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Getting Around: Transportation Tips For Hong Kong

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Getting Around: Transportation Tips for Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis known for its efficient and extensive transportation network. Navigating the city can be overwhelming for first-time visitors, but with the right knowledge, getting around Hong Kong can be a breeze. This article provides transportation tips and insights to help you explore the city easily and conveniently.

Getting from the Airport to the City

  • By Airport Express Train: The Airport Express Train is the fastest and most convenient way to get from the Hong Kong International Airport to the city center. It takes around 24 minutes to reach Hong Kong Station. From there, you can easily transfer to other modes of transportation.
  • By Bus: Various bus routes operate between the airport and different parts of the city. Buses are a more affordable option, but travel times may vary depending on traffic conditions.
  • By Taxi: Taxis are readily available outside the airport terminals. They provide a door-to-door service, but fares can be higher compared to other modes of transportation.

Using the MTR

  • MTR Overview: The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is Hong Kong’s efficient and extensive subway system. It covers most areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. The MTR is known for its cleanliness, reliability, and ease of use.
  • Purchasing Octopus Card: The Octopus Card is a rechargeable smart card that can be used for MTR rides, buses, trams, ferries, and even retail purchases. It offers convenience and discounted fares. You can buy and top up Octopus Cards at MTR stations.
  • Planning Your Route: Use the MTR’s official website or mobile app to plan your route and check for any service disruptions. The MTR operates from early morning until midnight, with extended hours during weekends and public holidays.

Exploring by Bus

  • Bus Routes and Fares: Hong Kong has an extensive bus network that covers almost every corner of the city. Bus fares vary depending on the distance traveled, and exact change is required when paying in cash.
  • Bus Types: Hong Kong has different types of buses, including double-decker buses, single-decker buses, and minibusses. Double-decker buses are the most common and offer great views of the city.
  • Bus Etiquette: When boarding a bus, enter through the front door and pay the fare or tap your Octopus Card. Seats near the front are reserved for elderly, disabled, and pregnant passengers. Remember to give up your seat if necessary.

Taking a Tram Ride

  • Tram Route: The iconic Hong Kong Tramway, also known as the “Ding Ding,” runs along the northern coast of Hong Kong Island. It’s a nostalgic way to explore the city and experience its unique charm.
  • Fares and Payment: Tram fares are relatively low and can be paid in cash or with an Octopus Card. Remember to pay when you exit the tram.
  • Seating and Etiquette: Trams have both upper and lower decks. The upper deck provides better views, but it can get crowded during peak hours. Be mindful of other passengers and give up your seat if needed.

Taking a Ferry

  • Ferry Services: Hong Kong has various ferry services that connect different parts of the city, including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the Outlying Islands. Ferries are a scenic way to travel and offer beautiful views of the Victoria Harbour.
  • Ferry Operators: The major ferry operators in Hong Kong are the Star Ferry and the New World First Ferry. Each operator has different routes and schedules, so check their websites or information boards for the latest information.
  • Ferry Tips: Arrive early, especially during peak hours or weekends, to secure a seat. Keep in mind that some ferries have indoor and outdoor seating areas, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air while crossing the harbor.

Using Taxis

  • Taxi Types: Hong Kong has three types of taxis: urban taxis (red), New Territories taxis (green), and Lantau taxis (blue). Urban taxis can travel anywhere in Hong Kong, while New Territories taxis are limited to the New Territories and Lantau taxis to Lantau Island.
  • Taxi Fares and Payment: Taxis in Hong Kong are metered, and fares are calculated based on distance traveled and waiting time. Payments can be made in cash or by Octopus Card, but not all taxis accept card payments.
  • Hailing a Taxi: Taxis can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands. If the taxi’s red sign is lit, it means it’s available. Simply raise your hand to signal the driver.

Ridesharing Services

  • Ridesharing Apps: Popular ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are available in Hong Kong. They provide a convenient and comfortable alternative to taxis, especially during peak hours.
  • Booking and Payment: Download the ridesharing app, create an account, and book a ride using your smartphone. Payment is usually done through the app, eliminating the need for cash transactions.
  • Fare Estimates: Ridesharing apps provide fare estimates before booking, allowing you to have an idea of the cost before starting your journey. Keep in mind that surge pricing may apply during busy periods.


In conclusion, Hong Kong offers a wide range of transportation options to explore the city efficiently. Whether you prefer the speed of the MTR, the charm of trams, the convenience of buses, the scenic beauty of ferries, or the comfort of taxis and ridesharing services, you can easily navigate Hong Kong and reach your desired destinations. Remember to plan your routes, make use of the Octopus Card, and be mindful of local customs and etiquette.


  • MTR Official Website:
  • Hong Kong Tramways Official Website:
  • Star Ferry Official Website:
  • New World First Ferry Official Website:
  • Uber Official Website:
  • Lyft Official Website:

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