Transport in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an absolute dream to get around! There is no bartering here!! Amazing public transport that is efficient, clean and cheap!
You can get all around Hong Kong, Kowloon, the New Territories and even out to the Islands using public transport. Taxis are also in abundance and cheap too! So get your map out, plan your route and get out and explore!Ferry boats from the boat piers in Central and Kowloon offer visitors a fantastic opportunity to island hop (Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau, Po Toi or even Macau to name a few) most journeys cost just a few dollars per person and give you a fantastic trip through Victoria Harbour as a bonus. The Star Ferry is a must-do!
There are three different coloured taxis in Hong Kong, servicing different parts of Hong Kong:
New Territories: Green
Taxi drivers will turn the Meter on once you have told them where you want to go. The fare breakdown are displayed on the Taxi doors. If you are going through any tunnels or tolls, the taxi driver will pay them then add it to your fare at the end. Taxis all have seat belts.
MTR- Mass Transit Railway
If The MTR is the easiest way to get around Hong Kong. It is mostly an underground train (with a few over ground stations). The Stations are simple to navigate, have information points, staff who are on hand to answer any questions, plenty of self service ticket machines (that take both notes and coins) although the easiest way by far is to use your Octopus card which you just scan going through the turnstiles.
You can plot a route easily using the MTR Map - which is configured simply with different coloured lines. The Trains are spotlessly clean and you never have to wait longer than 5 minutes for a train to appear! Most of the stations have lifts to help with that pushchair! The MTR is also very cheap to use (half price fares for children 3-11 and free for the under 3's!)
Baby Pink Line: Disneyland Resort Line - Sunny Bay (Lantau) to Disneyland Resort Line (Lantau)
Pale baby blue Line: East Rail Line - East TST (Kowloon) - Lok Ma Chau (Western New Territories)
Dark sea blue Line: Island Line - Sheung Wan (Hong kong West)- Chai Wan (Hong Kong East)
Leaf Green Line: Kwun Tong Line - Yau Ma Tei (Kowloon) - Tiu Keng Leng (Eastern New Territories)Brown Line: Ma On Shan Line - Tai Wai (Central New Territories) Wu Kai Sha (North East New Territories)
Purple Line: Tseung Kwan O (North Point (Hong Kong) - Po Lam (Eastern New Territories)
Ketchup Red Line: Tseun Wan Line - Central (Hong Kong) - Tseun Wan (Western New Territories)
Orange Line: Tung Chung Line - Hong Kong (Hong Kong) - Tung Chung (Lantau....you can get to the Big Buddah from here!)
Pinky Purple Line: West Rail Line - Mei Foo (Northern Kowloon) - Tuen Mun (Western New Territories)Teal Line: Airport Express Line Hong Kong (Hong Kong) - Airport (Lantau)
Mustard Yellow Line: Light Rail (Around Western New Territories )
These are five privately owned bus companies that provide a bus service around Hong Kong. Hong Kong buses are almost all modern vehicles with air conditioning and disabled access. Most buses are double decker. Payment is made when you board the bus in either exact change into the automated payment box at the front of the bus, or by swiping your Octopus Card. The fare will be displayed on the box and at many bus stops. Drivers do not generally speak English.The buses are really visitor friendly as almost all buses have electronic information screens announcing the next stop in both Chinese and English. Perfect if you are not sure where you should be getting off!
The fares are very cheap, Children 3-11 are half price and under 3's are free! Be aware though the fares are charged in zones so the further away from the terminus stop the more you are charged regardless of distance that you are travelling. Which could make it a bit pricey if you are travelling for one stop in a zone quite a distance from the Bus terminus.
Tiny Tip: Download the City Bus & KMB Apps for an even easier ride around Hong Kong!
Mini - Buses
TheseThere are two types of minibuses, they both have cream bodies with their roof colour either being Green or Red:
* Green roof (fixed routes & fares - pay when entering)
* Red roof (no fixed routes or fares - pay when alighting)
The destination is displayed on the front of the buses in both Chinese and English. Green Minibuses have set stops with round green signs with their number on.
When you want to get on a red minibus you hail the minibus from the street kerb like a taxi. A minibus can generally be hailed down at any point along a route, subject to traffic regulations. To get off a minibus, a passenger calls out to the driver where they wish to get off. The driver then raises his hand to acknowledge him. This can be a bit confusing at first as you need to know the route fairly well to know when to call. Passengers often call out landmarks, street names or try the following:
yau lok mm-goi = let me out please
guy-how yau lok = let me out at the intersection
ba-see jam yau lok = let me out at the bus stop
day teet jam yau lok = let me out at the MTR station.
Some Green minibuses are now equipped with a bell operated similarly to those found on the larger buses, and ringing it indicates that a passenger requests the next stop. The minibuses are famous for being a bit speedy and following a number of serious accidents involving speeding minibuses all new minibuses (both green and red) introduced from the end of 2009 are fitted with speed governing devices. Existing buses must also be fitted with the devices by the end of the first quarter of 2011, limiting speed to 87km/h, seat belts are also being introduced which will be compulsory for passengers to wear.
A great (and cheap way ) to explore Hong Kong Island is to jump on a Tram you can travel East to West, get on and off where you fancy and explore and then jump back on and explore some more, or just stay on for the whole ride!
The Tram is ridiculously cheap costing 2.30HKD (£0.19) for adults 1.20HKD (£0.10) for children 3-12 and free for under 3’s. You get on at the back of the tram and pay at the front when you get off (have the correct change ready or scan your Octopus Card). It doesn’t matter how far you travel it is one price! The trams are narrow and a bit bumpy so leave your pushchair at the Hotel and put baby in a baby sling, little ones love watching the world go as you pass through very populated areas, alongside markets and enjoy the buzzy atmosphere of Hong Kong.
The Star Ferry
Another lovely (and cheap) morning out would be a couple of trips on the Star Ferry from TST to the Island or vice versa. It is just a five minute boat ride so doesn’t take long and you get fantastic views of the Harbour and a bit of an adventure for the little ones. Much more fun than taking the MTR! If you have a pushchair go on the Lower Deck so you don’t have to negotiate the stairs. Purchase your ticket at the Pier, you change your money into tokens and then slot them into the turnstile for entry, or scan your octopus card.
Prices vary slightly depending if you are travelling during the week or the weekends 2.50 HKD to 3.40 HKD ( £0.21 to £0.29) and half price for children 3-12 and free for under 3’s. They also offer harbour tours of about an hour.
Ferries to the Outlying Islands
To get to all ferrys to the popular Islands (Cheung Chau,Lantau, Lamma, Ma Wan and more!) just head to the Central Pier (on Hong Kong Island). The Piers are all well sign posted. You can your purchase your ferry ticket at each pier. Using either the ticket kiosk or by your octopus at the turnstile. All the services are very regular. So hop on a boat and have a great day out!