Join now
Log in Join

Need expat info for Hong Kong?

Join InterNations to meet other expats where you live and read more articles like Hong Kong's Public Transport Network with relevant information for expats.

Ruben Barbosa

Living in Hong Kong, from Brazil

"I found all my company's expat employees on this site, and they gave me great tips about life abroad in Hong Kong."

Barbara Richter

Living in Hong Kong, from Switzerland

"The InterNations Events are the perfect place to meet and get to know like-minded people for a Hong Kong expat such as myself."

InterNations - a community of trust

Transport & Driving

Hong Kong's Public Transport Network

In crowded, gigantic cities such as Hong Kong, public transport is an absolute necessity in the day-to-day lives of a large part of the population. As an expat, using the Hong Kong transportation network is often preferable to driving. Below, you’ll find a list of popular mass transit options.

Buses

Buses in Hong Kong are operated by different companies. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories are served by Kowloon Motor Bus Company and New World First Bus & Citybus. Lantau is exclusively served by the New Lantau Bus Company.

Many buses are double-deckers, offering great views of the city as an extra treat. Route searches and specific prices are available on the respective company websites.

Usually, a single ride is less than HKD 10, depending on the distance travelled, although some fares can be as high as over HKD 40. You might have to pay a steep markup on Sundays and public holidays when using some Hong Kong public transport options.

You either need to have the exact amount of cash or pay via Octopus Card, which is valid for most Hong Kong transportation options. On the front of most buses a sign in both Chinese and English shows the destination.

Stops are clearly marked. However, you must raise your hand to signal you’d like to get on the vehicle. When you’d like to get off the bus, the driver will only stop if you press the buzzer.

Minibuses

In addition to regular buses, there are also lots of so-called minibuses in Hong Kong. These are very popular among locals, especially when the MTR and regular buses are no longer running. Unless the other available options are not exciting enough for adventurous expats in Hong Kong, we recommend the use of these vehicles only for those who speak at least some Cantonese and are familiar with the city.

Minibuses carry around 16 passengers. Green minibuses have fixed routes and prices listed on the front window (Chinese only). You normally pay once you get on.

Red minibuses do not always have fixed routes – they can be altered according to demand. Passengers can then get on and off anywhere along the route. The Hong Kong Transport Department provides more detailed information.

Trams

If you prefer a cozier, scenic way of getting around Hong Kong, try one of the historical double-decker trams. They have rambled through the streets since 1904. Several attempts to shut down the oldest of all Hong Kong transport lines have been thwarted by resistance from the local population.

The flat fare for the tram is HKD 2.30, once again payable with your Octopus Card or exact change. More information is available from Hong Kong Tramways. Another special treat is the Hong Kong Peak Tram to Victoria Peak, a popular tourist attraction and recreational spot, which offers spectacular views of the cityscape.

Ferries

If your city is made up of hundreds of islands, as is Hong Kong, travel cannot only take place in the streets or underground. Whether you need to get somewhere or just want to enjoy the scenic views of the harbor: Using a ferry is a very popular way to get around here.

The most famous route is probably the trip across the harbor from Hong Kong Island to the Kowloon Peninsula with the legendary Star Ferry. A trip from the Central Star Ferry Pier on Hong Kong Island to Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon costs HKD 2.50, slightly more on weekends and public holidays. The service operates approximately every 10 to 20 minutes between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm daily.

Other ferries provide service to some of Hong Kong’s main outlying islands such as Peng Chau, Lamma, Cheung Chau, and Lantau, as well as to Discovery Bay, making them an irreplaceable part of the Hong Kong public transport network.

All of these operate from the Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island. On most routes, there are standard ferries and more expensive fast ferries. For some of the ferries, you can also use the Octopus Card.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

 

InterNations Expat Magazine