My wife and I recently visited Hong Kong. We opted to go on a one-day tour with other tourists and travel by ourselves the rest of the time. It was one unforgettable adventure, traveling around on foot and using public transportation, mingling with the people. In Hong Kong, public transportation is your friend. Let me share with you some experiences we had with Hong Kong’s public transportation system from a tourist’s perspective.
First and foremost, let’s talk about Hong Kong’s MTR. There are 9 MTR lines within Hong Kong, and those include the ones from the airport and Disneyland. It’s very convenient and fast. For each MTR station, there are a couple of entrances and you won’t get lost as there are directions and maps. For example, if you want to go to the Avenue of Stars, drop off at Tsim Sha Tsui station. And from there, you’ll see, if I remember correctly, exit J that will lead you to the Avenue of Stars. Just follow the arrows and you’ll get there.
Transferring between MTR lines is a cinch. You just need to drop off at a connecting station. Look at the MTR map to see where they are. You don’t need to use your card while switching to another MTR line, you can just go straight to the next train and your card will be deducted only when you exit the station. In addition to its convenience, the stations are pretty clean with a few restaurants and shops in case you want to have a meal or a snack. There are customer service kiosks and MTR personnel you could ask if ever you get lost or something. If you’re asking about the fare, it’s really not that expensive. It costs as low as $4 if you just need to go to the next station or more than $40 if you transfer to several MTR lines.
Aside from the MTR, if you need to go to a specific place far away or not along the route of the MTR, the buses and minibuses are your friend. They’re not expensive at all. Bus stops are literally scattered around the city so there are plenty to go around. At each bus stop, it will show you the buses, and their numbers, and their route. Sometimes, they even show you the map but most of the time, the bus stops only provide you with the street names.
That’s the only disappointing part in traveling by bus. If you’re a tourist, you’re most definitely not familiar with the different streets, alleys, junctions, etc. You’ll probably risk getting lost if you ride one on whim. Just try not to go too far. Always be mindful of the bus number and the street.
And lastly, you can always choose to grab a taxi. They’re color-coded as to the area they are stationed. Don’t worry too much though as most of them really know their way around. Just a reminder, taxis do not accept Octopus cards so you’ll have to pay cash.
So there you have it. Those are the public transportations you could use to go around Hong Kong. As a tourist, and if you plan to go on foot around Hong Kong and use public transportation, buy an Octopus card. It’s very useful. As soon as you arrive at the airport, I suggest you buy one. You can acquire one for 150 Hong Kong dollars. $50 would be for deposit and $100 would be your credits. You can use it on the MTR and buses. But wait, there’s more. You can use your Octopus card even to buy from 7-11s and other groceries and supermarkets that accepts Octopus cards. You can even use it to pay for your Peak tour.
Have fun and make the most out of your vacation. Seeing the sites and traveling on foot and mingling with the people together with your family/friends is on heck of an adventure. Also, try to plan not only the places where you want to go, but how to get there efficiently.
Hong Kong MTR