hung Hom station because transportation and train tickets are usually cheaper within China.
Expensive but faster alternatives
I have some businessmen friends who travel to Guangzhou via Hong Kong often and they often fly direct to Baiyun airport or they use the Sky Pier Ferry - taking the boat to Dongguan Humen and having a private transport arranged to pick them up from Humen to their destination. This is not cheap as the ferry fare is at least 350hkd per person and the private transfer will be expensive as well. This might be the most expensive method but it will be the most comfortable and time saving option suitable for those who run on higher travel budgets.
Screenshot from: http://www.cksp.com.hk/eng/skypier/timetable/main.html
For those who travel in style or wish to give your clients or VIPs a comfortable flying journey. Be sure to fly them business class via Royal Brunei Airlines. Spacious leg room and reclinable to sleep position, good food, service and entertainment. Oh and the business class lounges make you want to arrive at the airport earlier! Royal Brunei Airlines fly daily from Brunei to Hong Kong and vice versa!