The struggle was real.
My dad overlooked checking his China visa. That started the ball rolling. At 12nn on a crisp Wednesday, we found ourselves stranded at the HongKong-China border, clueless on what to do next.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Where to get your visa: China consulate in Hong Kong
Address: Lower Block, China Resources Building, No. 26, Harbor Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong SAR
Office Hours: Monday to Friday (except Hong Kong public holidays); 9:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00
It’s a good 10-15 minute walk from the Wanchai MTR and you can use the footbridge all the way through (wish we had known this and saved ourselves the hassle of lugging our luggage up and down the stairs).
They are strict with their requirements. It took my dad a second round of talking with them before they accepted his application. He finally came out past 5 PM and was told to come back the following day at 3 PM.
For single-entry express visa (one-day processing), it costs 500hkd. If processed through an agency, it would probably cost around 1,500hkd.
2. Where to stay: Hotel Jen
So we were stuck in Hong Kong for the night. And we needed a place to crash in (at this point, I was literally ready to crash). My sister graciously billeted us in Hotel Jen (she got a staff discount. yes! woohoo! woot woot!).
ADDRESS: 508 Queen’s Road West, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
It was my second time to stay in Hotel Jen (first was in Singapore) and it did not disappoint. We were upgraded to the Club Floor – 20 floors up and we had an amazing view of Victoria Harbor. Enough comfort and simplicity to make us leave all the day’s soreness behind.
By 1 PM, we got ready to leave in time to pick up the visa by 3 PM and take the bus to China by 4. We took the complimentary hotel shuttle to Central and made our way from there.
3. How to get there: China Travel Service
The Hotel Jen staff were happy to assist us as we inquired on where to take the bus. There are many pick up points (see HK-Guangzhou bus schedule here) and we decided to ride from Wanchai for (well, duh) convenience. As fate would have it, the bus was not stopping there (probably because of the ongoing protest). We then did an amazing-race run to Sheung Wan. In the nick of time, we caught the 4:15 bus.
Of course, there are other modes of transportation to China. You can take the coach service from Hong Kong airport direct to other cities in China (this we normally take. You ride a car to cross the border – very convenient as you pass through both immigration stops by only sitting in the car, then change to a bus). Or you can ride a train (see train schedule here).
We got to China around 7 and it was another full day.
Epilogue: Like our lucky streak hadn’t run out, on our second day in China, our hotel elevator conked out and we had to climb 13 flights of stairs to our room! Talk about a cardio-heavy trip! *punch punch jab hook*