Transportation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has one of the most efficient and diverse transportation systems compared to other world cities, including a subway, light rail, buses, minibuses, boats, ferries, and a tram. However, the large number of individual operators prevents full integration, and it is not possible, for example, to change from the train to the minibus with the same ticket.
However, the Octopus Card is recognized almost everywhere.
The modern Mass Transit Railway (MTR) (Tel: 28 81 88 88. Internet: www.mtr.com.hk) serves the north side of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. It has six subway lines, one of which runs across the harbor.
The MTR trains are more expensive than the ferry, but they are faster, especially for people who go further beyond Tsim Sha Tsui into the interior of Kowloon. The MTR operates between 05.55-00.30 a.m.
The Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR, Tel: (852) 26 88 13 33. Internet: www.kcrc.com) is operated by MTR and operates the East Rail and West Rail. The East Rail runs from Hung Hom in Kowloon for 34 kilometers to the Chinese border in Lo Wu. The trains run every 10 minutes. The West Rail connects Sham Shui Po in the western Kowloon with Tuen Mun in the northwest of the New Territories. It is possible to switch to the MTR and the Light Rail. The Light Rail Transit high-speed train runs to the New Territories from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Bus routes cover almost the entire region and lead through the tunnel to the other side of the port. However, these routes are often very crowded. Passengers without the Octopus Card need appropriate change. Air-conditioned coaches run on certain routes between Hong Kong and Kowloon. Citybus (Tel: (852) 28 73 08 18. Internet: www.citybus.com.hk) is one of the main providers, buses run between 6 a.m. and 12.30 a.m. There are night buses. From the international airport there are buses (from 6 am to midnight) and night buses to various locations in Hong Kong.
Group taxis (maxicabs) are yellow with a green stripe. They also run on certain routes, but without fixed stops. Minibuses (yellow with red stripes) can let passengers get on and off anywhere (you have to get up and call out), except at normal bus stops and in the no-stopping zones. Payment is made almost exclusively in cash. The driving style of bus drivers, reminiscent of Kamikaze, through the heavy traffic is one of the typical Hong Kong experiences.
The price structure is based on the respective distance and is mostly unclear for tourists. Some minibuses are now also accepting the Octopus Card.
Minibuses operate from 6 a.m. to 12.30 a.m., there is also a specific night bus route that runs between central Kongkong and Mongkok or between east Hong Kong Island and Kennedy Town in the west.
Trams are only available on Hong Kong Island, are inexpensive and run regularly. Visitors who are in Hong Kong for only a short time will hardly have the opportunity to use one of the more advanced express trains that run in the suburbs of Kowloon.
The Peak Tram on the island is a cable car that goes to the terminus at 400 m above sea level on Victoria Peak.
An MTR Tourist Ticket is valid for two single trips. Included in the price is a city map and a souvenir card.
For visitors who stay a week or more, we recommend the Tourist MTR one-day pass, which is valid for all routes of the MTR except for the Airport Express Line or the Octopus Card. It is equipped with a chip from which the cost of a trip is automatically debited using a sensor.
A 3-day transport pass includes trips on the Airport Express with the MTR and a sum for selectable means of transport. If you hand in the card, it will be refunded together with any credit.
The Octopus Card is currently valid for the lines of the MTR, the Light Rail, the Kowloon-Canton Railway and East Rail, the main bus lines and some minibuses and ferries. The card can also be used in some stores and branches of the American chain Starbucks. There are also Airport Express tickets depending on the airport (Hong Kong, Kowloon or Tsing Yi). The MTR information line is available for further information (Tel: 28 81 88 88).
Hong Kong ferries and hovercraft are usually faster and cheaper than buses and trams. They offer wonderful views of the harbor.
The Star Ferry connects Hong Kong and Kowloon from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The trip is part of the standard program for tourists. It is the cheapest way to run over. The Star Ferry terminals are located in Tsim Sha Tsui and the Central District.
The Hong Kong Ferry Company ferries connect Hong Kong Island with other islands.
With the Central Mids Levels Escalator, Hong Kong has the longest escalator in the world, consisting of three walkways and 20 escalators, which are reversed in the evening.
These are gradually disappearing from the streets and are now a pure tourist attraction. Rikshas are usually found at the Star Ferry Terminal in the Central District. The fare should be agreed in advance.
With the largest gondola lift in Asia, the Ngong Ping 360 (Internet: www.np360.com.hk), visitors can travel from the Tung Chung Terminal to the airport island and then back over the Tung Chung Bay to the island of Lantau. The final stop is the Ngong Ping Terminal. The journey time is 20-25 minutes.
There are numerous taxis in Hong Kong and Kowloon, which are also extremely cheap.
The meter reading in downtown Hong Kong starts at a basic fee, plus a fee for every 200 meters after the first 2 kilometers. They are lower in the New Territories.
There are taxi ranks in the city’s busiest places, but they can be stopped on the street at any time.
Red taxis serve the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, green taxis the New Territories and blue taxis the Lantau Island.
Taxis with a rectangular red badge on the dashboard usually drive to the other side of the port.
The tip should be rounded up to the next HK $ amount.
An additional toll is added to some trips, e.g. for trips through the Cross Harbor tunnel, and sometimes a surcharge is also charged if luggage is carried in the trunk.
Many taxi drivers speak a little English, but it is advisable to take a city map with you or have the destination written in Chinese characters.
When boarding, you should also ask whether it is a Hong Kong or Kowloon taxi, especially late at night, because then the taxi drivers prefer to stay on their side of the shore.
If you have any questions or complaints, you can contact a hotline (Tel: (852) 28 89 99 99) or the police hotline (Tel: (852) 25 27 71 77).
Driving in the city
Driving in Hong Kong is best left to the professionals: with one of the best public transport systems in the world, few parking spaces and astronomical parking fees, there is no reason to get behind the wheel and take risks. A car is less convenient as a status symbol in Hong Kong and the fees are corresponding: the car import tax and petrol tax are 100% and the insurance and registration fees are extremely high. However, this makes used cars surprisingly inexpensive, even when you consider the cost of shipping.
The minimum age to rent a car is i. General 25 years. On rental cars you have to pay a high deposit that will be refunded.
You need a valid driving license from your home country or an international driving license as well as liability insurance.
The major providers such as
Hertz (Tel: 25 25 13 13. Internet: www.hertz.com),
Avis (Tel: 28 90 69 88. Internet: www.avis.com),
Alamo (Internet: www.alamo.com),
Dollars (Internet: www.dollar.com),
Thrifty (Internet: www.thrifty.com) and
Europcar (Internet: www.europcar.com) are represented in the arrival hall of the international airport.
Despite the high volume of traffic and air pollution, there are places in Hong Kong that are fun to ride, for example. B. on the islands and in the New Territories.
Bicycles can be hired from the Friendly Bicycle shop in Mui Wo (tel: 29 84 22 78) or from the Shun Lee Bicycle Company in Sha Tin (tel: 26 95 71 95). Mountain bikes can be rented from the Flying Ball Bicycle Company (Tel: 23 81 36 61. Internet: www.flyingball.com) in Cheung Sha. Bicycles can also be rented in the New Territories around Tolo Harbor and at the Tai-Po-KCR station, where there are several small rental stands in front of the station building.