Infrastructure

Hong Kong Transport

Introduction

Taxis that are mainly red and buses run around the clock. A mini bus will have a shorter route but will stop more frequently. The underground (MTR) and over ground railway (KCR) are fast, reliable, reasonably priced and use state-of-the-art equipment. Ferries and catamarans link Hong Kong's inhabited offshore islands. For those not in a hurry, the tried-and-tested two-tier electric trams, in service for more than a century, still trundle along the east-west axis of Hong Kong island's north shore. Hong Kong's transport is I believe second to none. You're spoilt for choice on how to get around. It's cost effective and reliable, what more do you want form a public transport system.

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Octopus Card

These are a must in my opinion. No need to have an endless supply of coins to pay for buses, trains, trams and ferries. You can buy them at any MTR station, top them up there as well and other outlets like 7-11, Park n' Shop. Use them in a large number of stores like a debit card instead of carrying cash. Some Apartment complexes use them for security access.

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Airport

Ideally located Hong Kong has easy access to all the major markets in the Asia and beyond. This central position is one of the key considerations for the city's popularity when companies are selecting a location for their operations.

Hong Kong International Airport is repeatedly voted as one of if not the best airport in the world. Make use of the Airport Express to get into Kowloon and Hong Kong, its fast and efficient, there's a train every twelve minutes. Journey time is around twenty minutes.

For travellers going to the mainland, the airport offers land or sea connections to eight mainland ports by fast ferry and over ninety cities and towns by coach. There is also a limousine service should you require a higher degree of comfort, privacy and flexibility.

When returing from Hong Kong, there is an "in-town" check-in located in the IFC Centre in Central. The Duty Free can be expensive, for things like perfume and electrical items I think you can do better in the regular shops. But for smokers and drinkers there is a financial benefit.

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MTR (Mass Trans Railway)

This is Hong Kong's equivalent of the Subway/Underground/Metro system covering in general terms Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Very assessable, cost effective, frequent and run broadly from six in the morning until mid-night. If you need change, you can get it at the Customer Service counter. Better still, buy an Octopus Card. Useful tip, when you get to your station, in the main concourse in a prominent location there will be a map. This will show "you are here", the main buildings and places of interest, also which exit you should take to find what you're looking for.

KCR (Kowloon Canton Railway)

The KCR is an over ground rail network servicing the New Territories east and west, it also goes to the Chinese boarder if you fancy a day out.

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Buses

Available round the clock, again efficient and cost effective, if you're going to use them, buy a timetable with the schedules in. The level of English isn't that high and you could find yourself getting very frustrated, not that gives you any immunity from the book!

Mini Buses

What's the difference other than colour and size? They are cheaper you can stop them anywhere on their route and they stop a lot. Routes are shorter more local, used by locals so make sure you know where you're going. The standard of driving isn't great, but there is no need to worry. You need to know where you're going or speak Cantonese.

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Taxis/Cabs

Available 24 hours a day, they come in three colours. Hong Kong Island are red, some will go to Kowloon but will have a red card over the meter just to confuse things that says “Out of Service”. The others are pale blue or green and are found in the New Territories. They can't poach business from another taxi's areas. So a blue cab on Hong Kong Island (area for the red taxi) won't take you to the New Territories and vice versa. All taxi's are on a meter and cost effective. Tipping is up to you and it doesn't have to be very much, a few dollars (Hong Kong) is appreciated, as local people don't generally tip.

The standard of English varies tremendously, especially in Kowloon. I would recommend that you get your concierge/security personnel to write down the address in Cantonese of where you're going and your address to ensure you reach your destination and get home again. For those on business, you can ask the driver for a receipt. There is a small machine on top of the dashboard, so if all else fails, just point!

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Ferries

Of which there is a number servicing Kowloon, the outlying Islands, Macau and the Pearl River Delta in China. The most famous is the Star Ferry running primarily between Central Hong Kong and Kowloon. As with all Hong Kong's transport, it's cheap frequent and well worth the experience.

Ferries to the outlying islands are located in front of the IFC complex in Central. These aren't just for tourists and the occasional day out. Popular with expatriates living on the islands, especially for those with children and people who want to get away from the high rise hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Ferries to China go from Tsuim Sha Tsui or sometimes referred to as “TST”. Used by business people and tourists alike who are visiting the Pearl River Delta.

Trams

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For those who have the time, you can trundle along the east west axis of Hong Kong for a couple of dollars (HK) on a piece of history. A great way to soak up the place and the frenetic energy that is unique to Hong Kong. If you're around six foot (1 meter 80cm) or over, you can't stand up! No problem if you miss your stop, they stop a lot!

The Peak Tram in Central is most people's preferred way to the Peak to look down on the amazing cityscape below. On a clear day the views are spectacular and unforgettable.

Helicopter

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For the more adventurous and a blatant disregard for cost, this is an alternative method to get to Macau fast, or a trip round the harbour.

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Useful Transport Numbers

Emergency No.
Telephone No.
Ambulance/Police/Fire Department
999

Transportation
Telephone No.
Citybus
2568 8665
HK Tramways
2548 7102
KCR East Rail
2602 7799
KCR West Rail
2929 3399
Kowloon Motor Bus
2745 4466
MTR
2881 8888
New World First Bus
2136 8888
New World First Ferry
2131 8181
New Lantau Bus
2984 9848
Peak Tram
2522 0922
Star Ferry
2367 7065