Budget Travel

Ding Dings, Double Deckers & More: How to Navigate Hong Kong’s Public Transit System

Hong Kong is sanctified with tons of open travel options — a race of 7.1 million people needs to get around efficiently! In further to how affordable and accessible open travel is, travelers will be relieved to know that scarcely everything, from ride announcements to grill menus, come in twin English and Chinese translations.

For many of a following options, all we have to do is get an Octopus label during a airfield or any MTR (mass movement railway AKA subway) hire and start regulating it to take a subway, bus, ferry, and even some stores and restaurants.


If you’ve ever taken a scarcely hoary ride complement in New York City, a MTR in Hong Kong will blow we divided with a gleamingly complicated facilities. Train arrivals are unchanging and reliable, eating isn’t authorised (no uncanny smells/spills) and dungeon phone vigilance is accessible subterraneous during all times. Sure, it can get obscenely swarming during rush hour, though if you’re fearful of crowds, what are we doing in Hong Kong?!

The MTR lines span 3 of Hong Kong’s categorical islands and can even take we to a limit of China. You can get your initial ambience of a MTR on a Airport Express, a discerning and easy convey that goes from Hong Kong International Airport to downtown in reduction than 30 minutes. The Airport Express runs 24 hours a day, though a unchanging MTR stops use any night from around midnight to 6 a.m. (hours change by line).

David Leo Veksler/flickr

David Leo Veksler/flickr


Indulge your center child by holding a double decker train during slightest once and sitting in a front quarrel on a second floor, where you’ll get breathtaking views of your vicinity as a train winds adult and down Hong Kong’s hilly roads. Bus routes run all over a city, from Stanley Beach to Victoria Peak and more.

The final end of any train is displayed on a front of a car in both English and Chinese; LED signs inside a buses warning we to a subsequent stop. Simply daub your Octopus label when we house to compensate your fare.

Michael Chu/flickr

Michael Chu/flickr


In further to standard box-like buses, Hong Kong also has has minibuses, that come with immature or red roofs and chair customarily 16 passengers limit (no standing!). Officially referred to as open light buses, these vehicles span routes that a incomparable buses don’t cover. Instead of dire a symbol when we wish to disembark, simply scream “yow lok, mm goy” to a motorist — it fundamentally means “Next stop, please.”

Minibuses customarily arrangement a series of remaining seats in a front window so you’ll know if there’s room for we before we get on. Green minibuses follow graphic routes and take Octopus cards, while red ones are some-more self-governing and customarily customarily take cash.




Commonly referred to as “ding dings,” Hong Kong’s slight double-decker trams are powered by electricity and run roughly a whole east-west length of Hong Kong Island — for a small cost of 2.30HKD per adult float (that’s 30 cents USD!). The tram isn’t a fastest approach to get around, though they offer a resting vantage indicate from a center of a city’s bustling roads. Plus, they’re historically significant, carrying been in use given a really early 1900s.

Another ancestral tram we competence hear about is a Peak Tram, that is secretly owned and takes passengers behind and onward from Central district to Victoria Peak. The retro float (in operation given 1888) creaks along a high slip that plasters passengers to a backs of their seats.

Christian Junker - AHKGAP/flickr

Christian Junker – AHKGAP/flickr


For a best views of Victoria Harbour on a good day, bound on a Star Ferry, that goes behind and onward from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. Sure, we could make a outing only as simply by subway, though a Star Ferry has been in operation given 1888 as both a arguable and rather some-more resting form of transport. And yes, we can compensate for it with only a daub of your Octopus card!



Getting around Hong Kong is simple, convenient, affordable — and a fun approach to see a city. What are your favorite open ride stories? Tell us in a comments!