10 Nov How to Get Around in Hong Kong
You are about to take up a Hong Kong Internship. You are worried about how to get around in this wonderful fast-paced city. Don’t worry. We have it all covered for you.
Hong Kong’s land area totals a mere 1,104 square kilometers and has a population of over 7 million people. As you can imagine, getting to and from work can get very hectic, especially during rush hours. Hong Kong’s solution to the transportation chaos is their efficient, inexpensive, and intricate system of transport, which include railways, trams (streetcars), buses, minibuses, taxis, and ferries. As a part of living and working in Hong Kong, it is important to have at least some idea of how to get to and from where you’d like to go! Here is a break down for you:
First thing you have to know about Hong Kong Transit is the all-encompassing electronic money payment system that you get with the Octopus Card which Absolute Internship provides to you as part of the program. The Octopus card can be used to pay for all public transportation, except taxis, and can also be used in convenience stores, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants and most vending machines.
Railway transportation or subway, Mass Transit Railway (MTR) accounts for 40% of all trips made in Hong Kong, making it the most popular transportation method in Hong Kong. There are 82 stations spread out throughout 10 lines including lines that take passengers directly to Disneyland and to the Hong Kong International Airport. You know, just in case you ever need that Disney getaway, it’s only a subway ride away.
Opening Hours: 6 am – 1am
Price: Varies depending on distance
Buses are usually used on big main roads and are the second most popular transportation method. They are very straight forward and the fare depends on distance. In total there are 5 different bus companies in Hong Kong, not including the unmarked vehicles.
Opening hours: 6 am to midnight, nighttime buses are available after daytime buses stop running
Price: Range from HK$3 to HK$20
Minibuses, sometimes referred to as maxicabs, are small buses that hold up to 16 passengers and accept no standees. They are used on smaller streets where the regular buses are not able to reach. They also come in two different colors: red and green. The green minibuses have a fixed flat rate regardless of distance traveled and also travel along a fixed route. The red minibuses, on the other hand, are quite the opposite with their fare depending on distance traveled. Usually, these red minibuses will only stop when there is a request from one of the passengers to stop. Also, because many of the drivers’ wages depend on these fares, they can be very aggressive.
Opening Hours: 6 am to midnight
Prices: HK$2 – HK$20
The Trams, or streetcars, in Hong Kong are exclusively double-decker, and are used for transportation mainly in northern Hong Kong. They are a bit slower than the buses and the railway, so they are not as popular, although they are still available as a transportation option. A must for all Hong Kong interns to try out while interning in Hong Kong!
Opening hours: 6 am to midnight
Prices: $2 flat fee
Lastly, there are thousands of taxis in Hong Kong and whose area of travel is marked by the color of the taxi. You have 3 different colors which include, red, green, and blue taxis. The red taxis will take you to almost anywhere in Hong Kong. The green taxis will take you only to the New Territories, and the Blue will take you to Lantau Island.
Prices: Meters start at HK$18
To find out more about Hong Kong, read about the History of Hong Kong and Where Should I Intern Abroad: Hong Kong or Singapore?