What I love the most about Hong Kong is their transportation. It’s easy to go from one place to another, be it through their MTR system, the traditional TRAM, bus or the Star Ferry. All you need is one access card to pay for the fare. This access card is called the Octopus Card. It’s like your stored value card used in the MRT in the Philippines.
Since we stayed in Hong Kong for 6 days & 5 nights, we bought an octopus card for easy transport. Being a DIY Traveler, the Octopus Card has become our friend during our stay there. An Octopus Card costs HK$ 150 (Php 827). This card has a credit worth HK$100 (Php 551.00) while the HK$ 50 served as a refundable deposit. When you leave Hong Kong, you can return the card and you get your HK$50.
The next important thing is to get a map. As soon as you arrive at the airport, get maps. These maps would really help you do your trip at your own pace and time. I would share our itinerary in a different post.
Types of Transportation in Hong Kong:
- Tram- The tram is one of the icons of Hong Kong. You shouldn’t miss riding this. Getting around via the tram would only cost you HK$2.00 (Php 11.00). But you should also be careful when you alight, you might get yourself into an accident since there are at least three railways. We almost got ourselves into an accident when we were there.
- Star Ferry- The Star Ferry is one way of enjoying a scenic ride from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. You should do this when the sun is about to set or at night time. Fare is HK$2.20 (Php 12.00). On our way back to Kowloon, I saw this junket cruising.
- Bus- There are numerous buses around Hong Kong. But you should be aware of the codes corresponding with the routes of the buses. The maps or other tourist brochures would guide you.
- TAXI- You can always hail a cab if you want but flag down rate is HK$18.00 (Php 99.25) and sometimes the driver asks for an additional HK$15.00 (Php 82.70). Yes, they’re similar to drivers in the Philippines.
- MTR- Commuting around Hong Kong via the MTR is very convenient. They have 7 lines. The MTR from Kowloon Station also connects you to the airport via the airport express. So when you’re on a rush to chase your flight, this is your best option. You should expect a large number of commuters during rush hours. When taking their elevators, hold tight because the elevators are fast too. If you have a smartphone, you can download their apps to plan your trip
FARES and DESTINATIONS (based on what we spent in Dec 2010):
via MTR (You can check out updated rates here)
- Jordan (Kowloon Island) to Central Station- HK$ 7.90 (Php 43.55)
- Going to Ngong Ping Village- Central to Tung Chung (Ngong Ping Village/ Lantau Island) – HK$ 13.8 (Php 76.00)
- Going to Disneyland- Central (HK Island) to Sunny Bay Station (gateway to HK Disneyland)- HK$ 16.6 (Php 91.53)
- Going to the Airport- Airport Express -HK$ 70.00 (Php 385.97)
via the Bus
- Going to Ocean Park- From Admiralty Station (MTR), you can take the bus 629 going to Ocean Park. Fare is HK$ 10.00 (Php 55.13)
via the TAXI
- Salisbury to Kowloon ( Tung Chung Line for Airport Express) – HK$ 24.00 + HK$15.00 (additional)= HK$ 39 (Php 215.00)
via the Star Ferry
- Going to Victoria Peak – Take the Star Ferry at the Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. Then alight at Pier 7 in Hong Kong Island. Fare is HK$ 2.20 (Php 12.00) From Central, take bus no. 15 C (It’s a maroon open-top bus) just a few meters away from the pier. Fare is HK$4.20. This bus will bring you to the Peak Tram Station, your gateway to the Victoria Peak.
via the Peak Tram
- This tram gives you a 45 degree-angle ride when going to the Victoria Peak. Return ticket (roundtrip) costs HK$40.00 (Php 220.55). The Peak is where the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum is.
How I wish the Philippines is well connected too. But with 7,107 islands, how can transport system be connected? hehe. Nonetheless, in the Philippines, commuting is more fun–that is through island hopping.