Travelling between Hong Kong and Singapore
There is no shortage of ways to travel between Hong Kong and Singapore. Here we outline some direct ones.
For direct air services it is basically a duopoly between Cathay and Singapore Airlines, both of whom offer multiple daily services. We previously reviewed the Cathay flight here and the Singapore Airlines flight here. Both airlines regularly offer promotional fares on this route – Cathay’s was $820 exclusive until recently, but is now from $1,230 exclusive.
In addition, the American airline United offers one daily service, which is often cheap. This is a continuation of its Chicago service. The timings are not great, leaving HK late at night (which could be convenient) but getting into Changi around half past one in the morning, while the return departure time is 5.45 in the morning. However, if you are looking for a trip where you minimise lost working days in HK, this may suit you. The United service is not comparable to that on either of the Asian airlines.
There are also some budget airlines on this route. Scoot stopped its service in October, leaving Tigerair and Jetstar each offering multiple daily frequencies. We previously reported our bad experience with Tigerair which some reader comments on that post echo. It is reported that Tigerair is going to be rebranded as Scoot next year (each is controlled by Singapore Airlines) so Scoot may yet return.
It is possible and very pleasant to travel between the cities by train. You can read our post on travelling by train from Hong Kong to Bangkok. From Bangkok, it’s an easy trip continuing down through southern Thailand, over the Malaysian border, to Kuala Lumpur and from there on to the Singapore border. Trains now terminate at Johor Bahru in Malaysia, from where it is simple and fast to get into Singapore proper (though not as much as it was when the train terminated in Singapore). More details can be found on the Seat 61 page here.
This route is changing quite fast – the Malaysian sleeper cars have gone, the Singaporean station and portion of the rail journey is gone, and Thailand is starting to consider changing its trains to high speed ones. That probably won’t happen for years, but if you want an enjoyable, slow train journey hopping on and off at will, it may be best to do it now while you still can.
One alternative by rail between Bangkok and Singapore is the luxurious Eastern and Oriental Express train.
As both are major ports, a number of cruise ships link HK and Singapore and it is also possible to travel on some freighter ships between them.
Major cruise lines like Cunard, Holland America, Silversea and more regularly offer Asian cruises including stops in Hong Kong and Singapore. You can cruise there and back, or else take the ship one way and fly the other as part of a package. The best place for more information on these packages is a local travel agent.
Freighter trips can be booked through a number of specialist agencies. There is a video of a five day freighter trip from Hong Kong to Singapore on YouTube.