We’ve enjoyed being out and about in Hong Kong, with 90% of the population not owning a car here, the public transport is frequent, low cost and easy to use.
The first thing we did was buy our Octopus cards, you can pick these up at any MTR station. We used the local ones, which are loaned to you, the initial cost is a deposit of 50 HK$ plus a credit of 100 HK$. There is a tourist version available where you pay 39 HK$ and you can keep the card as a souvenir of your visit. Any remaining credit and your deposit on a loan can be cashed in at the airport before you fly home. The MTR airport link is the quickest way to transfer to the city, it costs 100 HK$ one way to Hong Kong station in Central District.
The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) metro service is excellent, it’s safe and very clean. If you avoid the workday rush hour 07:30 – 10:00 and 17:00 – 19:00 it’s not over crowded. The trains are closed off by glass, we liked the signs about the train warning sounds “Ding Dong” to let people off and “Do Do Do” to stop boarding. The metro system is just like using the Oyster Card in London, simply use your card to enter and exit the stations on your journey, the remaining balance is shown on exit.
The “Ding Ding” trams have been connecting the East and West of Hong Kong since 1904, with 263 trams in operation, moving around 200,000 passengers per day, it is the world’s largest fleet of double decker trams.
You simply hop on and off, each journey no matter the duration costs 2.30 HK$ for adults. Passengers board at the rear of the tram, and exit at the front. Payment is by Octopus card or cash on exit, no change is given.
Ferries used to be the only way to connect Hong Kong with Kowloon and mainland China. These still run regularly despite the development of road and rail connections. The most famous is the Star Ferry company based from the Central Star Ferry Pier on the Waterfront in Hong Kong, which was founded in 1880.
The current fleet of 9 ferries date back to the 1950’s & 60’S. They run every 8 to 14 minutes 7 days a week and are priced at 2.50 HK$ per adult in the week and 3.40 HK$ at weekends and holidays.
We used the buses twice to visit Stanley and Aberdeen, both times we caught them from the bus station at Exchange Square in Central. They were running about every 20 minutes so we didn’t have to wait long either time in any direction. The cost was just over 10 HK$ one way per person.
We also hailed a taxi from Central back to the hotel on one occasion, including a tip it cost 50 HK$.
We really can´t fault the public transport in Hong Kong, it is simple, cost effective and very easy to use so have fun trying out the different types.