Getting Between Hong Kong and Korea

Korea is a popular short break option for people based in Hong Kong. Here we explain some ways to get there.

By Air

This route is well served although prices are not always as cheap as one may expect given the level of competition. Local tour agents do often offer keenly priced flight and accommodation packages.

The main destination is Seoul (Incheon or Gimpo) but some other cities are served including Busan and the Jeju islands. Full-service local airlines on the route include Cathay and Hong Kong Airlines. Korean airlines Korean Air (reviewed in first classbusiness class and economy class) and Asiana are both excellent airlines, mirroring one another closely from service level to pricing. That said, Asiana seems to have had some problems in the past few months including significant problems with their meal provision and some alarming bumps on the ground, so I would be more comfortable booking Korean Air for now at least.

Other full service carriers on the route include Thai’s daily service (which is scheduled to stop at the end of October) and Air India several times weekly. Ethiopian Airlines now operates to Seoul via Tokyo instead of via Hong Kong.

Lots of low cost carriers plow the route. HK Express flies to Seoul, Busan and Jeju. Korea has a host of no frills carriers we have not reviewed, which fly to Hong Kong from Seoul and elsewhere: Jin Air, T’Way, Air Seoul, Air Busan and Jeju Air.

By Sea

Korea is not as popular a call on cruise itineraries from Hong Kong as Taiwan or Japan, but it does sometimes feature. Cruise itineraries change each year so it would be best to contact a local cruise specialist to find out what is upcoming.

There is no scheduled direct ferry service between Hong Kong and Korea, but there are regular ferries between Incheon and various eastern seaboard mainland cities such as Tianjin and Weihai, several of which are outlined on Seat 61. It would be easy enough to take the train there from Hong Kong and join a ferry. Alternatively there is ferry service between Japan and Korea, notably Fukuoka and Busan.


As the border between North Korea and South Korea is impassable to tourists, there is no overland connection from Hong Kong to the southern part of the Korean peninsula where South Korea sits.

North Korea

We have explained travel options between Hong Kong and North Korea in this article. They usually involve either plane or train from Beijing although in principle you could pick up the train in Shenyang or Dandong, while flights are sometimes offered from other cities such as Shanghai.

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