Hong Kong has been a gateway between the east and west for decades. Located on the coast of southern China, the Hong Kong region is easily accessible from Beijing on the mainland.
A tourist visa may be required to travel from China to Hong Kong, which has separate immigration and customs procedures from China. Depending on your country of citizenship and your itinerary, you may be eligible to travel in Hong Kong visa-free from seven to 180 days.
Once in Hong Kong, it's best to hire a driver so you can ride comfortably and go at your own pace, but more adventurous travelers may find Hong Kong's bustling subway and ferry system very efficient for moving about Hong Kong.
There are plenty of itineraries to inspire your travels, like this 12-day Beijing to Hong Kong Grand Tour.
Duration: 3 hours and 40 minutes
Flying affords the quickest travel time to make the 1,221-mile (1,965-km) journey from Beijing to Hong Kong and is the most convenient and preferred option.
There are more than a dozen daily nonstop flights from Beijing Capital International Airport, which is 18 miles (30 km) northeast of Tian'anmen Square, and the new starfish-shaped Beijing Daxing International Airport—set to be the world's largest airport when it officially opens at the end of September—which is 30 miles (50 km) south of Tian'anmen Square, to Hong Kong International Airport.
Duration: 9 hours - 1 day
More than RMB220 billion was spent to build China's high-speed rail system (gāotiě)—the largest in the world—which makes it an enticing, but slower, option. Each day, only one high-speed train travels up to 186 mph (299 kph) along the 942-mile (1,516-kilometer) route from Beijing West Railway Station to Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.
Second class, first class, and business class seats are available for passengers who wish to take the scenic route. A much slower classic sleeper train option is available from Beijing West Railway Station to Hong Kong's Hung Hom Station, but it's a long, 24-hour journey that departs every other day. The options on the slower train include soft sleeper, hard sleeper, and hard seats.
Once passengers arrive in Hong Kong, they clear customs and immigration for both China and Hong Kong from within the train station. Most trains have a food serving counter or dining car with simple fare like xīhóngshì chǎo jīdàn (scrambled eggs with tomatoes) and there are hot water dispensers to use for making instant noodles, coffee, and tea. Most of the local trains have snack carts that are pushed through each train car.
If you decide to take the night train and book a hard bed option, don't be surprised if you wander off to the restroom or dining car and return to your door-less cabin to find other passengers sitting on the foot of your bed or even curled up in your lower berth bed Booking a soft sleeper (there are four beds in each cabin) is more comfortable and secure as there is a door that locks. In the morning, music is played to wake travelers up and welcome them to Hong Kong.