All around the world Josh and I are fans of the Hop On Hop Off bus tours. Sitting down in an open top bus seeing the sights, hearing the history and then thinking "yeah I’d like to see more of this" and having the option to hop off the bus, to get back on whenever you like is fabulous. Especially when faced with a short timeframe.
So it was for this reason Josh and I decided to do the Big Bus Tour in Hong Kong. There are two tour companies to choose from. The Rickshaw Bus Company is very cheap, but also does not offer a very big range of places. The Big Bus Tour has 3 tours and includes tickets to The Peak via the Tram, tickets on the Star Ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon and back again or vice versa and a ride on a Sampan also.
Booking tickets online gives you a discount, but you have to choose a day. We chose Saturday and paid approx. $76.00. Both kids were free.
The day started off very rocky. We waited at stop 11 for 45 minutes and then jumped in a cab to stop 1. The guy told us they don’t start until 9:30am from stop 1 which means we would have been waiting another half an hour on top of our 45 minutes at stop 11. We crankily got on board.
My poor little girl Mia had developed a temperature over night and was still very hot. Once on the bus she decided she wanted her own seat at the front and within seconds was asleep. As you can imagine the Hop On Hop Off is perfect with toddlers because you don’t have to get off if you don’t want too and we didn’t.
The first bus does a tour of Hong Kong. After we got off at Central Pier stopped for a quick Subway & then jumped on the Star Ferry across to Kowloon.
Despite wanting to see many of the sites in Kowloon and shop we knew Mia was not coping with the heat and sickness. We gave her some Panadol and continued our journey around Kowloon downstairs in the aircon comfort of the bus.
After this tour we were back on the ferry across to Central for Tour Three to south Hong Kong – the New Territories.
Now we liked Hong Kong, but we loved South Hong Kong. Beautiful. I think we are definitely attracted to Beach towns. We loved this area. The amazing buildings with giant holes built in them. The beaches. The shaded rows – which are very dangerous while on an open top bus! My face was wacked by a passing tree branch!
I wish we had had more time to actually stop at Stanley Markets or the beach, but as it is we simply stopped for our Sampan ride past the Floating Markets and boat villages. By this time both children were exhausted and had no qualms about sleeping there and then on the floor of the boat.
Finally we took the last bus back to Central. Also included in your ticket is a night tour. It is the same tour as Kowloon, but in the evening. In hindsight I would have taken a break instead of doing Kowloon and waited until the evening tour. However by then we were all exhausted and decided to head home.
As you can see you get a lot of bang for your buck on this tour. We didn’t get off at any stops and barely managed to fit the whole thing in for the day. Given more time I would go a 48-hour pass and take some time to stop at some of the highlights Hong Kong has to offer.
That night Caius also came down with the mystery temperature and it was a rough night for everyone. Mia did not sleep very well, which means I did not sleep very well. Caius was teary and miserable come morning and was needing the chewable Panadols as well.
Luckily Sunday we had planned less intense activities.