Hong Kong Transportation Including the MTR Hong Kong

The Hong Kong transportation infrastructure is highly developed with the MTR Hong Kong and the Hong Kong bus system.

The hardest part is choosing the best means of transportation to suit your budget, destination and schedule.

The best transportation options open to tourists are:

MTR Hong Kong

The MTR Hong Kong is by far the fastest and most user-friendly Hong Kong transportation method. It serves as an efficient connection between Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island.

Most of the stations on the MTR Hong Kong lines stop very near the major tourist attractions and the most popular area of town.

It does not go near enough to the main Train station or main Bus station though. Better to get a bus then because the MTR Hong Kong leaves you a long walk away.

I much prefer the views on the Star Ferry or from the upper floor the Double-Decker buses than those of rapidly passing concrete you mostly get on the MTR Hong Kong.

But if you're trying to get there in a hurry, no other form of Hong Kong Transportation beats it.

I only used 4 of the 7 MTR Hong Kong lines enough to know much about them. I did use some of the other lines for pure exploration but the 4 lines below are the most important MTR Hong Kong lines for any visitor to the city.

  • Tsuen Wan Line (Red color)

The MTR Hong Kong 'Tsuen Wan Line' runs from 'Central' station on Hong Kong Island, through 'Tsim Sha Tsui' MTR station and continues North to the 'Tsuen Wan' terminus MTR station in the New Territories.

  • Island Line (Blue color)

The MTR Hong Kong 'Island line' runs East-West along almost the entire North Coast of Hong Kong Island.

  • Tung Chung Line (Orange color)

The Tung Chung line is the fastest route to Lantau Island and one of the cheapest ways of getting to the airport if you transfer onto the S1 shuttle bus outside the Tung Chung MTR Hong Kong station.

The line provides a link to Disneyland, Hong Kong if you change trains at the 'Sunny Bay' MTR Hong Kong station.

Also, if you are heading to Nong Ping with the Po Lin monastary and the Giant Buddha, then you take 'Exit B' out of Tung Chung MTR station and grab bus #23 outside.

  • Airport Express Line (Green Color)

This is the permanent MTR Hong Kong line that runs from the Airport to the terminus MTR station simply named 'Hong Kong'.

It takes a recorded 24 minutes to ride the MTR Hong Kong right into the center of the city.

It's probably the fastest Hong Kong transportation option from the Airport to Kowloon and Hong Kong.

The MTR station previous to the terminus 'Hong Kong' station is aptly named the MTR Hong Kong 'Kowloon' station. This was my stop as I was staying in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong.

The MTR Hong Kong runs from 6am to 1am everyday. They have an enquiries telephone number at +852 2881 8888 or you can do online booking for the MTR Hong Kong at www.mtr.com.hk.

Hong Kong Bus

There are 2 types of buses available in Hong Kong. They are very easy to use except that most of the signs are written in Chinese lettering and thus getting lost is the biggest worry.

But the bus is the cheapest and often most scenic of your Hong Kong transportation methods. The bus is also the ONLY Hong Kong Transportation method for getting around the south side of Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island.

The franchised bus operators in Hong Kong include Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) (and its subsidiary Long Win Bus), Citybus, New World First Bus and New Lantao Bus.

  • Double-Decker Buses

The double-Decker Buses are easy to find, cheap and a staple form of Hong Kong Transportation for locals and tourists alike.

They go practically everywhere in the territory, stop frequently and charge varying fares depending on the distance. The first seats on the top deck are a great place to sit with a friend, a camera and a cooler full of refreshments. It is a real show.

  • Van-Sized Mini Buses

These buses carry a maximum of 16 passengers and are either red minibuses or green minibuses.

These are a challenge for tourists as the drivers rarely speak English, the destinations signs on the front of the buses are in Chinese letting and the cost is also written in Chinese letters.

They are worth mentioning because of the Green Mini Bus #1 that runs from 'Central' on Hong Kong Island up the twisting, narrow roads up to the top of Victoria Peak. The drivers just run that trip full out and it is the most exhilarating method to Victoria Peak.

Hong Kong Taxi

The 3 areas of Hong Kong get their own distinctly colored Hong Kong taxi. All taxis are permitted to take you to the airport no matter where the heck you are though.

  • Hong Kong Island and Kowloon

The red colored Hong Kong taxi is restricted to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

  • New Territories

The green colored Hong Kong taxi serves the New Territories but the occasional red taxi will serve certain parts of the New Territories.

  • Lantau Island

The blue colored Hong Kong taxi serves Lantau Island but is very rare and the fleet of taxis serving this part of Hong Kong is said to be no more than 50 vehicles in size.

The biggest problem I had with taxis was that few of the drivers spoke English or pretended not to. Giving directions and trying to communicate can be a nightmare unless you speak some Chinese.

The best way is to get someone in your hotel to write your destination down in Chinese lettering and hand that to the Hong Kong Taxi driver.

Taxi cabs are everywhere, the drivers keep them very clean and they are a reliable choice of Hong Kong transportation methods. Unless you get stuck in traffic. Always some danger.

Hong Kong Taxis were rated as the cheapest of all major cities in the world. As soon as you step in the cab the fare begins at $15HKD. After 2km the meter kicks in and charges $1.40HKD every 200 Meters until you get to your destination.

You will be forced to pay a $5HKD charge for every piece of luggage you put in the trunk of the taxi. If that isn't enough then count on paying the driver all bridge and highway toll fees in addition to the fare.

You won't be expected to tip but every taxi cab driver in Hong Kong will round up your fare to the highest Hong Kong Dollar mark.

But the taxi drivers are always by the book and rarely break the rules in Hong Kong. It's quite different in other parts of China but the taxis in Hong Kong are strictly controlled and quite a safe form of Hong Kong transportation.

Hong Kong Train

The Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) was well named. It runs from Kowloon to Canton (Guangdong) in the Chinese Mainland.

It's a very important commuter line for residents in the New Territories that work in Kowloon or on Hong Kong Island.

The KCR brings people from the New Territories to the KCR's last stop at Tsim Sha Tsui Station where they can interchange with the MTR.

As tourists, the the KCR East rail line can take you on some great sightseeing rides through the countryside of the New Territories. You can get off at the Race Track or spend a few hours shopping in the Tai Po Market.

Tourists can buy a day pass and enjoy unlimited rides on the KCR system including the East Rail line, the West Rail line and Ma On Shan Rail line(excluding the Racecourse and Lo Wu stations).

To buy travel passes or get pricing information see the KCR website at www.kcrc.com or phone them at #2929-3399 (Hong Kong land line).

Hong Kong Ferry

There are a ton of different Ferries running between Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the Outer Islands. The most famous is the Star Ferry which runs passengers across Victoria Harbor between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

The Star Ferry is a nice ride that gives you views of the City from from the deck of a Ferry in the middle of Victoria Harbor. The best views of any of the Hong Kong transportation options. It really is cheap also.

Upper deck seats cost $2.20HKD while lower deck seats are $1.70HKD.

Ferries to Lamma Island, Lantau Island and other islands depart from Central terminal adjacent to the Star Ferry on Hong Kong Island. You get to choose either the fast ferry or the slow Ferry.

The fast Ferries seem to charge double what the slow Fast Ferries charge but the travel time is cut by almost half in some cases.

Ferries from Central to Yung Shue Wan (Lamma Island) will cost you $10HKD for the slow Ferry and $15HKD for the fast Ferry. If you are going from Central to Lantau Island (Mui Wo) it's $10.50HKD for the slow and $21HKD for the speedy Ferry.

Double the above prices for Sundays and all public holidays.

Tram

The narrow double-decker city trams that slowly creep along the North coast of Hong Kong Island have been in operation since 1904. They were one of the very first forms of public Hong Kong Transportation.

Trams are slower than cars or buses but the central route they take through Hong Kong Island is useful as a Hong Kong transportation option.

There is a flat fare of $2HKD no matter how far you ride so it's some of the cheapest sightseeing you'll ever do in Hong Kong.

I took the Tram from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan and around Happy Valley. There are a total of six overlapping routes so you can get off at one stop and catch another going in another direction.

It is the best little trip around Hong Kong Island. Take a ride. It's cheap and a nice way to see the progression of the history of Hong Kong from the old to the new.

Rent a Car

Renting a car in Hong Kong is a costly and time consuming form of Hong Kong Transportation. The traffic is always heavy, the network of roads in the city are almost impossible to understand and then there is never anywhere to park.

If you plan on renting a car then $100USD a day is as cheap as the smallest cars go.

Don't forget that they drive on the left hand side in Hong Kong but on the right hand side in mainland China.

Public Bus Routes for Sightseeing

Traveling on a bus or a tram is ideal for looking at different sides of Hong Kong. Not only it is cheap to ride on a bus or a tram, it also allows you to see completely different lifestyles in different districts in a short time.

Below are some recommended routes.

  • Citybus Route 973

Catch the Citybus Number 973 at the Tsim Sha Tsui East Bus Terminus. It's in Concordia Plaza, directly opposite the Science Museum on Salisbury Road at the bottom of nathan road.

The Citybus Route 973 will first take you to Hong Kong University, which is the oldest university in Hong Kong. It's worth seeing, especially if school is in and the place is alive with the pains of study.

After the University (If you don't get off there) you'll pass into the countryside in the southern part of Hong Kong. Eventually, you'll arrive at the Jumbo (Tai Pak) Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen.

Again, you could get off here and enjoy a pretty great meal at the floating restaurant. The prices are very reasonable and the food also very good.

If you continue on then you'll come past a big football field. Ocean Park Hong Kong isn't but a 15 minute walk away from that stop so get off if you want to visit Ocean Park.

Continue on the same Route and you'll pass Repulse Bay. Some of the best beaches in the area are at Repilse bay so you can get off here and have a lay on the soft sandy beach.

The terminus station is not far along from there. It's at Stanley Village where you'll find the Murray House and a nice Village market for refreshments.

The entire bus ride is about an hour and a half (If you stay on the whole way) and it is but $15HKD or about $2USD.

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Here's a video that really has no purpose other than to show you the Hong Kong transportation MTR rail. Some people might like to see it and so I've included it. I liked it and it is only 90 seconds long.

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