Getting Our Bearings with Big Bus Hong Kong

Thursday, November 25th

In almost every big city, you can find one of those “hop on/hop off” busses where tourists go to see the sights.  It’s an efficient way to get from place to place with no fuss, no muss.

I’ve never taken these busses before.

I’m not really opposed to taking them.  But they just never really made it on my radar.  Kat was the one who brought it up for this particular trip.  And we happily obliged.  It was a new experience and could be a way to see the city.

The only day that worked for us was Thursday.  But we also had a tour planned for the middle of the day.  It didn’t seem to be a big deal when we sought out the Big Bus Tour.   

For $70-ish US dollars, the Deluxe Night Tour is a 48 hour pass that includes hop on/off privileges on three different routes, a ferry ride, a night tour and a cable car ride up to Victoria Peak.  For $60-ish, you can take the Premium Night Tour which is a 24 hour pass.

Adele and I bought the Premium Tour.  Kat chose the Deluxe Tour.  I had plans scheduled on Friday, so I only could do the 24 hour tour.

We started off a little later than we probably should have.  There was a quick stop in Starbucks for some breakfast (sometimes you need a Chai) and we jumped on the subway to get close to one of the Big Bus stops outside of Victoria Park.

The stop is outside of Park Lane Hotel and honestly, it was way confusing as to what we were supposed to do.  Everyone instinctively has their role within a group.  Kat’s was to work with the hotels to figure out what was going on in a given situation.  While Adele and I sipped our chai’s outside, Kat worked with the Concierge to learn how to buy tickets for the bus.  It turns out, the tickets were only available inside the hotel.  Ok.  We figured that part out.  And side note, at this stop (#4 on the Red route), there is no immediate signage about where we were supposed to wait.  So that’s something you might need to know.

As we purchased our tickets, we knew immediately that our day had become infinitely more difficult.  It was around 1030a.  And our food tour was at 2p.  We didn’t have a ton of time to jump on and off the bus during the day.  And one of the things we HAD to do was to go to the top of Victoria Peak.  The Peak basically closed around 6p.  That was the priority.

The bus showed up eventually and we jumped on.  We only made it two stops and we hopped off at the Peak Train.  After exchanging our receipt from the Park Lane Hotel for various tickets (ferry and tram and such), we got in line to take the train up to the top of the peak. 

Adele kept track of the steepness of the climb.
It took a bit of time to get on the tram and up to the peak.  What we didn’t expect was the peak being almost like a giant mall.  And the mall didn’t have an elevator to just take you up to the peak.  Nope.  The escalators were there to take you to every floor, where shopping and eating choices were there for the taking.  I mean, why wouldn’t you want to come to Hong Kong and go to Bubba Gump’s for a meal??  Gross.

At the top of the peak, there was an outdoor area to take all of the pictures and to see all of the sights.  It was seriously cool.


We couldn’t stay on the peak for too long.  We had a food tour to take.  And unfortunately, the timing didn’t quite work to get back on the bus to get close to our next stop.  Instead, we wandered a bit to find a subway stop to meet up with our food tour.

That wasn’t the end of our time on the Big Bus Tour.  After we ate all of the food on the tour, we jumped on the Blue route to get back to the Peninsula Hotel for the night tour.  Because if we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do this right.

If you’re thinking about doing the night tour here, know the night tour is the exact same thing as the regular tour in Kowloon during the day.  It’s just seeing the same things, but lit up in the evening.  So, this part was a bit of a bummer.

Soon enough. The tours were over.  We hopped off of the bus and walked to the subway.  We were home in about 20 minutes and our day was over. 

Overall, the concept of the hop on/hop off tour is sound.  But what we realized was if you want to do this tour, you need to devote a full day to do so.  You shouldn’t book the tour if you have other plans.  Kat did it right.  She made her way to a bus stop on Friday and was able to take all three routes.  Adele and I weren’t able to.  So we ended up overpaying for what we were able to see on this day.  Still though, we saw the important stuff.  That's what really matters.


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