Stopover in Hong Kong

Public Transport

Stopover in Hong Kong - Public TransportHong Kong is small and crowded, making public transport the only way to get around. Public transport is cheap, fast, widely used and generally very efficient. The bus system is extensive and can be bewildering, but you will have to use it to explore the south side of Hong Kong Island and the New Territories.

The north side of Hong Kong Island and most of Kowloon are well-served by Hong Kong's ultra-modern Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Three tunnels link Hong Kong with Kowloon.
The Kowloon-Guangzhou (Canton) Railway (KCR) runs from Kowloon to the Chinese border at Lo Wu (Luohu). Light Rail Transit (fast modern air-con trams) run in the New Territories connecting the city of Tuen Mun with Yuen Long. Double-decker trams also trundle along the northern side of Hong Kong Island.

The Star Ferry's cross-harbour trip between Kowloon's Tsim-Tsa-Tsui and HK's Central looks likely to soon be confined to history - as plans for the pier's demolition are in progress. If you have a chance to make a crossing on it, do it just for the nostalgia.

For connection to the surrounding islands, outlying areas, and points up into the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong's ferries are usually faster and sometimes cheaper than buses or trams. They are comfortable, fun and harbour views can be stunning especially if the weather cooperates!

For short trips to nearby islands, medium capacity ferries are available. For longer trips (Macau, and destinations in the PRC) two basic types of small ferry craft seem to be the norm; the double hulled "jet" catamaran, and the faster hydrofoil (aka "jet-foil"). These ferry services are set up like airlines, with hostesses on board to sell you everything from beer to cognac. All ferries out of HK are airconditioned except for the soon to be obsolete Star Ferry. Altenatively, if you're really in a hurry, there are also private helicopter services out of HK. Remember, if you're crossing a border from HK SAR to the PRC or Macau, you must have your travel documents.

Metered taxis are red with silver tops (green with white tops in the New Territories, blue on Lantau, and black in Macau) will not pick up or drop passengers at bus stops. If you take a taxi to another section (like from New Territories to Lantau) you also have to pay a return fare. Cross harbour taxi rides also require payment of the return toll (with toll prices varying between 20-50 HK$, depending on the tunnel).

An army of minibuses line the streets that are too small for doubledeckers. Each usually runs a dedicated route that is generally a short loop through a local area, but some will be wider ranging. Fares and general stops are denoted (in traditional Chinese) by a green placard in the front windshield - stops can be made by calling out to the driver when you want to get off.




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