February 18, 2011

Commuting in Hong Kong

Though Hong Kong is a small in terms of total area, while touring, it seems to be a very big because of beautiful use of space. If you move around Central Business District or Kowloon, you can understand how big Hong Kong is.

General tips

  • Unless you are sure where you want to go, commuting inside Hong Kong is very challenging.
  • Many places at crowded place and hence you need to select your mode of transport carefully.
  • Few places are very near each other so it is advisable to walk.
  • If you are planning to visit more than 1 place, its better to plan your visits.
  • It is always helpful if you can check map before going anywhere.
  • If you intending to travel Hong Kong for more a week or more, you should buy an Octopus card.
Here are different modes of travelling inside Hong Kong

Hong Kong MTR Train
MTR Train:
Its full name is Mass Transit Railway. Hong Kong has one of the best underground and overground rail network. It is the fastest mode of transportation in Hong Kong. The cost is also reasonable. With more than 200 km of network and 85 railway  station, it is is the best transportation mode in India. Check for more details here.

Mainly there are two types of bus services available at Hong Kong. You can see Double decker buses all around Hong Kong. These are managed by KMB, Citybus, New World First and New Lantao Bus companies. There are mini buses available which runs short distance and goes very fast. Fare is not very high e.g. Mong Kok to Causeway bay fare is HKD 9.8 by AC bus. Bus service is coverage is very good in Hong Kong but you need to find your bus number, bus stand to get on the bus and get off the bus. Most of the signs are in English but don't expect any more help from other people (lack of English speaking people).
Note: when you sit in small buses, keep your eyes open, they drive really fast.

Hong Kong Star Ferry
With limited coverage, Ferry is one of the most romantic & beautiful experience. Number of ferry piers are less in comparison to bus stand and railway station. Most popular ferry is between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. It has more than 125 years of heritage. Travelling by ferry is cheaper and exciting. Area like Discovery bay is very much dependent on ferry as it is not connected by MTR. Ferry charges not uniform e.g. Central to Tsim Sha Tsui costs HKD 2.5 but Discovery bay to Central costs HKD 31.

The most efficient, fast, comfortable and expensive mode of travelling in Hong Kong is Taxi. There are many taxis in Hong Kong and they run by meter and takes the best routes. The basic fare is HKD 18.00 for first 2 km and then HKD 1.50 for every 200 meters. There are charges for luggages if you are carrying. Many taxi drivers from Central district area can speak and understand English.

The heritage of Hong Kong - Tramway. It is a double-decker old fashion tram. It runs in Hong Kong island  from East to West. It is very cheap mode of transportation and worth experiencing. Each trip costs you just HKD 2.00. In October 2010, a tram renovation plan was announced. 161 trams will be renovated at cost of HK 75 million. There is another version of tram i.e. The Peak Tram - if you are going to The peak, you should not miss the opportunity.

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