Travelling Like a Local in Hong Kong
Want to go traveling like a local in Hong Kong? Hong Kong is home to numerous options for tourists, locals and visitors alike.
Here’s Taking a Look at the Public Transportation System That you can Always Avail:
1. Tramoramic Tour
Some touristy activities are always par for the course and travelling like a local in Hong Kong will mean swapping cabs for this hour-long tour that takes place on a historic tram from the 1920s. Get onto the upper deck and put on your headphones for a fun audio guide in 8 languages. Find out more about the history of the tram which is locally called dingding and fascinating stories behind some of the localities of Hong Kong Island.
You can start this tour from the Causeway Bay Terminus or the Western Market, passing the Tak Wing Pawnshop, Man Wa Lake and Macau Ferry Terminal along with the Happy Valley locality and Statue Square.
The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is a lifeline for Hong Kong, linking the island to Lantau Island, New Territories and Kowloon. The MTR has 70+ stations covering 10 lines. These include the Island Line, Airport Express, West Rail, East Rail and many more. It also includes a Light Rail network that functions for the North West New Territories.
The MTR signage contains a Chinese sign with a red colored circle. Trains ply between 2-4 minutes and from 6 AM to 1 AM. Stations are situated in all vital areas while each station comes with multiple exit routes as well. Fares usually start from approximately HK$3.2 and upwards.
Taxis are comparatively reasonable and highly convenient transportation options in Hong Kong. They are readily available for travellers although you may be slightly bewildered by the added charges which are added to the readout on the counter for driving with baggage and also via underground tunnels (paid).
Red taxis function in the urban zones while green taxis operate in the New Territories. Blue taxis only run on Lantau Island. All drivers are fluent in English while fares begin from HK$18 for the first couple of kilometres. Subsequent 200 metres or a minute of waiting will be priced at HK$1.5. Whenever the total touches HK$70.5, all further 200 metres or 1 minute of waiting will be priced at HK$1 onwards. HK$5 is the charge for baggage or hiring via telephone bookings.
4. Minibuses and Buses
Buses are hugely popular amongst Hong Kong residents with routes covering all parts of the region. They are also predominantly used for venturing towards the southern side of the island, i.e. Repulse Bay, Stanley Market and Ocean Park. The MTR only functions across the island’s northern part. Services begin early in the morning, going on till midnight, with high service frequency.
Double-decker buses are mostly used throughout the network. A majority of buses are air conditioned and costs depend on the overall distance covered. Note that buses will not give you change and extra payments will not be refunded to you.
You can also hop onto green and red top minibuses which are 16-seater vans. They are quicker but costlier as well. They are ideal for locals with a working knowledge of Hong Kong streets.
The tramway line started functioning from 1904 and runs only on the northern portion of Hong Kong Island. This is one of the oldest transportation options in the island. Double-decker tramways cover the entire stretch between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town. Most routes have affordable fares from HK$2.3 for adults and HK$1.2 for children. Senior citizens only have to pay HK$1.
Tramways offer comfortable, convenient and efficient transportation between several parts of Hong Kong Island including numerous tourist attractions. Those willing to explore the city should consider the tram network. Similar to buses, excess payments will not be refunded since no change is given. The Peak tram is a popular cable tramway line that extends from the Central District to Victoria Peak.
6. Star Ferry
The Star Ferry is another attractive transportation mode which is also quite affordable at the same time. It runs between the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island while having commenced operations in the year 1898. Star Ferry is a great place to view the panoramic views of skyscrapers in Hong Kong and also the beautiful Victoria Harbour. The upper deck has ample fresh air and gorgeous views while the lower deck is slightly more affordable.
The rides usually require 7-8 minutes on average between 6.30 AM and 11.30 PM. The fare is roughly HK$2 on the lower deck (Monday to Friday) for the route between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. It is also HK$2.5 for upper deck rides between Monday and Friday. It is HK$2.4 and HK$3 for weekends and other public holidays.
7. Octopus Card
The Octopus Card represents a highly convenient system for travellers. This card is an electronic prepaid card. This can be used for paying across all major forms of public transportation in Hong Kong. The fares on the tramways, buses, Star Ferry and MTR may be quickly paid via the Octopus Card. This is really useful since change is not given on tramways and buses if you are paying via cash.
You can also use this for paying for items purchased at 7-Eleven supermarkets or stores. If you are staying for a shorter duration in Hong Kong, it is still recommended that you use this card for purchases. It can be purchased at 7-Eleven desks or even at the MTR.
The MTR route covers a major part of Hong Kong City and surrounding areas and this makes it a major option for locals and visitors alike. You can also take out some time and choose seats on the upper decks of double-decker Hong Kong buses. This will give you amazing views of the city and plenty of photographic opportunities too. Of course, the Star Ferry offers a picturesque experience till Kowloon from Hong Kong Island. The ferry has been plying on this route from the year 1888 onwards.
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