I absolutely believe that Hong Kong has the best public transport system in the world, it is just fabulous and cheap! and I do my best to introduce my clients to the best of our transport options such as the MTR Trains, the buses, trams, ferries, taxi's etc. and with the exception of the taxi's you can pay with the Octopus card.
It is hard to put into words just how brilliant our train system is, the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) carries about 5 million people a day and is simply the best way to get around Hong Kong. It is clean, cheap, fast and yes it does get crowded in rush hour but not overly so and as you can see, it seems every passenger withdraws into their own private mobile phone world!
Our bus system has come on in leaps and bounds since the awful days of the China Motor Bus Company in the mid 1990's, many of our aging buses have been replaced by these lovely "green" buses, all the buses are air conditioned and the frequency of the buses on most routes is simply outstanding. Bravo Citybus and KMB
In a nutshell our taxi's are cheap but they are also a source of great frustration...
- many drivers have no idea how to get to even iconic places such as the Peak (really!) and many famous hotels.
- quite often they do NOT stop for non - Chinese people, this happens to me daily, my record is 9 times when a for hire cab ignores my frantic waving!
- try getting 5 normal size adults into this horrible car!
- when it rains they disappear
- communicating with them in English can be a real problem
Other than that.....! but they are cheap and if you have the address of the place you need to get to written in Chinese then this can save a lot of hassle.
I much prefer using other modes of transport.
Everyone who visits Hong Kong should travel on our iconic trams, they exist only on Hong Kong Island and go from the very west to the very east of the Island. They are slow and none of them have air - conditioning but at HK$2.30 per ride (no matter where you get on or get off) they are a real bargain and a great way to see our diverse neighbourhoods. on the Island.
Like the trams, the Star Ferry is simply iconic and I travel on it almost daily, during the week a ride on the lower deck is HK$2 which is simply amazing considering you see some of the best city views in the world. If you visit Hong Kong do it twice, once during the day and it is simply a must do at night time.
I ride a mini bus twice a day, it get's me to my nearest train station... for the most part you will not have reason to go on one as a visitor and you certainly should avoid this bus but with a red roof, the drivers are maniacs!
We now have over 500,000 private cars on our roads which means we have all sorts of traffic issues. I have to admit that I quite like the idea of chauffeur driven transport, perhaps the Rolls Royce Ghost but at the end of the day I can get around quicker on public transport which is a darn sight cheaper.
I have things to say about the Peak Tram in my post about The Peak - in a nutshell, it is on everyone's wish list to ride up to the Peak but why would you wait 1 - 2 hours for an 8 minute ride???. If you are prepared to wait then it is a great ride but for me coming down is much more exciting!
A rather interesting transport option, it carries people up from Queens Road Central to Conduit Road in the upper Mid Levels on Hong Kong Island from 10.20am - midnight and comes down from 6am - 10am. It is about 800m long and in about 20 sections and it is a great way to explore and it is one the easiest ways to get to SOHO our classy eating / drinking district. Be warned, there is invariably one section under repair which means a lot of steps!
Hong Kong has over 250 islands but for the most part visitors will only consider visiting Lantau Island, Cheung Chau Island or Lamma Island and getting there by Ferry is easy and cheap.
The Hong Kong Government does not take cycling seriously unless you live on Cheung Chau or Lamma Islands or in some remote village in the New Territories, we have a brilliant public transport system so they see no need to build special bike lanes on our congested roads, I agree with them and not only that you are risking life and limb on our roads, you are not going to win an argument with a double decker bus.
I fully understand the benefits health wise of riding a bike but given our climate, the hilly terrain and the dangers on our roads why take the risk?
I love fast motorbikes and you see plenty in Hong Kong but what is rather troubling is the number of bikers killed or injured on our roads every year... again it is not worth the risk.
A lot of people comment on the lack of scooters compared to other major cities around Asia, I put this down to previous comments, we have a fabulous public transport system, our roads are clogged and 2 wheeled vehicles are just in danger of being squished by trucks and buses.
On a personal note, I just think you look a bit of a plonker on a scooter!
I do personal walking tours around Hong Kong, I am on the streets every day and I have a somewhat interesting perspective of this wonderful city I have called my home for 37 years. My private walking tours are perfect for visitors who want a detailed overview of Hong Kong prior to exploring on their own and for people who are only here for a day or two who want to make the most of their limited time here.
Many clients book me for their first full day in Hong Kong, they get to see the best that Hong Kong has to offer + a crash course on our wonderful public transport system and then they go exploring for the rest of their stay armed with step by step instructions and recommendations from me....
...oh, and if you book a tour then you are booking a tour with me, I do not employ other guides.