Practical Life in Hong Kong


Transport in Hong Kong


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Public transportation in Hong Kong is very good, clean, reliable and on time. Careful though, you usually need exact change! It is recommended to take an Octopus card where you pay in advance a certain amount and you can take all the means of transportation with it. It is an electronic fare used for transport but also in some fast food chain restaurants and some shops. It is very convenient as you do not need change anywhere and you can fill it up whenever you want. If you don't spend it all, you get reimbursed and you get your HK$50 deposit back as well (count HK$7 fee for cards returned within three months).
Here is a link. In general, you have different types of transportation: bus, tramway, ferry, taxi or metro (MTR). Hong Kong has the highest rate in the world of daily journeys done by public transportation with more than 90%.

Car

In Hong Kong, you drive on the left side of the road like most Commonwealth countries and the roads are pretty good. Nevertheless like any big cities, it is not recommended to get your own car but rather use public transportation. Taxes for car owning are quite expensive but it is expected for a small island.

If you really have to buy a car (used or new) then go to the weekly free papers you can find in the Accommodation section. Here are a couple of places you may find interesting:

For renting a car, here are some car renting companies:

Underground

In Hong Kong the underground or metro is called MTR for Massive Transit Railway and there are 10 MTR lines which are:

  • East Rail: from Hung Hom to Lo Wu/Lok Ma Chau
  • Kwun Tong: from Yau Ma Tei
  • Tsuen Wan: from Central to Tsuen Wan
  • Island: from Sheung Wam to Chai Wan
  • Tung Chung: from Hong Kong to Tung Chung
  • Airport Express: from Hong Kong to AsiaWorld-Expo
  • Tseung Kwan O: from North Point to Po Lam/LOHAS Park
  • West Rail: from Hung Hom to Tuen Mun
  • Ma on Shan: from Tai Wai to Wu Kai Sha
  • Disney land Resort: from Sunny Bay to Disneyland Resort

You can find the map of the MTR network here. The main stations with the most connections are Central, Kowloon, Prince Edward, Lai King and North Point.

On top of the Octopus card you can also get day passes or month passes. For more info call (852) 2881 8888.

Bus

Hong Kong is one of the few cities in the world with no publicly-run bus service and therefore has five franchised bus companies operating more than 700 routes:

  • Kowloon Motor Bus Company Limited
    They operate 402 routes mainly in Kowloon and New Territories.
  • Citybus Limited
    Citybus operates 154 routes with 72 of them on Hong Kong Island, 32 of them are North-Lantau and Airport routes, and the last 50 are cross-harbour routes.
  • Long Win Bus Company Limited
    Operates in Tung Chung, Disneyland Resort and routes between the Airport and New Territories.
  • New World First Bus Services Limited
    Mostly operating services on Hong Kong Island.
  • New Lantao Bus Company Limited

Taxi

For taxis, usually the drivers speak English but just in case, get your destination address written in Chinese. Be aware, taxis are colour-coded:

  • Red taxis operate in most of Hong Kong, except for Tung Chung Road and the south side of Lantau Island;
  • Green taxis serve the rural areas of the New Territories;
  • Blue taxis operate only on Lantau Island

Coach

There is a big coach services between Hong Kong and many destinations to Mainland China from Hong Kong Airport.

It is easier to use the through trains but if you really fancy a long bus journey then go to the Tourism Office and they would direct you towards the best connection to wherever you would like to go in China.

Train

There are trains going from Hong Kong to mainland China and there are known as through trains. The lines are operated by MTR Corporation and the Ministry of Railways of the People's Republic of China and Hung Hom Station is the sole station in Hong Kong where you can go to China from.
There are 3 trains leaving Hong Kong for China:

  • Beijing-Kowloon Through Train: from Hong Kong to Beijing
  • Shanghai-Kowloon Through Train: from Hong Kong to Shanghai
  • Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train: from Hong Kong to Guangzhou

Ferry

Being an island and with outlying islands, Hong Kong operates regular ferry routes connecting Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the Outlying Islands, as well as Macau and cities in Mainland China.
See this link here.

Here is a list of regular ferry routes run by different companies:

  • Star Ferry:
    -Central to Tsim Sha Tsui
    -Wanchai to Tsim Sha Tsui
    -Central to Hung Hom
    -Wanchai to Hung Hom
    -Harbour Tour (Circular between Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Wan Chai, and Hung Hom)
  • New World First Ferry:
    -Central to Cheung Chau, Mui Wo, and Peng Chau
    -Tsim Sha Tsui, Mui Wo, Cheung Chau (Weekends Only)
    -Peng Chau, Mui Wo, Chi Ma Wan, and Cheung Chau
    -North Point to Hung Hom and Kowloon City
    -Tuen Mun to Tung Chung
  • Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry:
    -Lamma Island to Central and Aberdeen
  • Chuen Kee Ferry:
    -Lamma Island to Aberdeen
  • HKR International Limited:
    -Discovery Bay Transportation Services - Discovery Bay to Central
  • Park Island Transport Company Ltd.:
    -Ma Wan to Central
    -Ma Wan to Tsuen Wan
  • Fortune Ferry
    -North Point to Kwun Tong
  • Coral Sea Ferry
    -Sai Wan Ho to Kwun Tong

Tram

The trams are very nice and quite historic. It’s 2$ flat fare for a trip and there are 6 lines which are round trips:

  • Shaukeiwan <-> Western Market
  • Shaukeiwan <-> Happy Valley
  • North Point <-> Whitty Street
  • Happy Valley <-> Kennedy Town
  • Causeway Bay <-> Kennedy Town
  • Western Market <-> Kennedy Town

Here is more info with the maps as well:
www.hktramways.com/en/service/index.html.

Airport

Hong Kong International Airport is the airport of Hong Kong (IATA code: HKG) also known as Chek Lap Kok which is the name of the island where the airport was built on.

As seen previously, you can access the airport by MTR or taxi or buses pretty much at any time during the day, as long as you have flights at that time!

The main airlines are Cathay Pacific and Dragonair but of course you can reach Hong Kong from the main cities around the world (New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, etc...).


Update 8/04/2010



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