Trains and Trams
Being such a small island, Hong Kong is easy to get around with efficient and plentiful modes of public transport.
The core of Island life takes place along Hong Kong's North shore in districts such as Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Quarry Bay. As a result, the most prolific transportation systems operate in this area, with Hong Kong's famous trams operating only along this stretch of the Island. Other modes of transport include, mini buses, buses, taxis and the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) or subway.
Public transportation is very cheap, the best bargain of all undoubtedly being the tram which is HK$2.00 regardless of distance. Taxis are also good value with an initial flag fall of only HK$15. Taxis and private cars are, however, at the mercy of Hong Kong's often congested traffic making the MTR an attractive alternative.
The subway operates four separate lines which ply routes between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The Island Line (blue) runs on Hong Kong Island only, between Shueng Wan in Western District and Chai Wan in the east stopping at all the major districts including, Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Quarry Bay.
The Kwun Tong Line (green) operates between Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon and Quarry Bay in Hong Kong's Eastern District creating a loop which takes in major destinations in Kowloon including Prince Edward (home to the famous flower market) and Kowloon Tong, where passengers can connect to the KCR (Kowloon-Canton Railway) which transports passengers to the Hong Kong-China border at Lowu.
For destinations in China, you will need to catch a train at Hung Hom, the major KCR station in Kowloon. Bear in mind that there is no MTR connection in Hung Hom - you will need to take a taxi or a bus directly to the station.
The Tsuen Wan Line (red) services stations between Central (Hong Kong) and Tsuen Wan (Kowloon) via Sham Shui Po, a popular shopping and electronics district.
The buses pick up where the subway leaves off, with mini buses or regular buses operating services to every corner of the island.
The main bus terminus is located in Exchange Square in Central and from here you will be able to catch buses to most destinations in Hong Kong.
There are three main bus companies; New World First Bus (NWFB), City Bus and Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB). Click on the following links for more information on routes and fares.
New World First Bus
Kowloon Motor Bus
Alternatively, you can call the appropriate Customer Service Hotline for route information.
New World First Bus: 2136 8888
City Bus: 2873 0818
Kowloon Motor Bus: 2745 4466
Mini Buses/ Public Light Buses and Maxicabs
Minibuses are a great way to travel around Hong Kong. They are cheap and frequent and, best of all, can stop pretty much anywhere you want them to. They ply the major routes as well as servicing numerous roads too of-the-way or narrow for the bigger buses to travel.
Minibuses are green and cream or red and cream and can stop anywhere provided there is no yellow line at the curb. The red and cream minibuses also have designated stops along their various routes.
To flag down a minibus simply raise your arm as you stand at the side of the road - much as you would hail a cab. When you want to disembark, either tell the driver to "stop please" or, if you want to practise your Chinese speaking abilities, say "Lidoe, m'goy" which is pronounced lee-doe mm-goy.
Exact fare must be tendered as you board the bus. Remember that very few drivers will have change, particularly for a note. The majority of minibuses now accept the Octopus travel card as a form of payment so you won't have to worry about carrying coins with you.
Being an island, Hong Kong relies heavily on its extensive and efficient network of ferries which connect Hong Kong with all her outlying islands.
All ferries, with the exception of the Star Ferry and Discovery Bay ferries, depart from the ‘Outlying Islands’ piers in central.
Shun Tak Ferries operate services between Hong Kong Island and Tuen Mun, Sha Lo Wan and Tai O from Pier 4 (Tel: 2859 3333)
The Hong Kong & Yaumatei Ferry operates between Hong Kong and Lantau, Cheng Chau and Peng Chau from Pier 6/7 (Tel: 2390 1600) and the Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferries service Hong Kong and Lamma, Tsing Yi and Tsuen Wan from Pier 5 (Tel: 2815 6063).
For more information contact the Hong Kong Tourist Association Visitors Hotline (multi lingual) on 2508 1234.
A more detailed look at public transport in Hong Kong, including details of Octopus cards, hire and rental cars and taxis, can be found here.
Alternatively, visit the Hong Kong Transport Department website.
Last Updated: 17 November, 2004