12Jul

Expat Guide: Transportation in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s transport system is very fast, accessible and efficient. It does not pose much of a issue for expats because of the array of options to get around the city. Their public transport network includes ferries, trams and even outdoor escalators. What’s very notable is Hong Kong’s MTR system that’s recognized as one of the best globally. Taxi fares are also relatively cheap. This is the reason why citizens have not much need for a private car.

BUSES IN HONG KONG

There is no shortage of bus networks in the city. Rush hour can be quite an experience with the outpour of workers flocking to get to their offices so expect crowding early in the morning and after 6PM. There are also over 4000 minibus services across the city which can service up to 16 passengers. Green minibuses have specific stops and the red ones will stop anywhere along their route.

The bus will stop accommodating new passengers once its full. We recommend getting an Octupus card for easier payment. The signal for “Stop the bus” (if a bell is absent) is “yauh lohk”.

“DING DINGS” or TRAMS

This is a good option if you want a relaxing, chill ride because they are slower than the other forms of commute. The top deck is popular among tourists or locals who just want to slow down and appreciate the city. Trams operate between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan from about 5.30am to 12mn and you pay before exiting.

TAXIS IN HONG KONG

Some taxi drivers do not understand western accents so we recommend having Google Maps and a translator app on hand when getting on a taxi for the 1st few weeks. This form of transport is cheaper when compared to other global cities and they are quite efficient except when getting caught in traffic. Blue taxis are only permitted to travel within Lantau Island similar to green taxis that only operate within the New Territories. Red taxis are for Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, but one important tip is that if red taxi drops someone off on Hong Kong Island, they can only pick up passengers heading back to their designated area and this applies to all networks of taxis

FERRIES

Star Ferry is the most popular line in Hong Kong. Take it if you’re planning to go around Central and Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui’s Clock Tower. Other vessels offer regular services for residents of the outlying islands. Lamma, Cheung Chau, Discovery Bay, Ma Wan’s Park Island, Mui Wo and Peng Chau have dedicated daily services leaving from the Central Ferry Piers. Other ferries shunt from Aberdeen, Wan Chai, Hung Hom and North Point.

OUTDOOR ESCALATORS

Yes, escalators. The Mid-level neighborhood is known for its long and extensive outdoor escalators that take you from one block to the next or even farther. Most parts of the Mid-levels are steep streets and these escalators prove to be very convenient for this type of urban terrain. No need to pay when using them.